Reign Of Omukama Kabalega

Reign Of Omukama Kabalega. Kabalega was born in 1830 to Omukama Kamurasi.

He spent his early years in Bulega where he acquired the name Kabalega meaning son of Bulega.

After the death of his father in 1869, Kabalega was involved in a power struggle with his brother Kabigumire.

Kabigumire was supported by the royal family and provincial chiefs.

Kabalega used the support of the commoners, Arab mercenaries and his father’s body guards to defeat his brother.

Kabalega ascended to power in 1870.

Contributions Of Kabalega

  • He started with the defeat of the opposition from the royal family by killing and exiling members of the royal Family and chiefs who supported his rival brother Kabigumire.
  • Kabalega established a highly centralized administration with him as the political head.
  • He had a chain of chiefs in the provinces to ensure stability.
  • Kabalega built a strong standing army of the Abarusula well armed with guns acquired from the L.D.T with Arabs.
  • Kabalega destroyed the social system of classes in the society and even appointed commoners to positions of responsibility.
  • Kabalega expanded the Kingdom to occupy areas such as Toro, Bwamba, Bulega, Katwe, Lango, Buganda e.t.c and many others. This was done with the help of the Abarusula.
  • Kabalega encouraged trade with the coastal Arabs and Khartoumers from the North e.g. Bunyoro supplied Ivory and salt and in return she got guns.
  • Kabalega encouraged the Banyoro to grow enough food especially millet to reduce famine.
  • He also built enough granaries (food stores) which ensured proper food storage.
  • Kabalega encouraged the spirit of nationalism among the Banyoro for example he always reminded them of the Baganda threat and that if they didn’t unite Buganda would finish them off.
  • However Kabalega’s programme of building Bunyoro was interfered with by the British.
  • In 1891, he engaged the British in the guerilla warfare as he resisted colonial rule.
  • In 1898, he was captured in Lango with Mwanga and was sent to exile in Seychelles Island.
  •  Kabalega died later in 1923 in Jinja as he tried to return to Bunyoro from exile
  • Kabalega was buried at Mparo in present day Hoima district.