BUGANDA

 

BRIEF HISTORY

The Kingdom of Buganda is the largest of the four kingdoms in the western region of Uganda. The state was founded by Kato Kintu ca. 1300, who came from the Nile region. Although stated to be the founder of the ruling dynasty, it now appears that his male line descendants died out or were driven from their patrimony during the second half of the fourteenth century. The true founder of the dynasty is Kimera, claimed to be a grandson of Kabaka Chwa I, through his son and heir, Prince Kalemera through an illicit liaison with the Lady Wannyana, wife of Omukama Winyi I of Bunyoro-Kitara. Kimera's descendants greatly expanded their territories, building the kingdom into the most powerful in the region by the end of the eighteenth century. The state enjoyed a highly centralised form of government, common laws, language and customs, and clearly defined borders. However, the country continued to be plagued by an unresolved rule of succession. Very bloody and damaging insurrections and wars became commonplace. Massacres of surviving male members of the Royal clan became the rule. The arrival of Arab traders and Europeans made matters worse. They introduced guns and brought their own religious disputes into play amongst their converts. Disputes became even bloodier. Britain decided to intervene when British subjects became caught up in the battles. Eventually Lord Lugard negotiated a Protectorate agreement with the rulers of Buganda in 1894. Continuing unrest and brutality by the reigning Kabaka Mwanga II led to his deposition in 1897, and exile to the Seychelles. His year-old baby son was then proclaimed as Kabaka Daudi Chwa II, under the regency of three distinguished Ministers. The chief regent being, Sir Apollo Kagwa, KCMG, MBE, legendary statesman and first African to receive the honour of knighthood. Daudi Chwa II reigned for forty-two eventually years, which saw huge political, social and commercial changes to his kingdom. The first of his line to receive a Western education, he served as a young officer in the East African campaign, mentioned in despatches and received the CMG and the Belgian Order of the Crown for his services. His death in 1939 left the throne to a minor for a second time. Edward Frederick Mutesa II was chosen over his elder brothers because he was the only legitimate son in the Western Christian sense. The family were devout Anglicans, but the incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury of the time, implacably opposed any successor born out of wedlock. Mutesa II also received a thorough Western education, including a spell at Cambridge and a stint in the Grenadier Guards. However, he continually antagonised his colonial masters by involving himself in party politics. He was exiled to Britain in 1953 but returned to popular acclaim in 1955, becoming Uganda's first President eight years later. His popularity and independence rankled with the ambitions of the Prime Minister, Milton Obote. The latter deposed Mutesa II as President, instituted a one-party state and abolished the kingdom. Shortly afterwards, the Ugandan army led by Idi Amin, attacked the palace and forced the Kabaka to flee into exile in England. The restoration of the kingdoms in 1993 saw Mutesa's son and successor, Ronald Mutebi II, proclaimed and crowned as Kabaka.

STYLES & TITLES:
The ruler: Kabaka, with the style of Ssaabasajja.
The principals consorts of the Kabaka: styled Abakyala (Lady) and holding the following titles in descending rank Naabagareka, Kaddulubaale, Kabejja, Nassaza, Nanzigu, Kikome, Luyiga, Nakaddu, Saabaddu, Omukbya, Ow'ekatikamu, Omukebezi, Omwanga, Muwunda, Omwaziza, Nakasala, Omuwanga, Nakiboja, Omusuna, Omunakulya, Omukwanya, Omuterega, Omugoloba, Omulawula, Nakimera, Omubunge, Nankole, Omuweeweesi, Omunanya, Omusaka, Omuwanguzi, Omunywa, Omulangira, Omusenero, Omuteesa, Omukambata, Omusigula, Omukeera, Omuwambya, Naggayi, Nabanaku, Omukwakula, and Solamumi.
The other wives of the Sovereign, if of noble birth: Abasebbeeyi.
The most junior category of wives of the Sovereign, if of non-noble birth: untitled.
The mother of the Kabaka: Namasole.
The eldest sister of the Kabaka: Naalinya, i.e. the Princess Royal.
The eldest son of the Kabaka: Kiweewa.
The younger sons, grandsons, and male descendants of the Kabaka in the male line: Omulangira, i.e. Prince.
The daughters, grand-daughters and female descendants of the Kabaka in the male line: Omumbejja, i.e. Princess.

RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, legitimate sons taking precedence over those born of secondary wives.

ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
The Order of the Shield and Spears: founded by Kabaka Daudi Chwa II on 8th August 1927 to reward loyal services to the Kingdom and bestowed on Bugandan subjects and foreign nationals alike. Awarded in three classes (1. Commander - CSS, 2. Omutongole or Officer - OSS, and 3. Omukungu or Member - MSS). The medal of the order was instituted on 26th May 1937.

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The Order of the Shield and Spears - First class or Commander, breast star (L) and Second class or Officer, badge (R)

SELECT GLOSSARY:
Abalangira: male member of the royal clan.
Abambejja: female member of the royal clan.
Baganda: the people of Buganda.
Bakopi: commoner.
Bataka: chief of a clan.
Bitongole: Men of the King.
Gombolola: Sub-County.
Kabaka: King.
Kabaka Yekka: "the Kabaka only", the political party formed by Sir Edward Mutessa II in 1962.
Kangawo: the title of the county chief of Bulemezi.
Kattikiro: Prime Minister.
Kimbugwe: bearer of the Royal umbilical cord.
Kiweewa: title given to the King's first son.
Kubbula: Kiganda custom consisting in giving the name of a favorite relative to a child.
Lubiri: the Royal compound, palace enclosure.
Lubuga: 'mother substitute', second in rank to the Naalinya.
Luganda: the language of Buganda.
Lukwago: the Kabaka's umbilical cord.
Muganda: a person from Buganda.
Mugema: the title of the head of the monkey clan, responsible for buring of dead kings. Also styled Katikiro w'abafu or Prime Minister of the dead.
Mulangira: a descendant of the Royal clan, noble.
Muluka: the most junior administrative unit of the kingdom, composed of a group of villages.
Naalinya: Princess Royal, usually a full sister of the Kabaka, who enjoys the status of first lady of the kingdom during her brother's reign.
Nagaddya: the midwife to Royal wives, usually a metrnal relative of the Kabaka.
Nalongo: mother of twins.
Namasole: title of the King's mother.
Olukiko: meeting.
Olukiiko Olukulu: 'the great meeting', i.e. Parliament.
Olulyo Olulangira
: the royal clan.
Omukungu: Member of the Order of the Shield and Spears (MSS).
Omulangira, i.e. Prince.
Omumbejja
: Princess.
Omutongole: Officer of the Order of the Shield and Spears (OSS).
Omwami: chief, i.e. not King as in Burundi and Rwanda.
Omuwanika: Treasurer.
Sabaganzi: the official maternal uncle of the Kabaka.
Ssaabalangira: Chief of the Royal Princes.
Salongo: father of twins.
Sekibobo
: the title of the county chief of Kyagwe.
Ssaabasajja: the style of the Kabaka, equivalent to His Majesty.
Ssaabataka: the late Kabaka.
Ssaza: County.

SOURCES:
David E. Apter. The Political Kingdom in Uganda, a study of bureaucratic nationalism. Frank Cass, London, 1997.
Mandy Bjordal-Louis. Where Do We Belong? Nairobi, Kenya, 2000.
Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume II: Africa & The Middle East. Burke's Publications Ltd., London, 1980.
Sir Apolo Kaggwa and M.S.M. Kiwanuka. The Kings of Buganda. Historical Texts of Eastern and Central Africa I, East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1971.
Ernest B. Kalibala (transl.) and May Mandelbaum (ed.). The Customs of the Baganda by Sir Apolo Kagwa. Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology, Volume XXII. AMS Press, New York, 1969.
J.S. Kasirye, Abateregga ku Nnamulondo y'e Buganda. Macmillan and Co. Ltd., Lodnon, 1955.
A.B.K. Kasozi. The Life of Prince Badru Kakungulu Wasajja. Progressive Publishing House, Kampala, 1996.
Mukasa E. Semakula. The Buganda Home Page, Internet
The Kabaka of Buganda (Mutesa II). Desecration of my Kingdom. John Constable & Co. Ltd., London, 1967.
Christopher Wrigley. Kingship and State: The Buganda Dynasty. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Dr. Jones Kyazze.
Donald Tick.
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