Monday, November 29, 2010


On 28 November 2010 22:44, Ahmed Kateregga wrote:
Hannah, my only problem did not tell us, that ,like among Banyankore and Banyarwanda/Barundi, Bahororo have cultivators like Kizza Besigye, Kahinda Otafiire, and pastoralists like Yoweri Museveni, Jim Muhwezi, Henry Tumukunde, Paul Kagame, among others. Even among the Bamooli, there are pastoralists who are more close to Bahima, and cultivators, who are Baganda and Abengabi Emmooli clan.

Posted to Ugandans at Heart on: November 23, 2010 by ekitibwakyabuganda in Bahima and Buganda, Bamoori and sembabule, History, Museveni and Buganda

Dear Ugandans,
I have received many requests to elaborate on what I have written about Bahororo. While many people have some ideas about Bahima and Batutsi, they are not sure who Bahororo are, how they are related to Bahima and Batutsi and how and when they entered Uganda. This brief will try to provide a clarification. But first let me summarize the relationship between Bahororo on the one hand and Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge on the other hand.
1. It is now established that Bahororo, Bahima and Batutsi have a common Nilotic and Luo-speaking ancestry. The Nilotic Luo-speaking people entered Uganda from Bahr el Ghazel in southern Sudan with long horn cattle. It is not clear what caused them to move. However, conflict with Dinka people (whom they resemble) over grazing land and water has been mentioned as a contributing factor. They crossed the Nile in phases into the grasslands further south. In Bunyoro, Toro and Buganda the Nilotic cattle herders mixed extensively with Bantu speaking people and formed new communities based on mixed farming of cattle herding, crop cultivation and some manufacturing largely of iron products. They adopted Bantu language.
2. Those who entered Ankole (Nkore at that time) adopted the name of Bahima and Lunyankole (Bantu) language. They introduced long horn cattle. Bahima decided not to intermarry with Bantu speakers they found in the area who practiced cattle (short horn) herding, crop cultivation and manufacturing activities. Bantu speakers who were dubbed Bairu (slaves) by Bahima had a diversified economy and were relatively well off than the new comers.
3. The Nilotic cattle herding groups that entered Rwanda and Burundi adopted the name of Batutsi and Kinyarwanda (Bantu) language. They also adopted Bahutu king’s title of Mwami, meaning that Bahutu had kings before the Nilotic herders arrived. Like Bahima in Ankole, Batutsi in Rwanda and Burundi refrained from intermarriage with Bantu speakers whom they dubbed Bahutu (slaves).
4. Batutsi who entered eastern Congo now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adopted the name of Banyamulenge. Banyamulenge do not intermarry with local communities.
5. In mid-1600s, a group of Batutsi from Rwanda under the leadership of Bashambo clan founded Mpororo kingdom covering northern part of present-day Rwanda and mostly southwest Ankole. They adopted the name of Bahororo (people of Mpororo). Like Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge, Bahororo do not intermarry with Bantu speakers dubbed Bairu. Thus, Bahororo are Nilotic Batutsi from Rwanda. That is why Batutsi and Bahororo are sometimes used interchangeably.
6. Thus, Bahima, Batutsi, Banyamulenge and Bahororo are cousins with the same ancestry of Nilotic Luo-speaking people and long horn cattle herders (or pastoralists). Because they do not marry outside their ethnic group, they have retained their distinct Nilotic identity.Wherever they live, they adopt local names and local languages. That is all. They know and help one another very well. An ‘attack’ on one Muhororo is regarded by Bahororo as an attack on all of them.
7. Mpororo kingdom (kingdom of Bahororo people) disintegrated due to internal quarrels within 100 years of its founding. Bahororo then scattered. Some returned to Rwanda, others took refuge in Rujumbura in 1800, some stayed in Ankole and the rest went to other parts of Uganda.
8. The part of Mpororo in Ankole was taken over by Bahinda ruling clan of Bahima. Thus, Bahororo in Ankole became commoners like Bairu (slaves). To avoid being referred to as commoners Bahororo adopted the name of Bahima in Ankole, in Rujumbura and elsewhere. That is why they were not known until recently.
9. Although they lost their territory and suspended using their Bahororo name, they tenaciously clung together. While Bahima, Bahororo, Batutsi and Banyamulenge intermarry, men do not marry outside of Nilotic ethnic group. When other Uganda men (mostly educated or wealthy) marry Bahororo, Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge women they are ‘tutsified’ and become an integral part of Bahororo, Bahima and Batutsi in-laws, basically abandoning their ancestral relatives. Kesaasi confirmed this relationship in her recent article in Observer (Uganda) newspaper.
10. Bahororo in Ankole who had kept a low profile, resurfaced during negotiations leading up to independence. They demanded a separate district in southwest Ankole (roughly present-day Ntungamo district). They were not successful. Museveni who is a Muhororo was old enough to understand what was going on.
11. Museveni realized that Bahororo numerical inferiority will always work against them in a democratic system based on majority rule. Revolutionary violence and later democracy at gun point would be the answer.
12. While still in High School Museveni began to organize. While at Dar es Salaam University in Tanzania, he undertook military and revolutionary training. Realizing that Bahororo were very few he rallied the support of disgruntled people: Bahima who had lost their Ankole kingdom in 1967, Batutsi who had lost their kingdom in Rwanda in 1959, Baganda who had lost their kingdom in 1967, Catholics who had been defeated by Protestants in Uganda elections, and western capitalism that had been wounded as a result of nationalization of private business and introduction of socialism in Uganda.
13. Using the pretext of so-called 1980 rigged elections Museveni with help of western media and money launched a five-year devastating guerrilla war in the Luwero Triangle on Buganda soil. He captured power in 1986.
14. Museveni who is power hungry soon realized that Marxist ideology would not keep him in power. He abandoned it, embraced capitalism, denationalized foreign enterprises and returned Asians in exchange for western political, diplomatic and financial support. Linda Chalker, former minister in Thatcher government became Museveni’s close adviser. Later the New Labor government in UK gave Museveni a breathing space and exempted him from introducing multiparty politics. “The new British Labor government has decided that it ‘will not press for multiparty reform in Uganda’” (Journal of Democracy April 1998). This breathing space gave Museveni an opportunity to destroy pre- independence parties: Catholic-based Democratic Party (DP) and Protestant-based Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and build National Resistance Movement (NRM) that absorbed DP and subsequently UPC supporters. When multiparty politics was reintroduced, DP and UPC were almost dead and have not recovered. FDC which started off very well is being strangled. In real terms, Uganda is one party state, Museveni’s NRM.
15. Using structural adjustment instruments, Museveni managed to marginalize or get rid of experienced Ugandans who were branded UPC supporters and refused to return those experienced Ugandans in diaspora except a few that were close to him. This environment gave Museveni the opportunity to hire Bahororo, Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge cousins in government, private sector and security forces. Unfortunately most of them are poorly educated and inexperienced in running a government or business. That explains in large part why Uganda’s economy, ecology and society are in deep trouble. In pursuit of economic growth, NRM government forgot about development and sustainability.
16. As Bahororo consolidated, they began to come out of the shadows and to declare they are Bahororo, not Bahima anymore. Using historian advisers, Museveni has managed to identify Bahororo wherever they live in Uganda, in Africa and beyond and has given them juicy jobs in government and in business. The ministries of foreign affairs and finance and security forces are packed with Bahororo. It is rumoured (subject to confirmation) that Bashambo women (ruling Bahororo clan) have formed an association of Bashambokazi Kumanyana (to know one another) so they can help one another and consolidate Bahororo hold onto power.
17. Because many Bahororo and Bahima lack good education and experience as noted above, they have relied heavily on foreign (and largely young) advisers (with little knowledge of Uganda’s sensitive history and culture) while there are many Ugandans with good qualifications and a wealth of experience un or under-employed. Bahororo have monopolized strategic institutions and businesses in order to stay in power indefinitely.
18.To sum up, Bahororo are mostly concentrated in former Ankole district and Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district. They are Nilotic people who speak Bantu language. Their Nilotic cousins are Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge. These cousins do not marry outside their Nilotic ethnic group. Bahororo are now the rulers of Uganda led by President Museveni who has been in power for 25 years and is now campaigning for another five-year term.
Eric Kashambuzi


  1. It is very interesting to read this. I myself I am mushambo from Tanzania. My grandparents both side came from Rwanda but they can trace their ancestry to Ankole. We have Banyiginya on my mother's side but her father was mhima from Nkole and my mother married to bashambo. Question is Bashambo are the same as basimba as the are called in Bukoba? Although in Rwanda i was told we are bashambo but in Buhaya they are called basimba. Please help me.

    1. Lulu the truth about Basimba is on the net under a wikipedia article Basimba people which has all the facts about these people

  2. It is interesting to read what you have posted. You have to note that Bashambo are not where they are by accident. They played an important role in both pre-independence and post independence Uganda. Hon Muhwezi and the Late Fred Kitaburaza are examples of Bashambo who participated in the liberation of this country from past oppressive regimes. Hon Karekaho Kham was an active politician in the 1980s and his contribution cannot be down played. He was voted overwhelmingly because of the goodwill of his father - Karegyesa. During his time he introduced exotic breeds of cows - Guernsey into Uganda and was actually very popular because he delivered. There contribution has not been in selfish interest but in the interest of contributing to the development of this country.
    Even during pre indepedence it is on record that Karegyesa introduced the growing of cash crops and the construction of pit latrines in
    Rujumbura and those who refused to comply had to migrate from Rujumbura. with him there was no compromise and he left a legacy and it is only those with selfish interests who try to demonise his regime.

    In future it would be good for those writing about the Bashambo to clearly relay the facts and not distort them by only pinpointing their shortcomings but rather a balanced story could suffice.

    Mr Kashambuzi Eric is a very knowledgeable man and it is clear he has done extensive research but in all his writings i have never seen him write anything good about the Bashambo. His writings are clearly biased and meant to tarnish the leadership by the Bashambo and yet some of their contributions are so visible.

    If Mr Kashambuzis stories are to be believed he needs to be fair in his presentation. For example if i asked him who put up the first radio station in Rukungiri i would be interested in listening to his answer.

    Politics and leadership in this country is not reserved for any tribe or clan but for all and so his efforts to demonise certain ethnic groups to destroy their opportunities in taking part in the leadership of this country will certainly not yield any fruits because people are now maturing and cannot be deceived by distorted facts. Stories aimed at inciting or marginalising certain ethic groups can easily be sensed and will certainly be rejected.

    Edward Makobore

  3. It is interesting to read and discover in what you have posted that people are interested to know who the real Musimba or Basimba Clan memebers. I am a Musimba of the Basimba Leopard Clan of Lupada, Naboa, Budaka District Eastern Uganda, a grandson and lineal descendant of the great Katunku, Mwati,Ngulya, Ntembe, Kabolesa, Kitembwa who trace their ancestry to Busere, Ukala Island, Ukerewe District, Mwanza Region in Tanzania

  4. The Basimba among the Haya tribe in Bukoba Northern Tanzania should know that the Basimba Leopard Clan of Lupada, Naboa, Budaka District in Eastern Uganda are their collateral consanguinity together with the Bashimba Leopard Clan of Luapula Valley in Northern Zambia and Northern Zimbabwe who should get in touch and unite for glory of the Basimba Clan which we are proud of.

  5. Among the great Basimba Clan sons the late Katunku Nicholas who was the first Musimba to own the largest Bookshop in Eastern Uganda and one of the eldest companies in Uganda under the names of N. Katunku & Sons Bookshop Ltd and Katunku Printers Ltd. His wife Katunku Edith Mary is the first woman in the whole of Bugwere to graduate in Agriculture and also the first Local Council IV woman representing Budaka District at Tororo Council in 1988 when Yoweri Kaguta Museveni introduced Resistance Councils.

  6. Tanganyika Notes and Records - Issues 38-50 - Page 167
    1955 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
    According to local tradition the original inhabitants were a clan called the Basimba who lived in the area of Busere on the south-east of the island, but it is not known what language they spoke and there are none of their descendants surviving ...
    Tanzania Notes and Records - Issues 42-45 - Page 54
    1956 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
    According to local tradition the original inhabitants were a clan called the Basimba who lived in the area of Busere on the south-east of the island, but it is not known what language they spoke and there are none of their descendants surviving ...

  7. It is interesting that the first Basimba Leopard Clan son to join Nsuka University, Anambra State, Nigeria was Katunku Namuyonjo William son of the Late Katunku Nicholas.

  8. The late Katunku Nicholas was the first Musimba of the Basimba Leopard Clan to own a Mercedez Benz 230 in 1979-1982

  9. The family of the late Katunku Nicholas of the Basimba Leopard Clan was the first Basimba family which stayed in exile in the Republic of Kenya together with the late Balaki Kirya, Adok Nekyon among others from 1981 to 1986

  10. The late Katunku Nicholas deserves to be Honoured with a medal by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Government for financing the late Balaki Kirya in exile during Amins regime and saving Obbo of Nasenyi,Kamonkoli, Budaka District who was found in transporting people from Tanzania believed to among the forces which had come to over throw Amin from being put to firing squad in 1979.

  11. Basimba Leopard Clan Collateral Consanguinity
    Collateral consanguinity is that subsists between two persons who are descended from the same stock or ancestor, but neither of whom is descended in direct line from the other.
    The Basimba Leopard Clan of Mpogo Sironko District, Bashimba Leopard Clan in Zambia , Basimba Clan among the Haya tribe are collateral consanguinity of Katunku, Mwati, Ngulya, Ntembe, Namuyonjo , Kabolesa, kaabya and Kooli who trace their roots to Buddu in Masaka, Busere, Ukala, Ukerewe District in Mwanza Region Northern Tanzania, Luapula Valley in Northern Zambia and Buluba in Congo.
    The ancestors of the Basimba Leopard Clan of Mpogo, Sironko District are Katunku, Namuyonjo, Mwati and Ngulya. Might it be a coincident that the Basimba Leopard Clan ancestor Namuyonjo might have been related to Namuyonjo the son of King Kamurasi of Bunyoro?

  12. His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni while launching a Book on Banyabushozi revealed himself to be a Muhororo.

  13. Basimba means a Big Lion in Swahili language and Basimba Leopard Clan means (The Big Lion Clan of the Leopard Totem)

  14. I don't think the Dinka and Bahima look alike as such. They are both tall dark people, yes but they differ very much.. There could have been intermarriages between them but the Bahima are likely to have come from Meroe, a kingdom whose remains have been found in Sudan neighboring Ethiopia and Egypt. They might have passed through Sudan on their way looking for green pastures. Their origin is subject to alot of debate but they are definitely Cushites. The Tutsi are very similar to the Oromo people of Ethiopia and might have also moved to Rwanda due to internal conflicts in their areas. The Bantu equally migrated from Central Africa, Our ancestors all came from somewhere in search for better lives, lands etc.