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A nationalist. That is what President Museveni called Katikkiro Jehoash Ssibakyalwayo Mayanja-Nkangi.

I believe he says Mayanja-Nkangi was a nationalist, because Mayanja-Nkangi agreed in the mid-80s to join the NRM in its bush war to unite Ugandans. In my opinion, Museveni concludes that this means Mayanja-Nkangi must have been working for a unitary Ugandan government.

Museveni’s is one of my favorite fallacies. The Romans termed it post hoc ergo propter hoc. It followed this, therefore, this caused it. Because Mayanja-Nkangi joined the NRM government, and Museveni defined that government as unitary, therefore, Mayanja-Nkangi preferred a unitary government.

Unitary as opposed to autonomous Buganda.

Mayanja-Nkangi was a member of Kabaka Yekka (KY), which sought Buganda’s autonomy. In fact, he was co-founder of the youth wing of KY.

Later, he led the Conservative Party (CP), believed to be Baganda with KY roots and royalist allegiances, into the 1980 elections. He worked for an essentially unitary government, many people in Uganda did, but only for convenience, because there was no other game in town. But to say Mayanja-Nkangi was for unitary government makes the mind boggle.

It brings me to a recent invitation I got from a coalition based in Europe that seeks to unite groups interested in federalism in Uganda. The leaders were apparently impressed with my views expressed here and wished that I join their brainstorming about how to unite Uganda in federalism. I have never professed Ugandan federalist ambitions here or elsewhere. So, I was baffled.

In response, I declined the invitation and explained that I write my column for BugandaWatch because of BW’s theme in favor of all things Baganda and Buganda. After all, I am a Muganda born in Buganda before the British imposed temporary capitulation by Buganda on October 9, 1962, which some call “independence.”

I grew up listening to my parents complain about this. Therefore, I have difficulty understanding what some refer to as an “independent Uganda.” The borders are clear, but borders are arbitrary and with little, if any, meaning.

Consider, for example, if I am not mistaken, Aggrey Awori’s father and his father’s brother. They reportedly inherited their father’s estate which included land. The white man’s border runs down the middle of the land. One piece falls where the white man calls Kenya, and the other where he calls Uganda. Awori, very depressingly to me, has relatives in two separate countries and may need a visa to visit relatives in the other country.

I qualify as a true Muganda because I can show you where my father lies, tell you that I rise from the luggya of Kyaali at Kinywa, that I am of the mutuba of Mbidde Ekaawa in the ssiga of Muwonge, that I am of the Ngabi Clan. Our kkabbiro is Jjerengesa, with an anthem: Kalikutanda ne Kakutwaala mu b’Engabi Ensambaganyi, which makes me a legitimate servant of Ssaabasajja Kabaka. And, therefore, Ssaabasajja Awangaale!

I find it difficult to settle terms with one who cannot recite for me the essentials of his ancestry. Our parents attempted this mode of conduct of affairs, and the product was the May 24, 1966 massacre of Baganda by Uganda armed forces.

Do not get me wrong; I have nothing against unity. But the one with whom you hatch omukago (blood brotherhood) must be one who understands the essence of omukago. The May 24th 1966 Massacre is but the tip of an iceberg slowly drifting in the Baganda’s direction—our enemies will not rest until our kingdom is decimated, and their motive, to call a spade a spade, is our land.

Therefore, I do not wish to invest time and resources in themes with nothing to do with the preservation of Baganda and Buganda. My time here is very limited and meager are my resources.

I am the son of Filikisi Lubega Muwonge who lies at Kasaala in the Buddu County of Buganda. He and Zaabeeti Nnaabakooza of the Nte Clan, whose kkabbiro is Ngaali, named me Yozefu when they baptized me on May 1st, the feast day of Joseph the Worker. They are the third generation of converts to Christianity in Buganda.

I am Yozefu Muyomba because my father wanted to honor (okubbula) his favorite uncle who bore the two names. And I am Yiga, my clan name, because in our house, the House of Kitatta Muntu, Yiga is the acolyte to Lubega the priest. You see, true Baganda are not random about anything.

I had never heard of anyone named Ssibakyalwayo until Mayanja-Nkangi departed for the great yonder earlier this month. I doubt very much that Jehoash Ssibakyalwayo Mayanja-Nkangi was the type of Ugandan “nationalist” that Museveni thought him to be.

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  • I am tickled if not aroused by the reference to “our enemies” and their alleged agenda of not “calling a spade a spade” until “our Kingdom is decimated”!

    In fact, it deepens beyond levels of civility. Indeed, I am tempted, if not lured, to say their alleged modus operandi, if true, and i have no reason to believe otherwise, would tend to incite the group of people that identify with the us in the “our”!

    Allow me to ask what is otherwise not so obvious a reality arising from this expose. What inspires their unsworn commitment? I refer to it as “unsworn” because I have seen no evidence to the contrary. That however is not conclusive in and of itself. I digressed!

    What really, is the genesis of what I, on the basis of what you eloquently articulated, can only characterize as hate? If memory and all literary expose on the subject serve me well, Baganda are most welcoming. Indeed, and as I recall back to several decades ago, I never saw and don’t remember ever witnessing a less than courteous and gratuitous environment when it came to people outside our blood relatives.

    Our father and mother made certain that those who came to labor from points far and near, were respected, accommodated and treated like kin. In fact, they were baptised Luganda names and inculcated as it were.

    So I ask, when and how did we and or our forefathers, commit that grievous or mortal sin on the basis of which, there now appears to be a justifiable commitment to decimate Buganda?

    What is the essentials of their ancestry? I pose the question because somewhere in what I am reacting to, you state in very categorical terms that you cannot or rather, find it difficult to settle terms with someone who cannot recite the essentials of their ancestry.

    Does this, therefore, mean that we should expect no amicable resolution of issues arising from the objective to “decimate” Buganda? Isn’t that a very frightening reality if indeed, your premise and the conclusion therefrom, are as valid as valid can ever be?

    Ssabasajja Awangaale!

  • Kibbuka

    Thank you so much for this piece. We truly need people like you- who are unapologetically Baganda- in this very dark hour, not only to draw strength and persevere; but also to educate some of us who are lacking in knowledge due to not having taught by the people who should have taught us, coupled with being born and raised under occupation of our Nation by Rwandese invaders.