Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Buganda is yet to utilize Kabaka's potential

Kabaka of Buganda
The Kabaka is the title of the King of Buganda. Under the traditions of the Baganda, they are ruled by two kings: one spiritual and the other - a human-being prince.

The spiritual (supernatural being) king is represented by the Royal Drums; these are regalia called Mujaguzo and always exists, thus Buganda at any single time will always have a king. Mujaguzo, like any other king in the world, has his own palace, officials, servants and guards assigned to his palace. The human being prince has to perform special cultural rites on the Royal Drums before he can be declared King of the Kingdom of Buganda. Upon the birth of a royal prince or princess, the Royal Drums are sound by specially nominated drummers (by birth) from a specified clan, as a means of informing the subjects of the Kingdom, of the birth of new member of the royal family. The same Royal Drums are sound upon the death of a reigning king in the same way, to officially announce the death of the human being king.
Election of Kings
Buganda has no Crown Prince concept. All the princes are equally treated prior to the coronation of a new king following the death of a reigning king. However, during the period of a reigning king, a special council has the mandate to study the behaviour and characteristics of the young princes. The reigning king, informed by the recommendation of the special council, selects one prince to be his successor. In a secret ceremony, the pre-elected prince is given a special piece of bark cloth by the head of the special verification council. The name of the 'king-to-be' prince is kept secret by the special council until the death of the reigning king. When all the princes and princeses are called upon to view the body of the late king lying in state, the pre-elected prince lays the special piece of bark cloth over the body of the late king, revealing himself as the successor to the late king.

By tradition, Baganda children take on the clan of their biological fathers. However, princes and princesses take on the clan of their biological mothers. This is to ensure that each of the 52 clans of Baganda gets a chance of producing a future king of Buganda, since a reigning king can marry from any of the 52 clans except that of his biological mother.

The first born prince, by tradition called Kiweewa is not allowed to become king. This was carefully planned to protect him against any attempted assassinations in a bid to fight for the crown. Instead he is given special roles to play in the matters of the Royal family and kingdom. Thus, the name of the possible successor to the throne remains anonymous.
Kings of Buganda
*Kintu Kato, late fourteenth century
*Chwa I, early fifteenth century
*Kimera, c.1420-c.1447
*Ttembo, c.1447-c.1474
*Kiggala, c.1474-c.1501
*Kiyimba, c.1501-c.1501
*Kayima, c.1528-c.1528
*Nakibinge, c.1555-c.1582
*Mulondo, c.1582-late 16th century with...
*Jjemba, late 16th century and...
*Ssuuna I, late sixteenth century-c.1609
*Ssekamanya, c.1609-early seventeenth century
*Kimbugwe, early seventeenth century
*Kateregga, c.1636-c.1663
*Mutebi I, Jjuuko, and Kayemba c.1663-c.1690
*Tebandeke and Ndawula, c.1690-c.1717
*Kagulu, Kikulwe and Mawanda. c.1717-c.1744
*Mwanga, Namugala, and Kyabaggu, c.1744-c.1771
*Jjunju and Ssemakokiro, c.1771-1797
*Ssemakokiro (alone), c.1797-1814
*Kamanya, 1814-1836
*Ssuuna II, 1836-1856
*Muteesa I, 1856-1884
*Mwanga II, 1884-1888
*Kiweewa, 1888 - pretender to the throne during exile times of Mwanga II
*Kalema. 1888-1889 - pretender to the throne during exile times of Mwanga II
*Mwanga II (2nd time) 1889-1897 - on return from exile after the murder of Kiweewa Mutebi and Kalema by loyalists
*Daudi Ccwa II, 1897-1939
*Muteesa II, 1939-1969
*Interregnum 1969-1993
*Muwenda Mutebi II, 1993-present (on 4th April 1971, Prince Ronald Mutebi II succeeded the Royal Throne of Buganda Kingdom after the burial of his late father Sir Edward Muteesa II in the Royal Tombs of Kasubi and attained the Kingdom's official title - Ssabataka. He was only 16 years old and therefore the Coronation did not take place. The political turmoil in the country during the years of Idi Amin that followed could not permit the Coronation to take place when the Prince came of age to be crowned Kabaka, as per the Constitution. Nor was he able to accede the Throne during the reign of the Obote, Uganda's nefarious tin-pot despot. He did, however, remain as Ssabataka (Head of all Clan Heads) until 31st July 1993, and was officially crowned Ssabasajja, i.e. the Kabaka of Buganda when conditions became favourable. Unlike his predecessors who became Kabakas at an early age and thus, had Regents appointed to run the affairs of the Kingdom, Kabaka Mutebi II did not have any Regents because the Kingdom was dysfuntional with no Lukiiko to appoint the Regents.)

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