❧In Memory of Godfrey Binaisa (♰ 5.08.10)❧

“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.” Jonzu.News

” 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.”   myuganda.co.uk

“A Former President, known for great humor and wil” blackstarnews

Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC (30 May 1920 – 5 August 2010) was a lawyer, former Provisional President of Uganda and Attorney General in the post independent government of Uganda of the 1960’s. At his death he was Uganda’s only surviving former president.

—– What you should know ——


Name: Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa QC

Birthdate: 30 May 1920

Career & Education:

Binaisa was a lawyer, former Provisional Presidet of Uganda and Attorney in the post independent government of Uganda of the 1960’s.

He was educated at King’s College Budo and Makerere College. He then earned a LLB in law from King’s College Londong in 1955 and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s 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 during 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.


Following the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, Binaisa returned to Uganda. After Idi Amin, Yusuf Lule served as the interim president for 68 days. On June 20, 1979, Binaisa was appointed President of Uganda by the National Consultative Commission, which was then the supreme governing body of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), a coalition of former Ugandan exiles who had helped remove Idi Amin.

When Binaisa removed the army Chief of Staff, Brigadier Oyite Ojok, he was himself removed from office on 12 May 1981 by the Military Commission, a powerful organ of the UNLF headed by Paulo Muwanga, and whose deputy was Yoweri Museveni (then leader of Uganda Patriotic Movement). The country was then led by the Presidential Commission of Uganda (created a few days after the coup) with among others Paulo Muwanga, Yoweri Museveni, Oyite Ojok and Tito Okello.

The Presidential Commission ruled Uganda until the December 1980 general elections. Binaisa had joined, and was made vice president of the Uganda Patriotic Movement. The elections were won by Milton Obote’s Uganda Peoples Congress, however, the results were disputed, leading Museveni to launch a guerrilla rebellion, which subsequently led him to gain the presidency in 1986.

The development of the “Movement” political system previously used by Museveni’s government has often been attributed to Binaisa. Calling the ideology “Umbrella”, Binaisa used the system to consolidate his position during his own presidency, seeking to unite all Ugandans in the same political fold. Whether this was a move of pure self-interest or a genuine attempt to curb the more divisive elements of Ugandan politics is open to debate.

Throughout the early 1980s and 1990s, Binaisa lived in New York practicing law and later returned to Uganda, where he led a quiet life in retirement. He was the only ex-president of Uganda being looked after by the state under provisions of the 1995 Uganda Constitution.

Private Life:

Binaisa was married to Tomoko Yamamoto, who he met on the internet.The marriage ended in July 2005.

Binaisa died in his sleep on 5 August 2010. He was 90 years old and had suffered a stroke or heart attack earlier in the year. Someone tried to wake him for a morning shower but found they could not find any life. Binaisa was afforded a state funeral.


  1. Randy Pena

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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