Prof Karusoke: All Buganda Kings stupid


Prof Kajabago Karusoke, a lecturer at National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi, says all kings in ancient Africa were equally stupid.

The professor was speaking at the Pan-African Pyramid, a non-partisan political debate held at Fairway hotel in Kampala every Friday and moderated by a Red Pepper marketer, Andrew Irumba.

Karusoke singled out Buganda kings who signed a treaty that would eventually sell their sovereignty to the Whiteman.

After capturing and exiling Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda and Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro to the Seychelles Islands, the British moved out to impose colonial rule over Uganda.

Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston, who arrived in Uganda in 1899 and took up the role of consul general over the Uganda Protectorate, crafted what came to be known as the 1900 (B) Uganda Agreement on March 10, 1900.

It was signed on behalf of the infant Kabaka Daudi Chwa’s regents Sir Apollo Kaggwa, Zakaria Kisingiri and Stanislaus Mugwanya.

The Kabaka, according to the agreement, would be paid an annual stipend of £500 [Shs2m today] while the collaborator chiefs – the Katikkiro (prime minister), chief justice and treasurer who were to receive £300 [Shs1.3m today] per year on top of acting as regents for the child-king Kabaka Chwa II.

Buganda also lost the rights to collect tributes from vassal kingdoms such as Busoga.

The British then introduced hut tax and a gun tax of four shillings per year as well as restricted to the possession of guns.

Gauging the above, Prof. Karusoke concluded that “all kings are stupid”.

“How can a white man come to your home, pick your trousers and shirts, hand them to you in disguise that he has given you at the expense of your own subjects?”

The professor says the Whiteman was giving Baganda what already belonged to them.

“And he [Whiteman] even asks you to thank him? Where did the Whiteman get 9000 miles he gave Buganda that Kabaka is demanding from sunrise to sundown?”

By 1900, Buganda’s land area, according to Daily Monitor, estimated at 19,600 square miles.

The British divided up that land [formerly owned by the Kabaka] into four categories.

Some 350 square miles went to the estate of the king, (the queen mother and other royals got some of their own outside this), while some was given to the three chiefs and the offices they held.

Another 8,000 square miles went to create new landed gentry – mainly of collaborators – while the rest turned into ‘crown’ land, held by the colonial government.

In his article titled: “Mailo akenda is Mengo’s emblem of self-deception” published on Friday, 20 January 2012 in The Independent Magazine, Sabiti Mutengesa writes: “The claim for the 9,000 Square Miles of land, or ‘Mailo Akenda’, supposedly owed to Buganda Kingdom by the Uganda state will endure as the starkest symbol of the idleness and indolence of key sections of Uganda’s political class, more so the self-perpetuating oligarchy at Mengo and its retainers.”

Mutengesa says the never-ending clamour by Mengo officials demanding for the ‘return’ of Buganda Kingdom ‘properties’ which include the aforementioned land is a self-seeking quest.

According to Prof Karusoke, land was communal until the “whites came here and started partitioning it giving it out as if they came with it”.

“Nobody should pay ‘busuulu’ [nominal land rent) in any kingdom starting from tonight,” the professor declared.

Mutengesa, in the meantime, says the successor to that colonial state is the present state of Uganda.

“In essence, Buganda was merely being a custodian of its partner’s booty and that remains the case.”

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