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Buganda (Uganda)

Obwakabaka bwa Buganda

Last modified: 2022-04-16 by bruce berry
Keywords: buganda | uganda |
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image by Miles Li, 09 Jan 2016 See also:


The Institution of Traditional or Cultural Leaders Act 2011 was adopted in April 2011 by the Ugandan Parliament, passing into law the Bill which was published on 07 December 2010 as Bill No. 24 in the "Uganda Gazette", No. 72, Vol. CIII.

The provision for emblems of Cultural Leaders is outlined in Article 19:
Symbols and seals of institution of traditional or cultural leaders.
(1) Institutions of traditional or cultural leaders may have flags, anthems, seals and logos.
(2) Flags, anthems, seals and logos of traditional or cultural leaders existing before the coming into force of this Act shall continue to be in use.

The list of the recognized cultural institutions and leaders is appended at the end of the Law, namely:

Ker Kwaro Acholi
Ker Alur
Obukama bwa Bunyoro
Buruuli Chiefdom
Obwakyabazinga Bwa Busoga
Obwakamuswaga Wa Kooki
Lango Chiefdom
Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu
Obwakabaka bwa Buganda
Teso Chiefdom
Tieng Adhola Chiefdom
Obukama bwa Tooro
Inzu ya Masaaba.
Ivan Sache, 17 Nov 2012

Buganda Kingdom : background

Buganda is the largest traditional kingdom within Uganda (the others are Toro, Ankole and Bunyoro, which make up part of the Western Region). During the colonial period, the British allowed the Kabaka (king) of Buganda and the rulers of the other states a large degree of power and influence, and this was retained a little while into independence. The kingdoms were abolished by Milton Obote in the 1960's but have recently been revived by President Yuseveni's government as a way of bringing government closer to the traditional feelings of the people.
Roy Stilling, 14 September 1996

When Uganda became independent, Milton Obote became prime minister. Being from the small Langi tribe, he appointed King 'Freddy' Mutesa II, Kabaka of Buganda, as president of Uganda. As has been mentioned, the Baganda were the largest ethnic group and more anglicized (by contact with missionaries and the colonial authorities) than the other groups.

By appointing Mutesa, Obote miscalculated. He alienated other tribes and didn't actually succeed in placating the Baganda, who by May 1966 were openly agitating for Obote's overthrow.  Obote used the then deputy commander of the Army, one Idi Amin to do the dirty work. Amin personally attacked the Kabaka's palace with a 122 mm gun mounted on his (Amin's) personal jeep. The King escaped and fled to Britain were he died in (I think) the early 1970s. Later, of course, Idi Amin staged a coup against Obote. Ironically, this was initially welcomed by the Baganda (naturally, Amin blamed Obote for their persecution).
Stuart Notholt, 15 September 1996

Buganda Kingdom : current flag

The current flag of the Buganda kingdom comprises three equal vertical stripes of blue, white and blue, with the kingdom's logo placed in the centre of the flag on the white stripe.

Buganda flag (1861-81)

[Buganda 1861-81 flag] image by Jaume Ollé, from his site

Buganda flag (c. 1881-89)

[Buganda 1881-89 flag] image by Jaume Ollé, from his site

Buganda flag (1884-86; 1889)

[Buganda 1884-86, 1889 flag] image by Jaume Ollé, from his site

Buganda flag (15 Jul 1891 - 30 Mar 1892)

[Buganda 1891 flag] image by Jaume Ollé, from his site

Buganda flag (1892)

[Buganda 1892] image by Jaume Ollé

I have been reading Thomas Pakenham's "The Scramble for Africa" (London: Abacus, 1992) which includes the following interesting reference:
Chapter 23, p. 422 : Frederick Lugard, on arriving in Kampala in 1892, found the King of Buganda flying "an enormous home-made flag, two lances and a shield on a red ground". One is tempted to suppose that the red ground had been suggested by the red flag of the Zanzibari traders, frequently mentioned by Pakenham. There is a reference to "The Diaries of Lord Lugard", Vol. 3, p. 31, ed. by Margery Perham (4 vols., 1959-63).
Kenneth Fraser, 03 Mar 2011

Buganda - Royal Standard

[Buganda 1892 royal standard] image by Jaume Ollé