Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s denial during his 31st July 2021 public Masaka address of not being the head prefect of the quest to isolate Buganda from the rest of the Country is contradicted by reality.
History rewards all research, and it reveals a consistent pattern of Mengo Leaders considering themselves as a state within the state of Uganda.
As far back as 1919 Buganda leaders of the day, passed a resolution “that Baganda should be issued with passports by the Buganda rather than by the protectorate”.
This attitude of Mengo leaders regarding themselves as special people, has always stood in the way of Uganda’s move to progress as a united, stable and prosperous country.
Faithful to their attitude, in 1921 the Mengo clique opposed the formation of the Legco, which at that time was only body which would bring Ugandan leaders from different parts of Uganda and shades of opinion, under one roof.
The Mengo leaders opposed the Legco because they believed that it would affect their special status.
This scenario was to be repeated in 1953 when the Mengo leaders through the Kabaka demanded that the British Colonial Government transfer Buganda Affairs from the colonial office to the foreign office.
In addition they demanded a timetable to prepare Buganda for its own separate independence.
The governor, rejected these crazy demands and called upon the Kabaka to immediately pledge that he would cooperate in every future progress of Buganda as an integral part of the Uganda protectorate, and that he would submit Buganda’s nominations to the Legco.
In their myopic way of looking at political events of Uganda, the Mengo leaders advised Kabaka to reject the Governor’s demands.
The response of the protectorate government’s to this intransigence, was to withdrawal recognition from the Kabaka and deported him to a life of exile in United Kingdom.
The Kabaka was allowed back in 1955, a much humbled individual after signing the 1955 Agreement which stripped him of all his powers reducing him to a mere constitutional monarch with the Kabaka’s position, that of Katikkiro, Omulamuzi, and Lukiiko membership all becoming electable.
Kabaka’s powers to appoint high officials in the province of the Kingdom of Buganda was dashed into oblivion.
The Mengo Establishment however, learnt nothing and forgot nothing from the events of 1955. Consequently in September 1960, the Kabaka headed a delegation to the United Kingdom and put Mengo’s case for Buganda to boycott the 1961 pre-independence elections unless Buganda was to be allowed to proceed to independence as a separate state from the rest of Uganda.
The British colonial rulers these were childish demands from leaders of a childish mentality. The so called demands were ignored and elections were held in 1961 as scheduled.
Mengo leaders seem to suffer in the cancer of a circle of never learning from history. How else can one explain that in December 1960, the Kabaka and his Mengo group announced a unilateral independence for Buganda.
They were of course rebuked by governor and the Kabaka apologised in the glare of all his entire Mengo Establishment.
In 1966, the Kabaka’s Lukiiko passed a resolution that gave an ultimatum to the Government of independent Uganda to remove itself from Buganda’s soil.
The Government declared this an act of rebellion and it was in the course of suppression of that rebellion that Buganda Kingdom met its tragic end and a birth of the Republic of Uganda as a unity state.
Never learning from history, in 2020, Charles Peter Mayiga the apparent highest official of the now re grouped Buganda Cultural Institution, gave a warning to throw the Uganda Government out of the various establishments it is occupying including prisons facilities, administrative centres, court buildings, army barracks, State House Entebbe, to name just but a few.
Luckily for Charles Peter Mayiga, Uganda is under the leadership of the ultra-tolerant NRM leadership of President Yoweri Museveni. Under other regimes, Uganda would have witnessed a very undesirable political scenario.
It is within the consistence of these negative actions of the Mengo Establishment, that the Ugandan public must contextualise the pronouncements of Ronald Muwenda Mutebi of 31st July 2021 at Masaka.
Of course history repeats itself. The first time, as a fuss, second time, as a tragedy.
As Ugandans regret the reappearance of cultural leaders in their midst, they surely cannot fail to reflect on the life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who lamented the way civilised man in his exalted self-love, rushed to embrace his chains, thinking he was clasping freedom to his bosom.
The author is the minister of State for Lands