Mission accomplished! We are proud to add to our stable of world-class brands, Ngule- a high quality and affordable beer, brewed in partnership with Buganda Kingdom. Brewed from local ingredients i.e cassava, sorghum and water, Ngule is yet another example of how our business creates sustainable growth and development of local communities through fostering an enterprise culture throughout our value chain and sourcing from local businesses that in turn creates jobs and uplifts household incomes.
Your Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of The Republic of Uganda; Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps; My Lord Bishops; Obuganda:
We are greatly honoured to have in our midst, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of The Republic of Uganda; and all the guests from inside and outside Buganda and Uganda to remember the storming of the Lubiri by Uganda Army troops on the morning of 24th May, 1966.
Let me begin by once again congratulating President Museveni on his victory in the presidential elections which were concluded recently. Mr. President, may the Lord guide you as you steer the ship of state to greater peace, stability and development.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I decided to remember the 24th May because it is of great significance to my family, Buganda and Uganda. The events of that fateful day changed our lives as a family and the lives of the Baganda and Ugandans in a fundamental way and many of us are still trying to come to terms with the changes the events of 24th May 1966 brought about.
I thank the Lord for having enabled my father, the late Ssekabaka Mutesa II and some of his aides, for having successfully fought their way from the burning palace to safety. We should remember the clergy at Lubaga for the hospitality they offered my father at his greatest hour of need and for assisting him to escape to safety. I thank his loyal subjects who assisted him on his long march to freedom. I thank the British government who agreed to accept him as a refugee and all those who supported him and comforted him in the loneliness of his London exile.
Let us remember all those who stood by him and fought by his side and died at the hands of the Uganda Army of which he was Commander-in-Chief; Let us remember all those who were imprisoned and tortured; Let us remember all those who lost their loved ones and those that had to live in constant fear of the authorities and those who were traumatised by the violence unleashed by the authorities.
This is a very sad chapter in the history of our country but we cannot skip it, because there are lessons to be learned from it that can greatly contribute to the building of a peaceful and united Uganda.
On that fateful day the Lubiri, embodiment of Kiganda culture and traditions and the very soul of Buganda went up in flames and brought to a halt almost 1000 years of history. For once in her long history Buganda was without a King. She became an ant-hill without the queen ant. We never lost hope that one day our cultural integrity as Baganda would be restored and we thank God that, that integrity which we craved and cherish was restored in 1993.
The Baganda cannot continue to mourn indefinitely for what was lost. We should not continue to labour under the burden of self pity because this self pity will destroy our soul and, therefore, our resolve to rebuild Buganda. Let me in this connection draw the attention of our people to the book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible for inspiration. In chapter 2 verses 17-18 and I quote “Then I said to them ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer disgrace’. ….and they said ‘Let us rise up and build’. So they strengthened their hands for the good work”.
Instead of lamenting the sorry state to which Jerusalem had been reduced and stopping there, the children of Israel rebuilt Jerusalem. I would like to tell the Baganda that 30 years of mourning are enough. Now is the time to begin rebuilding Buganda with our brains and hands. No greater tribute can be paid by us to the memory of those who suffered and died at the hands of tyrants than the rebuilding of Buganda in all respects.
The place to begin the building of Buganda is the discipline of our youth. Buganda was built on discipline and I, therefore, charge parents and opinion leaders in Buganda to inculcate discipline amongst our youth. They are the ones who are going to build the New Buganda of our dreams and they must, therefore, have the discipline to do so. I ask all the leaders in this crusade to lead by example. That is the only way our youth will learn to lead disciplined lives.
It is sweat and toil that makes countries prosperous. The Baganda must, therefore, sweat and toil to make the land of their ancestors a great place to live in once again. The Baganda should stop running away from Buganda in the hope that somehow miraculously somebody else will develop the land for them to come back to when it begins to flow with milk and honey. Nobody will develop the land for you but yourselves, and this is the greatest challenge that you face. Baganda derived great pride and satisfaction in the payment of taxes in the past. Baganda were very proud of their good manners. Let us rediscover that pride and use it to rebuild Buganda and Uganda. Buganda was built on accomodation and the palaces of the Kabakas were the melting pots of nationalities and talents. Buganda still stands on her record of accomodation but what we ask for is reciprocity. Indeed Uganda would become a very strong and united nation if there was reciprocity all around.
Lastly let me make this pledge – the Mutebi reign will be one of reconciliation, unity, peace and development.
I thank all the celebrants and all those who have graced this occasion with their presence.
22th April 2013
To the Peoples of the Original 15
(Kingdoms, Territories and Districts
That formed Uganda at Lancaster)
Olukiiko Lwa Bazzukulu Ba Buganda International is Buganda Kingdom’s worldwide grassroots organization. We are writing in great distress over the signs of the times that proclaim a regime change around the corner. This in Uganda is always a violent process with many lives lost and properties destroyed. Even though this usually happens mostly in Buganda, severe atrocities have been committed in other regions too. For this reason, we are calling to all of you, individually and collectively, to join us in working towards a change management strategy. To start with, we have to go back and look at Uganda’s past and present and decide on the most logical and effective course of action.
In the year 1962, groups of people from the Kingdoms of Buganda, Ankole, Toro and Bunyoro, the Territory of Busoga, Districts of Acholi, Lango, Teso, Bukedi, Bugisu, Kigezi, Karamoja, West Nile, Sebei and Madi went to Lancaster in the United Kingdom to take part in a conference for the formation of the country Uganda. These were the original 15, designated as kingdom, territory, etc., according to their preferences. They represented every individual man and woman from their respective areas. Coerced as the Union was, choosing it over conflicts with our conquerors burdened us with a responsibility towards its member groups. Nevertheless, many who occupied the leadership positions ever since chose to become colonial agents. They did not hesitate to speak and act in ways detrimental to some groups. Their subservient mentality drove them to conduct an aggressive brainwashing program on their people, pushing them to commit crimes with far-reaching consequences. The people’s fault was failure to search for the truth, in some instances ignoring it even when obvious, thus condoning injustice and refusing to think their own thoughts. This is a problem, which we must solve in order to reverse this trend of total destruction threatening us all.
The colonialists and their agents had a plan, to assimilate the different peoples into a common culture at breakneck speed. The intent of this was the extinction of any remnant of indigenous characteristics that would inspire rebellion against the British Empire, over the long term. They called this, breaking eggs to make an omelette. The trouble was that each agent in charge wanted the final product to be a hybrid of his own and the English cultures. The other groups resisted. Buganda being at the center of all this, did so relentlessly. The differences persisted, albeit wrapped in hypocrisy. What would have been natural borderlines in a true and voluntary multicultural union ended up being splits in a dysfunctional unit. Through these cracks, enemies from within and without would take hold and pull to complete the damage. Today, it is a common secret that people feel loyalty only to their Kingdoms, Territory and Districts. At times like this, each of them sits in council discussing their group struggle. They scheme to fight, conquer and oppress others to secure for themselves the lion’s share of what Uganda has to offer, though some just struggle for their survival in the only way that appears possible. However, the past has taught quite a few sharp lessons to those who unreservedly thought and acted as Ugandans. The betrayals, arrogance, lies, theft, insults and gruesome crimes have been a tough drill to forget. As a result, this time around, hoodwinking the public is extremely difficult. Moreover, without trust the prospects of working together look dim. Anyone feigning ignorance of this is either self-seeking or incompetent. Meanwhile we hang between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Here in Buganda, children are murdered in sacrificial rituals, people of all sexes and ages are raped in broad daylight, bludgeoned with iron rods, burnt with acid, whole families butchered and many innocent people locked up in prisons, while frequent poisonings threaten to undo our social fibre. All this has made ours a fertile ground for diseases. There is land grabbing, disinterment of our dead, burning of schools and work places, destruction of shrines, desecration of our norms and traditions, as well as violation of the ecosystem and distortion of our history. Public funds are stolen, health and education are in the gutter, properties robbed, people displaced and our ancestral land auctioned off to foreigners. All these together qualify as high-key systematic genocide of the Baganda. Uganda is on a free-fall descent down into the pit. It is indisputable now that only the truth shall set us free.
All over the world, the Baganda are demonstrating a great will to come to terms with our past and present, as well as take responsibility of our future through brainstorming. We have put together the ideas we have gathered from these meetings, to help boost individual and group endeavours in finding lasting solutions to our common Ugandan problems. From these we have chosen ten redemption points attached to this letter. It has been said that wars begin in the mind, and that is where they must end first. It is imperative that we understand the impossibility of building order on disorder. Uganda was built on a bad foundation for all the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, we are all leaders at different level of society. Fullfilling this responsibility should be high on our list of priorities. We need to start thinking and working seriously about saving lives above everything else. For the lives we save might be our own or those of our loved ones.
Please pass on this letter and the Ten Redemption Points to as many people as you can.
God and Buganda, One Spirit, One Living Heart
Long live the Kabaka of Buganda Ssaabasajja Muwenda Mutebi II
Major General Elly Kigozi
OBBI – Secretary Diaspora (London)
CC: Ssaabasajja Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II
CC: Traditional Leaders of the other 14 of the Original 15