Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buganda Kingdom has mourned the passing of South Africa’s Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who has on several occasions graced Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’s events.
Addressing Journalists at a Press Conference in Bulange-Mengo, the Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga said that King Zwelithini has been very close to the Kingdom of Buganda and a close confidant of Kabaka Mutebi.
According to AFP, King Zwelithini, 72, died on Friday, weeks after admission in hospital with diabetes, according to an announcement by his palace. Zwelithini ascended the throne in 1971 during the apartheid era at the age of 23 and this was three years after the death of his father.
He has been the eighth King in the dynasty of the Zulu Land.
“Tragically, while still in hospital, His Majesty’s health took a turn for the worse and he subsequently passed away in the early hours of this morning,” said a statement by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a Zulu Prime Minister.
Mayiga recounted that during the commemoration of Kabaka’s second coronation anniversary in 1995 at Kololo Airstrip, the deceased came into Uganda as Kabaka Mutebi’s special guest.
“And to commemorate the royal visit, a special session of the Buganda Lukiiko was held and King Goodwill Zwelithini participated in that sitting,” said Mayiga.
He added that on the same day of the commemoration of the second coronation anniversary, King Zwelithini and Kabaka Ronald Mutebi jointly commissioned Entebbe Resort Beach which he said was one of the events that marked the anniversary commemoration.
Mayiga also noted that the deceased King graced the wedding of Kabaka Mutebi and Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda in August 1999 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe. He says that Kabaka Mutebi has equally attended events in South Africa on the invitation of King Zwelithini.
Mayiga described the late Zwelithini as a great king and close friend to the Kingdom of Buganda and Kabaka Mutebi.
King Zwelithini was the longest serving Zulu monarch and his reign lasted over 50 years.