Friday, August 6, 2010

Binaisa, rest in eternal peace

Binaisa was able to rule drom hate to love because he did not take Ugandans for granted. He knew he was hated on being sweared in as President, he then worked hard to show that he was ready to meet the challenge and in so doing he became adarling of many, to the extent that during his time Ugandans tested the real freedom of press among other things. I just wish Uganda could get another leader like QC.God bless his soul in eternal peace.
William Kituuka

Uganda mourns Godfrey Binaisa
Thursday, 5th August, 2010

By Herbert Ssempogo
and Joyce Namutebi
FORMER President Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa has died. The 90-year-old passed away in his sleep at his home in Kizungu Zone, a leafy, quiet area of Makindye, a suburb of Kampala.
He passed on between 3:00am and 6:00am yesterday, his nurse said. The man who led Uganda from June 20, 1979 to May 12, 1980, had diabetes.
Binaisa becomes the second former Ugandan president to die in the country. The other was Gen. Tito Okello Lutwa, who ruled from July 26, 1985 to January 26, 1986, when Predent Yoweri Museveni took over power.
Binaisa’s family, according to their lawyer Erias Lukwago, wants him buried at Kololo where two other decorated heroes, Prof. Yusuf Kironde Lule and Ignatius Musaazi, are buried. Lule was Binaisa’s predecessor and the first chairperson of the National Resistance Movement.
Musaazi founded the first national political party, the Uganda National Congress, in 1952.
Lukwago said he will move a motion in Parliament to have Binaisa buried in Kololo. “I have discussed the matter with the Speaker,” he said.
Issa Kimera, a nurse from Bedside Services, which cares for the elderly, said Binaisa had lately been happy. He went to bed at about 7:00pm after supper. “As a routine, I went to check on him at three in the morning. He lay in his bed face up,” Kimera recalled.
“Are you ok?” Binaisa, a lawyer, asked Kimera, who responded in the affirmative. “Where is my Nalongo?” he inquired in reference to Kimera’s colleague, Christine Naguddi, who took care of him in daytime.
NAkimera informed Binaisa that Naguddi would report for duty later. The former head of state then went back to sleep. It was the last time he spoke to the nurse.
Kimera woke up at 6:00am, prayed and proceeded to Binaisa’s room. Something was wrong, he sensed.
“He lay in the same posture where I left him at 3:00am. I touched him. His right side was cold. There was no life. I called his daughter Nakalema and Dr. Mayanja.
Before he breathed his last, Naguddi disclosed, Binaisa’s condition was not good. It was why they had taken him to Dr. Mayanja’s Victoria Medical Centre in Kampala on Monday. He was scheduled for a second visit yesterday.
The body was transported in an ambulance to Mulago Hospital yesterday for a post-mortem examination.
“It is God’s decision. There is nothing we can do about it,” Nakalema, who fought back tears, said.
His niece, Hajati Sarah Bagalaaliwo, described Binaisa as “an honest, people person who worked for the nation diligently”.
Amos Lugolobi, a neighbour, remembered him as a good friend with whom he discussed development issues.
“He had too much information about Uganda. I hope someone cared to archive it somewhere because it was beneficial to the current generation,” Lugolobi told journalists.
The area defence secretary, Ibrahim Bageya, recollected that Binaisa once contributed sh500,000 to the tarmacking of a road in the area. He also paid two security guards’ salary for six months at sh40,000 per month each.
“He told us that being a president was stressful. He said managing the army was very hard,” Bageya recollected.
Binaisa idolised President Yoweri Museveni for managing the army, he said.
The Government said Binaisa died of cardiac arrest. A State funeral was being arranged, Fred Opolot, the head of the Media Centre, said in a statement yesterday.
At Parliament, deputy Speaker Rebecca Kadaga announced the death to the few MPs who attended the morning session.
“With regret, I inform you of the death of the former President of Uganda, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa,” she said.
“We passed a law on the death of past leaders. I trust the Government will get in touch with the family. For now, we observe a minute of silence in his honour,” Kadaga said as MPs rose to their feet and bowed their heads.
Outside the chambers, Prime Minister Prof. Apolo Nsibambi hailed Binaisa for leading the country at “the most difficult of times when the army was indisciplined”.
He said he did not wage war against the Government when he was deposed after he tried to shuffle the army.
“He was humble, sociable and gregarious,” Nsibambi remarked.
“When he left the highest office, he went to the UK and practised law. He was a Queens Counsel, the highest rank of law under the Commonwealth.
“He showed that when you occupy the highest office, when you leave, you can do something else.”
Several years after the death of his first wife, Binaisa in 2004 married a Japanese woman, Yamamoto. But the fairy-tale marriage collapsed in 2005. Binaisa is survived by six children, four of whom are based outside the country.
Late in the afternoon yesterday, Binaisa’s home was quiet except for the many senior Police officers who had camped there.
Among them were the Mobile Patrol Unit chief, Christopher Abache, the Kampala South boss, Moses Kafeero as well as the acting commissioner of traffic and road safety, Basil Mugisha.
At a glance
Born in 1920 to Canon Ananiya and Naome Binaisa
Studied at Makerere College School and Kings College Budo
Qualified as a lawyer in UK in 1955
Became a member of the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1956
Joined UNC, UCP and later UPC between 1955-1962
Named Uganda’s first Attorney General in 1962
Helped create the 1967 Constitution
Left government work and started a law firm in 1969
Went into exile in 1972, after Obote was overthrown by Amin
Worked as lawyer in London and US between 1972 and 1979
Returned to Uganda after Amin was overthrown in 1979
President of Uganda in June 1979
Lost the presidency in May 1980 after 11 months in the office
Went back in exile in the US until 2001 when he returned
Married Japanese woman, Yamamoto in 2004 and separated with her in 2005

Former president Godfrey Binaisa dead

Former Ugandan President Godfrey Binaisa died in his sleep on Thursday August 5 at his home in Makindye – a Kampala suburb at 90 years.
Family sources say he suffered a stroke earlier this year and has not been feeling well since then. The source added that the government was assisting with the burial preparations and would be having a meeting in a short while.
Binaisa served as Provisional President of Uganda and Attorney General in the post independent government of Uganda of the 1960s.
He was born on 30 May 1920, appointed Queens council(QC) in 1956 and practiced law in Kampala before freeing the country when Amin took over power.
Following the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, Binaisa returned to Uganda. After Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule served as the interim president before Binaisa replaced him. Binaisa was on June 20, 1979, appointed President of Uganda by the National Consultative Commission, which was then the supreme governing body of the Uganda National Liberation Front.
The Military Commission, UNLF, headed by the Paulo Muwanga whose deputy was Yoweri Museveni (then leader of Uganda Patriotic Movement), later overthrew him, on 12 May 1980.
The Presidential Commission of Uganda with among others Paulo Muwanga, Yoweri Museveni, Oyite Ojok and Tito Okello led the country until the December 1980 general elections.
Binaisa had joined, and was made vice president of the Uganda Patriotic Movement.
However, when Milton Obote’s UPC won the elections, the results were disputed, leading Museveni to launch a guerilla rebellion, which subsequently led him to gain the presidency in 1986.

On Wed, 20 Jan 2010 04:33:26 -0800,I wrote that 90 year old Former President Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa Q. C needs our prayers. Q C is credited for having ruled Uganda from hate to love. Actually, apart from the Late Prof. Lule; he is the only president of Uganda who left at a time when many had hope. Probably the freedom of speech at his time will take long to be matched given our design of democracy. He ruled the country at probably one of the most difficult times when there were foreign troops in the country and it was not clear who actually was in control as some people took the opportunity to kill Ugandans as if they were killing pigs, insecurity was at its highest.
It is surprising that Godfrey after being put in house arrest at Entebbe had the guts to join Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM). Not long after the liberation of the country Q C left and he became a real critic of Museveni’s Government. However, Q C eventually came back to the country and is the only former President who is alive!
Given advanced age, Godfrey is battling to stay alive and in the circumstances he needs all our prayers.
Willy Kituuka

Godfrey Lukongwa Binanisa Godfrey Lukongwa Binanisa QC, the man who ascended to state power against furious opposition from his countrymen in Buganda.
He is known for being the architect of the movement ideology that he termed " Ekigaali" or "Umbrella ", which was later adopted by the President Yoweri Museveni and his colleagues while in in the bush during their struggle against government.
He had to consolidate his position before embarking on any national development program and one of the instruments he used was the famous "Umbrella" which was sought to bring all Ugandans under the same political thought. Hardly a month after he had been sworn-in as President he had a task of leading the Ugandan delegation to the O.A.U summit in Nigeria where delegates condemned the role of the republic of Tanzania in the 1979 liberation war.
There were some elongated arguments as to whether the letter criticizing Tanzania's role in overthrowing the military regime of Idi Amin could be read to delegates, and Binaisa had failed to convince the Major General Olusengun Obasanjo for he was the host nation, Nigeria's President then, he decided to storm out of the summit.
He feared to be part of the group criticising Tanzania and therefore its President Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere as this was dangerous to the stability of his office as president. It should be remembered that at this time it was a condition that any Ugandan president must be on good terms with Nyerere for his office to secured otherwise it was precarious because Nyerere was stil directing some political affairs in Uganda from the rear sit. He was still having the army in his hands.
But even after this effort Binaisa did not cautiously follow his moves because it was not long before he made a brander in making changes in his government and diplomatic appointments which did not go well with the wishes of the NCC and was there and then removed from office which military commission took over.
Binaisa threw himself back into exile and ever since he has just returned after nearly 14 years in exile in the USA.
Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC (born 30 May 1920), lawyer, former Provisional President of Uganda and Attorney General in the post independent government of Uganda of the 1960s.
Binaisa was educated at King's College Budo and Makerere College. He then earned a LLB in law from King's College London in 1955 and was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1956. He was appointed a Queen's counsel (QC) and had a private law practice in Kampala.
Binaisa was a member of the political parties Uganda National Congress and United Congress Party in the 1950s. He later joined Uganda People's Congress which in 1962 formed the first post-independent government of Uganda. He was appointed the Attorney General in 1962 a position in which he served until 1968 when he resigned over disagreements with President Milton Obote concerning constitutional matters, particularly the presidential powers of detention.
In 1969 Binaisa went into private legal practice, and after Idi Amin took power in 1971, he went into exile to the United States, where he practiced law in Mount Vernon, New York. While in the US, he became a member of Uganda Freedom Union, one of several anti-Amin groups in exile.
On Monday, June 7 2004, It was published that
As AG, he is the one who drafted Obote’s ‘pigeon hole constitution’
The Other Side Of The Coin by Paul Waibale Senior
One quality which former Uganda’s President, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC has in abundance is enviable sense of humour. And the other is the rhetoric to dispense it.
The unfortunate part of that combination is that, more often than not, the materially significant issues evaporate in the course of the exercise. This, I am afraid, is what happened when the queen’s counsel, who happens to be independent Uganda’s first Attorney General recently addressed the Makerere University Kabarole students Association (MUKSA). In his address Binaisa objected to the amendment of the constitution to lift the limit on presidential terms on a number of grounds. He contended that since the 1995 Constitution was not meant to be a “temporary document” it was absurd to think of amending it so early. The constitution, he submitted, was made by delegates to the Constitutional Assembly who are the “cream of society” only nine years ago. And yet Ugandans were being told that it has symptoms of serious sickness calling for serious surgery, he wondered.
Apart from contending that the 1995 constitution should not be amended after merely nine years, because it was not designed to be a temporary document, Binaisa also argued that lifting the presidential term limit would usher in the “President for Life phenomenon.”A glance back into the period when the then Attorney General of Uganda was a highly intelligent British trained lawyer known as Godffrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC confirms that he is the least morally or legally transparent person suitable to preach the “no-amendment” gospel.
In 1963 as Attorney General of Uganda, Binaisa authored the Busoga validation Act, which amended the 1962 Constitution when it was hardly one year old..
The 1962 constitution provided that the person who would be Kyabazinga of Busoga on Indepe ndence day would continue holding the post for five years after independence. But the predominantly UPC Busoga Council ignored the constitutional provision, sacked Henry Muloki and elected Sir William Nadiope to replace him.
A petition was filled in the High Court which ruled that the whole exercise was unconstitutional.
Parliament was summoned on radio and the next day the Busoga validation Act was passed. The Act amended the relevant Constitutional provision and validated Sir Williams’ election as Kyabazinga. Certainly, Binaisa, who, as Attorney General responsible for drafting that Act, has not forgotten that amendment to the 1962 Constitution was effected before its second anniversary. As if that was not enough, Attorney General Binaisa was at it again in 1966.. He drafted the 1966 constitution which replaced the 1992 constitution which was barely four years old (not the nine years Binaisa is now complaining about). Interestingly, with Parliament surrounde d by military tanks, the MPs passed the 1966 constitution before casting a glance at its cover.
They found copies of it in their pigeon holes after the enactment, hence the reference to it as “the pigeon hole constitution.” Binaisa has not explained that the purpose and effect of the 1966 constitution was to dismiss Sir Edward Mutesa from the post of head of state and elevate Dr. Apolo Milton Obote to the supreme post in the land. In any case that was not the end of Binaisa’s constitutional gymnastics. Within a year, he drafted the 1967 constitution which abolished the kingdoms, strangled the federal system, and introduced a unitary system of Government. Binaisa who now abhors amendment of the constitution, did not object to the introduction of a new constitution after only one year. He was in fact instrumental in the exercise. After fleeing into exile during the Idi Amin era, Binaisa bounced back to Uganda and found himself installed as President when, for reasons b etter imagined than described, his predecessor, Prof Yusufu Lule was deposed.

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Ahmed Kateregga wrote:
Joseph Magandazi, the last time l followed the Q.C., he could utter what his hosts wanted. If he could be a federalist if the audience is mMengo, or unitary if it is Soroti, But in an interview with one of the FM stations on the day he returned, Binaisa said that he was still opposed to monarchism and federalism just as he was in the sixties.
If you read Akena Adoko, From Obote to Obote, it was binaisa who advised Obote to abolish kingdoms and declare Uganda a republic under 1967 Constitution. Yet press reports said that he resigned as attorney general BECAUSE HE WAS OPPOSED TO ABOLISHING KINGDOMS. Hadn't Binaries intervened, we may have got rid of Oboe as early as 1966 a Copilot , an Amin, or an Okay would not have turned into an Amin of the seventies.There was even chances for Grace Binger and Ben Kiwanuka.

I had the opportunity to meet former president Mr. Godfrey Binaisa three or four times in the mid eighties. I remember on one occasion when I asked him about the 1966 Crisis his reply was that Dr. Obote had managed to kill the Buganda monarchy, and all he did was to give it a decent burial in a coffin. I asked him how did he mean that, and he explained that by writing the Republican constitution.
At least Mr. Binaisa is one of the few Ugandan presidents who did not believe in the use of military violence and the manipulation of the army to gain illegal political advantage for his party.
My thoughts and prayers are with him at this moment when he is ill.
Pilipo Oruni

Any candidate for President should have a clear policy on how to handle security
In ‘Why Yusuf Lule was removed from office after only 68 days,’ as
reported by the Daily Monitor, “The truth of why Lule was ousted later
became clear. In his first major statement as President, Lule’s
successor Godfrey Binaisa said: “It was a shock to the National
Consultative Council and the entire people of Uganda when Lule’s
government began to make pronouncements accusing units of the UNLF
[UNLA] of thuggery, killing, rape, robbery.”
The candidates who think they can take over from President Museveni
should have clear machinery; not theoretical regarding how they can
arrest insecurity; short of that, it is better not to attempt.
William Kituuka

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