who was Semei Kakungulu

who was Semei Kakungulu

  • Semei Lwakilenzi Kakungulu was born in Kooki around 1870.
  • He grew up as a page at the Kabaka’s palace in Buganda.
  • With the growing influence of the missionaries at the Kabaka’s court, Kakungulu found himself so close to the British.
  • He was converted to Christianity and christened Semei.
  • During the 1888 – 1890 religious wars, Kakungulu joined hands with Christians to topple Kalema and the Muslims who had taken control of Mengo – Buganda’s capital.
  • His political career begun to take shape in 1890, when he decided to ally/collaborate with the British for personal gains.

Why Kakungulu Collaborated With The British

  • He participated in the 1888 – 1890 religious wars in Buganda on the side of Protestants who emerged victorious and this marked the beginning of his collaborating carrier.
  • The growing influence of the missionaries also forced Kakungulu to collaborate. This was because he had been converted to Christianity and this forced him to ally with the British.
  • Kakungulu was an opportunist who expected material rewards from the British e.g. old clothes and employment, land e.t.c.
  • Because of his humble origin, Kakungulu wanted to earn himself fame and recognition from the Baganda and Uganda at large.
  • Kakungulu was also convinced that the best way of fighting Buganda’s enemies e.g. Bunyoro was to collaborate with the British.
  • Kakungulu also had serious ambition for power and leadership e.g. he at one time crowned himself Kyabazinga of Busoga to satisfy his appetite for power.
  • Kakungulu’s failure to get a post in the Buganda government also forced him to collaborate with the British e.g. Sir Apollo Kaggwa beat him to the post of Katikiro (Prime Minister).
  • Kakungulu was also interested in developing Buganda and he believed that through collaboration with the British, Buganda would develop.
  • The willingness of the British to tap the administrative potential in him also brought Kakungulu close to the British hence his collaboration.
  • Kakungulu also wanted to use his British connections to extend Buganda’s influence to the neighbouring areas e.g. Busoga, Bukedi, Budaka e.t.c.
  • It was also part of the British indirect rule system to look for the brave Africans to use as “tools” in the extension of colonial rule hence leading to Kakungulu’s collaboration.
  • Kakungulu also collaborated out of ignorance i.e. he didn’t know the intensions of the British.
  • Due to Mwanga’s harsh rule, Kakungulu was also forced to collaborate with the British e.g. Mwanga was against the British yet Kakungulu wanted to be their ally.
  • All the above reforms earned Kakungulu a lot of admiration from the British but this was short lived.
  • In 1901 his headquarters at Budaka were attacked and taken over by the British, forcing Kakungulu to withdraw to Nabumali.
  • Kakungulu also suffered a series of demotions e.g. was demoted from being the Kabaka of Bukedi to county Chief at Mbale.
  • In 1923, Kakungulu was forced   to retire on pension of three thousand pounds and this greatly demoralized and frustrated Kakungulu.
  • Kakungulu later joined a religious sect called Abamalaki and opposed anything western e.g. medicine.
  • In 1925, Kakungulu died a disappointed man and was buried in Mbale after failing to realize his              dream of creating an empire for himself.

Effects of Kakungulu’s resistance

  • He helped the British to extend colonial rule to Eastern Uganda particularly in Busoga, Bugisu, Teso, Bukedi and Kumam.
  • He convinced the fellow Baganda to accept British rule as a way of securing military help against their traditional enemies-the Banyoro.
  • Kakungulu built administrative posts in Eastern Uganda, which the British later used as their bases e.g. in Mbale, Budaka, and Nabumali.
  • Kakungulu built several roads which eased the mobility of colonial armies and administrators e.g. he built Mbale-Tirinyi road, Bubulo-Nabumali road and Iganga-Budaka road.
  • Kakungulu united the Basoga and assumed the presidency of the Busoga Lukiiko.
  • He also trained many local rulers in the area which greatly helped in the extension of indirect rule.
  • He set up medical centers wherever he established administrative posts like Budaka dispensary in Budaka.
  • He planted many Mvule and mango trees in Eastern Uganda especially along the roads.
  • Kakungulu introduced the Kiganda model of administration in Eastern Uganda.
  • He divided these areas into counties and appointed Baganda agents and advisors there.
  • Kakungulu also encouraged the growing of cash crops e.g. he introduced cotton growing in Busoga and coffee in Mbale.
  • He encouraged the extension of the Uganda railway to Eastern Uganda to collect cotton and coffee and by 1930, it had reached Tororo.
  • Kakungulu helped the British in the capture of Kabaka Mwanga and Omukama Kabalega in Lango on 4th April 1899. These two had given the British a lot of hard time because of resistances.

Sir Apollo Kaggwa

  • He was a Muganda from the grasshopper (Nsenene) clan born around 1869.
  • He trained as a page and served at Kabaka Muteesa I and Mwanga II’s courts.
  • Due to missionary influence. He converted to Protestantism and was christened Apollo.
  • He started preaching Christianity and converted many people to Christianity.
  • He was also very much influential in the construction of Namirembe cathedral.
  • When Mwanga ascended to power, Kaggwa’s religious involvements landed him into trouble and he narrowly survived the Christian killings of the martyrs in 1886.
  • He became influential at the Kabaka’s court and he rose to the post of Katikiro (Prime Minister).
  • He was rewarded with over thirty square miles of land for his excellent work as Katikiro.
  • During the religious wars, he worked closely with Captain Fredrick Lugard who armed the Protestants against Catholics.
  • He also played a key role in the signing of the Portal – Mwanga agreement of 1893 which led to the declaration of a British protectorate over Uganda in 1894.
  • He helped the British extend their influence in Uganda e.g. he supported British campaigns against Bunyoro.
  • In 1898, he led a Ganda force against Sudanese mutineers from the north and he brought the situation to normal.
  • He was one of the key players in the overthrow and deportation of Mwanga and Kabalega to Seychelles Island in 1899.
  • He also helped the British to proclaim the young Daudi Chwa II as the new Kabaka of Buganda.
  • Kaggwa became a regent to the new Kabaka and was involved in the signing of the 1900 Buganda agreement.
  • The agreement caused him problems because the ‘Bataka’ accused him of selling Buganda’s land to the British.
  • He introduced judicial and financial reforms in Buganda and upheld the rights of the ‘Lukiiko’.
  • He campaigned for education and enrolled many boys and girls into mission schools.
  • Kaggwa also asked the colonial government to grant many scholarships to many promising sons of Buganda to go and study abroad.
  • He encouraged cotton growing, mulching of bananas and application of fertilizers.
  • In 1902, he visited England to attend the coronation of Sir Edward VII and was Knighted ‘SIR’ as a reward for his good work for the British.
  • He advocated for the spraying against tsetse flies around the shores of Lake Victoria and Sir Hesketh Bell did exactly that.
  • Kaggwa later lost his influence at the Kabaka’s court because Daudi Chwa had grown up and he also lost his popularity from the chiefs.
  • He conflicted with the British due to his desire to protect African traditional institutions in Buganda.
  • By this time, he had outlived his usefulness to the British and his own people.
  • He angrily resigned in 1926 and died on 21st February 1927.   

Nuwa Mbaguta of Ankole

  • Nuwa Mbaguta was born in 1867.
  • He lost all his parents as a tender age and was therefore left in the hands of his relatives.
  • He later ran away from his relatives to go and live at Omugabe Ntare IV’s court.
  • As he grew up, he was taken to work as a page at the king’s court at Mularagira.
  • He didn’t enjoy his stay there and soon ran back to Ntare’s palace.
  • As a young man, he had the courage of entering the Omugabe’s bedroom and he got praises for this courage.
  • Mbaguta became a fearless wrestler and was nicknamed ‘Kitinwa’ meaning the ‘feared one’.
  • This soon earned him a lot of admiration from Omugabe and he became his favourite page.
  • He was made to join the trusted army unit of the Omugabe which helped him rise to prominence.
  • When the British showed up in Ankole, he became crusader of their propaganda and this further elevated him above other pages.
  • In 1894, he signed a treaty of friendship and protection with the British on behalf of the Ntare IV.
  • This made him a public figure in Ankole.
  • He led the campaign to construct the road used by Sir Harry Johnston to move from Ankole to Toro.
  • In 1900, he was made the Nganzi (Prime Minister) of Ankole by the British commissioner Sir Harry Johnston.
  • In 1901, he signed another treaty with the British who pledged to support Ankole against Bunyoro.
  • Ankole was allowed to maintain self government and was even rewarded with additional territories like Buhweju, Mpororo, Igara and Buziba.
  • He encouraged education by building several schools in Ankole.
  • He also built several churches which helped in the spread of Christianity.
  • Mbaguta also encouraged the growing of cash crops like cotton and coffee.
  • Due to his contribution to British rule, he was rewarded with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) honor.
  • He retired in 1938 having done a lot for the British and his people.
  • He died in 1944.