1/8 The language that was used by the colonial administrators in relation to the Kabaka of Buganda, in this case Kabaka Mutesa II was “interview”, “summon the Kabaka and educate him”, “bring the Kabaka to his senses”, “acceptance of decisions of future co-operation”, “if he refuses to comply”, “in the interview I shall require the Kabaka”….etc. All those are quotations from a memorandum by the British Colonial secretary, Oliver Lyttelton around the 1953 crisis which as you very well know culminated in the Kabaka being shut out of Buganda.
2/8 Alternatively, let us look back at some years earlier at the situation of Kabaka Mutesa II’s grandfather, Kabaka Mwanga, following the events of 24 Jan 1892 when a Catholic shot and killed a Protestant at Mengo, all in self-defence. Kabaka Mwanga (himself a Catholic) tried the culprit and duly acquitted him. Capt. Lugard demanded that the catholic be handed to him for trial and execution. Kabaka Mwanga rightly deemed that to be an infringement on his authority and he refused Lugard’s orders. Lugard immediately issued rifles to Protestants, deployed his Sudanese troops with two Maxim guns and by the time the “negotiation” dust settled, the Kabaka with his Catholic followers were out of Mengo, on to Bulingugwe Island at the mouth of Murchison Bay, where they were flushed out, running on to Bukoba. Buganda negotiators! What negotiation was that? Of course you know how Kabaka Muwanga’s reign eventually ended in 1897. Negotiation?
3/8: Bottom line, there was no question of negotiation! For anyone to think otherwise is to be deluded, and is to harbour false loyalty to Buganda; and an impression of non-existent glory. That cannot help us, you and I, to grow up.
4/8 Am also not aware that Buganda affairs were addressed in the British Foreign Office and not Colonial Office , particularly because it was not the case. The fact is that, the affairs of Buganda were formally passed on to the Colonial Office in 1902, and not because they were up to that time in the hands of the Foreign Office, but because they were in the hands of the War Office: Buganda was still being ‘pacified’.
5/8 The 1900 agreement that set the terms of the relations between Buganda and Britain clearly states under Article 3, that, Buganda “shall rank as a Province of equal rank with any other provices into which the Protectorate shall be divided” In other words, Buganda was a province (just like Karamoja) and not a country to be related with through the Foreign Office.
6/8 In fact the 1953 crisis was precipitated by Kabaka Mutesa’s (deluded) insistence that Buganda should be moved from the colonial office to the Foreign office, and immediately granted independence. If it was “for quite a long time” as you are saying under the Foreign Office, then what was the Kabaka demanding for?
7/8 I am sure Buganda historians have heard about the letter that Kabaka Mutesa wrote on 6th August 1953 in reaction to the Colonial Secretary’s mention of the possibility of an East Africa Federation. In that letter, Kabaka Mutesa made three demands, namely, that, there would never be a federation of East African territories, second, that Buganda affairs be transferred to the Foreign Office from the Colonial Office, third, that Buganda be given independence. That was a violation of Article 6 of the 1900 “agreement” (really 1900 Undertaking by Buganda to be good boys!)….see the ‘agreement’ at this link: http://www.buganda.com/buga1900..htm.
8/8 Yes, there was a difference between the British Foreign Office and Colonial Office. I am sure Buganda historians also know it now particularly as it relates to Buganda’s history. The difference between those two offices is what caused the 1953 crisis, when Kabaka Mutesa wanted to negotiate, and the other party wanted to interview, give orders, and if necessary, fight it out. Very clearly, Buganda negotiators if there were any, were hapless, hopeless and jobless.