May 6, 2014

Former Speaker Eli Dead

The late Eli Nathan Bisamunyu.
The late Eli Nathan Bisamunyu.

Uganda’s former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eli Nathan Bisamunyu has died.

Eli Nathan Bisamunyu, who died at Mulago Hospital Tuesday afternoon, was the deputy speaker at the time when President Idi Amin dissolved parliament in 1971.

Relatives say the former speaker has been battling Diabetes and Hypertension for years now. His condition worsened in December 2013 and he had been receiving treatment from Kabale Hospital before he was transferred to Kampala on January 24th, 2014. He had to be airlifted from his home.

Eli Nathan Bisamunyu was born into a poor family in Kasoni Village, Mparo Parish, Rwamucucu Sub county, Kabale district which was then known as Kigezi district. There are disputes as to whether he was born in 1928 or 1933.

His son Edward Noble Bisamunyu says his father was born in 1928 though there are official records that indicate he was born in 1933.

Bisamunyu survived childhood diseases like dysentery and typhus that killed 13 of his siblings.

The former speaker started school in 1937 at Kihanga Vernacular Elementary School.

Bisamunyu went ahead to join Kigezi High School Junior Secondary through Kigezi Local Government Scholarship before joining Mwiri College becoming  the first Ugandan to sit for the Cambridge Certificate in 1948.

He later  graduated from Makerere College of East Africa 1953 and went ahead to marry Irene Nduruma on the 1st of January 1955.

In 1952 while still at Makerere University Bisamunyu was a founder member of the Uganda National Congress alongside the late John Babiiha and Abu Mayanja.

He managed to secure a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 1962.

Bisamunyu was the first legislator for the Kigezi East currently Rukiiga in the Obote I Administration.

The deceased became the deputy Speaker of Parliament in 1970 until Idi Amin dissolved the Parliament in 1971.

A relative says preparations for Bisamunyu’s burial will get underway once all his children living abroad are notified.

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