Binaisa, Former Uganda President, Dies At 90

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[Global: Africa]

A Former President, Known For Great Humor And Wit

Uganda's former president Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa died yesterday, reports The Daily Monitor in Kampala, at age 90.

"We are gutted and really depressed," Nakalema Binaisa, a daughter to the former President told the newspaper. "We went to the hospital on Monday but we were told that his blood sugar levels had stabilised," she said. "We went back home and he seemed alright. His nurse went to check on him before he went to sleep and he was smiling last night."

He reportedly never woke up.

"Mr. Binaisa is said to have been battling diabetes before his death," reports the Monitor. "The former leader was in poor health after he suffered a stroke in 2008 which kept him bedridden in a Nairobi hospital for more than a month. His subsequent appearances in public became limited."

Binaisa, before he became president during a transitional period after the ouster of Idi Amin, spent many years in the U.S., exiled from Amin's dictatorship. After he was unceremoniously eased out of power, he returned to New York City where he practised law for a number of years before returning to Uganda. He was once a vocal critic of Uganda's president, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, before he retired from politics.

As president, he once told a group of foreign reporters struggling with pronouncing his name that it rhymed with "Be-nicer to me." He was president from June 20, 1979 to May 12, 1980.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga broke news of Binaisa's death and led the House in observing a moment of silence.

Binaisa is survived by seven children; three boys and four girls, plus four grand children and a great grand child, the Monitor reports.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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