By Sylvia N. Kirabira
The Kabaka is the most beloved leader amongst the Baganda, and and this has remained Kabaka Mutebi’s reign since 1993 after his installation onto the Naggalabi where this important ceremony is performed.
During my early school days in a Primary School, he as Ssabataka visited people in Ntebettebe, Bweyogerere attracting huge crowds. School-going pupils in areas of Bweyogerere, Kireka, Kamuli and the neighboring places didn’t attend school that day. And this love has not changed to date “kubanga okwagala Kabaka kituli mu musaayi.”
In 1999 during his wedding to Maama Nabagereka, my then Sub county now Nakawa division slaughtered a total of 300 cows to be served to his subjects. I can’t tell how many were slaughtered in other areas.
This unmatched love is an asset which officials in Buganda administration should use to bring a Muganda President who will help to further advance the kingdom’s aspirations.
To me and over time, Mengo seems to believe that by getting a Muganda president it affects the position of the Kabaka. Britain our Colonial master is said to have copied from us the system of Upper Lukiiko, they realized it was good to apply in their country. I think it is time for to also Buganda copy from Britain where they have the Queen as traditional leader but still the prime minister who is like the president. Buganda aspirations can best be pushed by a Muganda President backed during elections by the Kingfom.
The kingdom should rethink again and be of importance to its subjects and not only stop at organizing good ceremonies but need to realise that the times have changed to match the speed of people’s reasoning to avoid becoming irrelevant. Let’s maintain our good norms but abandon what does not add on us (Baganda)_ “KEZAALA KEKOMBERERA”
Open debates about issues that affect the Kingdom should also not be suppressed under blackmail. Due to advancement in technology, the use of social media and other communication means has given room to people to freely express themselves, some without thinking critically; there is also lack of guidance from adults to the young generation, the rotting morals of our society, many young people who have raised themselves on Kampala streets.
Media to some extent has degraded our morals to the extent of insulting even those in leadership and our beloved Kabaka has not been spared. Though many times there’s a failure to distinguish between someone raising pertinent issues in the Kingdom, or having a different opinion on matters like it has happened to me in the past, I’m wrongly branded a stubborn person because of my frank expression of opinion.
There is a mentality within some leaders at Mengo that we should not comment on misgoings within the kingdom. Maybe our grannies could afford that. But from what I heard, at one time Katikkiro Kawalya Kaggwa was attacked by Baganda for what they thought was a mis-representation from him in the UK. But then they lacked the other means of expression.
Many Baganda are disappointed without anyone coming to their rescue, something that has caused despair. Baganda are known to be cool people. The times when everyone had enough to eat. Their children would go to good schools. When their coffee had a market, there was medicine in Mulago & other hospitals. What is happening today, a few who have enriched themselves at the expense of others are demanding calmness from the other Baganda languishing in poverty. Do we have fairness done to others?
During the 1962 campaign when the late Ben Kiwanuka stood on Democratic Party (DP) ticket, there was Kabaka Yekka (KY) which ended up forming an alliance with UPC for Obote 1 hence winning the elections.
Ben Kiwanuka was crucified for having not respected the Kabaka then, it could have been a mistake on his side. Buganda supported Obote and voted him into power.
It’s since that time that politicians in Buganda never wish to differ on any matter with Mengo even in times when their guidance would have saved the Kingdom’s name. It’s either they keep quiet or just cheer up whatever is happening, forgetting that this is their home and once things are messed up at home even where you know things can’t work out for you. However, those who come from outside Buganda realise its capacity in bringing and maintaining people in power.
By creation, Baganda, are cool unless provoked. And they always waited for instructions from the palace to take on anyone. The whites took advantage of their nature.
Through the reagents during Kabaka Chwa’s reign as a young king, Sir Apollo Kaggwa and his colleagues who felt less for Buganda were used to weaken the institution. Moreover no Muganda at that time would question anything or was even able to follow through on plans of the whites.
The whites then allowed the chiefs to award themselves big chunks of land. Two, it’s during this period that the Olukiiko lw’Abataka was rendered useless.
Apollo Kaggwa worked with the whites to see this happening having thought he could even become a king as the Kabaka who then was so young, not knowing what to do. The Bataka seemed to have made Apollo Kaggwa feel unconformable. He would say “Kabaka asiimye” for which he even brought on himself the title of “Kabaka ow’ebweru” and the ordinary Baganda could not raise their voice on any matter.
The Author is a Student of History and Political Education and a Former Lukiiko Member.
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