From 2004: Ex-President of Uganda in Unificationist Wedding

This is old news and not directly about the UPF, but I only just stumbled on it and I wanted to keep a clipping, since it’s a strange tale. From My Uganda, 2004:

KAMPALA — It is billed the wedding of the year with former president Godfrey Binaisa, 84, wedding Tomoko Yamamoto, 56, yesterday at the Speke Resort
Munyonyo.

…President Museveni arrived minutes later. He thanked Binaisa for finding himself a good wife to get himself out of widower-hood, which is a trying situation.

Museveni welcomed Tomoko to Uganda. He said the only time Africans came close to Japanese was during the World War II when the British recruited two battalions of Africans to fight in Burma.

Very tactful, Museveni! A magazine called Pearl of Africa gave some extra context:

Mr Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, former president of Uganda wedded a Japanese lady who lives in America. The wedding was part of a mass wedding conducted by Korean rev. Moon. Binaisa is 83 years old. You may recall that Binaisa.s father a few years back re married when he was over 100 years old to a lady in her 60s. He died not long after!

It seems that there were two ceremonies; the mass wedding in Seoul, and then the civil ceremony in Kampala. However, the romance quickly soured; the New Vision reported in 2005:

The marriage between former President Godfrey Binaisa and Japanese wife Tomoko Yamamoto has broken up as a result of disagreements over land and religion.

…Sources said yesterday one of the reasons for the break-up was Binaisa’s refusal to accept Yamamoto’s pleas to donate 150 acres of his land on Mutundwe hill to Reverend Moon’s Korean-based Unification Church.

The Weekly Observer added:

Before their separation became public on June 27, Binaisa and Tomoko were together scheduled to visit the headquarters of the Unification Church in South Korea for a conference. The air tickets were paid for by the Church.

Binaisa and Tomoko reportedly separated over religious differences and property wrangles. However, Tomoko maintains Binaisa’s children (from the ex-president’s first marriage) who did not want the new woman to touch their father’s property fuelled the separation.

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2 Responses

  1. Moon has been doing this for the past decade ever since it became clear that he would not be able to recruit enough of his own followers to have the influence on the world that he wanted. He started offering Asian wives to influential men whom he hoped to pull into his orbit. Another more widely publicized instance of the same ploy was the marriage of an African Roman Catholic bishop to a Korean Unificationist about five years ago, an action for which, under tremendous pressure from the Vatican, the bishop briefly repented, before later returning to the marriage and consequently being excommunicated. Moon’s purpose in arranging all such marriages is certainly not love; it is to bring these men and, Moon hopes, their wealth and their influence into a position where it can potentially be co-opted for Moon’s purposes; or failing that, to use the individual as a figurehead in some Moon-led front organization to give it added credibility.

  2. [...] subsequent civil ceremony in Kampala was addressed by President Museveni, who made a hilariously tactless speech: He said the only time Africans came close to Japanese was during the World War II when the British [...]

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