May be i can help to cure people’s delusion about all this business of Abataka and SSabataka. Let me chip in.
With the signing of the 1900 agreement and the creation of the mainly protestant landed gentry, the Bataka lost all their estates. Many had to dig up the bones of their ancestors as they were evicted by the new landlords. Those evictions were effected by Bahima, as some people would want to tell us. As you say, if it was not for the Busulu and Nvujjo law of 1928, the parasitism of the Johnstonian landed gentry was going to cause events similar to what France witnessed in 1789.
The heat was already on even in 1945-49, but AB Cohen helped Kabaka Mutesa II by deporting him. That crystallised some sympathy from the same people that were already beginning to express disgust with Mmengo. In many ways, the recent land act is the icing on the cake of the Busulu & Envujjo law of 1928: helps to clam down the restless former owners of Buganda land that were disinherited by the 1900 Agreement.
That whole business of some people claiming that they will defend their oppressors is a typical case of false consciouness: njagala omwami wange kubanga ankuba…Stockholm syndrome.
In any case, one of the UAH members called ,Mr Micheal Senyonjo, has titled land in Ruharo Ward in Mbarara. Which Bahima have evicted him? Is it because Harry Johnston declined to create landlords in Nkore and elsewhere? I am assuming that we are talking about the Mr Senyonjo who was Baptised at St James Cathedral at Ruharo, as Michael Wilson Ishenyonzo, brought up by his Munyankore grandmother in that area, attended Mbarara Public School, and whose father is actually a Rwandan from Kyazanga, in Masaka….talk of weeping more that the bereaved.
Anyhow, let Mr Senyonjo and others in his category read the letter below of the grievances of the real Bataka that were robbed by those who are today pretending to be custodians of Buganda cultural heritage. Let Mr Senyonjo show us how Kabaka Chwa responded to that petition, and I will show you an incurable Mukopi.
6 May 1921.
Abataka to Chief Secretary, Government of Uganda
We have humbly addressed to you this letter while emploring you to kindly consider that is embodied therein and which have made us approach His Excellency the Governor, and which runs thus:
We have eventually realized that a considerable length of time has been taken in our country of Buganda Kingdom, since the Abataka brought up their complaints for the re-acquisition of their Butaka lands: notwithstanding the fact that they have put up their rightful claims to the auth ority of our Buganda Government which should do justice, nothing is yet done for them because of the reason that those who are expected to arbitrate are the ones who unlawfully acquired their fellowmen’s butaka lands by reason of the 1900 agreement: which provided that each one should survey his own estates which he held in possession. Having realized our rights as the lineage sons of the Bataka in Buganda ; who pre served our country from long ago on the system of butaka land tenure, have to be recognized as well as our ancestors.
We, some of the Abataka, having discovered that a serious mistake was made in this matter, and are of the opinion that unless we try to put it to an end, it will ruin our kingdom, therefore humbly pray you to grant what we are asking you in this petition – which is that, ‘We have formed an association with the aim of preserving our Butaka estates in Buganda and is known as Ekibiina ky’ Abaganda Abataka’ (The Association of Baganda Ancestors or Bataka); and the following are the chief aims of its formation:
1. To start the reorganization of Butaka estates that existed before the advent to this country of His Majesty’s Government of England ;
2. To give ,back all butaka estate’s to the original proprietors in accordance with our native customs;
3. To preserve and to see that each one gets his original butaka estate and the British Government ratifies and preserve same;
4. To recognize all’clan institutions that existed in the country and their relative duties to our Kabaka and for each clan to have a repre sentative who airs her interests in the central legislature as we used to do in the olden times.
This association declares to be loyal to all good laws and to serve George V and all his successors as all other countries are directed to do in the Empire of His Majesty George V.
We humbly pray to the British Government to sympathetically consider the petition of the Abataka of Buganda , because of the grave error committed in our nation of Buganda and referred to above. We further humbly state that we realize that it will be difficult for our country to progress as is planned and promised by Government (unless the above error is remedied).
We have come to realize that the foundation of our country based on 1900 (agreement) tends to develop a smaller section of the country where as the larger section is on the contrary discontented and petitioning about the “preservation of the good customs of Buganda: we visualize the difficulty in the way of progress by Government without the support of the Abataka who form the nation of Buganda. Without the Bataka, there is not Buganda . We assume and hope, Sir, that you will agree to grant what we ask you in this letter and to receive and entertain whatever we shall submit to you for consideration and to sympathize with our case, as without such assistance, we feel we shall not endure and win what we are aiming at; we have formed this association not because of planning a rapid progress, .hut solely to have a pr6per foundation laid upon which progress, may be based. The agreement to send up this petition has been reached at the time when the chief signatories to the 1900 agreement are still alive because after their departure, it will be most difficult for the younger generation to come to settlement of such historical affairs now in dispute.
We earnestly pray soliciting your sympathy for any of our petitions and for your excused in having appended our signatories on matters of such an important nature as these.
We are, Sir, Your humble servants:
Yuda Musoke Kasa
The Secretaries of the Association of Bataka of Buganda .
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick