Former minister Joash Mayanja Nkangi is dead

Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi
The late Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi (R) while admitted at Nakasero Hospital. Internet photo.

Veteran Politician Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi is dead. Nkangi has been on admission at Nakasero Hospital since mid-last month for suspected pneumonia. Last week, his daughter Josephine Nkangi said an Oncologist had examined and tested him for possible cancer.

He was aged 85.

Who Is Jehoash Sibakyalwayo Mayanja-Nkangi?

Joash Mayanja-Nkangi is one of the pre-Independence leaders who witnessed the making of Uganda and participated in the politics right after independence.

The soft-spoken lawyer served as a Member of Parliament, Minister in several regimes and former Chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission. He was the Katikkiro of Buganda when the Obote I government attacked Mengo palace and exiled Kabaka Edward Mutesa in May 1966.

His early life

Nkangi went to Kabungo Primary School in Buddu Masaka, Kings College Budo and finished Makerere University College from where he graduated in 1953. He would later join Kebel College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.

He was one of the few certified barristers in Uganda after the Oxford training. On returning to Uganda, Mayanja Nkangi went into private legal practice and immersed himself in the fight against colonialism.

He said his fight against colonialism began in 1952 while still at Makerere. That agitation would move to a higher level when the Governor at the time, Sir Andrew Cohen exiled Kabaka Edward Mutesa II on November 30, 1953, to England.

In an earlier interview with this publication, Nkangi talked about the 1953 experiences.

In 1962, Nkangi witnessed the lowering of the British Flag and hoisting of the Uganda Flag on Independence Day in 1962.

He served as Member of Parliament for Masaka East, and later Minister without Portfolio in 1962. He was also Minister of Commerce and Industry.

In 1964, at the age of 33, Mayanja Nkangi was appointed Katikkiro of Buganda, a position he held through the tumultuous years of Uganda – Buganda bickering until 1966 when the Kabaka was exiled. The following year, kingdoms were abolished and a new constitution put in place.

Just like the Kabaka, Nkangi also went into exile in London following where he secured a job as a research fellow at Lancaster University.

Obote would be overthrown in 1971 by Idi Amin, the man the former had used to attack Mengo Palace and exile the Kabaka. Mutesa had died and been buried in exile in the United Kingdom in November 1969. Amin agreed to return Mutesa’s body and give it a state burial.

In 1980, after the overthrow of Amin, Nkangi formed the Conservative Party. Despite working for over 16 years under the Museveni’s regime, Nkangi insists he is still a conservative.

Nkangi was Minister in the Museveni government from 1986 until his retirement in 2001, holding such sensitive portfolios Education, Finance, and Justice. On retiring, he was appointed Chairman Uganda Land Commission.

While now on retirement, his desire is to see a peaceful Uganda but unfortunately he thinks peace has eluded the country.

Nkangi says he is a born again Christian but he insists not under church but under God.
He is writing a book titled “Out of empire into a servitude” detailing some of the turbulent history that the country has gone through right after independence to-date.

– Uganda Radio Network