1.Origins of Buganda

Origins of Buganda. Buganda is one of the numerous Kingdoms that sprung up after the collapse of the Chwezi dynasty.

A number of theories have been put forward to explain the origins of Buganda.

According to oral traditions in Buganda, Kintu was the first Muganda believed to have come from the direction of Mt. Elgon (Kintu came from the East).

He is said to have come with 13 or 14 of the present day clans in Buganda.

According to traditions in Bunyoro, the founder of Buganda was Prince Kato Kimera who was a twin brother to Prince Isingoma Rukidi Mpuga the founder of the Bito dynasty in Bunyoro.

He is said to have come with 5 or 6 of the present day clans in Buganda.

Other traditions claim that Buganda originated from the Bantu clans that migrated from Congo basin.

Buganda sprung up after the collapse of the Chwezi Empire with only three countries i.e. Kyadondo, Mawokota and Busiro.

 In the 17th century, Kabaka Kateregga began her systematic expansion by annexing Gomba, Singo, Butambala and Kyaggwe.

 Around the 18th century (1750) many immigrants arrived from Bunyoro, Mt.Elgon area and Ssese Islands to increase her population.

Between 1780 – 1789 (18th century), Kabaka Jjunju waged war against Bunyoro and managed to annex Buddu and Kooki which were rich in Iron.

Between 1814 and 1881 Kabaka Ssekamanya annexed Buwekula and Bwera and added them to Buganda.

Between 1831 – 1851, Kabaka Ssuna finally attacked Bunyoro and crashed it.

Still in the same period, Kabaka Mawanda tried to annex Busoga but failed in his attempt not until Kabaka Kyabaggu’s reign that Busoga was finally crashed.

In the late 19th century Buruuli, Mawogola, Bulemezi and Bugerere were annexed to Buganda as Bunyoro was declining.

In the 1900 Buganda agreement, Buganda was given the two lost counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi.

This stretched her territory from Lake Albert in the west to River Nile in the East up to Northern Tanzania in the South.

Factors For The Growth And Expansion Of Buganda

  • Buganda started as a very small state which made it easy to defend and administer effectively.
  • Buganda was gifted with fertile soils and good climate which ensured production of Matooke to feed her big population.
  • Buganda established trade links with the coastal Arabs and was able to obtain guns that helped her to expand.
  • Buganda had well developed roads that connected the whole Kingdom which eased the movements of people and their goods.
  • Buganda had a highly centralized system of administration which ensured stability in the Kingdom.
  • Buganda had strong and capable leaders, e.g. Kabaka Ssuna, Kabaka Jjunju, Kabaka Ssekamanya .e.t.c who expanded the Kingdom to greater heights.
  • The Kabaka married from all the major tribes of Buganda which created unity and loyalty of the people.
  • Buganda took advantage of her weak neighbours to expand e.g. Bunyoro lost a lot of land to Buganda.
  • The Kiganda society had division of Labour where by women engaged in agriculture while the men concentrated on trading, fishing and fighting to defend the empire.
  • The geographical location of Buganda also gave her a security advantage e.g. Lake Victoria in the south, river Nile in the East and Lake Kyoga in the North provided natural defense barriers against enemies.
  • Buganda also absorbed / conquered small communities which led to increase of her population.
  • The coming of the British also led to the expansion of Buganda because they offered her enough support in defeating Bunyoro.
  • The constant supply of tributes from conquered states also strengthened Buganda’s economy e.g from Busoga.
  • Buganda had a royal guard where by all able bodied men were supposed to go for compulsory military training so that they could defend the Kingdom.