Allan Ssempebwa Kyobe – The country yesterday joined the family of Late Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa to bury the former President. Binaisa was Uganda’s president under an ‘umbrella’ (transitional) government of the Uganda National Liberation government (UNLF) after ousting General Idi Amin Dada. He ruled for 11 months from 29th June 1979 to 13TH May 1980.He died in his sleep at his home in Makindye, a suburb of the country’s capital, Kampala. Mr. Binaisa had returned to Uganda in 2007 after a long spell in exile. At 90 year so f age, Binaisa was still fluent in the English language not so surprising for a man that graduated and practised law in England. He was thus appointed a Queen’s Counsel, the first in East and Central Africa. He went on to practice law in the USA adding the title Esquire on his name that all law practitioners acquire in the United States of America.
He had in his earlier years as a lawyer served as Uganda’s first Attorney General in the Post Independence era. He participated in the drafting of what came to be called the ‘Pigeon Hole’ constitution of 1967 deriving from the fact that parliamentarians had to find a copy in their pigeon holes. This constitution however did not win him favour from his own Buganda tribe for it abolished monarchical institutions including the BugandaKingdom. To this, Binaisa remarked in his known jocular tone, “I was only the midwife, in the absence of legal guidance; it would have been born still.” He later resigned from this post in 1968 over differences with his boss, then President, now late, Apollo Milton Obote. He was laid to rest next to his father’s graveyard, Late Canon Binaisa at Mackay Anglican Church, Natete, a Kampala suburb.
The Parliament of Uganda moved a motion in recognition of Late Binaisa’s contributions to Uganda at a time it was recovering from the dark times of Dictator Idi Amin. The Prime Minister of Uganda praised him as “a man of the people” while the President of Uganda, General Yoweri Museveni reminded mourners of the times when he served as the Minster of Defence in the Binaisa government a position he later lost due to Binaisa’s suspicion of activities likely to take way power from him. “I had forgotten that he dismissed me. I am glad that he died when we had reconciled and we are here to celebrate his soul. May the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace”, mourned President Museveni before a large gathering of mourners including the Late’s family and government dignitaries on Wednesday. Late Binaisa will be remembered for his wit and humour. While he served as President, he admitted that “Entebbe ewooma” loosely translated from Luganda to mean the ‘the chair is sweet” to mean that he enjoyed the privileges that came with serving as President