Uganda – Twice President Milton Oboto

President Milton Obote is featured on our banknote.

Milton Obote served as the second and fourth1 President of Uganda. Military might displaced his predecessor and enabled his entrance into the office both times. The military might of his successor forced his exit from the office, both times. Such were the times in Uganda following independence.

Obote’s 1st Presidency …

Obote had been active in Ugandan politics since his youth. He vigorously advocated for Ugandan independence. Prior to independence, he formed the UPC, Uganda People’s Congress, whose power base was in the North, and generally opposed the power based in the South and centered in the kingdom of Buganda under King Mutessa II. Upon independence in 1962, King Mutessa II became president and Obote became Prime Minister with a constitution that established a federation of 5 traditional kingdoms. By 1966, disputes between the President and Prime Minister were such that Obote sent a general selected from the loyal northern district, Idi Amin, to overthrow Mutessa. And thus Obote became the 2nd President of Uganda.

During Obote’s presidency, the independence constitution of federalism was abolished and a new constitution establishing a stronger executive was enacted. Obote moved the nation towards socialism. Corruption in government became widespread. Obote’s reliance upon the military alarmed Ugandans and his reliance upon the North cultivated resentments in the South.

During this time Idi Amin developed a following, and, in 1971, forced Obote to flee into exile in Tanzania and Amin became the 3rd president of Uganda.

Obote’s 2nd Presidency …

Exiled in Tanzania, Obote maintained a small army. This army assisted Tanzania’s forces in a war against Idi Amin, and Amin was overthrown in 1979. A series of three interim presidencies held power until the election of 1980 in which Obote was, once again, installed as President of Uganda.

Obote instigated a military venture known as Operation Bonanza. This operation displace myriads of Ugandans and was the occasion of the death of many more.

In 1985, Obote, again, was forced out of power.

Obote’s Legacy …

It has been said that he is responsible for the death of three hundred thousand Ugandans.

Uganda – General History

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The flag and coat of arms of Uganda are shown above.

“The Pearl of Africa”1

The Five Kingdoms

Presently, Uganda recognizes 5 kingdoms under its auspices. The Ugandan Constitution recognizes 5 preexisting kingdoms under it governance. Three of them have heritage reaching back into the 1800s. The other two have roots evidenced by the records of kings extending back into the ist indefinable past of centuries.

Rwenzururu, Busoga, and Tooro …

stretching bakkTwo of them have roots stretching into the mist past evidenced by records of their kings. Three of them have a more recent heritage. ut the truth of is more like a kaleidioscope of peolples and languages and cusoms and religions that shitft like a kaledioscope upon a land, peoples who did not consider a land possessible ownable, t who the concept of a deed, title backed up, and enforced by an entity “legal” outside of their own wits and muscle, valor and bloo. have record At present, the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara2 is one of the five basic kingdoms of Uganda along with Buganda, Rwenzururu, Busoga, and Tooro.

Buganda …

Bunyoro-Kitara …

Preceding European Colonialism … The KIngdom of Buganda

In addition to numerous clans traveling, temporarily occupying, and passing through Uganda over the centuries, Great and ancient kingdoms flourished, the prospects ebbing and flowing in the nature of things. Today, five basic kingdoms are recognized as constituting Uganda, Bunyoro-Kitara, Buganda, Rwenzururu, Busoga, and Tooro. . A dominat kingdo arose named Bunyoro flourished from 1600s int the 1800s but then began to lose influence to the Kingdom an offshoot of Bonuro, Buganda began to grow and ultiately superceded Bonuro. ogf Buganada, which also was favored by the British when they took control. 33 Kings3 had reigned in Buganda when colonialism arrived in 1894. The long established kingdom occupied one forth of the land that would become defined as Uganda, its namesake. Situated on the shoresof Lake Victoria and bounded on the East by the Nile River, the kingdom’s land formes what is known as the central district in the current country of Uganda. With the beaultiful land as a screen backdrop, the changing cultures and languages play like a kaleidiosope on the fixed background of land. Boundries were not consiered fixed in those days, nor people attached so much to that land, but much less bujdaries. as the europeans arrived with them cme their influence and the kaleidioscope slowed, the movements stiffened, the borders stiffened the protectorate was established, rebellimovements became rebellions and were stifled, movements were stifled and by 1914 the present boudareies were fixed, and the seeds of present dimemma determined., seeds of present dilemma sewn.The land we now call Uganda Languages changed and cultures evolved Tribes and languages and economies free whoever’s throughout much of sub Saharan Africa like a kaleidoscope for centuries. By the time of the arrival of the Europeans, generally in the north were the and in the west and south were Bantu speaking peoples 4

The colonial era …

Arab traders moved inland in the 1830s, likely seeking, in addition to other merchandise, souls for sale in the slave trade which was well established and headquartered in Zanzibar at this time. Explores arrived in the 1860s seeking the source of the Nile. In the 1870s missionaries arrived seeking souls. From 1885 to 1887 a religious civil war broke out between catholics and muslims and protestants. The wars led to the establishment of the British Protectorate of Uganda to bring order. 8160s Europeans arrived in the 1870s. First were missionaries seeking souls and explorers seeking the source of the Nile. The British Protectorate commenced in 1894 when the Britsh company gave its rights of administration to the British crown. With the arrivsl f the europeans the kaleidioscope began to slow and by 1914 boundaries were fixed. but the life of the africans could never be fizxed. By 1914 the modern day boundaries of Uganda were fixed.6Britannica, Uganda, Protectorate[/efn_note]

When the boundaries were fixed in the colonial era, they approximately encompassed two generally different peoples. Bantu kingdoms were in the south. In the north were Sudanin and Nulotic peoples.{efn_note]Britannica, Uganda[/efn_note]

Post colonial era …

The political history of Uganda, since shortly after independence, has been characterized by kratocracy7 and, its close cousin, corruption. The first President, benignly accepted the Presidency of the new polity following 30 years of kingship, and was forcible ousted within 3 years. From then until now, violence has determined the presidency in one way or another.

Muteesa, Obote, Amin, Obote, Museveni …

Mutesa II was the 35th King presided over the transformation of Uganda from a British protectorate to a democracy. He proclaimed himself president and remained so until overthrown by Obote. king in Buganda when independence arrived. Become king in 1939, he named himself president when Uganda gained He named himself president. Obote, with the aid of his loyal general, Idi Amin, drove Mutesa from power and assumed the presidency.

Obote reigned wickedly and did much evil. Idi Amin, his general, rose up against him, overthrew him, and assumed the presidency. Idid Amin outdid Obote in wickedness and earned the moniker “the butcher of Uganda”. Idid Amin was overthrown in war with Tanzania and three interim presidents occupied the office for a year until Obote, once again, was restored to power, the 7th president of Uganda.

Obote, having learned nothing, did wickedly and fell from power, overthrown by his own general. The country was in chaos for several months as governed by that general until Museveni seized power.

Museveni has served as President of Uganda from then until now.

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Uganda 5 Shilling banknote back (2) featuring woman harvesting coffee beans

Uganda – 1979

Uganda 5 Shillings Banknote – Face and Back
Uganda 5 shilling banknote front
Uganda 5

The Ugandan Coat of Arms features prominently on the front of our 5 shilling banknote.  The coat of arms is backed by a map silhouette of Uganda.

close up of Uganda coat of arms from 5 shilling banknote front (2)
Coat of Arms over map of the nation

The shield and two spears are said to represent the defense of the nation.  The three images on the shield, from top to bottom represent the waves of the Lakes of Vitoria, the largest in Africa, and Albert, the endless sunshine of the land and the historic drum calling to meetings of ceremony and significance.  The shield is above a green mound representing the fertility of the land, intersected by an image of the ever flowing Nile river.  The shield is flanked by two birds.  On the left (our right) is the crested crane, also the national bird of Uganda.  On the right (our left) is the Ugandan kob, emblematic of the abundant wildlife of the land of Uganda.  The banner reads “For God and for my Country”, the national motto.

Uganda 5 shilling banknote back, featuring woman harvesting coffee beans
Uganda 5 shillings banknote

The reverse of our 5 shillings banknote features a woman harvesting a rich crop of coffee beans.  This beautiful image has appeared on several Ugandan banknotes, including the 1977 banknote of the same denomination and bearing the image of Idi Amin on the front.

It was 1979 when Idi Amin was overthrown. We hold this banknote to commemorate that happy year.

Following the ouster of Idi Amin, an interim government lasting a little over a year was established and occupied by three leaders, Yusuf Lule for 68 days, Godfrey Binaisa for 327 days, and Paulo Muwanga for 10 days. Following this interim period, Obote, once again, came into power.