Tooro is likely to suffer more when M7 abolishes the kingdoms!

'Troops search a car outside kabaka's palace in Kampala afer Milton Obote, Uganda's Prime Minister, had ousted the Kabaka as President and sent the Army to arrest hom. But the Kabaka's guard fought stubbornly, enabling their monarch to flee the country.'

‘Troops search a car outside kabaka’s palace in Kampala afer Milton Obote, Uganda’s Prime Minister, had ousted the Kabaka as President and sent the Army to arrest hom. But the Kabaka’s guard fought stubbornly, enabling their monarch to flee the country.’

Towards independence the major political parties were DP and UPC. However, in July 1961 Kabali Masembe moblised some Baganda to welcome their Kabaka on return from attending the independence conference London. These mammoth enthusiastic crowds lined up along the Kampala – Entebbe road chanting Kabaka Yeka (king Only). Shortly after, the slogan ans its fans evolved into a pro-Buganda Kingdom political party named Kabaka Yeka (KY). It is this KY that allied with UPC to defeat the DP in the April 1962 general elections. Five months later on October 1962 Uganda gained independence with UPC’s Milton Obote as the Executive Prime Minister. In late 1963 the Kabaka was Buganda Sir Edward Muteesa was elected by the General Assembly as a ceremonial President of Uganda at the same time he remained the king of Buganda.

The UPC/KY alliance had been a marriage of convenience. By 1964 the alliance had started showing signs of rapture. The central government starved the Buganda kingdom of funds to run its affairs. The matter of funds even went to court but Buganda lost the case. Amidst those squables, the central government organised a refrendum over the three lost counties of Buyaga, Bugangaizi and Buwekula. Buganda kingdom opposed it by moblising 300 armed Baganda ex-service men to go and occupy those areas but Bunyoro retaliated by moblising 2000 men ready for a fight. The refrendum was conducted and the counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi (Kibaale) opted to revert to Bunyoro while Buwekula (Mubende) opted to stay in Buganda. The {resident refused to sign the results of the refrendum but the Prime Minister went ahead and signed it. There was some level of hightened tension in most parts of Buganda kingdom as a result of the outcome of the refrendum. The central government took precautionary security deployments involving the Police. At one time the Buganda Kingdom issued an altimatum for the central government to its police stations from Buganda soil. Among the few signs of bad blood between the couples was an incident where the central government refused the army brass band to play during the President/Kabaka ‘s birthday party.

'Exile portrait of Kabaka, photographed in London. Behind the king's softness, these was a character of steel. It was suggested that he died from drinking. But was he poisoned?'

‘Exile portrait of Kabaka, photographed in London. Behind the king’s softness, these was a character of steel. It was suggested that he died from drinking. But was he poisoned?’

Around the same time the UPC was gaining strength from the members of DP and KY who were crossing the floor to join it. However, the UPC was to suffer some set back arising from the outcome of the Dec1965 delegates conference to elect the party Secretary General. With Obote’s backing Grace Ibingira defeated the incumbent John Kakonge. As Secretarty General and being an Ankole royal, Ibingira sought to ally with the Buganda kingdom and rejuvenate the party in Buganda. He even reached out to prominent DP and KY leaders both in Buganda and other parts of the country who flocked into the UPC. Now that Ibingira had the numbers, he openly showed interest in wrestling the party leadership from Obote at the next delegates conference. Ibingira left for the USA to solicit for support while Obote took along trip to the eastern block (communist) countries.

In the meantime, the security situation in Buganda remained fragile. There had been killing of innocent civillians by the Police in Nakulabye after mistakaning them for Baganda rioters. The President and Kabaka of Buganda had made attempt to import arms using a private international company. The deal raised suspicion when it was evident that the arms consignment was to be paid for by Buganda. Around 1965 when the national assembly was debating the security situation in Buganda, Daud Ocheng unsuccessfully tried to move a motion seeking a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister over allegations of Congo gold and ivory smuggling. The motions was defeated. Uganda at the time was supporting pro-communist armed rebels fighting the Mubutu government. Col Iddi Amin the then Deputy Army Commander and the Defence Minister Felix Onama were among the few government officials coordinating the support for congolese. A consignment of arms meant for these rebels had earlier been seized by the Kenya government while on transit from China.

Tension between the central government and Buganda had escalated. UPC Secretary General Grace Ibingira had strengthened alliance with Buganda Kingdom while at the same time his differences with the party chairman Obote had deepened. Grace Ibingira had initiated plans to overthrow the Obote led government by using the security forces. The plotters had enlisted the support of the Army Commander Brig Shaban Opolot and Ibingira’s own BROTHER Major Katabarwa among others to carry out the plan. Brig. Opolot had earlier provided a unit of the army for the Kabaka’s security. This force was part of the wider movement of troops between Jinja and Kampala in what has been described as uncoordinated troop movement. The Prime Minister who has upper hand intelligence had been following these developments unforlding. He had enlisted the support of Col. Iddi Amin to counter any moves by the coup plotters to use Brig Shaban Opolot.

Soon the the plotters schemes was busted amidist widespread rumours that arms were being amassed in the kiing’s PALACE in Lubiri. In a last minute desperate move on 4th February1966 when the General Assembly was debating the Penal Ammendment Bill seeking to curb KY activities in Buganda, Daudi Ocheng resurrected the earlier defeated Congo Gold and Ivory motion. He contended that huge consignments of Gold and Ivory had been looted from the Congo for the benefit of Prime Minister Obote, Defence Minister Felix Onama and the Deputy Army Commander Col Iddi Amin. He sought the suspension of the Deputy Army Commander Col Iddi Amin and a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister Obote. The motion unanimously was passed. Obote who had been away since 1st Feb touring the northern region returned to Kampala on 12th Feb and issued a press release on 13th Feb denying the allegations.

On 22nd Feb the Prime Minister chaired a cabinet meeting in which he declared that he was taking over the powers of the government and five cabinet Ministers were arrested (including Grace Ibingira) over treasonous allegations. They were held without trial under the Preventive Detention Act that Ibingira himself had helped to formulate when he was the Justice Minister. They remained in detention until Iddi Amin overthrew Obote years later. The following day on 23rs Feb the Prime minister relieved the Army Commander Brig Shaban Opolot of his duties and appointed his as a military advisor to cabinet instead he elevated Col. Iddi Amin to the position of Army Commander. Brig Shaban Opolot had got more closer to Buganda having married from the Katikiro Kavuma family. On 24th Feb during a cabinet meeting the Prime Minister suspended the constitution alleging that a military coup was being planned. On 25th February the Prime Ministerset up a commission of inquiry into the allegations of gold and ivory smuggling from the Congo. On the same day the Buganda Kingdom Lukiko (parliament) convened to examine the the actions of the Prime Minister. On 3rs March the Prime Minister issued press release to radio and TV accusing the President and King of Buganda EdwardMutesa of having sought foreign military aid. On 4th Feb the President and King retaliated by publishing the letters he had written to the Prime Minister over the constitutional developments of the recent past. Unfortunately, in one of the letters he had acknowledged that the said foreign military aid was a precautionary measure to secure the country. He had remainded the Prime Minister of how he too had thought foreign military aid without informing the President during the 1964 army mutiny.

On 5th March the Lukiko convened and expressed solidarity with Kind Mutesa’s stand over the current events. It reaffirmed its recognition of Mutesa as the the President of Uganda. On 11th March the Prime Minster issued a press release in the Uganda Argus clarifying that the suspension of the constitution on 24th Feb had accordingly abolished the offices of the President and Vice President. On 12th March the Lukiko convened and resolved to regard the actions of the Prime Minister as unconstitutional and that it was therefore disassociating itself. On 15th March the Lukiko reconvened again and called upon the Prime Minister to restore constitutional order. On 15th March before the National Assembly and amidist hightened security at the parliamentary building a new constitution was introduced. This is what has come to be known as the “pigeon Hall” constitution. Among the highlights of the new constitution was the abolition of federal status for kingdoms. On 16th March the Lukiko reconvened are reaffirmed its earlier stand over those developments. On 18th the Lukiko reconvened again and issued a strong statement against aborogation of the constitution.

On 19th April the Lukiko convened and passed a resolution ordering the central government to vacate Buganda soil by 30th May 1966. This aultimatum fueled further tension as rumours of the Buganda kingdom moblising troops and arms in the palace grew. In the countryside defiant Baganda were digging trenches across the roads, attacking Police stations and trucks carrying military personnel. The government declared a state of imergency over the entire Buganda Kingdom. The government sent members of the Police Special Force to the palace to investigate the said arms but they were severely attacked. This development prompted the central government to dispatch a contingent of the army under the command of Iddi Amin to attack the king’s palace. After a fierce encounter with the King’s guards, the king was overpowered and he escaped and fled into exile. That very day the Prime Minister addressed parliament where he alleged that the Kabaka had declared rebellion by April 12th. The confrontation left immense death and destruction of property. The Kabaka died in exile in London a few years later.

On June 1st 1966, the mover of the controversial Congo Gold motion, Daudi Ocheng died while undergoing treatment at Mulago hospital in Kampala. This was before he could testify before the Congp Gold Commission of inquiry. He had been such a close friend of King Edward Mutesa. In September 1967 the new Republican constitution was promulgated. It made Uganda a republic with Militon Obote as the Executive President. Consequently, kingdoms were abolished in Uganda.

That is the summary of events that sowed the seed of hatred for Obote by the good section of Baganda ethinic group that has been exploited by self seeking Museveni. In the same regard the Baganda overwhelmingly welcomed the Iddi Amin take over from Obote. Throughout his reign, Iddi Amin almost had no trouble with the Baganda as an entity. Even during the war against Iddi Amin, the invading Tanzanian Army had to take caution when dealing with the post Iddi Amin Buganda. Because of Buganda’s historical superiority, it enjoyed special status during colonian and post indeoendence Uganda. Buganda had opposed the colonial design of an east African federation leading to their king being exiled in Britain. It enjoyed full federal status while other kingdoms enjoyed a semi-federal status. While the Kabak of Buganda and the Baganda bore the brunt of the struggle for independence, the rest of the kingdoms were seemingly unbothered. It is Buganda’s clashes with the central government during the 60s that led to the abolition of kingdoms. The rest of the kingdoms were mere victims of circumstance.

Its this historical Buganda strength and hatred for Obote that prompted the architect of the Amin overthrow, Julius Nyerere to send an advance party of scouts in the form of ceremonial presidents Yusul Lule and Binaisa to prepare the ground for Obote’s resumption of the Presidency in 1980. Its the same situation that Museveni exploited in executing his guerrilla campaign. When the going got tougher, he had to give concession to restoration of the Buganda in return for support. He went ahead to arrange for the then Prince Mutebi to visit the liberated zone in the west and reassure the Baganda fighters in the NRA who were reportedly being segregated. Unknown to the Prince, Museveni wanted to use the visit to draw to his side the support of Buganda in view of the fact that the pro-Buganda DP and UFM fighters at the time had joined hands with the Okello military junta in Kampala. Its not that he loves kingdoms but he needed them at different times of his journey to the life presidency. That is why he has never acknowledged that there had ever been such an understanding between him and the Buganda monarch. However, the fact that its the army council sitting in Gulu that endorsed the resolution to restore the Buganda monarch is circumstancial evidence of an earlier understanding between the two entities.

After restoring the Buganda Kingdom, the rest of the traditional kingdoms jumped into the bandwagon to demand for the same. When Buganda demanded for the return of its properties, the rest of the kingdoms also followed suit. Its only the demand for federal status by Buganda that the other kingdoms have not copied. Soon after several chiefdoms have been mushrooming with Musevenis approval. THE TRUTH IS THAT MUSEVENI’S RECOGNITION OF TRADITIONAL RULERS WAS A BITTER PILL FORCED ON HIS THROAT BY BUGANDA KINGDOM. The status of kingdoms that he claims to have restored is not what had been abolished in 1967. This is what Buganda called Byoya Byanswa (empty). When kingdoms were abolished in 1967, their properties were taken over by the central government. Under the first and second UPC governments they were used for less than ten years. The Iddi Amin government used them for for less than less ten years. Museveni who masquerades as the champion of traditional institutions has held these very properties close to 30 years now!!!!

Since its restoration, Museveni has been undermining the strength of Buganda kingdom by instigating the creation of small chefdoms in Bugerere, Buruli and Koki. At the same time he has been making attempts to weaken the Lukiko and isolate it from the Kabaka. reas like Luwero and Kiboga will be depopulated of Baganda thus may opt to withdraw their allegiance to the Kabaka of Buganda. Once he is through with his funded land grabbing project in Buganda, aNow that he is succeeding in taming Buganda, he has expanded his operation to Tooro and Busoga. In Busoga, he is about to accomplish its destruction. In Tooro, he has succeeded in creating the Rwenzururu kingdom but as the Bakonjo were still celebrating, he created the kingdom of Bwamba. He will finish off Tooro by creating the kingdoms of Ntoroko for the Batuku, Busongora for the Basongora, Kitagwenda for the Batagwenda in Kamwenge and the Kingdom of Kyaka for the Banyakyaka. The only Batooro Museveni values as his ethinic allies are the pastrol ethinic communities of Batuku and Basongora. He will strengthen them by degazating part of Semulki Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park respectively to provide them with extra territory.

However, going by the recent events, the mainstream Batooro whom he takes for granted because of their submissiveness have woken up. At one time he insulted them pint blank about “their stupidity (Kujagaarra)”. The current Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Kaliba will be framed and removed because of his strong UPC background. To isolate the royal family he will pardon and release the former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister John Katuramu. Of recent Museveni has taken to repeatedly overstating the past injustices that were meted on the Bamba and Bakonjo while they were under the ancient Tooro kingdom. The three communities offered him victory when they overwhelmingly supported his NRA in the Rwenzori Mountains in 1984/85. His strategic security interest of securing the congo border is the motive behind his moves to divide the Batooro/Bamba/Bakonjo. If he can reduce territories of traditional kingdoms by identifying and creating new kingdom and territories, why cant he let the Banyankole who want the Obugabe to have it by curving out a territory out of the former Ankole Kingdom!!!!!

His desiparate divide and rule policies are coming to more light with his recent association with religious cult of Bisaka and electioneering with born again christian churches to the annoyance of the mainstream christian churches. When cultural institutions get to understand his machinations and defiantly speak with one voice or his actions explode into bloody ethnic clashes, the stage will be set for Museveni to abolish kingdoms.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: