Category CULTURE


From Uganda's telephone directory, 1977

From Uganda’s telephone directory, 1977

By John Nazareth – Mississauga, ON

The Gomesi or Busuuti (as the dress is alternatively known) is the defacto national dress of Uganda. It is an elegant and colourful floor-length dress. However, up to now anyone who peruses through the web for the origins of the dress would be unclear as to when it was designed – dates vary between 1905 and the 1940s – and who exactly designed it other than it was a man called Gomes. When Ella and John Gomes asked me to write an article about the Gomesi and the part played by their father, Caetano Milagres Gomes (CM), I thought that it was all quite straightforward. Instead, it turned out to be a detective story and the process of finding out turned out to be quite exciting. So come and journey with me.

When was it designed and by whom?

The story starts out with the birth of Gayaza High School[1] in 1905 and Miss Alfreda Allen, the Headmistress asking a tailor, Mr. Gomes to design a uniform for her girls.

Reading through an article based on an interview with CM Gomes[2], he appeared to be unclear about whether it was he or his elder brother Anton Gloria Gomes (AG), both of whom were working together, who designed the dress. CM recalled that it was his elder brother AG who talked to Miss Allen as AG was already stitching uniforms for Gayaza when CM first came to Kampala to join his brother in 1908. But in that same interview his memory gave indirect clues as to when and how the dress came to be.

So the earliest that the Gomesi could have been designed was in 1905 as that was when Gayaza High School opened. However, Gayaza first used the “suuka”[3] [4] made of bark-cloth as a school dress in 1905. Furthermore AG Gomes first came to Uganda from Goa India in 1905 as well, and would have just started his tailoring business, so it is unlikely that it was designed then. Sometime between 1905 and 1908 Ms Allen approached AG Gomes to make a “suuka” of cotton as it was more durable. The next phase came to resolve the problem of the “suuka” unraveling when the students were doing manual work, so Miss Allen sought a better design to preserve the modesty of the pupils[5]. AG did that by adding a yoke to the design[6].

In the interview[7] with CM Gomes, he recalled clearly that the Gomesi did not become popular with the masses until the wife of Kabaka Daudi Chwa II wore it for the Kabaka’s coronation – and it was he that had stitched her dress. That the Kabaka’s future wife, Irene Drusilla Namaganda, came to Gomes to stitch her dress was not as surprising as it may seem. According to Cox et al “… and when the Kabaka was looking for a wife, it was to Gayaza that he came …”[8] As a former student of Gayaza, Miss Namaganda would have known the Gomes brothers well.

The Gomesi has some aspects of Victorian/Edwardian dresses (those puffed sleeves) and some aspects of the sari that Gomes was familiar with from his homeland – Goa, India. A sash was also added around the waist to accentuate the feminine figure. The embellishment of the original school uniform would only make sense – if the Kabaka’s queen was going to use it, CM wanted something special.

Kabaka Chwa’s coronation took place in 1914 and hence it is this year that should be honoured as the birth-year of the Gomesi/ Busuuti.

The Names – Gomesi/Busuuti

The name Gomesi is obviously associated with the name of its designer, Mr. Gomes. Originally the dress used to be called Teitei Gomesi[9] – the Gomes dress (“teitei” being the Swahili word for dress or gown). Over time people dropped “teitei” and Gomesi it was.

The name “Bodingi” has also been used[10], a name that probably came from the fact that Gayaza was a Boarding School. This name was likely more associated with the school uniform than the fully matured Gomesi dress design, but it is still occasionally used.

The origins of the associate name “Busuuti” (or as is sometimes heard, “Basuti”) is a story in itself. To speculate on the name “Busuuti”, “suuti” could easily be a borrowed equivalent of “suit”. Bantu languages will often add an “i” at the end of the borrowed word, e.g. in Swahili → askari, [motor] car – “gari”. And just as “Bu” in front of the root word “Ganda” denotes the place of the Ganda people, (and similarly with Bugisu, Busoga etc..) “Busuuti” may have originally designated the “home of this [special] suit” – the Gomes’ tailor shop. After some time of calling the Gomes’ store Busuuti, the name may have passed on to the suit-dress itself. Alternatively, the term “Basuti” could have designated the women who used this special suit. In time the term may have passed on to the dress. There is still scope for more digging here.

Is the Gomesi/Busuuti Truly Ugandan?

Was the Gomesi designed by a foreigner? If you know the Gomeses, they were close to their customers who were British, Asians and Africans. The history of the Goan people[11] is that they have been a multicultural community for a thousand years – and that is why Goans fitted so well with the society in Uganda. Like many Indian peoples who lived in Uganda prior to the 1972 Expulsion, the Gomeses became Ugandans. 1972 was a heartbreak for the Gomeses, not because they lost property, but because they lost home (Uganda) and so many [African] friends.

Politics aside, the Busuuti’s design had many influences including British and Indian. However, the base design started with the suuka and CM must have had some inputs from the Kabaka’s future queen. The two brothers may have exchanged ideas about the design, but CM would have had the greatest influence as he finally stitched it. Culture is not static – British culture was formulated by numerous peoples that invaded it. Likewise Uganda took many influences at the time. Perhaps a large cross-section of Ugandans embraced the Gomesi because of the many influences that came together to create the unique design within its borders and so it became one of the icons of a new nation.

So the design of the dress came about because history brought together the Gomes brothers, Miss Allen and Miss Namaganda – and CM Gomes had the honour of stitching that first dress. It is possible that designed evolved further after 1914.

The Gomes Brothers and Their Descendants

A short history of the Gomes’ Tailors shop – AG Gomes came to Uganda in 1905 and started a tailoring business in the corner of a store in the district of Mengo. In 1908, after CM Gomes joined his brother, a store was opened under the sign-board “A.G. Gomes & Brother”[12]. AG Gomes died in 1928, leaving the business and his three children in the care of his brother CM Gomes. AG’s wife also died suddenly, three months after her husband. During the Second World War the Gomes shop stitched uniforms for the resident British soldiers. Gayaza’s uniforms were all stitched at the store for many years. In 1918, the store moved to Kampala Road opposite the Uganda Herald office. The final location was on Kampala Road opposite the Kampala Institute. After two robberies at the store, the business closed down in the late 1960’s.

CM Gomes sailed on a dhow from Goa, India across the Indian Ocean to Mombasa. From there he took the train to Kisumu on Lake Victoria. From Kisumu he travelled on a boat (slightly larger than a canoe) across Lake Victoria to Port Bell in Uganda. From there he travelled, with very little luggage, on a rickshaw to central Kampala. As an attachment to the old country, he carried in a bag on his back a large clock, which hung on his wall for decades.

CM Gomes had five children. Among them, Roger was probably the best known because he was an accomplished Field Hockey player, playing for the illustrious Sikh Union (later Simba Union), representing Uganda between 1954 and 1971, and being a Sports Anchor on UTV. As National Executive Secretary, he was instrumental in the organizational process of getting the Uganda team a place in the 1972 Olympics. As a professional trainer at Kyambogo Teachers’ Training College (now Kyambogo University), he organized the training camp that resulted in the selection of the team and was its trainer until R.S. Gentle took on the position of coach. CM’s daughter Ella also represented Uganda in Women’s Field Hockey.

In 1972 during the Expulsion of Asians from Uganda, CM Gomes and his children Marcella and Mathew (now deceased), Roger and Ella (and later his son John) moved to Toronto, Canada to join his daughter Julie who had married John D’Sa and moved there a few years earlier. CM’s wife Anna had died in Kampala in 1955. CM Gomes died in Toronto in 1981. Besides his six children, he had six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Canada.

AG Gomes and his wife Felecidade had 3 children Joseph, Placido and Antoinette – all of whom have passed away. He has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren that live across the United Kingdom, Kenya and the USA.

The Gomes family members were very proud and honoured at hearing that a postage stamp had been issued in Uganda in December 2007 to celebrate the “Gomesi”.

A personal note

I am grateful to Ella, John, Julie and Roger Gomes who shared all their memorabilia and notes on their father with me. It meant so much to me to reconnect with Uganda as I have always considered part of myself as African Ugandan.

John H. R. Nazareth

Mississauga, Canada

April 2010


[1] Gayaza High School was formed as a boarding school for girls by Anglican lay missionaries. As a coincidence, my wife Cynthia attended Gayaza in the late 1960s and through the research for this article I was both able to find for her a copy of the history of her school and get her in touch with one of her favourite former teachers, Miss Sheelagh Warren.

[2] A short interview by the Uganda Argus with Mr. CM Gomes in December 1967.

[3] “Gayaza High School – The First Ninety Years” – Edited by Joan Cox, Brenda Richards and Sheelagh Warren.

[4] Also, interesting letter by Mr. S. J. Luyimbazi-Zake’s letter to Uganda Argus in December 1967.

[5] Ibid Fooftnote 3.

[6] According to Ella Gomes, this is what her father told her.

[7] Ibid Footnote 2 plus recollections from Ella and John Gomes.

[8] Ibid Footnote 3.

[9] CM Gomes’ eldest son Roger remembers this well.

[10] Ibid Footnote 4.

[11] “Of umbrellas, goddesses & dreams – Essays on Goan Culture and Society” – Professor of Anthropology, Robert Newman, formerly of Latrobe University, Australia.

[12] It was formally established several years later in 1918 – see letterhead.


The African immigrant has been acclaimed as the most educated in the U.S., but we appear uneducated in our actions when compared to other immigrant groups. No doubt, there are individual accomplishments, but what is it that the African Diaspora can point to as its collective achievement in America? We are more interested in our ethnic and village groups, not even our countries as we observe attempts at national organizations always devolve back to ethnic bickering. Hence our failure to organize ourselves in the mode of the Jewish, Asian or Latino groups, who have used their collective power to bring pressure to bear on those who make decisions concerning their areas and concerns.

Last year, for example, when President Obama invited African Heads of State for a Summit in Washington, DC, some of us believed that it was an opportune time for these Presidents/Prime Ministers to meet with their most important constituency. The African Diaspora contribute about $80 billion annually to the African economy, resulting in the resilience of the continent’s incredible impressive economic growth rate. But what ended up happening: they not only disappointed the African Diaspora but they met as usual organizations such as the Corporate Council on Africa, an organization run by Caucasians. But were the Presidents to blame – well not really. And why, because the African community was not and still not organized. We have all kinds of ineffective African organizations headed by individuals who are more treated in promoting themselves.

Corruption in Uganda, as it is in other African countries, derives, in part, from the failure of post-independence institutions to adequately constrain the State and hence, those who serve in it. Until and unless the country is provided with institutional arrangements that adequately constrain state custodians (i.e., political elites and civil servants), corruption, in all its manifestations, will remain a pervasive part of political economy in the country.

As I have said before on UAH and elsewhere, leadership is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good governance. Sufficiency requires laws and institutions that adequately constrain the State (and hence, those who serve in it. This is the essence of the rule of law). The first step of the new president after Museveni, should be to form a government of national unity(GNU), and use that GNU to spearhead the country’s institutional reconstruction.


Greetings from Acholi!

As we wallow in the heat of the driest period in the north, words on the ground has learnt that, Kabaka; The Mpolongoma of Buganda is said to have re/appointed individuals abroad to represent his Kingdom’s interest. This is a good move; one that should be emulated by all chiefs in the country. The problem i have with the Kabaka’s appointments or appointees is that they are all Baganda. I feel this is wrong; because, it does not foster unity and does not bode well with well-wishers such as myself and those who feel Ugandan, whilst abroad. I would like to see the Kabaka and the rest of the chiefs as champion of unity and should do so by example. By appointing only Baganda to further the interest of the Kingdom abroad, does not reflect the right image of a modern monarch, which i regard the Kabaka to be.

Considering that a man of George Okello’s standing and influence, happens to be the only Ugandan in the Philippines, and the Kabaka needed some one on the ground, the Kabaka and the Kingdom’s interest not served in the area, simply bcos G.Okello is a non Muganda and therefore cannot be appointed as a rep. This is a step backward.

With having representatives around the world, one could argue that the Kabaka is laying foundation for Buganda’s development, even perhaps, a step towards federalism. But one of the ultimate goals of federalism, beside improved services and bringing power and rights closer to the people, it is to foster unity in diversity. The appointments therefore, does not cater for that key pillar of federalism.Such appointment would simply alienate “others” from, rather than make them feel part of a great Kingdom. Currently in Uganda there are people from other tribes who know the Buganda culture more than their own.

Take R. Mao for instance. No one will suggest anywhere that he is not Muganda enough, for he grew up in Buganda and within the culture. He epitomises the new generation who have embraced fully other cultures beside their own. These are the sort of people who will feel the alienation more if left out from such appointments.

My call is to those close to Kabaka to try and represent the Kingdom and monarch as modern, and one that thrives by embracing, rather than pushing others away. I suggest the Mpologoma’s advisers go back to the drawing board and work out how best the Kingdom’s interest, image and perception can be improved ahead of federalism taking root. One of them certainly, is inclusion.

Akim Odong via the UAH forum

Desire Luzinda’s photos taught youths about Kiganda culture of visiting Senga.

Desire Luzinda

Desire Luzinda

We all love culture. In Buganda a woman will not be considered fully grown, ready for marriage until she has leaned lessons from senga. And Desire Luzinda sends a lear message that girls must learn our culture like she did.Therefore there is a good side in her revelations.Banyoro have their version of Senga which is built around songs of the Orunyege and amakondeere. The girls sing sexy songs partnered around traditional/ cultural Orunyege and amakondeere melodies. They are very melodious.

These cultures are dying because people like Rev Lakodo, the minister, ignorantly term them criminal pornography. As a reverend he is very ignorant about these things. Indeed, he will die without ever knowing the sweetness in them

In fact the Rev Minister is an enemy of Ugandan culture. Also an enemy of nature. God created these things to be enjoyed by the human race. But the Minister has incriminated them.

These Banyoro songs were taught by Banyoro iswenkazi(sengas) at very confidential locations, like Baganda take their girls at secretive bush(okukyalira ensiko) to be taught in the art of sex so that they can please their husbands. From what Desrie posted on the internet, she must have learned the art very well. Hence her song EKITONE nina AMAKULA.

The Banyoro iswenkazi train our girls in the art of marriage which Rev Minister calls criminal pornography. Perhaps Rev Joseph Kamugisha can prevail upon Rev Likodo to allow genuine training of our girls in the art of sexual performance and he does not brand it pornography.

Indeed, even my book, THE REVOLUTION OF UGANDA’S SEX STYLES CANNOT PRODUCE THE EXACT TERMINOLOGIES AND ILLUSTRATIONS I had originally intended to publish for the training of our people.

So, briefly, Banyoro have their version of senga, known as iswenkazi, and ours is melodious and arouses men instantly. Thesedays Banyoro girls have learnned to do what Desire Luzinda did. So, congratulations to Desire Luzinda for being courageous enough to tell the youth that Kiganda culture is worth living.

The day Rev Likodo will lift the description of iswenkazi’s job as criminal we shall record and sell vedeos of iswenkazis bedroom songos

Henry Ford Mirima
Kibuli, Kampala

Roots of ethnic conflict and Museveni’s intentional poverty

A case study of Buganda kingdom
By Lubega N (Economic Anthropology Analyst)

Dear Mr. President
The roots of ethnic differentiation therefore are potentially, of ethnic conflict. These conflicts can be economic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or racial. Why do ethnic differences often lead to conflict and violence? The causes include a sense of injustice because of resource distribution, economic and /or political competition, and reaction to discrimination, prejudice, and other expressions of threatened or devalued identity (Ryan 1990, p XXVII).

Today most of my references will dwell so much on Buganda as my case study because am Ignorant about other stake holders of Uganda like Acholi extra, but am not ignorant about what is happening inside my kingdom. This is because; Buganda kingdom is the only kingdom on earth which has kept a non written constitution for over 600 years. That’s why scholars who study human beings like me we usually logically say “Values are more much important than laws in creation of harmony in the society” Discrimination .

This refers to policies and practices that harm a group and its members. Discrimination may be de facto (practiced, but not legally sanctioned).Example of this is the harsher treatment that the baganda tend to get from the public service commission entitled for government human resource recruitment, police and the judicial systems. When Hon. Kyanjo requested the Army to regional balance the top UPDF officers because of the 95% dominance of army officers from your region, you just poisoned him. You constitute an investigation committee on the lord mayor where by, the minister who has ordered the investigation to take place is Tumwebaze, the Judge himself is from the same region, and all the lawyers are from your region where you come from. Remember, ‘’that is the only valued position for this group from the whole political governance”.

Besides that, you are promoting discrimination to disintegrate Buganda by overpowering a few counties to treat themselves as an independent sect from Buganda Kingdom. Recently you called Kamuswaga of Kooki and even issued over 7 billion Ug shillings arguing that it’s for their regional development program. However, you should know that

More than 100 years ago, Kooki signed an agreement a special relationship that dates as far back as 1704 existed between Kooki and Buganda. During that year (1704), two princes from Bunyoro conquered part of Kiziba chiefdom. The elder prince Bwohe sent his young brother to inform the Omukama of Bunyoro about the achievement, but the messenger was killed by an incensed Omukama. Bwohe, who had now established his influence over the area, changed allegiance from Bunyoro to Buganda for protection without any forced assimilation.

Mr. President you are now behaving like the colonialists who came with an agenda of dividing the communities and creating hatred. Your ultimate goal is to weaken [Buganda] kingdom,

You should also know that now 28 years in power, (Buganda kingdom inclusive of Kooki county) have been on your neck to pay the over 20 billion ugs which is an accumulation of office rent by your government in Buganda’s buildings but you have kept a deaf ear…….we are just cached by surprises when your donations target specific sects and persons (inside Buganda) instead of Buganda as an Institution.

Mr. President, in our discipline we say, Institutional discrimination means programs, policies, and institutional arrangements that deny equal rights and opportunities to, or differentially harm members of a particular group. This form of discrimination is less personal and intentional than attitudinal discrimination is. Eg new land laws targeted to harm Buganda, you destroyed our cash crops and food crops i.e. Matooke and Coffee by introducing pests and diseases, also we will remember you always from blocking our king to visit his people of Kayunga Kyagwe County. You said Sabanyala the cultural leader of ABanyala had warned you that, our king shouldn’t visit his territory because had no permission. Here you denied our king the equal rights vested in the constitution .However, we are always cached by surprises to see that even sabanyala doesn’t request permission, when it comes to his travels to the “little land of Buganda you have demarcated for us.”
Forced assimilation. Mr. President, I would like a gain to inform you that there is a great difference between forced assimilation and assimilation. Buganda kingdom all along has been using the assimilation policy. Forced assimilation aims at destroying the cultures of a certain group forcefully. Some dictators have penalized or banned the language and customs of an ethnic group which has created political unrest .

An example is you who want to ban the Luganda language in schools and replace it with Swahili. The second example is the anti-Basque campaign that the dictator Francisco (1939-1975) waged in Spain. He banned Basque language books, news papers, and imposed fines for using Basque language in schools. His policies led to the formation of a terrorist group in the Basque region. I bet Mr. President if you maintain the speed of your yellow bus to kill Buganda, more terrorist groups will be formed.

Genocide: The most extreme form of anti-ethnic (attitudinal) discrimination is genocide, the deliberate elimination of a group through mass murder. The United Nations defines genocide “as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such” .(Ryan 1990,says prejudicial attitudes(hate)and resulting genocide have been directed against people viewed as “Standing in the way of progress”. Mr. President, we wouldn’t like to witness a generation of genocide. You have been always standing in our way of progress. All the above roots of ethnic conflict especially on us may result into a genocide but fueled by you Mr. President .I know your top officers didn’t tell you about what happened on ground during the Kayunga Saga in 2009.What happened is that many people from your region were beaten by angry youth who had made road blocks, many people from your region residing from Buganda closed shops, restuarnts and other businesses in fear of what had happened to their colleagues. All these unrest were fueled by you Mr. President because you have an experience and an upper hand of the Rwanda genocide.

Conclusively therefore, this is my final trumpet to you, to save the innocent Ugandans who have lived in peace and Harmony for a number of decades irrespective of their ethnic differences. STOP YOUR POLICY OF DIVIDE AND RULE AND ECONOMIC, POLITICAL INJUSTICES (BWONYIGIRIZA ENNYINDO, OGILEETA OMUSAAYI).

Lessons from a Brother’s Kwanjula for young people

On Saturday last week, a friend of mine invited me to his Kwanjula [Marriage introduction] in Kyebando Kampala. When i received the first text message inviting me for his meeting i was a little surprised. I jokingly asked him whether it was him or his sons who were set for Kwanjula. He has quiet many big boys and girls. However, on a closer look at the message i realized it was him being introduced by his first wife.

The brother has three wives. On Saturday, we converged at Kati Kati and headed to Kyebando for the big do. The function started well, when it came to the introduction of the bride [Husband] he requested to speak a few words, which are the point of my thread. He read four verses from the Koran, which i will paraphrase. He read one from Suratil Rahaman which states that, Is there a better reward for a person who has done good other being rewarded with Good. He explained that he got his mugoole back in 1986, when she was just 16 years.

They did Nikah because back them they didn’t have money for kwanjula, and that is why they were doing it now. He explained that some people tried to talk him out of this saying it was a waste of money. But his answer was one, if the money will go to waste because i have spent it on my wife, i don’t care so be it.

Isn’t there something for young couples to learn from this? He read another verse, where Allah says “And give glad tidings to the patient”. He explained that his wife has been patient for all these years and therefore it was time for her to enjoy the fruits of her patience. He read another verse, where Allah tells believers not to forget their share in the World. Wala Tanisa Naswibakum…… He said it was for this reason that he was doing the Kwanjula for his wife to enjoy just like many other women are doing.

He also recited a hadith in which, the prophet said, whoever doesn’t thank Allah finds it difficult to thank humans. He therefore thanked his wife for standing up with him through thick and thin, which has brought them a long way. My point here is lets do the right thing first. With patience and prayers we shall always get what we want in life. Don’t turn away brothers because they are currently unable to Kwanjula or pay the Mahar of UGX 5M.

P.O BOX 2488 Mbale- Uganda
Mobile +2560752 /772 609736

Uganda is not ready for proposed burial policy

If ever there was an alien cultural practice being sneaked into Uganda, this policy is a stark evidence of it.Africans -nay, black Africans – are too attached to the departed relatives to see them off in such a programmed, casual manner.

If Museveni wants employees to balance personal family commitment and work responsibilities, he needs to work with Unions, Parliament and other stakeholders to come up with Personal Time Off guidelines.

The guidelines would spell out the number of days an employee may take off, and which family members are covered.

In US, forever, we have FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) under which I’m may take up to 12 weeks off to attend to myself (in case I fall sick), my child, spouse, parents, and any other person for whom I’m the main principal source of support.

In Uganda, we hold the same relationship value of extended family as we do of first-line family. That’s why we find it “entirely” acceptable, for example, to find a worker, Tom, taking off a few days to attend the funeral of his father’s sister’s mother-in-law!

This may sound strange to a westerner, but we have to preserve our culture.

Pojim Edward.
UAH member in USA

Museveni is the biggest tribalist and confuser in Uganda

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

The person installing tribal leaders in the Rwenzori region is the biggest tribalist and confuser in Uganda. He is confusing every fool in the region. The other day it was the ”small boy” on hunger strike, now it is mass killing. I think tribal societies are very very primitive and a lot worse than racism. You see them even among the highly educated in Kampala manifesting a sophisticated form of tribalism called ‘nepotistic kakistocracy’ (check your dictionary if u like) – not only through fighting primitive wars but using other syndicates to patronize and propel unqualified people. Some are so openly tribal that the things they do make them look like imbeciles to everyone, yet they do not see it.

In the dark ages in Europe, these idiots often fought each other until one group of ‘barbarians’ totally annihilated the other group of ‘savages’ and so forth it went until a more ‘civilized’ group conquered all of them and urinated sense into their obnoxious grey matter. But modern societies cannot tolerate such nonsense. Everyone should strive to let go of tribes, however tribal a society is.We see this deplorable behavior in our everyday society.

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

People being slaughtered and hacked like Animals, innocent children got and put in a house, a blaze of fire is set in it and burnt into ash in Rwenzururu kingdom

One common thing to mankind is that we never make a choice which mother brings us into the world thus which ethnicity we arr born. We are taught these stereotypes and some take them too far. Unfortunately you see it even in our academic institutions like who becomes the Chancellor, the Dean and comes down to HOD level. So as long us the educated cream is not working hard to uproot such primitive tendencies what about the uneducated led by an educated imbecile with those tendencies. What beats my understanding is that both literates & non illiterates are in the same boat. Where did their humanity go?

In this time and age, tribalism is akin to lunacy. Just need to travel a bit and take in the advancement and development of societies that transcended this vice, to get a better appreciation. Our little tribes as a unit of organization, just do not cut it in this era of modernization, globalization and digitization.We need to deliberately start working on that because we stand to loose the benefits and reason of why we went to school in the first place.


The beautiful 15 year old girl in the picture above was the first black person in an all white school in the South of the US. She was called Dorothy Counts. She shows a face of courage amid hundreds of cowardly faces around her. They bullied and spat on her, supported by their teachers. Such is the confusing history of mankind. I think Barack Obama represents a very strong change in the logic of humanness.Yet we are still highly divided and hateful – in Uganda, its not even about race – it is about tribe

However, some people argue that desegregation was the worst thing to happen to the black community. In the video on the link below, one is persuaded not to view the civil rights era with sentimentality, and admiration. Unwittingly, blacks dug their own grave.

I have also watched the video, and the guy is very correct: the ‘negroes’ as he calls them lost their identity and franchising spirit when they integrated correct – except on one thing: I think the problem was not the integration and desegregation; rather, the problem is the general attitude of black people to work – Lazy, lazy, lazy, all hidden in self-pity about their condition. He gives a very good example of how the Asians took over the business in the French Quarters – this was not an off-shot of dis-segregation.

I think what Africans and black people NEED TO DO is to wake up, lose the self-pity and sloth and be industrious. The other issue is that black communities need to maintain their identity – I for one have no problem with being called a ‘Nigger’ because depending on how u view it, it can be a source of identity, pride and resilience – but black people need to get out of their slumber and should not wait for ‘no competition situations to compete’. Otherwise, thanks for that insightful video

Prince Semei Kakungulu from Obwakamuswaga bwa Kooki is both a colonial collaborator and a nationalist

Prince Semei Lwkairenzi Kakungulu from Obwakamuswaga bwa Kooki is both a colonial collaborator and a nationalist.He was a colonial collaborator because he, Apollo Kaggwa and Andreya Luwandagga captured Kabaka Mwanga ll and Omukama Kabaleega in Lango, on orders of the British.However the trio and others had realized that the British were determined to colonize Buganda, as a result of 1886 and 1890 Anfglo0Gemran Agreement and Berlin Conference of 1884-86. So why do you fight a war you would now win. They managed to ensure that the Buganda nation survived colonialism, 1,000 indigenous people acquired land when else where like Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, land was given to White settlers, etc…

They contributed to the modernization of this country and Kakungulu is remembered for having exported Buganda’s local administration to Eastern Uganda. In the eyes of Muca Encweru, where Kakungulu stopped is where civilization stopped, and had he stepped in Karamoja, the karamajong would not have remained walking naked and rustling cattle.

Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi.

Tooro is likely to suffer more when M7 abolishes the kingdoms!

'Troops search a car outside kabaka's palace in Kampala afer Milton Obote, Uganda's Prime Minister, had ousted the Kabaka as President and sent the Army to arrest hom. But the Kabaka's guard fought stubbornly, enabling their monarch to flee the country.'

‘Troops search a car outside kabaka’s palace in Kampala afer Milton Obote, Uganda’s Prime Minister, had ousted the Kabaka as President and sent the Army to arrest hom. But the Kabaka’s guard fought stubbornly, enabling their monarch to flee the country.’

Towards independence the major political parties were DP and UPC. However, in July 1961 Kabali Masembe moblised some Baganda to welcome their Kabaka on return from attending the independence conference London. These mammoth enthusiastic crowds lined up along the Kampala – Entebbe road chanting Kabaka Yeka (king Only). Shortly after, the slogan ans its fans evolved into a pro-Buganda Kingdom political party named Kabaka Yeka (KY). It is this KY that allied with UPC to defeat the DP in the April 1962 general elections. Five months later on October 1962 Uganda gained independence with UPC’s Milton Obote as the Executive Prime Minister. In late 1963 the Kabaka was Buganda Sir Edward Muteesa was elected by the General Assembly as a ceremonial President of Uganda at the same time he remained the king of Buganda.

The UPC/KY alliance had been a marriage of convenience. By 1964 the alliance had started showing signs of rapture. The central government starved the Buganda kingdom of funds to run its affairs. The matter of funds even went to court but Buganda lost the case. Amidst those squables, the central government organised a refrendum over the three lost counties of Buyaga, Bugangaizi and Buwekula. Buganda kingdom opposed it by moblising 300 armed Baganda ex-service men to go and occupy those areas but Bunyoro retaliated by moblising 2000 men ready for a fight. The refrendum was conducted and the counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi (Kibaale) opted to revert to Bunyoro while Buwekula (Mubende) opted to stay in Buganda. The {resident refused to sign the results of the refrendum but the Prime Minister went ahead and signed it. There was some level of hightened tension in most parts of Buganda kingdom as a result of the outcome of the refrendum. The central government took precautionary security deployments involving the Police. At one time the Buganda Kingdom issued an altimatum for the central government to its police stations from Buganda soil. Among the few signs of bad blood between the couples was an incident where the central government refused the army brass band to play during the President/Kabaka ‘s birthday party.

'Exile portrait of Kabaka, photographed in London. Behind the king's softness, these was a character of steel. It was suggested that he died from drinking. But was he poisoned?'

‘Exile portrait of Kabaka, photographed in London. Behind the king’s softness, these was a character of steel. It was suggested that he died from drinking. But was he poisoned?’

Around the same time the UPC was gaining strength from the members of DP and KY who were crossing the floor to join it. However, the UPC was to suffer some set back arising from the outcome of the Dec1965 delegates conference to elect the party Secretary General. With Obote’s backing Grace Ibingira defeated the incumbent John Kakonge. As Secretarty General and being an Ankole royal, Ibingira sought to ally with the Buganda kingdom and rejuvenate the party in Buganda. He even reached out to prominent DP and KY leaders both in Buganda and other parts of the country who flocked into the UPC. Now that Ibingira had the numbers, he openly showed interest in wrestling the party leadership from Obote at the next delegates conference. Ibingira left for the USA to solicit for support while Obote took along trip to the eastern block (communist) countries.

In the meantime, the security situation in Buganda remained fragile. There had been killing of innocent civillians by the Police in Nakulabye after mistakaning them for Baganda rioters. The President and Kabaka of Buganda had made attempt to import arms using a private international company. The deal raised suspicion when it was evident that the arms consignment was to be paid for by Buganda. Around 1965 when the national assembly was debating the security situation in Buganda, Daud Ocheng unsuccessfully tried to move a motion seeking a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister over allegations of Congo gold and ivory smuggling. The motions was defeated. Uganda at the time was supporting pro-communist armed rebels fighting the Mubutu government. Col Iddi Amin the then Deputy Army Commander and the Defence Minister Felix Onama were among the few government officials coordinating the support for congolese. A consignment of arms meant for these rebels had earlier been seized by the Kenya government while on transit from China.

Tension between the central government and Buganda had escalated. UPC Secretary General Grace Ibingira had strengthened alliance with Buganda Kingdom while at the same time his differences with the party chairman Obote had deepened. Grace Ibingira had initiated plans to overthrow the Obote led government by using the security forces. The plotters had enlisted the support of the Army Commander Brig Shaban Opolot and Ibingira’s own BROTHER Major Katabarwa among others to carry out the plan. Brig. Opolot had earlier provided a unit of the army for the Kabaka’s security. This force was part of the wider movement of troops between Jinja and Kampala in what has been described as uncoordinated troop movement. The Prime Minister who has upper hand intelligence had been following these developments unforlding. He had enlisted the support of Col. Iddi Amin to counter any moves by the coup plotters to use Brig Shaban Opolot.

Soon the the plotters schemes was busted amidist widespread rumours that arms were being amassed in the kiing’s PALACE in Lubiri. In a last minute desperate move on 4th February1966 when the General Assembly was debating the Penal Ammendment Bill seeking to curb KY activities in Buganda, Daudi Ocheng resurrected the earlier defeated Congo Gold and Ivory motion. He contended that huge consignments of Gold and Ivory had been looted from the Congo for the benefit of Prime Minister Obote, Defence Minister Felix Onama and the Deputy Army Commander Col Iddi Amin. He sought the suspension of the Deputy Army Commander Col Iddi Amin and a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister Obote. The motion unanimously was passed. Obote who had been away since 1st Feb touring the northern region returned to Kampala on 12th Feb and issued a press release on 13th Feb denying the allegations.

On 22nd Feb the Prime Minister chaired a cabinet meeting in which he declared that he was taking over the powers of the government and five cabinet Ministers were arrested (including Grace Ibingira) over treasonous allegations. They were held without trial under the Preventive Detention Act that Ibingira himself had helped to formulate when he was the Justice Minister. They remained in detention until Iddi Amin overthrew Obote years later. The following day on 23rs Feb the Prime minister relieved the Army Commander Brig Shaban Opolot of his duties and appointed his as a military advisor to cabinet instead he elevated Col. Iddi Amin to the position of Army Commander. Brig Shaban Opolot had got more closer to Buganda having married from the Katikiro Kavuma family. On 24th Feb during a cabinet meeting the Prime Minister suspended the constitution alleging that a military coup was being planned. On 25th February the Prime Ministerset up a commission of inquiry into the allegations of gold and ivory smuggling from the Congo. On the same day the Buganda Kingdom Lukiko (parliament) convened to examine the the actions of the Prime Minister. On 3rs March the Prime Minister issued press release to radio and TV accusing the President and King of Buganda EdwardMutesa of having sought foreign military aid. On 4th Feb the President and King retaliated by publishing the letters he had written to the Prime Minister over the constitutional developments of the recent past. Unfortunately, in one of the letters he had acknowledged that the said foreign military aid was a precautionary measure to secure the country. He had remainded the Prime Minister of how he too had thought foreign military aid without informing the President during the 1964 army mutiny.

On 5th March the Lukiko convened and expressed solidarity with Kind Mutesa’s stand over the current events. It reaffirmed its recognition of Mutesa as the the President of Uganda. On 11th March the Prime Minster issued a press release in the Uganda Argus clarifying that the suspension of the constitution on 24th Feb had accordingly abolished the offices of the President and Vice President. On 12th March the Lukiko convened and resolved to regard the actions of the Prime Minister as unconstitutional and that it was therefore disassociating itself. On 15th March the Lukiko reconvened again and called upon the Prime Minister to restore constitutional order. On 15th March before the National Assembly and amidist hightened security at the parliamentary building a new constitution was introduced. This is what has come to be known as the “pigeon Hall” constitution. Among the highlights of the new constitution was the abolition of federal status for kingdoms. On 16th March the Lukiko reconvened are reaffirmed its earlier stand over those developments. On 18th the Lukiko reconvened again and issued a strong statement against aborogation of the constitution.

On 19th April the Lukiko convened and passed a resolution ordering the central government to vacate Buganda soil by 30th May 1966. This aultimatum fueled further tension as rumours of the Buganda kingdom moblising troops and arms in the palace grew. In the countryside defiant Baganda were digging trenches across the roads, attacking Police stations and trucks carrying military personnel. The government declared a state of imergency over the entire Buganda Kingdom. The government sent members of the Police Special Force to the palace to investigate the said arms but they were severely attacked. This development prompted the central government to dispatch a contingent of the army under the command of Iddi Amin to attack the king’s palace. After a fierce encounter with the King’s guards, the king was overpowered and he escaped and fled into exile. That very day the Prime Minister addressed parliament where he alleged that the Kabaka had declared rebellion by April 12th. The confrontation left immense death and destruction of property. The Kabaka died in exile in London a few years later.

On June 1st 1966, the mover of the controversial Congo Gold motion, Daudi Ocheng died while undergoing treatment at Mulago hospital in Kampala. This was before he could testify before the Congp Gold Commission of inquiry. He had been such a close friend of King Edward Mutesa. In September 1967 the new Republican constitution was promulgated. It made Uganda a republic with Militon Obote as the Executive President. Consequently, kingdoms were abolished in Uganda.

That is the summary of events that sowed the seed of hatred for Obote by the good section of Baganda ethinic group that has been exploited by self seeking Museveni. In the same regard the Baganda overwhelmingly welcomed the Iddi Amin take over from Obote. Throughout his reign, Iddi Amin almost had no trouble with the Baganda as an entity. Even during the war against Iddi Amin, the invading Tanzanian Army had to take caution when dealing with the post Iddi Amin Buganda. Because of Buganda’s historical superiority, it enjoyed special status during colonian and post indeoendence Uganda. Buganda had opposed the colonial design of an east African federation leading to their king being exiled in Britain. It enjoyed full federal status while other kingdoms enjoyed a semi-federal status. While the Kabak of Buganda and the Baganda bore the brunt of the struggle for independence, the rest of the kingdoms were seemingly unbothered. It is Buganda’s clashes with the central government during the 60s that led to the abolition of kingdoms. The rest of the kingdoms were mere victims of circumstance.

Its this historical Buganda strength and hatred for Obote that prompted the architect of the Amin overthrow, Julius Nyerere to send an advance party of scouts in the form of ceremonial presidents Yusul Lule and Binaisa to prepare the ground for Obote’s resumption of the Presidency in 1980. Its the same situation that Museveni exploited in executing his guerrilla campaign. When the going got tougher, he had to give concession to restoration of the Buganda in return for support. He went ahead to arrange for the then Prince Mutebi to visit the liberated zone in the west and reassure the Baganda fighters in the NRA who were reportedly being segregated. Unknown to the Prince, Museveni wanted to use the visit to draw to his side the support of Buganda in view of the fact that the pro-Buganda DP and UFM fighters at the time had joined hands with the Okello military junta in Kampala. Its not that he loves kingdoms but he needed them at different times of his journey to the life presidency. That is why he has never acknowledged that there had ever been such an understanding between him and the Buganda monarch. However, the fact that its the army council sitting in Gulu that endorsed the resolution to restore the Buganda monarch is circumstancial evidence of an earlier understanding between the two entities.

After restoring the Buganda Kingdom, the rest of the traditional kingdoms jumped into the bandwagon to demand for the same. When Buganda demanded for the return of its properties, the rest of the kingdoms also followed suit. Its only the demand for federal status by Buganda that the other kingdoms have not copied. Soon after several chiefdoms have been mushrooming with Musevenis approval. THE TRUTH IS THAT MUSEVENI’S RECOGNITION OF TRADITIONAL RULERS WAS A BITTER PILL FORCED ON HIS THROAT BY BUGANDA KINGDOM. The status of kingdoms that he claims to have restored is not what had been abolished in 1967. This is what Buganda called Byoya Byanswa (empty). When kingdoms were abolished in 1967, their properties were taken over by the central government. Under the first and second UPC governments they were used for less than ten years. The Iddi Amin government used them for for less than less ten years. Museveni who masquerades as the champion of traditional institutions has held these very properties close to 30 years now!!!!

Since its restoration, Museveni has been undermining the strength of Buganda kingdom by instigating the creation of small chefdoms in Bugerere, Buruli and Koki. At the same time he has been making attempts to weaken the Lukiko and isolate it from the Kabaka. reas like Luwero and Kiboga will be depopulated of Baganda thus may opt to withdraw their allegiance to the Kabaka of Buganda. Once he is through with his funded land grabbing project in Buganda, aNow that he is succeeding in taming Buganda, he has expanded his operation to Tooro and Busoga. In Busoga, he is about to accomplish its destruction. In Tooro, he has succeeded in creating the Rwenzururu kingdom but as the Bakonjo were still celebrating, he created the kingdom of Bwamba. He will finish off Tooro by creating the kingdoms of Ntoroko for the Batuku, Busongora for the Basongora, Kitagwenda for the Batagwenda in Kamwenge and the Kingdom of Kyaka for the Banyakyaka. The only Batooro Museveni values as his ethinic allies are the pastrol ethinic communities of Batuku and Basongora. He will strengthen them by degazating part of Semulki Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park respectively to provide them with extra territory.

However, going by the recent events, the mainstream Batooro whom he takes for granted because of their submissiveness have woken up. At one time he insulted them pint blank about “their stupidity (Kujagaarra)”. The current Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Kaliba will be framed and removed because of his strong UPC background. To isolate the royal family he will pardon and release the former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister John Katuramu. Of recent Museveni has taken to repeatedly overstating the past injustices that were meted on the Bamba and Bakonjo while they were under the ancient Tooro kingdom. The three communities offered him victory when they overwhelmingly supported his NRA in the Rwenzori Mountains in 1984/85. His strategic security interest of securing the congo border is the motive behind his moves to divide the Batooro/Bamba/Bakonjo. If he can reduce territories of traditional kingdoms by identifying and creating new kingdom and territories, why cant he let the Banyankole who want the Obugabe to have it by curving out a territory out of the former Ankole Kingdom!!!!!

His desiparate divide and rule policies are coming to more light with his recent association with religious cult of Bisaka and electioneering with born again christian churches to the annoyance of the mainstream christian churches. When cultural institutions get to understand his machinations and defiantly speak with one voice or his actions explode into bloody ethnic clashes, the stage will be set for Museveni to abolish kingdoms.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,068 other followers

%d bloggers like this: