(1877-1900)(The Wanfransa-Wangeleza wars) 

(1877-1900)(The Wanfransa-Wangeleza wars)

The religious wars were the unhealthy competition, rivalry and mistrust in Buganda among the Catholics, Protestants, Moslems and traditionalists. They are sometimes referred to as religious confusion/ conflicts at the court/ palace of the king

Causes of the Religious Wars

To a large extent, Kabaka Mwanga was responsible for the outbreak of the religious wars in Buganda between 1888-1892 as explained below

  • Kabakamwanga was young and inexperienced who could not handle well the issues at that time hence leading to the religious wars.
  • The kabaka was inconsistent and had no clear religion i.e. He could become a catholic, protestant and the next day a Muslim. This .This led to confusion hence the religious wars
  • Mwanga ordered for the killing of Bishop JamesHannington in Busoga which annoyed the Missionaries hence the religious wars’. The Protestants, Catholics and Muslims and when he did not get them, he hated them leading to the religious Wars.
  • Mwanga’s unethical behavior of being a homosexual also brought a lot of resistance in the Kingdom thus leading to the religious wars.
  • Mwanga expected guns from the new religious groups.e.the Protestants, Catholics and Muslims and when he did not get them, hated them leading to the religious wars.
  • KabakaMwanga also ordered for the killing of the Uganda martyrs which brought him into conflicts with the Christian Missionaries leading to the religious wars.
  • Kabaka Mwanga was also a dictator and when the Missionaries opposed him, it resulted into religious wars.
  • Mwanga’s desire to protect the political independence of Buganda kingdom and maintain himself in power also led to the wars.
  • Mwanga;s desire to preserve the traditional norms and culture of Buganda brought him into conflicts with the white Missionaries thus the wars.
  • Kabaka Mwanga ordered for the expulsion of all foreigners from Buganda which made them combine to fight him in the religious wars.
  • Mwanga aborted plan to abandon the Missionaries on the island of lake Victoria so that they could die of hunger also annoyed the Missionaries hence fighting Mwanga.
  • KabakaMwanga blamed the Missionaries for the mysterious fire that caught his granary/food store hence leading to the religious wars.
  • He further blamed the Missionaries for the death of his mother (Namasole) which also led to conflicts hence the wars.
  • He over listened and believed the Muslims who told him that the Missionaries were agents of European colonization which made him to fight the Missionaries.
However, to a small extent, there were other factors that contributed to the outbreak of the religious wars as shown below.
  • The desire for the religious denomination to win culminated into war.
  • Each religious group also wanted to win in the favors of the Kabaka and as a result, they black mailed themselves leading to the religious wars.
  • The influence of the Arab Muslims in Buganda also increased the Confusion because they kept on exerting pressure on the kawaka to expel the Christian Missionaries.
  • The role of the traditionalistswho also criticized Christianityfor undermining the African values and culture also resulted into religious confusion in Buganda.
  • Mother countries like Britain and France had longterm differences which were also transferred by the Christian Missionaries thus causing the religious wars.
  • The untimely death of kabakaMuteesa I in 1884 created a political vacuum in Buganda leading to the appointment of Mwanga who could not control the religious groups.
  • The struggle for political power in Buganda between the Protestants and Catholics so led to the wars.ie each of them wanted a prime minister (katikiro) to come from their side.
  • The involvement of Captain Lugard in the political issues of Buganda also increased the tension.eg he gave 100 guns to the Protestants to fight the Catholics hence the war. 
  • Religious disagreements among various pages in the King’s court led to the religious wars.ie they started questioning the authority of the king which forced him to kill them.
  • The Islamisation policy in Buganda where the Muslims forced Christians to join Islam by destroying churches and Killing those who refused annoyed the Missionaries forcing them to fight the Muslims.
  • It is also believed that the Muslims fueled the Conflicted caused the wars because they wanted to create market for their guns.
  • Buganda’s traditional belief that a foreigner from the East would come and take away their independence caused tension leading to the religious wars.

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