While I appreciate the positives done by the Katikiro of Buganda,J.B Walusimbi, to the extent that the speaker of Bunyoro Kingdom, Henry Ford Mirima, compared him to Bismarck, i feel some things need pointing out.
The only reason I see why Mr.Mirima comparing him to Bismarck is because Bismarck didn’t want colonies and he sees Buganda as an agent of colonialism. But like I said, Bunyoro is hiding some hidden agenda by hiding behind the unrealistic decolonization of Uganda. Then again, I cannot see how J.B Walusimbi will ever end up like Bismarck under the current circumstances.
Otto Von Bismark said that it was reprehensible for a great power to get involved in any kind of a conflict in which its own interests were not involved. On the other hand, the Banyoro supporters of JB (including the speaker of Bunyoro kingdom) just keep interfering in the interests of Buganda kingdom. They were at one time working with president Museveni to weaken the Buganda kingdom till he disappointed them over oil agreements/ shares.
Bismarck made superficial concessions to pacify republicans in order to unify the Germans and consolidate the power of the monarchy in that time. On the other hand, J.B Walusimbi has done less to unify the Baganda and consolidate the Buganda monarchy within Uganda.Baganda are more divided now than they were under former Katikiros: Abebitibwa Ssemogerere and Muliika.
Under Bismarck, people were poor. Then Bismarck introduced the minimum wage laws (accompanied by social security in 1889) and Germany turned rich. On the other hand, J.B. Walusimbi has introduced some programmes on a paper such as: the establishment of a Buganda commercial Bank, building public libraries in all Buganda cities, e.t.c, but without any means to fund them. J.B should be fighting for federalism using almost all the resources at his exposure as this is the definite way he will fund all the economic programs he has put on paper. Most Baganda in the rural areas are very poor and are only eying the central government for rescue. Even programs like BUCADEF are not helping a lot of people and are doomed to fail.
Bismarck recognized Germany was inherently insecure because it was too big to be satisfied, but too small to dominate.On the other hand, J.B did not yet recognize that taking Kampala away from Buganda will make it too weak.The Kampala Bill that led to the creation of the post of the Executive Director and a ceremonial mayor were basically targeting both Democratic Party(DP) and Buganda kingdom. A small Buganda kingdom whose borders are being redrawn everyday will end up being ‘nothing’ as in nothing but Mirima’s future ‘Bismarck’ has not yet seen this. He is not talking about it so much but instead wants us to cooperate with the people creating more kingdoms within Buganda.
Bismark was very careful about avoiding things like two-front wars or getting involved in the Balkans. Bismark was shrewd and cynical, but also had an excellent understanding of what was achievable and what wasn’t. On the other hand, Mirima’s Bismarck,J.B, is neither fighting the central government to get what he wants or arch enemies like Bunyoro who keep poking their noses where they are not needed. J.B would make a great leader of some old party in Uganda whose leaders were always afraid of open ‘wars’.
I must say that Bunyoro should try as much as possible to work with Buganda to achieve certain things within Uganda instead of supporting certain ‘Bismarcks’ for reasons best known to themselves.Bunyoro should stop encouraging the Baluli and Banyara to break away from Buganda kingdom. There is no need for Bunyoro to keep fighting Buganda yet we are originally the same people. Buganda was once part of Bunyoro Kitala kingdom. Kabalega was a great leader but his successors seem not be as competent as he was yet they like talking about Bismarck whose successors (people like Caprivi and Holstein) were competent.
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba