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Benedicto Kabimu Mugumba Kiwanuka (May 1922 - September 22, 1972) was the first Prime Minister of Uganda, leader of the Democratic Party and one of the early leaders that led the country in the transition between colonial British rule and independence. He was murdered by Idi Amin's regime in 1972.


After attending primary school, he joined the King's African Rifles, rising to the rank of Sergeant Major in the Second World War. After returning from the war, he worked as an Interpreter at the High Court of Uganda.

Wanting to study law, he prepared by attending a matriculation course Law in Lesotho (1950 - 1952), before proceeding to Britain to attend University College London (1952-1956). He was admitted to the Bar association at Gray's Inn in February 1956. Returning to Uganda, he practiced law privately from 1956 to 1959.

In 1958 he was elected President General of the predominantly Catholic Democratic Party. He re-organized the Party and made it popular throughout Uganda. The Democratic Party won a majority in the March 1961 legislative elections (partly as a result of low voter turnout in Buganda), and Kiwanuka became Chief Minister in the Uganda Legislative Council. As a result of the September 1961 Uganda Constitutional Conference held in London, Uganda achieved internal self-government on March 1, 1962 and Benedicto Kiwanuka became Uganda's first Prime Minister in the new National Assembly. However, new elections were held in April 1962, and Kiwanuka's party lost to an alliance of Milton Obote's Uganda People's Congress and the Buganda traditionalist party, Kabaka Yekka. Uganda achieved independence on October 9, 1962, with Obote as the first Prime Minister of a fully independent Uganda.

Benedicto Kiwanuka was imprisoned in 1969 by Obote's government, and later released by Idi Amin who appointed him as the First Ugandan Chief Justice. Kiwanuka soon came into confrontation with Idi Amin's disregard for the rule of law. On September 22, 1972 he was murdered by Idi Amin's forces.

Kiwanuka's grandson, Mathias Kiwanuka, played defensive end for Boston College's football team from 2001 to 2005 and was the New York Giants' first round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He is now a starting defensive end for the Giants.


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