Tribes are what binds people together. Tribes on the African continent existed long before the dark ages in Europe. Different African societies formed different tribes based on the context of their social human way of life. They are made up of culture, norms and traditional customs that bind everyone together in a community setting. Therefore different societies forged a way of life according to their indoctrination. They formed their languages, chose garb, way of worship, food, and ideologies. People lived in harmony.
Uganda, like the rest of African societies, had different formations. Uganda’s society is made up of different Bantu speaking kingdoms namely the Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole Kingdoms, followed by chiefdoms for example the Basoga, Bakiga, Langi, Acholi, Bagisu, Lugbara, and many more. Like any other quaint society, many wars were fought especially between Buganda and Bunyoro kingdoms, each fighting for dominance. Eventually, Buganda won, conquering some parts of the Bunyoro kingdom. Nevertheless, during Kabaka Muteesa ll, peace was restored and the kingdoms flourished in their own territories.
During the brutal rule of Milton Obote, Muteesa ll was forced to go into exile in England. With the support of the British, Milton Obote abolished kingdoms which left Ugandans distrustful and wary of Obote. The bond that binds communities together was broken but the spirit remained ever so strong. Through lies and deceit, Yoweri Museveni, the current Ugandan leader, used Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II to garner love from the Central (Buganda) Region, a trick only a con artist could use to gain support.
The constitutional amendment in 1993 led to the restoration of the monarchies, where Buganda, Toro, Bunyoro, and Busoga crowned their traditional rulers. The new constitution was promulgated in 1995, and presidential elections were held in May 1996. Museveni easily won the majority of votes. However, the question still remains as to why Ankole Kingdom, once quite powerful in its own right and where Museveni claims to have been born (this is disputable), remains the only monarchy that wasn’t restored.
In 2021, one wonders what went wrong with our society but look no further than the so-called president who is a warmonger with no leadership skills and should be in prison instead of ruling a people. The Kasubi Tombs, a historical heritage where Ganda Kings are buried was burned down on March 16th 2010. A devastating day in Buganda and a clear indication of wiping away Buganda’s culture and heritage.
Storytelling is now a myth and now Ugandans live in gated houses, disconnected from their native culture and languages. The King of Bunyoro and King of Kasese are under captivity. Omusinga Charles Mumbere’s captivity, dating back from 2008 make it is 13 years ago today. He was captured after the Kasese (Rwezururu) massacre. The Kabaka of Buganda’s condition on the 13th of April 2021 was very worrying. A day that was supposed to be a celebration turned into a sad day for the Ganda people.
The disenfranchisement of culture has now become rampant. The 2009 Kayunga riots where at least 40 innocent civilians were killed by the Museveni military within two days. This had erupted due to the blockage that had been put on the Kabaka’s visit to Kayunga. Now, English has replaced Luganda in the central region, the traditional garb has been replaced by jeans, mini skirts and shorts. The traditional norms are not followed and now death is not as scary as it was before.
People’s land is being stolen by the very government that is meant to protect it. The school system enforces the colonial language ‘English’ therefore birthing a society
Without the head, the tail is bound to fall off. When did the Kabaka become incapable of reaching his people? In this generation of millennials, social media has replaced cultural norms and heritage. Shockingly, the people of Uganda as though in a trance, are as silent as a church mouse while Uganda’s kings are either poisoned, imprisoned or under captivity.
Museveni has shown his hatred for traditional Kings and Chiefs on a lot of different occasions. His recent mockery of kings’ traditional garb and his unbecoming attitude towards Uganda’s tribes. If Museveni has done one thing right, it has been the annihilation of Uganda’s kingdoms. Are we as a people so lost we don’t even know where we are going or is the junta fulfilling his mission of destroying Uganda’s culture and heritage history?