Mutesa II, Frederick

1924–1969
Ruler of Buganda

Frederick Mutesa II, known as “King Freddie” by Westerners, was ruler of the East African state of Buganda from 1939 to 1953. Buganda enjoyed special treatment within the British colony of UGANDA until 1953. When the British decided to end Buganda’s special status, Mutesa demanded independence for his kingdom. When he also refused to pass along British recommendations to his parliament, the British arrested and deported him.

Bugandan leaders arranged for Mutesa’s return in 1955 as king of Buganda, under a more limited system of British control. He served in that role until Uganda won its independence in 1963. President Milton OBOTE tried to appoint Mutesa to a position in the Ugandan government, but the two men argued over Mutesa’s role and the status of Buganda within the new nation. Conflict erupted when Mutesa tried to stir up trouble between residents of northern Uganda and those in his southern kingdom. The dispute grew until 1966, when Obote forced Mutesa into exile in Britain. Mutesa died three years later. (See also Kings and Kingship.)

Mutesa II, Frederick