14th March Kings’ Conference was a Bunyoro war against Buganda

Dear Editors,

While I applaud the Bunyoro kingdom for organising such an important conference at short notice, I’m so sickened by the way it was done and the resolutions reached. This is one of the master steps by Bunyoro kingdom to undermine the kingdom of Buganda and everybody can see it without any glasses on their eyes.

First of all, Organising such a very important conference with a venue in Masindi confirms that this was a Bunyoro conference not a Kings’ conference. If Bunyoro wanted it to be a conference of all kings, then there would have been consultaions and meetings organised among all the stakeholders in advance. Bunyoro knew by doing this, it was most likely that the meeting would not have ended up in Masindi. So they kind of hijacked the whole thing. They organised the venue, the speakers and the agenda.

Secondly, the resolutions reached during the meeting all represent the interests of the Bunyoro kingdom and not Buganda kingdom. Bunyoro has been pursuing the issue of the lost counties for ages even before we got independence. This issue has defeated a lot of national and international brains. Bunyoro has used the legal and international stage to address it but all in vain. I have personally had a debate with Bunyoro Kingdom spokesperson, Mr. Henry Mirima, about this but he and Bunyoro have refused to listen. By Bunyoro raising up the same issue again during the so called kings’ forum, it is trying to have one leg over the Buganda kingdom. Bunyoro is practically advocating for the isolation of Buganda kingdom and this is unacceptable.

I’m also astonished to read that there were over 50 kings in this forum on such a short notice meeting. Where did they come from? How many kings have we got in Uganda? I would advise the kings to be vigilant with whatever Bunyoro is up to at the moment. Bunyoro kingdom called for the meeting, chaired it, and also made resolutions which push for its interests. The master of ceremonies was also Bunyoro’s speaker of its parliament. They ‘hijacked’ the whole function including the traditional leaders that attended.

The resolutions adopted are the direct opposite of what Buganda wants: Bunyoro supports the regional tier but Buganda wants total federalism; Buganda recognises bululi, bunyala and kooki as part of its kingdom while Bunyoro wants them to be independent or part of its kingdom. If I were the government, I would give Buganda federalism and let others enjoy the regional tier, as simple as that.

All in all, this was a Bunyoro conference organised as one of its strategic wars against the Buganda kingdom. Nobody should take it seriously. If Bunyoro wants to be taken seriously, it should accept that ‘all men are equal but some men are more equal than others’. So resolution No. 6 will never be achieved in this 21st century where the world is so competitive.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

United Kingdom


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Omar Muhesi Kyaligonza,

    I just stumbled at your article and could not fathom your arrogance.
    Bunyoro has legal and genuine grievances with Buganda Kingdom and no amount of denial from Buganda will erase this historical injustice.
    You rightly eluded that no previous governments (except Obotes) has redressed this land-grab by Baganda at the behest of British imperialists. At least obote had the spine to stand up to Buganda and wrestle back two lost counties to Bunyoro a fact that led to the fall out between UPC and Buganda .
    Colonialists found it mutual, to go in alliance with an African tribe so as to rape another resilient tribe ( banyoro) and later use it as a launch pad for the proper colonisation of Uganda. This alliance nevertheless ended in acrimony between Buganda and their masters as they discovered albeit too late to their astonishment, the British just used them to further British interests.
    Firstly I see nothing wrong with a conference hosted in Bunyoro at Masindi. Why does my learned friend not like Masindi? Perhaps more explanation would suffice.
    Secondly I see no harm with a kingdom raising its grievances on a conference of kings about its rightful interests? If Buganda wants to claim their 9000sq miles, isn’t it also right that Bunyoro at any time can demand theirs? What is good for the goose is good for the gander or so I thought.
    Thirdly the resolution passed was as result of a consensus of those present. Buganda chose to boycott despite being invited. You would naturally not expect its views to be in the resolution. You can’t blame Bunyoro for Buganda’s lack of insight about the conference.
    When will Buganda stop this myopia of “Some men are more equal than others “ look where its led the entire region of Buganda, almost being scorned at for lack of forward thinking, still trapped in the colonial era of sycophants and subjugation.
    Take a look at the same demands Buganda makes on federal. These have been exhaustively debated from the time of colonial rule to the present and no support was found nationally.
    Buganda should realise that the days of tribal special status, practised by the British Empire of divide and rule, ended with the dawn of independence ushering in democracy and modern governance. The whole of Africa embraced this reality except one tribe. Ask the Ashanti of Ghana, to name but a few feudal hangers-on. Kings will only function as cultural demagogues wielding zero political clout.
    The presumption that federalism will reinstate Kabaka s as a political power is futile if not wishful thinking.
    Lastly I will remind Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba that most unlighted Ugandans have a vision of Uganda as a monolithic society. Where our children and their children will never be constrained in attaining their heights by people of any tribe claiming “all men are equal but some more equal than others”. What a shocking revelation in the 21 st century espoused by Mr Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba and living in democratic United Kingdom!
    My hope and prayer is his views are a alone voice in the wilderness of obscurity.

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