The cardinal principle of federo & the Buganda question


Mamdan’s analysis is correct about the openness Buganda has for other tribes; Regrettably, Baganda have paid the price as all central governments have abused this openness. This has accelerated the demand for federalism. In fact, other Ugandan tribes like the Banyoro might have observed how Bafuruki and central governments abuse openness and decided to resist.
The opposition to such abuse its inherent dictatorship is what anti-Baganda deliberately misinterprets as tribalism. How can we be labelled tribalist when, according to Mamdan, we accommodate the most varied collection of tribes? The demonization of Baganda is due to their opposition against totalitarianism (Mamdan); as I pointed out sometime ago, Baganda have time immemorial resisted dictatorship. Just note how we once in a while squabble with our Katikkiro; Mamadan too mentions the resistance of Bataka (Bataka Bbu) against colonial interference.
It is the fear opposition among Baganda that the NRM is breaking up Buganda by recognising Bafuruki such as the Banyara and Baluuli in Buganda as traditional entities worth Kingdoms. In some ingenious way, the Baluuli and Banyara are being used: they think they are being helped to fight Buganda for their self-actualisation, when they are in reality accomplishes in a drive towards totalitarianism. Ultimately, Baluuli and Banyara will realize that things were after all better under Buganda as they will too be forgotten and discarded as non entities. Furthermore, the anti-Buganda crusade hopes and plans that a large collection of Balaalo will also one day claim a Kingdom within Buganda – so, many Balaalo are being re-settled in Buganda. The question of land rights for peasants seen in this light gives rights to Bafuruki ONLY in Buganda. Can you imagine a little Kingdom of the Bafuruki in Bunyoro, similar to that of the Banyara and Baluuli in Buganda? Double standards indeed!
The second abuse is cryptic behind urbanisation; that, urban centres belong to every Ugandan citizen (Mamdan). So the central govt. is expanding and taking over the administration of Kampala. Again, people deliberately miss the point that, Buganda allowed and allows Bafuruki to settle, and Kampala became what it is partly because of this openness to other tribes. It is a contradiction to democracy that, it is only Kampala, and in Buganda (where there is amicable co-existence of tribes) in the whole of Uganda where the govt. wants direct control. It is Baganda openness, firstly abused, and then transformed into totalitarian manipulation, where the president appoints the Mayor. Elsewhere, the govt is creating districts ostensibly upon its decentralisation policy.
I agree with Mamdan, Buganda can provide lessons to Uganda; one such lesson is national unity. It is mainly in Buganda where different nations (who the colonialists dubbed tribes, according to Mamdan) amicably co-exist.
Indeed, the belief that Baganda can be used and subsequently thrown away like garbage is because Baganda are accepting – what Mamdan left out is that, Baganda have learnt and are resisting even more. The resistence against totalitarianism in Buganda has a long history that precedes Uganda. It is for self-actualisation and for a federal state that will once again be able to accommodate diversity without coercion.

Johnnie Muwanga-Zake


About ekitibwakyabuganda

Ba Ssebo ne ba Nyabo, Twebaza Abaganda bonna abulumulirwa Obuganda . Era twebaza ne mikwano gya Buganda gyonna wonna wegiri munsi yonna. Omukutu guno gwatandikibwawo nga e’kigendererwa kwe kuyigiriza abantu ebintu ebikwatagana no’Buganda era nokuwanyisiganya ebilowozo nebanaffe abatali Baganda. Abaganda ne mikwano gya Buganda mukozese omukisa guno muwereze ebirowozo byamwe no’bubaka bwona obunaagasa Abaganda na’baana Buganda berizala mu maaso eyo. Obumu ku bubaka obuwerezebwa ku mukutu guno bugyibwa mukuwanyisiganya ebirowozo okubera kumukutu gwa Ugandan’s at Heart (UAH) Forum ogwatandikibwawo Mwami Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba. Era twebaza muzukulu wa Kintu ne Nnambi ono olw’omulimu gwakoledde bana Uganda bonna abali e’bunayira mungeri yo kubagatta mu byempuliziganya no’kutumbula okukolaganira awamu.

2 responses »

  1. Zaake must be having serious ulcers by now.
    Go to the bush if ure man enough. when we fought running battles for your kabaka, you were no where to be seen yet many of your kind continue saying the common phrase “woligwa wendigwa”
    i bet you dont have a voters card yet you wish to effect change. idle talk will not help buganda but action and inteligence will send this important kingdom to the highest level.

  2. From the article: “Politics in Uganda: the Buganda Question,” by “Hopkins, T. found in Castagino and Jeffrey Butler A.A. Castagno (editors) “Boston University Papers on Africa,” Praeger, New York, 1967.

    “Among these tensions one in particular has decisively shaped the country’s politics, the tension between the Baganda and other peoples of Uganda. Politically, the tension takes the form of the Buganda question, the dimensions and ramifications of which are many but the core of which can simply be stated: what place should Buganda, its ruler the Kabaka, and its people the Baganda occupy in the emerging national society? It has not been an easy question for Ugandans to answer. To many Baganda, they are an elite people, endowed with a superior culture, superior economic wealth, and superior political traditions. To those among them who have thought about the matter at all, it was until fairly recently almost inconceivable that they should not provide the leadership of the new state. To many non-Baganda such claims have appeared pretentious, the wealth not wholly deserved, and the traditions a liability. While valuing much that Buganda had attained, particularly the relative well-being of its people and its political success during the colonial period, the others have been no more prepared to put up with Buganda overrule than with British overrule.

    “The Buganda question and its organizing role in Uganda politics form the principal subject matter of this essay. It is for such a young country, an old problem, for its roots lie in actions taken at the very beginning of the colonial period. Only in the 1950s, however, when the nationalist movement was getting underway and Ugandans began to concern themselves with how the new state should be organized, did it come sharply into focus. But at that point it rapidly devolved into the overriding problem for the country, and it retained that position throughout both the period immediately proceeding independence and the first four years of nationhood, from 1962 to 1966, the period this essay is mainly concerned.” (Hopkins, Terence K. 1967: 251).

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