The consequences of the triumph of religion over tradition in Buganda

The people of Buganda were under the control of clan heads (Bataka). The Kabaka was little more than primus inter pares – senior member among clan heads. However, by the 19th century, most of clan heads had lost their powers to the Kabaka who established supremacy beyond the original three counties (Busiro, Mawokota and Kyadondo) largely through the use of force. The Kabaka who became head of all clan heads exercised absolute rule.

However, no individual owned land. An individual could use land, pass it on to relatives but he could not separate his part from the kin system. Thus, the kin owned the land and the people used it. The 1900 Buganda Agreement changed all that tradition and replaced it with the landed gentry dominated by Christians that have controlled the political economy of Buganda – and of Uganda – since then.

The passing of Mutesa I in 1884 was accompanied by the struggle for power among Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and traditional chiefs. In the end the traditional chiefs and Kabaka Mwanga who opposed religious influence in his kingdom lost. Mwanga fled, was captured and died in exile. He was succeeded by an infant King Daudi Chwa. Power was exercised by three religious regents led by Katikkiro Apolo Kagwa of the Anglican Church. To consolidate their position, the regents collaborated with Sir Harry Johnston who drew up the 1900 Uganda Agreement that revolutionized Buganda politics, economy and society.

For the first time in Buganda history, land was transferred from the peasants (Bakopi) who used it under communal system to individual freehold without consultation or compensation. Half of the kingdom’s land that was unoccupied became Crown Land divided between the government and churches. The other half which was occupied was divided among the Kabaka, his relatives and some 4000 chiefs. Harry Johnston had wanted to allocate land to a few chiefs and leave sufficient land for peasants under the statutory Board of Trustees. This proposal was rejected by the new chiefs to maintain control over peasants.

Buganda was divided into 20 counties. Ten counties were allocated to Protestant chiefs; eight to Catholic chiefs and two to Muslim chiefs.

From the beginning of the Agreement the Bataka and Bakopi who lost their land complained all the way to the Colonial office in London. In his ruling the colonial Secretary L. S. Amery rebuked the three regents in very strong terms for misusing their powers in allocating land to the new owners. However, he noted that practical considerations made it impossible to reverse the decision. Compensation was denied not because there was no genuine case for it but because the sums involved were prohibitive, implying that should the financial situation improve clan chiefs and peasants should be compensated commensurately. Ipso facto, the matter was left open.

Although the Kabaka would continue to rule over his people, real power shifted to the cabinet of three ministers – Katikkiro (Prime Minister), Chief Justice and Treasurer – and Lukiko (Legislative Council) made up of Christian and Muslim members. The pagans were not represented. In the 1995 Namirembe Agreement, the Kabaka was reduced to a constitutional head and Kabaka Mutebi II was restored as a cultural head. Thus, although the institution has remained, the power of the Kabaka has been drastically reduced.

Besides religion triumphing over tradition, the 1900 Agreement introduced serious distortions and inequalities. The peasants who lost use of the land for their livelihood were also forced to pay taxes to the government and to the new landlords. This combination of deprivation impoverished peasants and increased inequality between them and landlords.

The Uganda Agreement gave Buganda a special status in Uganda. Buganda was designated a province whereas other kingdoms had a district status. The Kabaka was given the title of His Highness that gave him a special status vis-à-vis other kings.

The independence constitution merely transferred power from British officials to Uganda officials. Virtually everything else remained the same. The post-NRM federal system should correct all the distortions and inequalities not only in Buganda but also in the rest of the country to lay a solid foundation for unity, stability, justice and dignity for all Ugandans.

Eric Kashambuzi

The future Uganda deserves

Uganda must embrace the politics of ideas, not of money;

Uganda must embrace constructive engagement, not destructive monologue;

Uganda must seek leadership with impeccable record and vast experience in domestic and external affairs, not novices with tarnished image;

Uganda must demand patriotic leadership that puts the country first, not itself, its relatives and handpicked individuals;

Uganda must demand leadership that addresses the people directly, not through agents and/or press releases;

Uganda must demand leadership with a clear historical background and record, not one shrouded in secrecy including changing of names;

Uganda must embrace the Wilsonian doctrine of self-determination for all peoples enshrined in UN, regional and national instruments, not suppression of voiceless, powerless and/or conquered communities;

Uganda must demand a foreign policy of non-alignment, not jumping from one position to another for regime survival;

Uganda must demand an economy that is equitable and protects the environment, not one based on economic growth and per capita income alone;

Uganda must demand economic integration that accords real net benefits to citizens, not one that disadvantages it through unsustainable migrations, asset and job grabbing from Ugandans;

Uganda must demand leadership that gives our children good, relevant and quality education, keeps them in school through providing school lunch, not one based on completing schooling without learning anything or dropping out early and engaging in child marriage with all serious health and demographic offshoots;

Uganda must demand health facilities where people go to be cured, not to die;

Uganda must demand manifestos or development plans that spell out what the leadership plans to do, not one based on mobilizing or appeasing sections of society.

More to follow in due course

Eric

The morality of post-colonial Uganda needs to be examined

The idea of the right to self-determination that was promoted by President Woodrow Wilson is about improving material, social and moral well being of people under colonial rule or dictatorship.

In point V of his fourteen Points program Wilson underscored the need for “A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined”. Point XIV stressed “A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations”. This principle was incorporated into the Covenant of the League of Nations.

The peace settlement of WWI emphasized the principle of self-determination, meaning the right of each nation to choose its form of government, causing the flame of nationalism to burn even brighter than before. In Kenya and South Africa, for example, the spirit of nationalism focused on the return of land to indigenous peoples.

In the Atlantic Charter of 1941 President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill stated “They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live, and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them”.

The peoples’ right to self-determination was incorporated into the United Nations Charter adopted in 1945. It states in part “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life-time has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”. Article I (2) of the Charter aims “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”.

The struggle for Uganda’s independence was to right the wrongs of colonial administration such as the profound misconception that Banyoro and Baganda were identical and the former in the “lost counties” should form an integral part of Buganda kingdom, a decision that was contested by Bunyoro government from the beginning and has not been fully rectified – only two counties were returned to Bunyoro in a referendum..

Another burning issue that needs to be resolved is the Mailo land. Through bribery the Christian regents that gained political ascendancy over traditional chiefs agreed to the 1900 Uganda Agreement that robbed the peasants of their land particularly their ancestral burial sites and forcibly incorporated Bunyoro land and people into Buganda kingdom. The Mailo land was divided among the Kabaka, his family members, regents, chiefs and some Baganda notables without consulting or compensating the people who owned the land and used it as their only source of livelihood. In other places like Ireland and Kenya funds were made available for ex-peasants to purchase their land back from landlords. The time has come to right this wrong in Uganda.

The people of Uganda also demand their right to self-determination in other areas, including regaining their identity and dignity. In the interest of cost effectiveness, the colonial administration lamped people of different clans and ethnicity together under indirect rule and gave them a common “tribal” name without consultation. For example all the clans of Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district are called Bahororo according to the Odoki report of 1992. This was done for colonial convenience and has not been corrected since independence whereas in Bufumbira the people exercised their right and changed their “tribal” designation of Banyarwanda to Bafumbira. The people of Rujumbura will exercise their right in this regard during consideration of a federal system of governance in post-NRM regime.

Eric Kashambuzi

Uganda in the process of understanding itself

Before colonial rule communities were identified by clans each with a totem. With colonialism, new notions of tribe, ethnicity and nations emerged and have submerged clans. Discussions regarding self-determination and good governance, have necessitated we know ourselves better. Some Ugandans prefer to revert to clans, others want tribes, yet others prefer ethnicity or nation. Let us focus on tribe and nation.

Tribe: According to the World Book Encyclopedia (1985), tribe is a term used to describe certain human social groups. It is generally a disliked term because it lacks precise meaning and has been applied to many widely different groups. Many groups consider the term to be offensive or inaccurate and prefer different terms like ethnicity or nation. The term tends to be used arbitrarily. Solon a Greek leader decided to divide the Ionian communities into four tribes according to wealth and landownership. Years later Kleisthenes divided the Ionians into ten tribes in honor of Attic heroes. Although Ionians continued to acknowledge their four tribes they ceased to play an important part in the administrative process (Robert Garland 2008).

Peter Gukiina (1972), a Uganda historian who appears to be uncomfortable with the term ‘tribe’ or ‘tribalism’ refers to Baganda as ethnic groups – not tribes or even clans. He records “Before colonization, the area was occupied by a diversity of ethnic groups, each with its own language, individual culture, political and social styles and traditions.

For at least two centuries most of these groups had existed as independent societies with their own kinds of political organizations”. Gukiina adds “the ‘concept of tribalism’ is often clothed in stereotypes and myths which some of the corrupt minds of nineteenth century imperialists and colonialists invented, exaggerated and sold to their people to justify and generate support for the colonial subjugation and exploitation of the African people”. For example, to subjugate and exploit the Bantu clans of Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district Bantu clans became Bairu (slaves or servants of Tutsi) and later on Bahororo under colonial rule. Within Bahororo the Tutsi group has dominated and exploited the Bantu since the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Gukiina advises “In order to have a clear and reliable understanding of Uganda politics one must abandon the use of the term ‘tribe’ and ‘tribalism’ and ‘tribal hatred’. These concepts or terms have been frequently used by colonial officials, former colonial officials, the western press, and, most unfortunately, by many African leaders in their search for power, money and prestige”.

Nation: According to the World Book Encyclopedia (1985), “Nation is a large group of people that unite for mutual safety and welfare. A common language, origin [ancestry] and culture characterize a nation. Nation is a vague term, and nationhood exists largely because a group considers itself to be a nation”. Herein lies the problem for Uganda where some have decided that there are fifteen nations that should form the basis for a federal system of government.

Gardner Thompson (2003) has written that “If a nation is a group of people who consider themselves alike, bonded, sharing characteristics and interests which, they feel, distinguish them from others, then in 1962, Ugandans were ‘not yet a nation’” . This observation applies equally to the so-called 15 nations.

Timothy H. Parsons (2010) has taken us through the background to ‘tribes’ and ‘nations’ in Africa. He states “In pretending to rule through local sovereigns, the British imported the Indian model of imperial rule to Africa. As in the Raj, British officials claimed to govern through African institutions of authority rather than ruling directly. This made the ‘tribe’ the basis of imperial administration. Confused by the range of fluid and often overlapping ethnicities of pre-conquest Africa, British officials concluded that Africans lived in unchanging tribal societies. In the imperial imagination, a tribe was a lower form of political and social organization that, with proper paternal guidance, might one day evolve into a nation. … Working in the service of colonial governments, anthropologists mapped tribal languages, social institutions, and customary laws to fashion the tools of imperial administration for district officers. The African tribe was thus a useful fiction to update the venerable imperial strategy of co-opting local institutions of authority”.

One can safely conclude that the 15 nations of Uganda came about through this fiction route. Eric

How the 1900 Uganda Agreement created a landed oligarchy in Buganda

We are writing these stories by popular demand and as part of civic education. We call on all Ugandans, friends and well wishers to make their constructive contribution to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Let us begin by explaining how Buganda and Uganda came about and got mixed up. According to Peter N. Gukiina (1972), “’Uganda” meant Buganda kingdom, ‘Uganda’ being the word for ‘Buganda’ in Kiswahili”. Philip D. Curtin (2000) writes “Present-day Uganda takes its name from a Swahili corruption [irregular alteration from original state or form] of the word Buganda”. Both Swahili and Luganda are Bantu languages.

Through Stanley Kabaka Mutesa I invited Christians to come to Buganda to counter Muslim influence coming from the east and the north of the kingdom. Through an anonymous donor the C.M.S. (Church Missionary Society) received 5,000 British pounds. They arrived in 1877. In 1879 the White Fathers Missionaries arrived. Among other things, the long illness of the Kabaka opened the door for political power struggle. The four-to five hundred young pages of the Kabaka became the target of political maneuvering. Within four years Catholics and Anglicans had baptized many of Kabaka’s pages.

These christened pages provided the leadership of the Christian communities. Under pressure, the White Catholics temporarily left Buganda. Joseph Mukasa, the king’s most trusted page took over the Catholic leadership among the pages and soldiers of the bodyguards. Andrew Kagwa, master-drummer and head of Kabaka’s band joined as well as Mathew Kasule the king’s gunsmith that occupied a position of military significance. Another prominent individual who joined was Matthias Kalemba.

At the same time Baganda leaders of the Anglican Church were emerging. In 1886 12 of them including Nikodemo Sebwato were appointed as a Church council.

Kabaka Mwanga who is believed to have converted to Catholicism appointed Joseph Mukasa to the post of major-domo and Andrew Kagwa became inseparable hunting and travelling companion of Mwanga.

A fierce struggle for power developed between these young Christian pages and the older tribal chiefs led by the Katikkiro. The latter didn’t fare well. When it was learned that the Germans had occupied Tanganyika coastal areas and Buganda would be next, the tribal chiefs advised the Kabaka that the pages represented the spearhead of European intervention in Buganda. In October 1885 Joseph Mukasa was executed for protesting against the murder of the first Anglican bishop Hannington. In 1886 up to one hundred Christians were martyred including Andrea Kagwa and Matthias Kalemba while other leaders including Sebwato and Apolo Kagwa were severely beaten. For three years the religious groups rebelled forcing Mwanga to accept Christians and appointing Apolo Kagwa as the Katikkiro and other Christians that replaced the older chiefs.

While regents, it was this new oligarchy (few Baganda) with Anglicans in a better position led by Apolo Kagwa having defeated Catholics and Muslims with Captain Lugard’s help that negotiated the 1900 Uganda Agreement with Sir Harry Johnston. The Lukkiko was packed with Christian and few Muslim representatives – saza chiefs (there were no representatives of pagans or those who followed traditional faiths in the Lukiiko). The power shifted from traditional chiefs and the Kabaka to the three regents and Lukiiko members (the 1955 Agreement reduced the Kabaka to a constitutional head and the new Kabaka has been reduced by NRM government to a mere cultural leader).

The entire land tenure system of Buganda was revolutionized from the peasants (Bakopi) and their clan heads (Bataka) to new owners: the Kabaka and his relatives, regents, chiefs and other few notables that took half of the land and the rest became Crown land. The Lukiiko had responsibility for allocating land to the new landlords. After land had been allocated to them they chose who should settle on their estates. This resulted in unprecedented human resettlement with so many adverse economic, social and cultural outcomes. Bataka protested all the way to the colonial office in London but got nothing even when there was recognition that the idea was a bad one but it was too late to reverse. The Bakopi and Bataka land was not returned and were not compensated.

The new land revolution under the NRM government is even worse. The new land owners are mostly foreigners and tenants are being forced from the land and pushed into urban slums with all the economic, social and cultural suffering. The situation will get worse when land is finally privatized to large scale foreign farmers who will use capital intensive methods to produce for external markets. Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has championed privatization of Uganda land to large-scale mostly foreign farmers after he returned from a mission abroad.

As noted already, the original owners of the land were dispossessed without compensation. Ipso facto, their complaint still stands. The regents were bribed to accept Johnston’s decision to dispossess Baganda, Banyoro and other clans that were incorporated into the 1900 Uganda Agreement. Katikiro Apolo was bribed with 20 extra square miles and 100 head of cattle, Mugwanya with 15 extra square miles and Kangawo with ten (J. V. Wild 1950).

The 1955 Buganda Agreement did not replace the 1900 Agreement and land was not touched. Amin in his 1975 land decree made all land in Uganda public under leasehold occupation which ended Mailo land. NRM restored it to the owners or their descendants.

Resettlement of Luwero Triangle after the guerrilla war favored foreigners as the exercise was undertaken by resistance committees directed by NRM that is directed by foreigners. People are demanding land reform but the elites that are benefitting from the status quo are putting up stiff resistance through their agents.

For Uganda to achieve lasting peace, security and stability this historical injustice needs to be addressed during the negotiations for a federal system of governance. Those who are calling for self-determination in Buganda and elsewhere and demanding that everyone should go to where they belong have a valid point and shouldn’t be ignored.

It must be recognized that revolutions are more often than not anchored on land issues, witness the revolutions in France in 1789, Mexico in 1910, Russia in 1917 and more recently Ethiopia in 1974. Uganda leadership – present and future – can’t afford to ignore this lesson indefinitely.

Eric

Buganda expanded, colonized and consolidated during the colonial rule

For over 200 years Bunyoro had been the most extensive and powerful kingdom. Its kingdom included Buganda. Too many wars and a large empire weakened Bunyoro. Buganda under leaders starting with Mawanda began to expand at the expense of Bunyoro. He invaded Busoga. Junju drove Bunyoro out of Buddu and took over Koki. King Kamanya drove Bunyoro out of Buwekula. By the time Suna came to power, Bunyoro had been reduced to Buruli and north Singo, central Bunyoro itself, Bugangaizi, Buyaga and the eastern counties of the present Toro district (Karugire 1973). Kabula was conquered from Ankole.

Notwithstanding all this, according to Gardner Thompson (2003) Buganda had not yet been able to fully assert pre-eminence over its neighbors independently before the British helped it. Thus, according to Philip Curtin (2000), pre-European Buganda remained small (when Britain took over).“It covered only the area a hundred miles or so inland from the north shore of Lake Victoria, in a half-circle that ran west of the point where the Nile flows out of the lake”. And Bunyoro had regained military strength and was recovering its lost territories.

Buganda was in decline due to a combination of crises including acute food shortages or even full-blown famines that inter alia weakened the military; religious wars; diseases including bubonic plague and cattle (the rinderpest of 1889-90), the massive killing of elephants for their ivory deprived the area of a host on which the tetse fly fed and invaded cattle and humans transmitting animal trypanosomiasis and human sleeping sickness. Furthermore, the passing of Mutesa I (RIP) in 1884 who had been bedridden since 1876 weaken the kingdom and opened the door for power that Mwanga could not handle. Thus, “Ganda entered the colonial period struggling not only to come to terms with this catastrophe, but to assert themselves in a new and potentially hostile political environment”(Richard Reid 2002).

It is therefore fair to conclude that what Buganda gained and consolidated was colonial territories handed over to it during the scramble and colonization of Uganda as a reward for Buganda’s support in Britain’s colonization of Uganda. Thus, the conquered and colonized territories and peoples that were not set free at the time of independence (except Buyaga and Bugangaizi in 1964) are still colonized territories and peoples. In some cases the colonized peoples like Banyoro are still speaking their indigenous languages.

We need to recognize with regard to Bunyoro that “British policy of assimilation of the Banyoro in the ‘Lost Counties’ was based on the profound misconception that the Banyoro and the Baganda were culturally and socially similar, if not identical, to each other. In fact the social and cultural differences between the two peoples were far more important than their apparent similarities”(T. V. Sathyamurthy1986).

This therefore raises the legitimate issue of self-determination that should be taken up during discussions on federalism so that Ugandans decide how they want to be governed in the broadest sense while retaining Uganda as is.

Eric

Land ownership in Buganda has entered a dangerous phase

Before the 1900 Uganda Agreement land in Buganda was owned by the people under the supervision of their clan heads (Bataka). The Agreement changed all that. Half of the land that was uncultivated, covered under forests and swamps was taken over by the colonial administration as Crown Land. The other half that was occupied by indigenous peasants was taken over by the Kabaka and his family members, regents, chiefs and a few notables as mailo land. The owners were neither consulted nor compensated for the transformation.

The allocation of land among the new owners was done by the Lukiiko comprising the regents and chiefs. The allocation was not only done so fast, it also resulted in massive resettlement as chiefs moved with their followers to their new land. For example, a Protestant chief evicted from his areas Catholics, Muslims and pagans. A Catholic chief evicted Protestants, Muslims and pagans and a Muslim chief evicted Protestants, Catholics and pagans. The pagans were not represented in the Lukiiko.

This was truly a social revolution that created many problems in the countryside. People lost their ancestral areas including burial sites. Bataka complained all the way to the colonial office but the transformation had gone too far to be reversed and so they lost the case. It was agreed, however, that tenants on mailo land would not be evicted provided they paid a fixed fee. The colonial office also decided that this model of land distribution was so bad that it should not be applied to other regions.

Baganda have suffered another massive human reorganization since 1981. During the guerrilla war residents of the Luwero Triangle were moved to forested areas apparently for security reasons. At the end of the war it was difficult to determine who lived where and land allocation was done by resistance council members, with all implications.

NRM has also turned land into a commodity for sale like chicken to the highest bidder under the so-called notion of willing seller and willing buyer. Consequently, many Baganda (and to a certain extent other Ugandans outside of Buganda) have lost their land. Unlike under the Uganda Agreement, there is no provision for keeping tenants on the land. Consequently there has been massive rural-urban migration that has resulted in sprawling slums especially in Kampala and the mushrooming of economic, social, political and cultural problems.

This situation must be addressed without delay if Uganda is to avoid a revolution. Land has always been a major issue in revolutions including in France, Mexico, Russia and Ethiopia. The post-NRM government should place the land issue on the list of priority areas for immediate attention.

The purpose of writing this article is to begin discussing how land tenure and land use should be addressed in a politically, economically and socially acceptable manner for all concerned.

Eric

The revolution that transformed Buganda society is being repeated

The purpose of my research and writing is to provide information to encourage Ugandans to debate issues of interest to the present and future generations. So far I have focused on Buganda and the Great Lakes region, raising issues many of them controversial such as tribes and nations.

In this posting I want to show how the 1900 Uganda Agreement revolutionized Buganda society by changing land ownership, a process that is being repeated at the moment under the NRM government.

In 1899 Sir Harry Johnston was appointed Special Commissioner with a mandate regarding the administration of Buganda and land ownership. Regarding the latter he chose to work with the three ministers that served as regents and the Lukiiko.

Johnson convinced Baganda leaders in part through bribery that uncultivated land, forests and wetlands/swamps – half of Buganda land – come under the Protectorate Government as Crown Land. The rest was shared by the Kabaka, members of his family, the three ministers, saza and lesser chiefs and 1000 notables.

The responsibility for dividing the land in square miles was given to the Lukiiko. The Saza chiefs received both official land which changed hands with the holder of the office and private estates to which they were permanently entitled. The ministers were given extra land to buy their support. Apolo Kagwa was given 20 square miles and 100 heads of cattle; Mugwanya 15 square miles and Kangawo 10 square miles. The Commissioner was criticized for bribing the ministers into signing the Agreement.

Clan heads and peasants – bataka and bakopi – lost to the new class of land owners that Johnston created. The distribution of land caused tremendous difficulties and suffering. The ministers and saza chiefs chose land where it suited them preferring the most populated areas that were most fertile. Once the land had been chosen the ministers and saza chiefs and other beneficiaries brought their own followers, evicting en masse those that had settled in these areas. These decisions “…created a chaos of refugee movement in the countryside from which even European District Officers recoiled”.

Johnston was only interested in getting support for the Agreement no matter what happened to the economic and social welfare of ordinary people. He was criticized for abandoning existing system of customary tenure that deprived peasants of their security and means of livelihood while introducing an alien concept of individual land ownership.

Johnston decision marked the beginning of tensions and conflicts that ultimately gave rise to the formation of political parties and demand for independence.

What we are witnessing today is another land dispossession exercise in Buganda (and other parts of Uganda). However, the difference this time is that while Johnston dispossessed peasants of their land, the ownership remained in the hands of Baganda and the peasants were not chased away. Under the NRM dispossession program land ownership is being concentrated in the hands of foreigners who are chasing away former owners that have fled to urban slums where they are facing a bleak future.

Just as the peasants and other disgruntled Baganda formed political parties to regain their land, security and independence, a new breed of leaders is emerging at home and abroad to wrestle power from the failed NRM government by peaceful means in the first instance.

Eric

Secession or federation may disintegrate Buganda

If a nation is defined by a common ancestry, common language and common religion, then Buganda doesn’t qualify as one. Buganda expanded from three counties of Busiro, Kyadondo and Mawokota to a large kingdom comprising people of different ancestries, different languages and different religions.

The expansion of Buganda began in the 17th century largely by invading and conquering neighboring territories and peoples of Ankole, Bunyoro and Busoga and subjugating the conquered people. Contact with Arabs introduced guns into Buganda that were used in her territorial expansion. It is reported that at one time Kabaka Mutesa I possessed 1000 guns. Guns together with Anglo-Buganda alliance during the colonization process enabled Buganda to acquire more territory by force at the expense of Bunyoro which has consistently demanded return of the ‘lost counties’.

Although Luganda is spoken in all parts of Buganda, many communities still speak their mother tongues particularly in the ‘lost counties’. Buganda is also a multi-religious society.

The designation of Buganda as an economic growth pole by colonial administration attracted many workers from within and without Uganda. Many settled in Buganda permanently. The political crisis in the wake of independence in Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda led to an influx of refugees into Buganda where they settled and have made Buganda their permanent home. Earlier the British allowed Nubians to stay permanently in Buganda. Around independence time, 40 percent of the population in Buganda was Banyarwanda. If you add on other communities you begin to get a picture of the demographic composition of Buganda. Because of this interaction a distinction has been made between Baganda and pure Baganda.

With the expansion of Kampala city which has become the biggest generator of Uganda’s national income many more non-Baganda have flocked into the city. Land grabbing in the Luwero Triangle by non-Baganda has also tilted the demography away from Baganda. As a result there could be more Baganda (anybody who speaks Luganda) than pure Baganda, contradicting some estimates that the population of Baganda has increased rapidly. We need a new census to determine the exact demographic strength of Baganda within Buganda. (Fearing that a federation or secession in Buganda could result in expulsion of non-Baganda some of them are registering as pure Baganda, speaking pure Luganda and adopting Kiganda names and culture, explaining in part why the population of Baganda has risen rapidly).

That Buganda has become a melting pot requires adjustment in the thinking of Baganda especially how they should be governed. Calling for secession or federation with the larger group dominating smaller ones (confederation might be better) may open a Pandora’s Box that could trigger disintegration as communities that believe are still colonized may demand independence.

This is the reality that can’t be brushed under the carpet. There are some Baganda who are complaining fiercely that we are criticizing Buganda too much without, however, drawing a distinction between constructive and destructive criticism. They prefer to let sleeping dogs lie and continue to live in the glorious past. They have threatened to withdraw political support to and attack viciously anyone that criticizes Baganda, creating conditions for appeasement offers by individuals whose only goal is to occupy a high political office in Uganda.

From all angles, the situation in Buganda is fluid and could go either way without warning if preventive steps are not taken without further delay. Thus, the issues of secession and federation need to be handled with great care and cool minds. Eric

FUF is external branch of NRM that started on a wrong foot

The abrupt founding of FUF is suspect at a time when Ugandans in the diaspora and at home are gathering momentum and coming together to oust NRM from power, witness The Hague conference. If Sejusa and his supporters were for the opposition they should have attended the conference because the invitation was open to all Ugandans. Instead they held a separate conference shortly after The Hague one to show that there is an alternative.

Besides being rushed, the founding conference was restricted to a few handpicked participants to avoid opposition. One participant who either got in the conference by accident or changed her mind while there was thrown out for asking questions that were not tolerated. The participants wanted to meet in a closed session and hammer out a strategy to divide the opposition in the diaspora. However, exclusion and expulsion tactics have dealt FUF a serious damage.

The manifesto is also divisive. While the impression is about maximum mobilization, FUF is solidly founded on ecumenical foundation, meaning it wants to unify Christians only and separate them from the followers of other religions. According to our records, the first ecumenical council met in AD 325 at Nicaea and defined beliefs for all Christians – not all religions! So why has FUF confined itself to the Christian community only? Students of religions might tell you that that is a divisive strategy.

Another divisive strategy is appeasement of one particular group of Ugandans. Mentioning the 1962 constitution is indeed targeting a particular group that will join FUF and those not appeased will break away.

The founder of FUF still dresses in military uniforms because he knows that there are those in the opposition that want to use military force and will therefore join him against those who want peaceful change of the regime. He has also chosen to continue to use Kyankwanzi language towards the opposition leaders to drive a wedge between them and their supporters. The use of terms like insanity, bankruptcy and hatred are carefully chosen and applied.

The chairman and secretary general of FUF have used language intended to smear current leaders as incompetent. When you are told that the opposition has done nothing you are accusing the leaders of incompetence that should be abandoned and when you say that FUF leadership is second to none and the founder is a game changer you are conveying the same message that the current opposition leadership is not fit for the job. Such utterances have the potential of dividing up opposition groups.

While Sejusa and his team are getting ready to tear the disapora opposition apart, General Benon Biraaro is busy doing the same at home. His appeasement tactics targeting particular groups are designed to divide the opposition at home.

Our job as analysts is to advise Ugandans at home and abroad what is happening so that informed decisions are taken for the present and future of Uganda and her people.

NRM is in a bad shape at home and abroad, hence the abrupt emergence of Sejusa and Biraaro. If we allow them to divide us then NRM will survive. To stop that opposition groups must come together quickly under capable, experienced, selfless, dedicated and patriotic leadership.

A good leader doesn’t always say what you want to hear – a bad leader does that. Instead, a good leader identifies problems without favor or fear and recommends solutions for debate and adoption by the people.

Sejusa and Biraaro are not on the side of the opposition. They are with Museveni and NRM to divide Ugandans at home and abroad in order to save Museveni and NRM and continue plundering the country and impoverishing the people.

Eric