Tooro Princess & Presidential Advisor On Culture Affairs Akiiki Bagaaya Admitted At IHK In Critical Condition

Tooro Princess & Presidential Advisor On Culture Affairs Akiiki Bagaaya Admitted At IHK In Critical Condition

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By Andrew Irumba 

Tooro Kingdom: Exclusive info.we get on our gossip desk indicates that Tooro princess and presidential advisor on culture affairs to H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Elizabeth Christobel Edith Bagaaya Akiiki,is very ill and admitted at Muyenga based International Hospital Kampala (IHK). The former model and confidant of late Chief Abyola of Nigeria (former president), has been admitted to the hospital since Monday, that’s according to our sources within the hospital.

“She’s suffering from what we call ‘Indigestion’, meaning, she’s not able to go to the toilet by herself, but has to be medically supported,” a source said. Ageing and ailing Bagaaya, born1936 (aged 86 years now), has not been fine for quite some time now and has been in and out of hospital for the better part of the previous few years, a close family member and member of Babiito ruling clan revealed to our reporter.

Who Is Princess Bagaaya Of Tooro?

26 Jun 1962, London, England, UK — Original caption: George Rukidi, the Omukama of the Toro Kingdom of Uganda, photographed with his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, after he had been created a Knights Bachelor by H.M. Queen Eliizabeth II at the Investiture this morning. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Princess Elizabeth Christobel Edith Bagaaya Akiiki, is the Batebe (Princess Royal) of the Kingdom of Tooro. She is a Ugandan lawyer, politician, diplomat, and model. She was the first East African woman to be admitted to the English Bar. She is a paternal aunt of the King of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV Amooti.

Bagaya was born to late His Royal Highness Lieutenant Sir George David Matthew Kamurasi Rukidi III, who is the eleventh Omukama (King) of Tooro Kingdom, who reigned between 1928 and 1965. Her mother was late Omugo (Queen) Kezia, a daughter to Nikodemo Kakoro, a senior chief. Her title from birth was Omubiitokati or Princess.

Bagaya briefly served as minister of foreign affairs under Idi Amin regime from February to November 1974.

After finishing elementary school at the present Kyebambe Girls’ Secondary School in Fortal Portal, Bagaaya was sent to Gayaza High School, a girls’ boarding school in Buganda Kingdom, followed by Sherborne School for Girls in England, where she was the only black student.

“I felt that I was on trial and that my failure to excel would reflect badly on the entire black race,” Bagaaya later wrote long after her graduation in one of her memoirs. After one year, she was accepted into Girton College, Cambridge, the third African woman to be admitted to the University of Cambridge in the institution’s history. In 1962. She graduated from Cambridge with a law degree. Three years later, in 1965, the princess became a barrister-at-law, becoming the first woman from East Africa to be admitted to the English Bar.

Around this time, her father, Omukama George Rukidi died, and her brother Patrick David Matthew Kaboyo Olimi (father to reigning Omukama Oyo) was enthroned as Olimi III, the twelfth Omukama of Tooro, who reigned from 1965 until 1995. At the coronation, Elizabeth received the title and office of Batebe (Princess Royal), which traditionally made her the most powerful woman in the Tooro Kingdom and the most trusted adviser of the king.

King Fredrick Mutesa II of Buganda, another of Uganda’s traditional kingdoms, was now the president, with Prime Minister Milton Obote. Barely one year after the coronation of the Omukama Olimi III, Obote attacked the Buganda Palace, sending Edward Muteesa II into exile, and declared himself president. Soon, he abolished all Ugandan traditional kingdoms, including Tooro. Elizabeth was afraid for her brother’s life, but he escaped to London.

In 1971, Obote was overthrown by General Idi Amin, and Elizabeth returned to Uganda. Amin’s rule was arguably even more repressive than Obote’s, with Amin executing and imprisoning many people. In 1974, Amin appointed Elizabeth minister of foreign affairs.

In February 1975, Elizabeth escaped to Kenya, then to Vienna, then to London. Four years later, Elizabeth returned to Uganda to help with the country’s first free national elections, which were won by Obote, who continued killing his enemies. Elizabeth and her lover, Prince Wilberforce Nyabongo, son of Prince Leo Sharp Ochaki, escaped to London in 1980 and married in 1981.

Finally, in 1985, Obote was overthrown and following a brief period of military rule, was replaced by Yoweri Museveni. In 1986, Elizabeth was appointed ambassador to the United States, a job she held until 1988. Later that year, Nyabongo, an aviation engineer, was killed in a plane crash at the age of 32.

Following the death of her husband, Elizabeth opted to leave public service and get involved in charity work, in addition to being an official guardian of her brother’s son, Rukidi IV, who was born in 1992 and has been the reigning Tooro monarch since 1995. Following a period of service as Uganda’s Ambassador to Germany and the Vatican, Elizabeth accepted an appointment as Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria. Currently, Bagaaya is president Museveni’s special advisor on culture affairs.

Here at Spy Uganda, we wish our Batebe a quick recovery.

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