On 30th Nov 1953, when the Governor Sir Andrew Cohen sermoned Sir Edward Muteesa to Government House in Entebbe, after Sir Edward refused to budge from the numerous threats made towards him, Sir Cohen handed him the deportation order. Without looking at it, Sir Edward passed it over to his Katikkiro, Owek. Paulo Kavuma, and kept on staring at the Governor. He (Sir Edward) just calmly asked them, “Does this mean that I am under arrest?” The Governor hissed out, “Yes”. Two white constables then walked in to take away the Kabaka. He then allowed them to walk him out of the office. Upon reaching outside, his deputy ADC, Robert Ntambi (RIP) being concerned over the safety of his Kabaka asked him, “Ssebo, nkube?”, meaning “Sir, should I shoot the bastards?” Sir Edward being the Royal and British trained military personnel he was, replied calmly with wisdom and guidance, “Tokuba, baleke” meaning “Just let the poor souls be!”
Please note that Sir Edward himself was armed with a revolver which he later handed over to the accompanying British officer in the aeroplane when they were already airborne, and could have done a Terrance Hill to those two poor souls, but he couldn’t kill an innocent man. And lo, some Baganda bashers and haters spew lies on the UAH forum of how Sir Edward killed innocent Banyoro in Karuguza, my foot!
Sir Edward was not only a British trained military officer, but was an instructor himself in the Grenadier Guards. As you might guess, British Army is not some taka taka African army where some officer might be made an instructor simply because of some top connections. Sir Edward was worthy his pips and medals and so, had to make the right decision at the right time after weighing a situation that deserves a split of a second action.
Sir Edward though still a minor, had the advantage of receiving lectures from his father; the late Sir Daudi Ccwa II. It was not just by chance that he was made the 35th Kabaka of Buganda. The British had tried to do the same to Sir Daudi Ccwa II, himself also a trained British Officer, but he was much wiser for them also. This Cohen Plan “B” was to be executed in the beginning of November 1939 (Note the coincidence of the month of November) by the then Governor, Sir Philip Mitchell, but due to the failing health of the Ssabasajja, the British thought it unwise in Military Strategic terms, to appear to be antagonising a sickly man (equivalent of shooting a defenceless man in the back). They instead banked on ‘terrorizing’ the next of kin. Unfortunately for them, the next of kin was even more tough a nut to crack than Sir Daudi Ccwa II.
When I told some Ugandans on the UAH forum that Sir Edward’s resistance to the British gave a booster shot in the arm of the Mau Mau, they could not comprehend that history. You see, sometimes we just cannot write the whole thing down here on the forum
Sir Edward was buried temporarily in London’s Wellington Barracks before finally his remains being returned to his kingdom in 1971 by Idi Amin. It was not a matter of fundraising a ticket for the remains, but rather the fear by Obote (of even a dead man) that his leadership could be shaken if Sir Edward’s remains were to be returned to Uganda at that moment. In fact, this is part of the ingredients for stage managing the Lugogo shoot-out.
You must give credit to President Museveni and not Obote’s son, for allowing Obote’s remains to be returned to Uganda, unlike the former’s refusal or putting in place impossible conditions to be fulfilled for the return of Sir Edward’s remains in 1969. If Hon. Akena said so but president Museveni refused, would Obote’s remains be in Akokoro as of today? And you are lucky that it was October 2005 with the next elections scheduled in Feb 2006. Man, get your political maths well in this saga. When Amin granted the return of Sir Edward’s remains in March 1971, there were no elections around the corner, for the next promised elections were to be in 1976, five years away!
Sir Edward Muteesa tomb lays inside a magnificient mausoleum of centuries old architecture. It is neither ‘beaten’ by rain nor ‘burnt’ by sunshine. It is not for all to touch and desecrate (okusaatukirako) That is the difference between Royalty and Commonership.