New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Making 'Black' History At Makerere

He made history as Uganda's president to have served the shortest time of 68 days. But that is not all. In addition to that, Prof. Yusuf Kironde Lule's name was etched in record books for other achievements.

As a student at King's College Budo and later Makerere College, Lule showed academic brilliance that won him several international scholarships.

As a result, he was made a lecturer in the department of education at Makerere College.

After his further studies in South Africa and the UK, Lule made history when he was named the first black principal (the equivalent of vice-chancellor) of Makerere University, in 1964.

Lule was born in 1912, in Mpigi. After his primary education, he joined King's college, Budo.

In 1970, Milton Obote removed Lule from Makerere University only six years after assuming the university's top office of principal.

He later went into exile in the UK because of Idi Amin's tyranny.

While there, he supported the fight against Idi Amin. Owing to his admirable disposition as a politician and academic, the Moshi Conference inducted Lule and made him the President of Uganda after the overthrow of Amin in 1979.

Lule was received ecstatically by Ugandans, who had lost hope of progress due to Amin's guns-rule.

Unfortunately, Lule was removed from the presidency by the National Consultative council on June 20, 1979, when he unveiled his ambitious plans to reform recruitment into the armed forces, a project that was greatly misunderstood by political heavy-weights like Paulo Muwanga and military strongman David Oyite Ojok.

Lule went to exile in Tanzania and later formed the Uganda Freedom Fighters, which, in 1981, merged with the Popular Resistance Army of Yoweri Museveni.

The merger gave birth to the National Resistance Movement. Lule became the president and Museveni his deputy.

Unfortunately, in 1984, Lule developed kidney complications and died in London. His remains were later reburied at Kololo heroes' grounds.

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