Friday, 5 September 2014


Tuesday, 29 September 2009 19:08

Was there an agreement between rebel leader Yoweri Museveni and Buganda monarchists in the bushes of Luwero as the two fought Milton Obote’s UPC regime in 1981-85?

Rebel Leader Museveni tours some of the liberated areas.   

President Museveni rejects the existence of any such agreement.
When we triumphed in 1986, the subject of restoring the traditional leaders started coming up. Even in the bush, opportunists like the late Kayiira started bringing it up. In the bush, however, especially during the Kikunyu conference of 1982, the NRM openly rejected Kayiira’s position of talking about monarchies. We said that we were fighting for the freedom of Ugandans; once the Ugandans had got their freedom they would decide on what to do. That was our position. Our major points were captured in the 10-Points Programme.
Therefore, those liars who say that we committed ourselves to monarchism in the bush should be disregarded,รข€ Museveni told the country in his national address after the recent riots across Buganda protesting the blocking of the Kabaka from visiting Kayunga.
Yet many Baganda, especially elders who were part of Yusuf Lule’s Uganda Freedom Fighters (UFF) that merged with Yoweri Museveni’s Popular Resistance Army (PRA) to form National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) insist there were agreements. And that there was not just one meeting at Kikunyu; there was a meeting in Matugga, one in Nairobi, one in London and another in Tripoli, Libya.
By just talking about the Kikunyu meeting, Museveni is being diversionary because that meeting was with Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM) of Kayiira not UFF. Let him tell the country about what he agreed with UFF, one of those familiar with the agreements said, adding that the 10-Point programme was actually a 12-Point programme and that some things were left out of the public document because of sensitivity on how the rest of the country would take it.
Be that as it may, nearly everyone who was either party to the UFF-PRA agreements or is privy to the contents of the agreements is so scared and cautious that they only reveal minimum information.
One of them, a senior NRM leader was so terrified and broke down in tears when we asked him about the agreements and what exactly transpired in those early years of the war.
My colleagues are dead. Do you want me dead too? Please let’s not talk about those agreements now. I have written down everything; my children will publish it when I die, he told The Independent with tears streaming on his cheeks.

Kabaka Mutebi 

Even one of Yusuf Lule’s sons, Wasswa Lule, is also guarded about the agreements. Wasswa often travelled with his father and was also privy to what transpired in the London meeting between then Prince Ronald Mutebi (now the Kabaka of Buganda) and Museveni at Yusuf Lule’s residence in London. This is the meeting President Museveni referred to in his speech after the recent riots. But when Wasswa was asked about details of the agreement between NRM and the Buganda fighting groups in Luwero, he remained guarded with his words.
The Buganda-Museveni bush war agreements seem to be at the centre of the current bad blood between the two former allies. President Museveni, according to Buganda, broke the agreements having only gone half-way and this is possibly the reason they are unwilling to seriously engage him in talks to reach any further agreements. On the other hand, for two years Museveni has frantically worked the phone to get the Kabaka’s ear. He knows that without Buganda, his grip on power is tenuous. Buganda, arguably, helped him ascend and remain in power for 23 years. He needs it to stay in power and win the 2011 elections.
The Independent has not yet managed to get a copy of the UFF/PRA/UFM agreements but has established that copies exist and some of the former UFF operatives and fighters are still alive, including some members of the UFF High Command but all are too scared to reveal anything, let alone talking about the bush war. The late Ahmed Seguya, the first NRA commader was from UFF.
Wasswa Lule came close to revealing anything. He said Museveni and the late Lule agreed on restoring Kabaka and a kingdom with administrative powers. This would imply that Museveni and Lule agreed on restoration of Buganda Kingdom to its federal status of 1966 before Obote abolished the kingdoms.
He however refused to say whether the agreement was verbal or written.
The people of Buganda did not contract with NRM in the bush for the restoration of a traditional leader as restored, a cultural leader, an Aga Khan, a paramount chief, a traditional chief or village chief. And the 1993 Constitutional Amendment Statute is considered to have been merely a dress rehearsal for greater things to come. We have never sought for a constitutional cultural head whose existence does not require constitutional recognition. That’s all I can say for now, Wasswa said.

Museveni's NRC members in Mubende in 1984
Seated front row: L-RD. Kibirango Apuuli, Moses Kigongo, Kahinda Otafiire. Standing: Prince Jjuko, Abbey Mukwaya and Fr Seguya.

When reminded that the Kabaka has been restored and is recognized under the constitution, he retorted. Do you think Lule would sit to discuss obwa Kabaka bwomulujja (a household monarch)? Nobody in their own senses would do that. Kayunga is in Buganda but the Kabaka cannot go there. He can go here or there. What type of Kabaka is that? Lule would not discuss restoration of such a Kabaka.
When pressed harder, Wasswa said he would say more at an appropriate time because the struggle is gradual.
The existence of the controversial agreement is also alluded to by a bush war historical Sam Njuba, now MP for Kyaddondo North. He talked of a meeting in Libya during the bush war time. He says this meeting involved various people such as Godfrey Binaisa, Balaki Kirya, the late Andrew Kayiira, Lt. Gen. Moses Ali and others but there was no specific delegation for Buganda nor did they discuss anything particular for Buganda. He says the meeting discussed general issues of a united national front which was to be launched in London. However he added that although there was no specific discussion on Buganda issues, it was generally agreed that the struggle was for correcting mistakes of the past regimes and restoring the constitutional order of 1966.
By 1966 Buganda kingdom was a federal state with the Kabaka as the head. 

Museveni Poses for a group photograph with Buganda Clan leaders at state House Entebbe in 1986.

Njuba could not comment authoritatively on whether in the subsequent meetings in Luwero, Museveni and Lule made an agreement on restoration of the Buganda monarchy. He said he was not part of those meetings but contended that the Baganda groups in Luwero were strong monarchists and they couldn’t have entered an agreement with Museveni that did not involve restoration of federo and the monarchy.
Njuba’s hypothesis was confirmed by an NRA/M bush war historical Hajji Abdul Nadduli, the former Luwero LC-V chairman. Nadduli told The Independent that there was a meeting and an agreement between NRM and Buganda fighting groups in regard to the restoration of the monarchy and federo
He said all the Buganda fighting groups, be that of Lule or Kayiira wanted restoration of Buganda kingdom and federo. It did not matter which group. Nadduli said that in September 1982, NRA/M and the Uganda Freedom Movement met for a whole week at Kikunyu in Makulubita sub-county, Luwero, and agreed on the restoration of the monarchy.  He said they also agreed that after the war they would sit and discuss federo, the kingship and the like.  He said it was even incorporated into the 10-Point Programme (the NRM’s bush war working document).
He said that there was general agreement that upon capturing power, they would redress errors of the past regimes. He said that under this principle, they agreed on the restoration of the abolished kingdoms, return of their properties and the entity [monarch].  He said this was not only for Buganda but all the affected regions of Uganda which had kingdoms as of 1966.
What does Nadduli say about President Museveni’s statement that NRM never agreed with Buganda to restore the monarchy?

President Okello Lutwa and Museveni exchange agreement documents at the conclusion of the Nairobi peace talks in 1985. Looking on right is Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi. 

Then how did the Kabaka come to the bush during the ceasefire between NRA/M and Okello Lutwa group?  He asks, adding the Kabaka toured Luwero, Mubende, Mpigi, Masaka up to Katonga.
Nadduli is the only person who was involved in the Kikunyu meeting who said there is a written agreement between the NRM and UFM. President Museveni has maintained that issues of the monarchy and federo came up in several meetings in the bush but there was no written agreement on the subjects. He said he never committed himself on restoring federo nor the kingship. But Nadduli equates Museveni’s statements to Apostle Simon Peter’s denial of Jesus in the Bible on the day he was crucified.
That’s a Peter’s denial. Do you think when Peter denied that he had ever known Jesus, he was telling the truth? We wrote something on the things we agreed on at Kikunyu. It’s there. Ask the people who were there like [Moses] Kigongo. They have a copy, Nadduli said.
Hajji Moses Kigongo declined to discuss anything about the agreements with The Independent.
Another UFF veteran who spoke on condition of anonymity said that in the bush, the catchword was Kabaka ya tutumye (we are the king’s agents) and Col. Kasirye-Ggwanga and other Baganda rebel officers went on every peasant’s door telling them this and asking for their support; food or concealment from government troops.
Why Museveni allied with Buganda

                                                                   Olara Otunnu

The story of Museveni’s war against Obote II seems to be littered with broken promises, suspicion and betrayal. According to information available to The Independent, Museveni was forced to make alliance with Buganda fighting groups after he found the ground hostile to him, and after he had inexplicably broken an alliance with Uganda National Liberation Front “ Anti-Dictatorship (UNLF-AD) forces.
According to our source, before the launch of the bush war on February 6, 1981 Museveni’s PRA was suspposed to attack Kabamba barracks in Mubende with forces of UNLF-AD led by Augustine Kayonga and Chefe Ali which had set up bases in the Rwenzori Mountains. The UNLF-AD Kayonga’s group had been tasked with making all the reconnaissance and attack plans which they shared with Museveni’s PRA, through its commander Sam Magara. Magara and Kayonga had been classmates at Dar es Salaam University and enjoyed good rapport.
On the agreed date, Kayonga brought his forces from the mountains 24 hours before striking time to the rendezvous (tactical base). They were 55 men armed with 15 guns and an RPG which had been given to them by Magara. Hungry and tired, Kayonga’s force waited for Museveni’s group to make contact but they never did. They waited another two days. They lost hope and decided to withdraw to their mountain bases feeling demoralized and betrayed.
Two days after their withdrawal on February 6, Museveni attacked Kabamba, which was a training school, with 40 men armed with 27 guns. The attack was however messed up because Elly Tumwine, who was then a Lieutenant in the national army UNLA, panicked and shot a UNLA sentry who was manning the Quarter Guard, alerting the entire barracks. In the result, a Tanzania instructor who was polishing his shoes in front of his house jumped into the armoury. He started firing from inside and made it impossible for the advancing rebels to break into the armoury. The Tanzanian instructor threw a grenade at the advancing rebels and wounded their commander. The Museveni rebels gave up on the armoury but managed to grab a few guns and supplies in the barracks using their inside collaborators.
Both Augustine Kayonga, who is now a lawyer based in Fort Portal, and Prof. Edward Rugumayo  who together with Prof. Dan Nabudere were the political leaders of UNLF-AD  confirmed the aborted joint attack on Kabamba.
We were surprised when PRA did not turn up. We thought their commander Sam Magara had got green light from Museveni but it seems there was something we did not know, Kayonga told The Independent, adding that his group felt betrayed
They thought that we should not get a boost and that our presence in the Rwenzori or that of any other fighting group was a threat to their quest to get power. He [Museveni] never forgave Magara for giving us an RPG, he concluded.
Interestingly, this incident has never been acknowledged in NRM’s version of history of the war against Obote II; not even in President Museveni’s book, Sowing the Mustard Seed.
Can Buganda trust Museveni?
With this background of alleged broken promises, betrayed trust and unacknowledged roles, analysts think it will be difficult for President Museveni to weave another credible and sustainable political alliance with any group especially Buganda. This, they say, explains Buganda’s reluctance to enter any further agreement with Museveni. 

17 years on, Kabaka Mutebi still has unfinished business
Publish Date: Jul 30, 2010

By John Semakula
TODAY Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II celebrates 17 years since his coronation. Mutebi, the son of Sir Edward Walugembe Mutesa II the first President of Uganda, is the 36th King of Buganda. He was crowned on July 31, 1993 at Naggalabi in Wakiso district.
Mutesa II died in exile in the United Kingdom in 1969 following his narrow escape when the army stormed his palace in 1966.
Before he died, Mutesa chose Mutebi to be his heir. Mutebi was therefore brought up in accordance to the kiganda culture for a prince being prepared for the throne.
Soon after Mutesa's death, Mutebi was proclaimed the heir in 1969 and by doing that, he had become a king outside his kingdom until July 31, 1993 when he was installed.
While in UK, Mutebi attended King's Mead School in Sussex and Bradfield College before he joined Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read law.
Mutebi was born in 1955 at Bulange Mengo and his mother was the late Sarah Nalule Kisosonkole who died in the early 70s.
In 1971, Mutesa's body was returned to Uganda and Mutebi performed the traditional rites as the heir.
Mutebi lived in exile from 1966 when his father was exiled to 1986 when President Yoweri Museveni came to power. He had supported Museveni's five-year guerilla war by encouraging Baganda to join it.
From the early 1980s, the Kabaka played a significant role of mobilizing his subjects to join the 1980-1986 liberation struggle.
Hajji Abdul Nadduli, a former NRA bush war fighter told Saturday Vision that Museveni and Mutebi reached an agreement and the latter visited the war zones in districts of Luwero, Mityana, Mubende and others.
When the Baganda heard that the Kabaka was at the war zones, many of them joined the struggle, he said.
Nadduli said Museveni and Mutebi agreed on several issues, among them, restoration of traditional leaders, before he accepted to visit the war zone.
Since 1993, the Baganda have witnessed several memorable events like the royal wedding on August 27, 1999. The Baganda celebrated when the Kabaka walked down the aisle with Lady Sylvia Nagginda Luswata.
Two years later, the couple was blessed with a daughter Princess Sarah Katrina Ssangalyambogo.
Buganda spokesman Charles Peter Mayiga says the Kabaka's biggest achievement has been to unite Baganda. He has also made achievements in education and health.
Mayiga said that the Kabaka and the Nabagereka have spearheaded a campaign for the promotion of maternal health and immunization in the Kingdom.
There was a time when people had refused to take their children for immunization, but when the Kabaka encouraged them and they responded in big numbers.
Unlike in the early years of his tenure when he enjoyed warm relations with President Yoweri Museveni, the Kabaka's biggest challenge is how to address the strained relations with the central government.
Last September the Government stopped the Kabaka from visiting Kayunga, citing security reasons. This sparked off massive riots in Buganda. Subsequently Museveni disclosed that the Kabaka had repeatedly refused to take his calls for years. He was disappointed that after his government restored Buganda Kingdom, the kingdom was undermining him.
A meeting was organised at State House Entebbe during which the two leaders held behind-the-scenes talks and shook hands.
Nevertheless, Mengo and the central government still have areas of disagreement. Unless such issues are sorted out, Mayiga asserts, the problems that made the Baganda to support Museveni's guerilla war in the early 1980s would not have been resolved.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Kabaka is not contented with being simply a cultural leader with no political powers. Mengo has been demanding for a federal system in which the region gets a semi-autonomous government headed by the Kabaka.
The regional government would control a significant percentage of the taxes collected within their area of jurisdiction and take charge of social services.
The central government, however, argues that in modern democracy, an unelected person should not have political powers. Mengo and the central government had reached an agreement in 2005 where the kingdom had settled for the regional tier system of governance, but later Mengo changed.
Mayiga said that Buganda had a right to change its stand on regional tier.
He added: For years we pushed for our interests, but in vain. Our strategy now is to support people who will push for the kingdom's interests, Mayiga said.
Buganda is also demanding for the kingdom properties that are still in the hands of the government. Among them is the land occupied by many of the county and sub-county headquarters in central Uganda.
They also want the government to pay rent for some of its properties that are being used by the central government.
In an interview with the Saturday Vision, government's spokesperson, Hon. Kabakumba Masiko said the central government is committed to responding to Buganda's demands, but through negotiations.
Kabakumba said that government has pledged to pay Buganda the money it owes the kingdom in rent. We also gave traditional leaders, including the Kabaka, sh5m monthly, but we do not know why it is not collected.
But Kabakumba said that the central government had found it hard to give Buganda the kind of federalism the Kingdom is agitating for in the existing situation. Buganda should settle for the regional tier; we had talks with the Katikiro and we agreed on regional tier, but they changed their stand. Regional tier is still on and we pray that they accept it.
Some officials of the Buganda government have resigned their positions to join politics, arguing they will push for the interests of the kingdom at all levels. They include former Katikiro Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere and former spokesperson Medard Lubega Segona.
There are also many other youth royal to the King who are contesting in the forth coming elections.
What's not clear is whether Buganda will raise a big number of leaders at all levels who will push for its interests in the next five years.
If that is not achieved that the challenge will be for Buganda to accept what is being offered by the NRM government and continue advocating for more or remain hesitant and antagonistic until a new government assumes power.
Mutebi tours Butambala
KABAKA Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II on Thursday kicked off his coronation celebrations with a two-day tour to Butambala County in Butambala district.
The tour started at Kyabadaza in Budde sub-county, where he was received by hundreds of enthusiastic Baganda clad in gomesi and other traditional gabs.
On his way to Butambala the Kabaka had a stop over at Nakirebe in Mawokota. A group of Baganda youth clad in the backcloth were drumming and dancing besides the road. They had also planted banana suckers along the road.
His convoy drove through queues of enthusiastic people who followed it to the the ceremony venue.
The main function takes place today at Butambala county headquarters.
Accompanied by his Katikiro, Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi, Mutebi was received in Butambala by his county chief Twaha Rwanyaga, Education Minister Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, the LC5 chairman Godfrey Bavekuno and the area MPs.
During the tour, he visited several prominent farmers, schools and met students and their teachers.
He commissioned a three classroom block at Kibibi Muslim Secondary School in Kibibi Budinse Memorial School.
The Kabaka said he was happy with the farmers he visited because they showed that they could fight poverty. He challenged his other subjects in to engage in farming.
Yesterday, the Kabaka commissioned a trade show at Butambala county headquarters before attending Juma prayers in Kalamba.
He will also visit Kitimbwa Health Center where he will engage in the immunization of children as a gesture of encouraging his subjects to take their children for immunization against the six killer diseases.
Kabaka Mutebi was installed to the throne in 1993 at Nagalabi in Wakiso District, 24 years after he was pronounced heir of his late father Sir Edward Mutesa II.   
Buganda kings since 1300 AD  
Kato Kintu Early 14 century
Ccwa I Mid 14th century
Kimera 1374 -1404
Ttembo 1404 - 1434
Kiggala 1434 - 1464 and 1484-1494
Kiyimba 1464 - 1484
Kayima 1494 -1524
Nakibinge 1524 - 1554
(No Kabaka) 1554-.1555)
Mulondo 1555 - 1564
Jjemba 1564 - 1584
Ssuuna I 1584 - 1614
Ssekamaanya 1614 - 1634
Kimbugwe 1634 - 1644
Katerega 1644 - 1674
Mutebi I 1674 - 1680
Jjuuko 1680 - 1690
Kayemba 1690 - 1704
Tebandeke 1704 - 1724
Ndawula 1724 - 1734
Kagulu 1734 - 1736
Kikulwe 1736 - 1738
Mawanda 1738 - 1740
Mwanga I 1740 - 1741
Namugala 1741 - 1750
Kyabagu 1750 - 1780
Jjunju 1780 - 1797
Semakookiro 1797 - 1814
Kamanya 1814 - 1832
Ssuna 1832 - 1856
Mutesa I 1856 - 1884
Mwanga II 1884 - 1888 and 1889 - 1897
Kiweewa 1888 - 1888
Kaleema 1888 - 1889
Ccwa II 1897 - 1939
Mutesa II 1939 - 1969
(No Kabaka) 1969 - 1993
Mutebi 1993

1 comment:

  1. Your informative article should be made into a book, so that more people can acquaint themselves with other Ugandan patriots that are slowly being forgotten. To the few patriots that are alive and in power today we have paid reparations through our noses and there is no end in sight in spite of the unimaginable wealth they have gained by managing the national resource. Thank you. Ugandans have never understood the basis of trust, which should be the accurate judgement of a man's character.