A state within a state and its struggle to regain its federal status

Buganda kingdom at 600 years
Towards the end of 1890s, Kabaka muteesa 1 invited missionaries through a letter, to bring what they called “Civilization” reading and writing. He did not request gold, guns and or money as it’s the case with many African current leaders. His dream came true and Anglican missionaries followed by catholic missionaries started floating into what is referred to as the pearl of Africa. The people of his kingdom, scholars and many Europeans say, he brought light to his kingdom which I absolutely agree with. Where were the other kingdoms?

After his reign, Kabaka mwanga resisted the rule of missionaries which resulted to the burning of several martyrs at Namugongo.A point to note, when explorers, missionaries and colonialist came to Buganda, they were surprised to see what they didn’t expect for example, good road networks which were leading to the headquarter where the king sat.(Mmengo),the kingdom had a parliament(Lukiiko),it had a prime minister(Katikkiro),the people had a fast communication network(Ggwanga mujje) ,the people were typical agriculturalists growing bananas(matooke) as its typical food crop ,the list is endless.

Today best schools in Uganda are a result of missionaries invited by Kabaka muteesa 1.Schools include Makerere College which later turned into Makerere University, King’s college Buddo,St marys college Kisubi,Gayaza high school extra. Many leaders in Africa have studied in these Buganda schools like Nyerere of Tanzania extra. Besides that, it was the katikkiro (prime minister of Buganda Kawalya kaggwa who introduced electricity in Buganda his statue can be seen at former UEB headquarters outside, along Kampala road.

In 1942, a young cheerful prince sir Edward Fredrick Muteesa II received the 500 year old throne of his ancestors as a birthday present. Crowned the 37th Kabaka of Buganda. Freddie to his many friends is one of Africa’s aristocratic, cheerful, intelligent, with wide interests and restless spirit .His small body can be ounce alert and dignified. He was destined to be king from his birth, and everything was done to fit him for his great task. (Drum news paper 1955) .At the age of 5 he was sent to Buddo king’s college and then Makerere College the great University of E.A and then Cambridge University England. He used to own a fleet of cars including Rolls Royce.

Despite the lack of a nationalist movement, the main stumbling block to independence of Uganda was the status of Buganda within in a united Uganda.(Buganda did not want to join the union). During the colonial period, Buganda had developed as a state within in a state, and when, in 1953 governor Cohen began preparing Uganda for independence as a united country, the entire process was thrown into crisis. The Kabaka of Buganda sir Edward muteesa II rejected any attempt to integrate Buganda into Uganda and demanded independence of his kingdom.(such a brilliant idea) Drum oct,1957. I prophecy today 6th of October 2012 that any time , the kingdom of Buganda will gain its full independence no matter when, how, and who will lead the struggle but, Buganda is a state within a state and it has all what it takes to posses a federal status. roads,lakes,fertile soils, forests ,good schools, big and good hospitals, it has a parliament, a prime minister, local administrative structures eg gombolola,masaza,miluka,kyalo,etc.

Governor Cohen had him deported and for the two years that the kabaka was in exile in Britain, very little constitutional progress or no progress was made. (This clearly shows each and every person who undermines Buganda to know that Uganda without Buganda cannot do so much economic and political wise. This is because economics is embedded in politics and vice vercer you can never separate the two. (Prof. Philip K.Kottack. Exploration of human diversity)

In 1955 the kabaka was allowed to return to Uganda in terms of a compromise agreement .However, the Buganda government continued to obstruct political changes which treated Buganda as an integral part of Uganda, much to the annoyance of non baganda Ugandans.

In 1961 at the London constitutional conference, the British put forward, and had accepted a constitution which granted Buganda federal status within Uganda, while the three western kingdoms ie Tooro, Bunyoro and Ankole were to have semi-federal status (Drum Oct 1957)

Now, I pity president Museveni who says Buganda did not get its independence. Let his advisers especially on Buganda issues take for him these facts.

Buganda character wise are described as receptive people who do not have a lot of resistance and this has paid a price for their kingdom that’s why today all people from western, northern and eastern are flowing to Buganda to access social amenities which are the fruits of our ancestors.

Lubega.N.C Dar es salaam
Economic AnthropologyAnalyst.



6 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Odongo Joseph,

    Mr. Lubega, that is a nice one. Actually, that has been the Mmengo struggle all through from 1962 todate. Your demand has been understood but you are limiting the time for the chronological audit to 1955. Why not start from 19th November 1897 when the “Lost” counties were stolen from Bunyoro and given to Buganda by foreigners? Yes, if Buganda want federo, let them go a head with their 4,220 square miles of land and not 19,600 square miles of land (majority of which was stolen). I already know that you would not want this arrangement. So this is why our leaders are shunning that federo idea. And I tell you, not even a Muganda president can go with the federo idea.

  2. Mukasa,

    Mr. Odongo currently the lost counties are with bunyoro read history first. secondly, Buganda boundaries for the 19,600squares miles are acknowledged by every government which comes into power and no kingdom is complaining of theft. Maybe your chiefdom from north are complaining that we stole your land.Please let me know if its true.Thirdly improve on your history, all chiefdom , kingdoms and clans have been expanding through wars of expansion before these bazungu therefore, having a lot of land is a sign that our ancestors didn’t spend a lot time drinking local brews. u can not call our success theft.
    Finally the bazungu took independence from buganda and the kabaka (MUteesa) signed even the last agreement which gave his kingdom a full federal status, a question, why are other tribes wants to receive independence which was not removed from their kingdoms/chiefdoms?.why do yo want to harvest where u dint sow? if u want to receive your independence, i believe u have your own homes eg western, northern , and eastern therefore, try to be independent in your own homes not in the compound of your neighbors.This is because, u are inconveniencing your neighbor she wants to bath, u dont want to close your eyes, she wants to do some developments , u are opposing him.go and be independent in your own home area but not buganda.

  3. B. Jonny Rubin.,

    Mr. Odongo Joseph, Well done. Mr. Lubega N.C asks, “Where were the other Kingdoms?”. The history of Uganda that is common in today’s schools focuses on the central part of the country on which the seat of government is situated. The central of Uganda is of course, ‘Buganda’, without which ‘Uganda’ could not have existed. In other words, Uganda was an expansion of Buganda with which the British made the “Protectorate Treaty”. The other Kingdoms, Bunyoro Kitara and others existed and were as a wonderful civilization as Buganda was and that is the reason for the creation of Uganda as we know it today. The whole of Uganda is so integrated so that, curving Buganda out of it as a ‘Tribal’ Kingdom, or a ‘tribal federal state’, is simlpy out of question.

  4. Maceni,

    @Mukasa You acknowledge that kingdoms and clans grow through wars of expansion . Basically you are saying that conquest is a legitimate form of subjugation …Yet you bitterly decry that buganda was actually conquered by the central government . Why legitmize buganda expansionism and then in the same breadth delegitimize Ugandan expansionism?

  5. Beloved Maceni, the little English i know says that there is a difference between past tense and present tense. I think Mukasa is trying to make a compulsion study between the past years before independence and the present time post independence. Before independence conquest was legitimate ,after independence conquest ma dear cant be accepted at all. If you don’t agree try to conquer Ankole and see what can happen.or try to conquer Tanzania and see the fire which was showed to Amin Dada by Nyerere.

  6. Maceni so simple , he has legitimized buganda becauz it expanded before independence and in the same way “delegitimize” Uganda expansion because expanded after independence.

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