We have to re-negotiate Buganda’s position in Uganda’s politics – Justice Ogoola


At the launch of the book, “Protection, Patronage or Plunder? British Machinations and Uganda’s Struggle for Independence,” authored by Buganda Kingdom’s 3rd Deputy Katikkiro Apollo Nelson Makubuya, retired Principal Judge, Justice James Ogoola called for a new narrative that will address the question of how Buganda fits into Uganda.

Justice Ogoola and Makerere University Law Professor Joe Oloka-Onyango gave the commentary on Makubuya’s book that seeks to reconstruct Uganda’s untold history.

The book mostly focuses on unpublished and classified records, secretive plans, events, decisions and personalities that implemented British imperial rule in Uganda.

In his commentary, Justice Ogoola said, because Buganda was forced into a “marriage” with Uganda which has at some points reached boiling levels, it is important that Buganda’s role in a united Uganda is re-negotiated.

“In the last one and a half centuries, we have had a problem of how to fit Buganda into Uganda. There have been so many difficulties; deporting the Kabaka, storming the palaces, spilling blood… all because of where Buganda fits into Uganda. Buganda and Uganda are bound together in destiny, we must find a solution,” Justice Ogoola said.

Kadaga, Makubuya and Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga

He referred to Buganda as a sleeping giant, laying in the centre of Uganda which gives the kingdom a central role in determining the political destiny of the country. He thus said, other than use of oppression, suppression or subjugation, a meaningful discussion on how Buganda fits into Uganda is necessary.

“All the solutions we tried before did not work. To deport the Kabaka did not work, to imprison and [send the Kabakas] into exile did not work, to impose constitutions and legal documents on Buganda did not work, therefore we need to sit together and find a solution that is not imposed but a solution that comes out of a consensus [through] talking or having a national conversation or a dialogue so that we can workout what is fitting for Buganda and for Uganda to move forward,” Justice Ogoola said.

“Any disconnect, especially a violent disconnect or a disagreeable disconnect causes a painful wound, agonizing rapture in in the body politic of the nation,” he added.

The book was launched by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who asked Ugandans to embrace history written by African authors, which she described as truthful as opposed to what the Europeans wrote which she said was skewed against the Africans.

Makubuya said that the book illustrates how the British went about the governance in Uganda as a Protectorate and how they have gone on to influence the country after it attained its Independence.

He said that in writing the book, he relied on some original material from the national archives in the United Kingdom.

“I found historic documents and handwritten notes by Sir Harry Johnson and instruments to him on how to handle the 1900 Agreement,” he said, adding that he also found information on what informed the crafting of the 1962 Constitution.