DP Intensifies Search For Ben Kiwanuka's Remains

The Democratic Party has intensified its search for the remains of the former Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka.

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The Democratic Party has intensified its search for the remains of the former Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka.

Kiwanuka, the former DP president and Uganda’s Prime Minister just before Independence in 1962, was abducted by suspected state operatives who raided the Uganda High Court in September 1972. He was never seen again.


Jude Mbabali, the party spokesperson, says they suspect the late Kiwanuka was killed and buried at Luzira or Nakasongola prisons.


Mbabali reveals that the party has contacted Crispus Kiyonga, the minister for defence through DP Secretary General Mathias Nsubuga for help.


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The National Executive Council recently resolved to start a hunt for Kiwanuka’s burial spot. A six-man committee was also set up to lead the hunt chaired by former Masaka Municipality MP John Kawanga.


Mbabali says they shall hold a memorial mass tomorrow at Christ the King Church. This will mark the beginning of some of the activities that will lead to the search of Kiwanuka’s remains and subsequent decent burial.


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Kiwanuka was born on May 8, 1922 in Kisaabwa village in present-day Bukomansimbi district. He served as Uganda’s Prime Minister after the 1961 Uganda Constitutional Conference was held in London.


Some of the prominent politicians whose remains were recovered decades after being kidnapped and killed during Amin’s regime include Shaban Nkutu, former minister of health. Nkutu was picked up from his home in Jinja in 1973. He was never seen again until his remains were discovered in a shallow grave in Masese in Jinja in 2005.

Eliphaz Laki, then a County Chief for Ibanda in the present day Ibanda District, was abducted in September 1972 from his residence. It would take 30 years for his family to find his remains in a shallow grave at a friend’s ranch. Laki was a subject of a 2009 book, The Teeth May Smile, but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda, written by an American journalist Andrew Rice.

The state implicated and unsuccessfully prosecuted former army commander during Amin’s regime, Major General Yusuf Gowon and two others for Laki’s murder.