Mutesa II of Buganda

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Edward Mutesa.

Edward Mutesa II (November 19, 1924 - November 21, 1969) was king of the Buganda region and President of Uganda from 1963 to 1966.

His full name was Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula Mutesa but was often nicknamed King Freddie by his supporters. As king he was also leader of the Ganda tribe which dominated Buganda.

Mutesa became king in 1939 upon the death of his father, King Daudi Cwa II. At the time Buganda was part of the British protectorate of Uganda. He continued his father's practices of reforming the largely self-governing kingdom into a constitutional monarchy system of government. When discussions began among British officials of making Uganda into an independent country, King Freddie lobbied them in an attempt to secure independence for Buganda as a country sovereign from Uganda. The efforts were both ineffective and unpopular, however, and he was briefly deposed and exiled.

Mutesa returned to Uganda and his throne in 1955. In 1962 Uganda became independent from Britain with Milton Obote as Prime Minister and Walter Fleming Coutts as Governor-General. In 1963 Obote abolished Uganda's status as a Commonwealth realm and replaced the post of Governor-General with a figurehead Presidency. A largely rigged election saw Mutesa get elected as Uganda's first President, a result Obote had deliberately orchestrated in order to appease the Ganda tribe.

Mutesa was not content to serve as a mere figurehead, however, and continued to feud with Milton Obote over the future of Buganda. In 1966 Obote suspended the Ugandan constitution and proclaimed himself as the new president, exiling Mutesa to Great Britain. President Obote proceeded to abolish all of Uganda's kingdoms, including Buganda.


Mutesa died of alcohol poisoning in his London flat in 1969. Attributed to suicide by the British police, the death has been viewed as a possible assassination by those claiming that Mutesa may have been forcibly administered large amounts of vodka by agents of the Obote regime. Mutesa was interviewed in his flat only a few hours before his death by the British journalist John Simpson, who found that he was sober and in good spirits. Simpson reported this to the police the following day on hearing of Mutesa's death, although this line of enquiry was not pursued.

Preceded by:
Daudi Cwa II
King of Buganda
1939 – 1969
Succeeded by:
Muwenda Mutebi II
Preceded by:
Sir Walter Coutts
Governor-General of Uganda
President of Uganda
1962 – 1966
Succeeded by:
Milton Obote

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See also

Further reading

nl:Sir Edward Mutesa II


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