Dr.Henry Gombya ‘lied’about the name ‘Bakuli’


London’s Dr.Henry Gombya claimed that Bakuli was named after “..a white man at this place who had a beautiful house and his name was Barclay..”.

But i say that Bakuli was named after the first British Commissioner of “Uganda” after proclamation of “protectorate” status in 1894 (…but third overall after Gerald Portal and Colonel Henry Colville of the pre-protectorate days); EJL Berkeley.

1/7  If Dr Gombya should want to debate other issues, let him do so in a manner that does not obscure the facts like we are seeing with Bakuli/Barclay; because that makes his silence on Lukuli even more disturbing.  I quote: “There used to be a white man at this place who had a beautiful house and his name was Barclay….and it became known in Luganda as ‘ewa Bakuli’ which, when translated (?!!!) in English was ‘at Barclays'”.  Yes, things that we learn from Professors of Afican History in London and Oxford ….that is is intellectual terrorism.  Anyway, there are things we learnt from the NCO Academy .

2/7  While I was at the NCO Academy, I was tought that Bakuli was named after the British Commissioner in “Uganda” from Christmas eve in 1894 to 1899.  The man was called Ernest James Berkeley.  He has a road named after him in Old Kampala and the place between Old Kampala and Namirembe Hill took on the indigenised version of at name: Bakuli.

3/7  Ernest James Berkeley took over as Commissioner after Col. Colville (also with a road named after him in New Kampala).  Col Colville was the man that together with 7 other European officers, 2 maxim guns, a steel boat, 450 Sudanese troops, and anything from 20,000 to 43,000 Baganda rifle and spearmen invaded and ravaged Bunyoro in 1893/94.

4/7  I mention Col Colville because of his contemporary significance in Uganda’s poltics today, particularly in the question on land, “ebyaffe” and the relations between Buganda and Bunyoro…and I hope Dr Gombya’s aim was not to distract us from this bit of “African history” by going into Barclay and all that.  The weapon that Col Colville ( Berkeley ‘s predecessor) used for the mobilisation of the 2-3 Divisions of the Baganda levies was the promise of land acquisition.  Commissioner Colville gave a verbal undertaking to the Buganda Chiefs that, “all Bunyoro territory south of Kafu River would be incoporated in Buganda and divided equally between Protestant and Catholic chiefs” (Lord Molson’s report, Page 3).  That territory of Bunyoro consisted of 6 counties, totalling 6,000 sq miles, later called “the lost counties”.

5/7 That was the undertaking which was to be upheld by EJL Berkeley (Bakuli); even against the instructions of the Foreign Office.  Commissioner Bakuli eventually signed away that territory of Bunyoro on the 19th November 1896.  Most of the infamous “Akenda” is in that territory which the Attorney General of Buganda, Apollo Makubuya has recently referred to as “Ettaka lya Buganda lya dda! Ettaka lirikko nnanyini lyo” ( Buganda ‘s land is ancient and it is owned by the Baganda).  By “ancient” he means 19th November 1896!

6/7  This is what EJL Berkeley (Bakuli) told the Marquis of Salisbury in dispatch No. 113 of 19th November 1896:

“I proceed to explain the distribution of these territories between two religious parties as made by Col, Colville, would be maintained, namely, the district (marked as South Unyoro) bounded to the north by Ngusi River, to the West by the south-east shore of Lake Albert, to the South by Muzizi River and to the East by Kitumbwi river, would go to the catholics and the territory lying to the East thereof, viz bounded to the North by the Kafu River and to the East by the Nile and to the South by Buganda (as therefore) would go to the Protestants.”  These are the areas comprising of Buhekura (Buwekula), Bugangaizi, Ebuuru, Buyaga, Buruli, Bugerere (Bunyara), Bulemezi and Singo.

7/7  So, to many a true student of African history, Bakuli is EJL Berkeley, the father of a huge chunk of 9,000 sq miles of land (arithmetically read as 4,227 sq miles)….forget about Dr Gombya’s ‘Barclay’…..and keep the eye on the ball call Lukuli.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Lance corporal (Rtd) Otto, the commissioner is called Earnest James Berkeley (EJ) Berkeley but again i am surprised you are adding EJL! What does L in that name you abbreviated stand for? It seems all of you have small knowledge about Bakuli!

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