Mar 17, 2010

UGANDA BURNING/‘Nga kitalo!’: Kasubi Royal Tombs AFLAME--anti-Government sentiment rampant

Kasubi Tombs burning (Joseph Kiggundu / Daily Monitor)


Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II and Nnabagereka

¨...dangerous developments that are now unfolding in the traditional kingdom of Buganda. Uganda is divided into several such traditional kingdoms, with the kingdom of Buganda being nominally headed by a traditional king (known as a Kabaka) and his cabinet. Their positions have cultural significance, but under Uganda’s constitution they hold no political power. Nevertheless, the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, is widely revered and respected among the Baganda. Tensions between the Kabaka and Museveni have been building ever since the Ugandan government blocked the Kabaka from visiting the disputed Kayunga district just outside of Kampala last September
Map of Uganda, with the Buganda kingdom shown in green and Lake Victoria in Blue.


¨Yesternight, the Masiiro, (my apologies, Baganda, if I am getting that wrong!), the Kasubi Royal Tombs caught fire. New Vision puts the age of those revered grass thatched houses as close to 140 years. And, far as I could see, this is a part which had staid frozen in time.

Apparently, it is more than a tourist attraction.
It was, or is a shrine. And, from what I hear, some of the important cultural things were saved. And, that that was one of the reasons why the fire trucks were kept away.

Arson is suspected. Of course. Personally, I don’t think the venerable huts could have passed any fire inspection- BUT, what am I to offer such sacrilegious observations??? After all, they have survived 138 Years.

The government is suspected.

Early morning, into the palace grounds flow Baganda youths. All crying, something priceless has been lost. Soldiers, and more soldiers too.
Did I mention that the days greetings was ‘Nga kitalo!’ Traditionally, it is for a death in the family, on the village. But, who says what. A week of mourning has been declared by the Katikiro, the Kingdom’s premier. To them, to the Baganda, it was that serious.

Now, here comes the President. From a different tribal group. In conflict with the Baganda over various issues, a long running chronic ulcer that is seeping his support.

Someone advised him to visit the Kasubi Royal Tombs.

What?! HERE


¨Most of the news on the fm stations is about what happened last night. The TVs. Even the government station cant miss the big story.
The burning of the Royal Tombs. The grief of the Baganda tribal group. The outpouring of anger and anti-government sentiment...HERE


¨Who doesn’t know that he is the president? And, who doesn’t know that despite the fear of the man, the angry traditionalists would be hurling insults at the president? It was their day of moaning. The King’s Tombs had been burnt down. They suspected the government. And, the personification of the government came….

So, seven lives lost. To bullet wounds. Which only the security forces had. The guns.

And, you could have watched the difference. When the President visited, and when the Kabaka visited. The mass adulation, the joy, the mobbing of the vehicles.
The very people who had been chased away, some killed in live fire from police and army, were the ones who were welcoming their leader with joy.

No evidence of chaos. No evidence of rowdiness. Of course, the police and army were not there! They were only present for the protection of the president…¨ ...HERE

About the Kabaka

¨Kabaka is the head of the Ganda nation and Baganda look to him for cultural, political, and spiritual guidance. Indeed, most of Ganda cultural practices and norms can be traced to utterances or orders of the Kabaka. Only one person may be referred to as Kabaka at any one time - once a Kabaka is deceased, he is referred to a Ssekabaka.

As Ssabataka, Kabaka is the unprejudiced leader of all Baganda clans and their heads (abataka). The office of Kabaka is not hereditary but only a prince of Buganda (mulangira) can become Kabaka, the highest priority being given to the sons of the passing Kabaka. Kabaka, in his official role, does not belong to a clan, the way other Baganda do. However, the prince occupying the office of Kabaka is still a member of the Balangira (princes and princesses) clan and belongs to a mutuba in that clan. Furthermore, Ganda culture strongly ties Kabaka to his mother's clan and he generally relates to it as a son, giving them special privileges above other clans. Indeed, Kabaka does not marry from his mother's clan (okuzira) because many Baganda view him as a de facto member of that clan. This enables a natural rotation of the opportunity to produce the next Kabaka from one clan to another over time, probably the best explanation of the strong love Baganda have for Kabaka.¨ ...HERE

·Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin, sidebar
·Thanks to Jim Burroway
·Thanks to Joseph Kiggundu, Daily Monitor
·Thanks to The New York Times, sidebar
·Thanks to Ganda Ancestry

TAKE ACTION: The ANGLICAN UN, United Nations, HUMAN RIGHTS Observer, Mrs Hellen Grace Wangusa from Uganda, has an office and staff provided by the Episcopal Church (USA) at the Church Center 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017. The direct office line is (001) 212-716- 6263 and the email address

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