Belonging is absolutely important because it confers wider identity. My name is Fred Charles Milton Oweyegha-Afunaduula Kiira Isabirye. However, my identity is not complete without mentioning my physical ecological-biological belonging of Bulawa, Nawaka. This was also the ecological-biological belonging of my parents – Charles Afunaduula Ovuma Isabirye and Stephanie Wabiseatyo Kyabwe Nawamwena Naigaga.

First, I belong to a family, the Family of the former Speaker of the Busoga Lukiiko (Parliament) in the 1960s, the Late Charles Afunaduula Ovuma Ngobi Isabirye who breathed his last on 25 July 2007, and lies at Bulawa, Nawaka, Ikumbya Subcounty, Luuka County, Luuka District in Busoga. I also belong to my own family of Fred  Charles Oweyegha-Afunaduula Kiira Kyangwa Isabirye and my wife for 43 years, Jane Tibenda Egulwa, which is also located at Bulawa, Nawaka. 

Second, I belong to a Clan, the Mulawa Clan distributed broadly in Busoga and beyond. I believe you also belong to a Clan in Busoga or elsewhere in Uganda. If you do then you naturally belong. Humanity all over the world is biologically and culturally organised in 6000 Clans. Busoga is the most clanned in the whole world, with some 300 or so Clans. Most of these clans migrated into Busoga from elsewhere, making Busoga the most cosmopolitan nationality in the Great Lakes region. Being shaped like a basin, it was easy for people belonging to extraneous clans in neighbouring areas to flock in. We shall never know the indigenous clans on mainland Busoga, although we know the indigenous clans on the islands in Lake Victoria. Mulawa Clan is one of the indigenous clans in the Busoga part of Buvuma Island, with a unique culture and unique names common to the Clan only. Indeed when you want indigenous animals and plants you can always trace them best on ecological Islands.Even Charles Darwin had to go to Galapagos Islands to study  birds in order to come up with his theory of evolution to explain the origin of species to challenge or contradict the theory of Creation.

Third, I belong to the Chiefdom of Luuka of Tabingwa, established by a Prince of Bunyoro, Ndahura Byaruhanga l, around 1230 AD, together with Bugabula of Gabula,   Busiki of Kisiki,  Bugweri of Menhya,, Bukooli of Wakhooli, Kigulu, and Buzaaya. All of these except Buzaaya were established on his way to Mount Elgon (Masaba). Buzaaya was established as he was going back to Hoima, the seat of power of Bunyoro Kitara. So then those 7 were the original County Chiefdoms of Busoga, politically established by “power of the word” of Prince Ndahura Byaruhanga I of Bunyoro Kitara even before he politically established the ancient Kingdom of Busoga and its Igaga Dynasty at Busambira, in Kigulu County, with its Headquarters on Nnenda Hill, in the same fashion President Tibuhaburwa has been establishing, and continues establish, districts politically in Uganda to subtend his power rather than empower the people. All the rulers of the Chiefdoms, appointed by Ndahura Byaruhanga I, except the one of Busiki, belonged to the Ngobi Clan. The original ruler of Busiki was a brother-in-law of Ndahura Byaruhanga I. My research so far has failed to reveal his Clan of Kisiki. Ndahura Byaruhanga belonged to the Igaga Clan, with all its tappings of Chwezi spirituality.

When Prince Ndahura Byaruhanga I raised his Chiefdoms to hereditary ones, it was  around 1233 AD. As he was descending Nnenda Hill on his way back from My Elgon, the indigenous local people, whose Clan is not known gave him a beautiful girl in appreciation of his having visited the area. He accepted. No body knows the Clan of the girl.He impregnated her and hoped the forthcoming baby would be a baby boy. After going through he himself called Busoga because of the overabundance of a small tree called  Kisogasoga in Bunyoro but Mukakale by the Basoga of those days, he decided he would leave behind a new Kingdom, with his son he predetermined would be called Ndahura Byaruhanga 1 of Busoga Kingdom. And so it was. When the baby was born he called him so. He started to build a Palace for him on Nnenda Hill as he waited for the young man to reach 3 years of age. Within three years the palace was up. He then decided time was ready for him to go back to Hoima. He summoned his chiefs from Luuka, Bugabula, Busiki, Bugweri, and Bukooli to Nnenda Hill to tell them what he had decided and how the young would be helped to rule. Strategically he had not named a chief for Kigulu County because the Headquarters of the new Kingdom would be in Busambira, Kigulu. As they say two bulls cannot stay in the same Kraal. So he told the Chief that Busoga was henceforth a Kingdom separate from Bunyoro-Kitara and that his son whom he had named Ndahura Byaruhanga would be the first King of Busoga. He told them he would be Ndahura Byaruhanga I and decreed Kigulu would have no chief while Ndahura Byaruhanga rules at Nnenda. Meanwhile he told them that their Chiefdoms would be hereditary as would their ruling houses. He tasked them to be regents to the young King until he was old enough to rule at Nnenda as the supreme King of Busoga. On his way back to Hoima he established Buzaaya Chiefdom under Chief Muzaaya, whom he tasked to join his fellow chiefs as a regent to the young King. 

The Kingdom thrived under a chain of rulers at Nnenda Hill – 38 of them – until the arrival of the British Colonialists in the Busoga Kingdom. The white man wanted to establish his own empire in the area he first called The British Protectorate of Uganda. After signing the first colonial agreement with the ruler at Nnenda, he decided there should be no Kingdom in the East of his evolving Empire in Eastern Africa. He began to plot its destruction. He first appointed the President of the Lukiiko to preside over it – and he was a foreigner from Koki, a militarist, called Semei Kakungulu. Then he moved the Lukiiko to Butaleja in Bunyhole, which was not part of the original Busoga. Then, using Semei Kakungulu as colonial agent par excellence, he spread his colonial influence in all the Chiefdoms. And using his infamous divide and rule strategy of governance, he inflitrated all the original Chiefdoms to bring them under his sphere of influence and cause them to his bidding. In particular he wanted the Basoga to grow coffee and cotton and also to vacate land for his Asian entrepreneurs who had arrived to perpetuate the culture of growing sugarcane. The Igaga Dynasty at Nnenda Hill and its influence declined meteorically under the superior power and authority of the Colonialists. The Lukiiko now did the bidding of the Colonialists under the Presidency over it of Semei Kakungulu. When the last ruler at Nnenda Hill was poisoned by  colonial agents in 1935, they did not allow the successor to succeed the ruler at Nnenda. They wanted to kill him, and so he fled for his life to Bugambo in Luuka, where he died and was buried.ThevBritish Colonialists could now firmly  establish their reign on Busoga. They moved their headquarters to Bugembe Hill, where the Lukiiko was also relocated. Semei Kakungulu continued to preside over the Lukiiko. However, because of advanced age, he requested his colonial masters to retire from service. The Colonialists accepted. They wanted a replacement. When they floated the idea to the hereditary Chiefs, who actually sat in the Lukiiko, they all declined saying the title of President was below their dignity. They instead suggested Zibondo, the Chief of Bulamogi,, one of the new chiefdoms started by two related houses of Zibondo (of Bulamogi) and Nkono (,of Bukono). Zibondo  and Nkono were brothers, together with their brother Nagwere, who had migrated to Busiki Chiefdom from Gogonya in Bugwere. While Nagwere went back to Gogonya, Zibondo and Nkono remained as refugees in Busiki. The Basiki were hospitable to them and they too were of likeable personalities. They settled and multiplied their numbers ofvtyeir Houses. After a long time they asked the ruler of Busiki, Chief Kisiki Nantamu, to give them their own territories, to which the Chief agreed.  He’d not want refugees to continue burdening his Chiefdom. And so Bulamogi and Bukono were born as we’re the Chiefdoms of Bulamogi and Bukono. When Zibondo heard that the Chiefs had suggested he succeeds Semei Kakungulu as President of the Busoga Lukiiko he was overwhelmed. He did not expect it. So in 1935:he replaced Semei Kakungulu. Soon after the title was changed by the Chiefs to Kyabazinga. Zibondo became the first Kyabazinga of Busoga. Although initially Chief Kadhumbula Gabula Nadiope had like other Chiefs not liked the idea of both President and Kyabazinga, he realized the political dynamics invBusoga had changed under colonial rule. He became the next Kyabazinga after Zibondo. However, he was soon required by the colonial powers to go and fight in the Second World War in Burma on the side of the British. He left the Chair of Kyabazinga, which was  subsequently occupied by the son of Wako Zibondo, Henry Muloki. Since then, the Houses of Nadiope and Zibondo have replaced each other as Kyabazinga.

I must emphasize that like the President, Kyabazinga was a political office, originally meant to chair the Lukiiko in the interests of the Colonialists. There was no royalty attached to it. It was elective. Early attepts by Sir William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Gabula Nadiope II to make it hereditary failed largely because of opposition from the Chiefdoms of Bulamogi and Bukono.

However, when the British Colonialists handed the instruments of political to Apollo Milton Obote, the Constitution of 1962 the designed for the country they first called The Commonwealth Realm of Uganda on 9th October 1962, and then Uganda From on 9th October 1963, cast Busoga as The Territory of Busoga with semi-federal status, not Kingdom. The Kingdoms were Ankole, Buganda, Bunyoro and Toro.

Therefore, if today we are referring to Busoga as a Kingdom, we are revitalizing what used to obtain when the Igaga Dynasty thrived at Nnenda Hill.  If there are fundamental changes in Uganda as promised bby President Tibuhaburwa Museveni, then it is a fundamental change in Busoga. But then it does not rhyme with the Uganda Constitution 1995 has no words King and Kingdom, nor semi-Kingdom of Busoga. They are all reduced to cultural institutions.

Whatever the case, the Kyabazinga is a uniting factor at a time When Busoga is being bantustanised for sole interests of the rulers at the centre. Although the government functionaries no the Constitution of Uganda does not recognize Kingdoms, they are repeatedly referring to Busoga as a Kingdom. They are linguistically violating the Constitution. 

Most of the history I have wriiten here is unknown to the majority of Basoga. But ignorance shoul not be assigned bany value. It is a vice yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For God and My Country.

This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!


Written by Oweyegha Afunaduula (3)

I am a retired lecturer of zoological and environmental sciences at Makerere University. I love writing and sharing information.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I saw things (again) at Nyege Nyege Festival 2023

#RolexInRwanda Norrsken Africa Week 2023 – The Uganda Perspective