Buganda’s Magna Carta!


Almighty close to the same time the Magna Carta was being written, a Group of about 14 strong or so under the Chairman of Kintu met at Nnono in Busujju and set out to write Buganda’s Unwritten Constitution. Like the British Counter Part, the Constitution Promulgated the Creation of an Executive, A Judiciary, and a Legislature and a Defense Force.

The Executive.

This was headed by the King ( Kabaka) King Mother ( Namasole) Prime Minister ( Katikkiro) Parliament ( Lukiiko), a Hieracacy of Appointed Chiefs ( Abakungu) from Ssaza, through Gombolola, Miruka down to Batongole. And there was a House of Lords ( Abataka) though, unlike the British, these are Hereditary and are appointed independently by the Clans. These are the ones who kept the Kingdom going when the Appointed Govt. Was destroyed at the Massacre at Mengo.

Every Clan was given a specific role to play so that everyone through his clan, feels part of the system.

The Judiciary.

Jusice was cadministered through Ebitawuluzi ( Local Courts) with provision to appeal through the Katikkiro right up to the Kabaka. And if still not satisfied, one could appeal to Amaduuda ( Supreme Court of Appeal). Over time, other Courts such as that of Kasujju Lubinga of the Lugave clan (to try Members of the Royal Family), Kisekwa, ( to resolve Clan disputes) and Omutaka Kibaale of the Mpeewo Clan who tries the Kabaka (and acts as Regent when the Kabaka goes to the warpath).

Yes. Even the Kabaka of Buganda can be tried. In Traditional Buganda, the Kabaka used to send his children to stay with Commoners so that they get the feel. Daudi Chwa, father of Muteesa, sent the young prince to stay with a chief called Mugwanya. The young boy thought he had bern disowned by getting sent out of the Palace. He reported his father to Kibaale who summoned and tried the Kabaka. The Kabaka lost the case and was ordered to pay the aggrieved prince a cow.

Defense

Although there was no standing Army, there was Omujaasi ( Army Commander) and an Admiral of the Navy ( Gabunga of the Mamba Clan).

Education

And then, there were the Education and Leadership Training Centres (Ebisaakaate ) which existed at every Chiefs Residence, and in the Kabaka’s Palace where Abagalala n’Abasebeyi ( pages) learnt the ropes. The most famous of those who rose through this was Katikkiro Gulemye Kaggwa who was a Page at Ssekabaka Mwanga Basammula’s Court. So were the Uganda Martyrs. The, Naabagereka has re established the Kisaakaate.

Taxes

Taxes were collected by the Chiefs in the form of Envujjo n’Obusuulu and taken to Enkuluze ( Treasury). Infact, what the Katikkiro is doing in the form of Ettoffaali is nothing new. The only difference is that he comes to collect it instead of the Chiefs taking it to him.

All this came to an end ( a temporary end) at about down on tuesday the 24th of May 1966.

From: Lumudjk

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Comments

One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Fred,

    To the contrary the other academic discourse on pre-colonial governance systems in Bunganda indicate that kings of Buganda were the most autocratic rulers in what was to become Uganda.

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