Why Muteesa I Sent Away Missionaries from Buganda In 1882 

Why Muteesa I Sent Away Missionaries from Buganda In 1882

  • In 1882 Kabaka Muteesa I ordered Catholics and Protestants to quit Buganda. They left for the coast, though some stayed on an island on Lake Victoria. Muslims were not chased away.
  • Missionaries failed to supply Buganda with guns as expected, which annoyed the Kabaka.
  • Missionaries did not extend any financial supportto Buganda as expected which disappointed the king.
  • Arab Muslims in Buganda advised the king against missionaries as imperialists hence the decision to chase them.
  • The king feared losing Buganda’s independence to the whites and decided to send them away.
  • Missionary teachings against Buganda culture and religion disturbed the king and chased them away.
  • The king failed to understand and feared the conflicts that continued to exist between the Catholics and the Protestants in the palace and chose to get rid of all.
  • Each of the Christian denomination was struggling for the favour and conversion of the king which Muteesa I feared and chased them away.
  • Christian teachings of equality for all people were against the culture and position of the king hence the resolve to chase them away.
  • Alexander Mackey of the CMS rejected the royal army to protect him which made the king suspicious of the whites.
  • Disobedience of the first Christian converts, the pages, by refusing to take the orders of the king made him suspicious of the missionaries.
  • Traditionalists and palace officials advised the king to get rid of the missionaries since all their activities were suspicious of Buganda’s interests.
  • Missionaries were dividing the Baganda along denominations of Catholicism and Protestantism, threatening Buganda’s unity.

Why Kabaka Muteesa I Died neither A Christian Nor A Muslim

  • Kabaka Muteesa I was tactical, he worked with both the Christians and the Muslims but could not any. He died in 1884.
  • The king was interested in guns from the foreigners to defend Buganda against her enemies, and not necessarily religion.
  • The king was interested in formal education to his subjects and not religious education. He invited teachers not religious leaders.
  • The king was to develop Buganda through trade relations with the foreigners, i.e.  Arabs and Europeans and not interested in their religious faith.
  • The king could not betray his own traditional religion and culture for foreign religions of Christianity and Islam.
  • Buganda palace officials like the traditional Prime Minister Mukasa could not let/ advise the king join any of the foreign religions.
  • The king feared entering strong alliance with any of the foreign religions as this would arouse rivalry and conflicts among these religions in Buganda.
  • The king wanted to protect Buganda’s independence against foreign colonialism hence the failure to convertto any of the foreign religions.
  • The open conflicts between the Catholics and the Protestants in the palace threatened the Kabaka against converting to any.
  • Muslims who had stayed in the palace for long advised the king against joining Christianity describing the Christians as imperialists.
  • Disobedience of the first Christian converts, the pages, by refusing to take orders of the king threatened him against conversion.
  • Christianity advocated for equality which was against the position of the king, and could not convert to compromise his special position in the kingdom.
  • Joining Islam meant circumcision at an advanced age, on the king could not take on.
  • Arab Muslims stayed in Buganda focused on trade and not converting local people into Islam.
  • Islamic culture of praying five times a day, food prohibitions could not attract the king into conversion.
Why Kabaka Mwanga Re-Inverted Missionaries to Buganda
  • In 1884, kabak Mwanga rose to kingship following the death of the father kabaka Muteesa I.
  • He inverted missionaries to come back to Buganda and immediately, the packed bags back.
  • Mwanga could have not consulted palace officials and took it upon himself to invert the teachers back.
  • Being young, about 18 years of age, he could have acted irrationally and inverted the missionaries back.
  • Mwanga was a dictator and could have prevailed against all other people to invert the Christians back to Buganda.
  • He expected military/ weaponry support to strengthen Buganda’s defense against her enemies.
  • He expected financial support to Buganda that he would use to build and develop the kingdom.
  • He expected material/charity support the people of Buganda that would improve their welfare.
  • Mwanga expected social service support in terms of education and health service to Buganda.
  • Mwanga underrated circumstances under which his father had chased the teachers out ofBuganda, hence inverting them back.
  • Being young he believed he was strong enough to handle and manage the teachers hence inverting them back.
  • Upon death of kabaka MuteesaI, the teachers appealed to come back to Buganda and Mwanga gave them a second chance.
  • Missionaries had earlier been friendly to the young people in Buganda, who could have influenced the king to re-invert them.

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