Abataka to Chief Secretary, Government of Uganda, 1921


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 ap proach 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 con sider 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:

Daudi Basudde

Yuda Musoke Kasa

The Secretaries of the Association of Bataka of Buganda .


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. As a muganda a friend of mine asked me if I will ever get a share of the 9,000 square mile land (or whatever figure it is ) that Buganda ifs fighting for, and my answer was a clear no. He also asked me if I will benefit from the taxes collected from this land, my answer was no. Who then will benefit? That is the question.

    As a caveat those who know the history of the Buganda kingdom know it very well that it was brutal to its people to put it lightly in comparison to the present days. Many lost their land, wives and lives. The word of the king was the Law, his regime was a dictatorial regime and no one outside his linage could rise to be king. You could not be richer than the king or have a wife who was more beautiful than his every thing belonged to him he was God. We tend to forget all this as we fancy with the present day kingdom, howbeit those in control would prefer to return to the times when they could rule the land.

    Poor peasant who knows their names? No one.

    If they don’t pay their dues, they will surely lose their land, if the king had his way they will surely lose it too that’s if it was fertile land, and it will be given to one of the present day lawyers or his confidants.

    Nobody wants to celebrate the darker side of the moon although it doesn’t mean its not there. Well all hope to see the full and bright light of our Kingdom, but the ghosts of the past will fight for there place in the sky.

    For God and My Country,

    Eddie. MD

  2. This is what I don’t understand in regards to Buganda land issues, and the Bakopi… Years ago a relative recounted how in the 60’s he went to Buganda Land Board to inquire how he could purchase land only to be asked “Oli Mwana Wani”…

    And that same attitude continues to this day in Buganda, even sadly among some Baganda in the diaspora who feel they are “holier than thou” among fellow Baganda – more Mulangila-ish.

    But again what are the circumstances leading to such behavior. There are countless stories of None Baganda “Land Grabbing”, and fake immigration of so-called Balalo…and perhaps the Kabaka’s Wise Men see this as a strategy to “Fight and take back the Ebyaffe” since peasants are weak and poor and therefore would be more prone to the forces of Transnational Land Acquisitions going on.

    However, as a “Mukopi”, I still feel relactant to shed tears…nange silina wenfunilamu!

    Kato Mivule

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