Besweri Mulondo, a Buganda prince whose submission in the Constituent Assembly (CA) turned the federo debate on its head, shall be buried tomorrow at his home in Kyankowe, Mityana.
Mulondo died on April 4 aged 91 years. In his last days, he was confined to a wheelchair due to a stroke he suffered last year.
“We shall have prayers at Mityana cathedral on Saturday at 10am before the burial at 2pm,” Benon Kalema, one of his sons, said.
Mulondo occupied several positions in public service but many people got to know him during the CA in 1994, where he represented Mityana South.
At the time, he was the Ssabalangira (head of princes) in Buganda and this special status meant that his views on matters of the kingdom were considered important.
On March 28, 1995, he stood up to oppose Buganda’s quest for a federo status, leaving many Baganda astounded and altering a personal legacy he had built over the years.
Mulondo said he changed his mind after delegates allied to UPC expressed vocal support for the federo governance. Using the analogy of Semusota guli muntamu (a snake in a cooking pot), he said he was suspicious of UPC’s intentions given that its government abolished kingdoms in 1967.
“Do we want federalism or power?” Mulondo queried. “The issue of federalism should not derail us from what we want to achieve. Baganda have talked to everybody and anybody about federo and should be forgiven if they have been seen to have aligned with multi-partyists,” he said.
His submission, some say, buried the federo debate and reenergized those who had been opposed to it. Yet it made him so unpopular in Buganda that even members of his family did not escape the public recriminations that followed. He was also stripped of the Ssabalangira title shortly afterwards.
In 1997, Mulondo was appointed chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission, a position he left in 2003. It is understood that he had repaired his relationship with Mengo recently.
In fact, Charles Mayiga, the Katikkiro, told the Lukiiko on April 4 that the Kabaka had recently visited Mulondo.
Mulondo joined the civil service in 1947 as an assistant registrar of titles in the ministry of Lands. He quit in 1974 when Idi Amin ordered all civil servants who had worked for more than 20 years to retire.
He fled to Kenya. In the 1980s, he chaired Lint Marketing Board. After the NRA took power, Mulondo was appointed to the constitution commission which was headed by Benjamin Odoki. He was named the Ssabalangira of Buganda by the Kabaka after which he delved into politics.