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    BOOK REVIEW: An account of Kabaka Mutebi’s reign
    Book Review & Art
    Written by Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda
    Wednesday, 14 October 2009 17:11

    Book: King on the Throne
    Author: Charles Peter Mayiga
    Price: Shs 27,500
    Reviewer: Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda
    Available from all leading bookshops

    King on the Throne as its name suggests, is the first book to document in detail the 16-year reign of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi since his coronation on July 31, 1993.

    The author, Charles Peter Mayiga, Buganda’s Information and Cabinet Affairs Minister and Katikkiro Eng. J.B Walusimbi are the only Buganda officials who have served the Kabaka government from before coronation to date. Mayiga started working for the Kabaka’s government on July 4, 1991 when he was interviewed and appointed Administrative Secretary for the Ssaabataka’s Supreme Council (SSC).

    The Ssaabataka Supreme Council (SSC) was the name given to the Lukiiko primarily because the law didn’t allow it to assume its correct name. The Lukiiko together with the whole Buganda kingdom had been abolished by President Milton Obote using the 1967 Constitution.

    The book therefore gives you the shape in which the Buganda kingdom was before the coronation. It is a revealing and emotional eye witness account. For example, the author found no files or people to consult when he started work in an office provided by John Katende who later became the kingdom’s attorney general.

    To give this miserable state of affairs context, he goes back to the 1966 crisis when Apollo Milton Obote disagreed with Sir Edward Muteesa and abolished the Buganda Kingdom. The book gives an interesting account of how Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi has rebuilt his kingdom from scratch.

    Reading it in the current context of a strained relationship between the Kabaka and President Museveni, it explains how close the two men were in yester-years and gives reasons that might have affected their relationship.

    For example while inaugurating the Ssaabataka Supreme Council (SSC), Kabaka Mutebi outlined its role to include working closely with the NRM government. In fact informing President Museveni about its formation was a big priority.

    There is almost nothing that the new monarch did without informing Museveni or inviting him to grace it according to the book. Museveni who rarely watches football matches even made appearances at Buganda Bika Football tournaments and together with the Kabaka they would hand over the trophy to the winner.

    The book gives you in detail the role of key actors in the restoration and rebuilding of the Buganda Kingdom; the role individuals like Prof. Apolo Nsibambi who today are not welcome at Mengo played negotiating with Museveni for the return of Buganda’s property (ebyaffe).

    Nsibambi headed the Kabaka negotiating team while Gen. Elly Tumwine headed the government team which included Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and late Col. Sserwanga Lwanga.

    If you missed the coronation, the book has a full story including who played what role and the cultural ceremonies that were performed. That forms the early chapters. It is organized in a chronological order.

    From coronation to Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli’s reign, federal agitation and the making of the 1995 Constitution to the fall out between Buganda and Museveni caused by denial of federalism. It also has a chapter on the battles between Museveni and Buganda due to land reforms stretching from 1998 when the Land Act was enacted to the 2007 Land Amendment Bill.

    The book concludes with the kidnap of the author on July 18, 2008 and his seven days incarceration. He explains in details conditions in the more than four police cells where he was secretly detained in Kiruhura, Bundibugyo, Kyenjojo, Kampala and Ibanda during his captivity.

    It gets emotional when you read about what his family went through during his secret detention. Although he denies it enough pictures to illustrate some of the episodes better, it is written in easy English for everyone to understand. No legal jargon associated with lawyers like him. The Kabaka of Buganda has already read it and commended the work according to the author.


    Date: Wednesday October 21, 2009

    King on the Throne


    Any average adult Ugandan knows that the Kingdom of Buganda was abolished following the Battle of Mengo, on 24th May, 1966. Similarly, it is common knowledge that the Kingdom was restored in 1993.

    However, very few people can tell you authoritatively what led to the conflict between independent Uganda’s first Prime Minister, Apollo Milton Obote and the Kabaka of Buganda, Edward Muteesa II, who also doubled as the first President of Uganda. Neither can one find many people who know the inside story that saw to the re-birth of Buganda’s nearly one-thousand-year cultural institution.

    Most of the stories told with regard to the abolition, and, now, the restoration, are told by active politicians. In main, they are recounted with a political twist, motivated by the desire to defend or justify their stand viz-a-viz Buganda. Hence, Obote, or the UPC regimes, would cite “Ekiteeso Lwasa Mayinja”, that Lukiiko resolution that purportedly called upon the Central Government to be taken off Buganda’s soil, as the reason for the disastrous events of 1966.

    As regards the restoration, President Yoweri Museveni gives himself the credit for the coronation of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the restitution of some of Buganda’s properties and whatever other tenets of the Kingdom that its inhabitants may be enjoying.

    The truth, however, is that tales by the political players are only half the story. The full extent has been brought to the fore by an ardent subject of the Kabaka, minister at Mengo and Kampala prominent advocate, Charles Peter Mayiga.

    Mayiga has been closely related to the Mengo Establishment since 1991. He was there as the Ssaabataka’s Supreme Council (SSC), the first forum that led the crusade of the restoration, was launched.

    He was there as the SSC struggled to have Ssaabataka Mutebi crowned; as it strive to wrest Buganda’s properties from the Central Government; as the first “Kabaka’s Government” took its first steps since 1966; and as the Kingdom initiated development programmes.

    Mayiga has witnessed the challenges that Buganda has faced as she tried to protect and promote her heritage. Indeed he was arrested last year apparently for standing firmly with his King when the Government introduced the Land Bill that Mengo perceived as outlandish, and a negation of the Kingdom’s aspirations.

    It is therefore not far fetched to say that Mayiga has been a factor in the processes that have led to the central region of Uganda being referred to yet again as a “Kingdom”. His contribution to the re-birth of Buganda has been crystallized in the book he has authored: “KING ON THE THRONE, The Story of The Restoration of The Kingdom of Buganda”.

    This 422 page story starts with a brief background to 1966 Crisis, and shows the struggle that Buganda put forth as she yearned for the resurrection of the monarchy. The concentration of the account covers the NRM regime. It gives an insight into the social- economic initiatives started by the Kabaka and/or Mengo.

    At the end it highlights Buganda’s unyielding determination to preserve the intricacies of her history, in face of the interests of the current regime and all the other political actors in Uganda.

    An attempt is made to offer solutions to this complex problem which is codenamed the Buganda Question.

    “King on the Throne” is a must read for politicians, university undergraduates, researchers, sociologists, constitutional lawyers and any others who may be interested in a lasting solution to the Mengo-Kampala relations, or for simply sheer reading pleasure.

    The book is written in simple, clear and interesting narrative. It is written with considerable candor’s, although there are some would-be interesting issues which the author chose not to disclose at this point in time.

    Kabaka Mutebi has written to Mayiga commending him upon this milestone.

    Interested readers can get themselves copies from all major book stores including Aristoc, St. Paul Book Center, Angellina Bookshop, Bulange, Ekitoobero Restaurant, Ninaz Restaurant and many other outlets. It goes for only Ugandan Shillings 27,500/-


    Tuwagire omulimu guno, ate nga bwetuyiga. Mayiga webale sebo.

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