Who Are Baluuli -Banyala In Uganda?

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    Who are Banyala in Uganda?


    September 10, 2009 at 11:38 am (CULTURE)
    Tags: Paul Ssemalulu

    Hello UAH,
    Abanyala is a Luhya sub-tribe which resides in two districts, Busia and
    Kakamega, Kenya in East Africa. It is believed that the Banyala of Kakamega
    originated from Busia hence they are closely related as they speak the same
    dialect, safe for the differences in pronnunciations.”Ochie”, “Otie” meaning
    hello. The Banyala in Kakamega reside in Navakholo Division North of
    Kakamega forest. They are mostly known by their one time powerful colonial
    chief: Ndombi wa Namusia who was succeeded by one of his sons Andrea, then
    Paulo Udoto, Mukopi, Wanjala, Barasa Ongeti, Matayo Oyalo and Muterwa (the
    most recent) in that order.

    Interestingly the Abanyala are a very diverse people with about thirty
    different clans which have intermarried forming a whole complicated network
    of relationships popularly called “Olwikho”. The Abanyala clans include:
    Abaafu, Ababenge, Abadavani, Abaengere, Abakangala, Abakhubichi, Abakoye,
    Abakwangwachi, Abalanda, Abalindo, Abamisoho, Abamuchuu, Abamugi, Abamwaya,Abasaacha, Abasaya, Abasenya, Abasia, Abasiloli, Abasonge, Abasumba, Abasuu,Abatecho, Abaucha, Abauma,Abaumwo, Abayaya, Abayirifuma, Abayisa, Abayundo.One is not allowed to marry from his/her own clan.

    Best Regards
    Ssemaluulu Paul


    Ndowooza oyo Kimeze ava mu kika kya Abaafu. Bwekindabikidde. Ate ayinza nokuba nga ava mu Abayisa, oba Abakoye.


    The Baruuli-Banyara are a people of Central Uganda who generally live near the Nile River-Lake Kyoga basin. The people first settled in the northern part of Uganda, but later migrated to the western parts of Uganda to the Bunyoro kingdom as the king’s guards. Though the names of the two groups (Baruuli and Banyara) appear somewhat different, they see themselves as the same people and attribute the difference in names to the body of water (the Sezibwa River) that separates them.


    The Baruuli-Banyara culture has acquired cultural aspects of the surrounding Baganda and Banyoro. But despite being assimilated into these dominating cultures, the Baruuli-Banyara still continue to maintain their language and cultural identity. Some distinguishing characteristics of Baruuli-Banyara culture are their cultural leader – the Isaabaruuli – and their methods of naming around totems and giving names after circumstances. They have 120 clans but, unlike many other cultures, power is not hereditary.

    The Baruuli are cattle keepers, goat-herders, fishermen and cultivators. Most live in mud houses with iron or thatched grass roofs. Transportation is difficult and people either walk or use bicycles for traveling, often for very long distances. The Baruuli-Banyara do not have Scriptures in their mother tongue, but use Bibles of the neighboring languages. However understanding of these Scriptures is severely limited due not only to low literacy rates but also because some of the Baruuli-Banyara people are monolingual speakers of Ruruuli-Runyara. Nationals need training in various disciplines.

    Community development projects and more in-depth Bible training would be useful also. The Roman Catholic and the Church of Uganda (or Anglican Church) are the two largest denominations among the Baruuli-Banyara. A very small percentage of the people are Muslim. Many still follow the traditional religions, and there is a high level of syncretism among those who go to church.

    Just moved in to offer a little help. The picture was irrelevant. We don’t want to confuse our readers. Great post.


    Banyala have their roots in Kenya

    Sunday, 13th September, 2009

    EDITOR—The Banyala, it appears, have their ancestors in Kenya, among the Banyala or they are closely related to the Samia of western Kenya and eastern Uganda.

    Prominent among the Banyala of Kenya were former ministers Peter Habenga Okondo (RIP) and James Osogo.

    The Banyala cultural institution cannot claim indigenous in their current area of residence or settlement.

    Against this background, a visit by Kabaka Mutebi to Kayunga should not have been politicized to cause unnecessary friction.

    Jenn Jagire

    Banyala’s demand illegitimate

    Sunday, 13th September, 2009

    EDITOR—The Banyala’s demand for recognition as a kingdom is not legitimate at all. Their kingdom was never there before and should not come into force now.

    The Government should stop accepting the creation of new kingdoms because this creates disagreements in Uganda.

    Soon, every region, including Kigezi, will ask for a kingdom. If Ankole, that we all know in history, has not yet been recognised,
    why recognize new ones?

    Kamugisha Kabahweza
    Voice of Muhabura
    Kisoro district

    This is utter nonsense
    Sunday, 13th September, 2009

    EDITOR—No serious leader can recognise a cultural head who dubiously claims to lead 7,000 subjects (source:2002 Population Census). In Buganda, big clans like Emmamba, Enkima, Lugave, Ffumbe and Ngonge have far bigger numbers than this so-called Ssabanyala.

    Should the leaders of these clans also claim to be cultural heads? This Ssabanyala issue is utter nonsense.

    Tema Kafeero,
    Nansana Wakiso


    Referring to Adoko Nekyon´s Letter this Banyala issue was never a big Deal at all! All these are tactics of Ssababbi M7 to terrorise the Kingdom and our King!All Mmengo have to do now is to take the Central Govt. to Court for Breech of the Constitution for the Tenth time..it is also Criminal to Shoot rioters with live Bullets..Museveni is a War Criminal..


    Banyala may have come from Darfur

    I would like to react to the story in the New Vision (September 17) on page 24 by Chris Kiwawulo. It is not true that the Banyala came as a result of intermarriages between Baganda and Banyoro. They were there long before Namuyonjo came on the scene.

    I did some research and wrote about the Banyala in detail who are also found in some parts of western Kenya. The story was published in the Sunday Vision last year. I forget the date but I think the Sunday editors can trace it.

    The Banyala came from the north and there is a place called Nyara in Dafur in Sudan which is a topic of dabate about whether at one time, the Banyala lived there on their way southwards.

    The Banyala are said to have been good at thatching houses and in order to see whether the thatch was water proof they used to urinate on it. It is also a debatable question whether the Banyala got their name from the word “okunyala” which means to urinate.

    According to my research, the Banyala of Kenya and those of Uganda have the same rituals for twins, meaning they are related. Kiwawulo’s article is wanting in many respects.

    Folofotto w’Abaluuli ate ayingiridde n’ab’e Kkooki?

    Kale tunadda wa ensonyi ng’enkolagana ya Mmengo ne Kamuswaga w’e Kkooki nayo ezzeemu folofotto?

    Omumyuka w’a Katikkiro Ssendaula yeesimbye mu maaso ga Kabaka n’anenya Kamuswaga Ssansa Kabumbuli olw’okuteekawo bendera n’oluyimba lwa Kkooki nga tasoose kutegeeza ku mukama we Kabaka wa Buganda.

    Kamuswaga yayanukudde mu ngeri owamawulire gye yayise ey’okuzza omuliro. Kyokka singa tekwali kulengera wala okwa Mulwanyammuli Ssemwogerere nga ye Katikkiro wa Buganda n’abaako ky’akolawo, osanga omuliro ogwo Kamuswaga gwe yazzizza singa gwatandika dda okwaka era osanga singa waliwo ne bye gwokezza.

    Olwali olwo Mulwanyammuli Ssemwogerere yeekangira awo nga basajja ba Kamuswaga baleese obwaguuga bw’entebe eyingizibwe mu kisenge ky’olukiiko lw’e Mmengo ng’eyo Kamuswaga gy’anaatuulangako mu lukiiko lwa Kabaka.

    Kyali tekijjukirwa nti Kamuswaga yali abaddeko n’entebe eyenjawulo mu lukiiko lwa Kabaka. Kyokka abeetikka entebe eyo baali balumiriza kimu nti “kuva dda Kamuswaga wanjawulo era ne mu lukiiko atuula mu ngeri yanjawulo.”

    Katikkiro alengera ewala yakirabirawo nti entebe ya Kamuswaga ye yali ekulembedde n’ebirala bingi abo bakamuswaga bye baali bajja okukaayanako. Mangu ddala yateekawo akakiiko akenjawulo akaatuulako abantu bakamuswaga n’abakungu b’e Mmengo okugonjoolanga ebyo ebyalireeseewo enkaayana wakati wa Kkooki ne Mmengo.

    Akakiiko ka Mulwanyammuli bwe kaatandika emirimu gyako embeera yatandika okudda mu nteeko era n’enkolagana ya Kabaka ne Kamuswaga n’edda mu nteeko.

    Awo nno kati bwe kiba nga Kamuswaga yatuuse n’okulangirira oluyimba ne bendera ya Kkooki nga ne Mmengo tekitegeddeeko ekyo kitegeeza nti akakiiko ka Mulwanyammuli ak’ebyenkolagana tekakyaliwo.

    Wo ayi Mzee Zedde ng’alabye ennaku! Folofotto wa Ssaabaluuli ne Ssaabannyala ne Ssaabamooli ne Ssaabamogera ne twala tugende yenna bw’anaalekebwa n’okuyingirira enkolagana ya Kamuswaga ne Kabaka we olwo ate tunadda wa ensonyi?

    Okwegatta awamu n’enkolagana ey’obwakabaka n’obwakamuswaga eri mu ndagaano. Endagaano eyo erina okwekebejjebwa n’okuddaabirizibwa. Era mu ngeri eyo akakiiko Katikkiro Ssemwogerere ke yassaawo akatuulako Abakooki n’Abakungu b’e Mmengo kateekwa okuddamu okukola emirimu gyako mangu ddala ng’ekiwundu tekinnasamba ddagala. Bw’ovanga ku bya Mzee Zedde be ppo nga naawe bakulogera mu folofotto.



    Buganda’s ‘rebels’ always vote NRM
    Bbaale County MP Sulaiman Madada (left), Kayunga and Nakasongola district chairmen Thomas Mulondo and (right) Lawrence Wandera

    BARUULI and Banyala have had a turbulent relationship with the Buganda establishment at Mengo in the last five years. But as the 2011 elections near, land seems to be the big factor, writes Joshua Kato

    There are several similarities between Kayunga and Nakasongola districts. In the last two years both set conditions before Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi could visit, angering several people in Buganda.

    While Nakasongola is occupied by the Baruuli, Kayunga is occupied by the Banyala, both of whom trace their origins to Bunyoro.

    But both districts have got significant numbers of Baganda and are geographically in Buganda.

    In Kayunga, areas like Kangulumira have got significant populations of Bagisu and Basoga too.

    The two districts have featured prominently in the recent turnaround of relations between the Central Government and the Buganda government.

    In 2009, the Government stopped the Kabaka from visiting Nakasongola District after the Baruuli protested against the visit.

    And in September 2010, the Kabaka was prevented from visiting Kayunga.

    While the Nakasongola incident passed without much of a fuss, that of Kayunga sparked unprecedented riots, in and around Kampala.

    It was also the ‘final nail’ in the relationship between the Buganda monarchy and the Central Government.

    These actions propelled the two districts onto the national agenda.

    The Baruuli have been ‘growing wings’ and promoting their own chief called the Isabaruuli, Mwogeza Butamanya, while the Banyala are also propping up their Sabanyala, Baker Kimeze.

    The Buganda establishment at Mengo accuses the central government of having a hand in the rise of these chiefs, saying it a scheme to weaken the kingdom.

    Kayunga and Nakasongola districts had 182,000 voters in 2006. This number has risen gradually in the last four years.

    In both the 2001 and 2006 elections, President Yoweri Museveni won in both districts.

    In 2001, he bagged over 95% of the votes cast in Nakasongola, which prompted some members of the opposition to claim that ‘even cows’ had voted. This dropped to 89% in 2006.

    Although the NRM may dominate this region, the opposition has made some openings.

    In 2006, Museveni won in Ntenjeru South with only 58% of the vote. Ntenjeru South includes areas like Kangulumira, which are heavily populated.

    The diverse population in the area makes its voting patterns unpredictable.

    Museveni should win in Nakasongola with around 85% and in Kayunga with 60% of the votes cast.

    In total, there are six MPs in these two regions and all of them are NRM. But that does not mean there were no surprises. In 2006 Muruuli Mukasa was beaten by the then little known Johnson Butamanya in the NRM primaries, who was in turn defeated by Peter Nyombi.

    At the moment, Peter Nyombi is contesting in the NRM primaries due tomorrow against former Nakasongola LC5 chairman, Christopher Bagonza and RDC Johnson Butamanya, the man he defeated in the 2006 elections.

    This is a tough call, especially so the contest between Nyombi and Bagonza. Given the results of the 2006 primaries, even Butamanya cannot be ruled out. Regardless of who wins the NRM primaries and as long as the losers do not stand as independents an NRM person will be the area MP come 2011.

    Unlike the case in 2006, Nakasongola now has another constituency — Budyepo.

    Here, former MP and Minister for Security Muruuli Mukasa is standing in the NRM primaries against two not-so-known politicians Johnson Beebwa and Banoba Ssekate. Muruuli appears set to carry the day.

    For the post of Woman MP Nakasongola, incumbent Grace Tubwita is tussling it out with Margaret Komuhangi for the NRM ticket.

    In Kayunga, there are various battles to look out for come the 2011 elections. Sulaiman Madada, who won the Bbaale County seat unopposed in 2006 must go past a number of candidates in the NRM primaries tomorrow, before he can take on any of the opposition candidates.

    Among these are radio journalist and Kampala International University guild president Dennis Katongole.

    “I have the grass-roots support to defeat Madada,” Katongole said.

    But Madada has been very instrumental in fighting for the landless of Bbaale and this gives him an edge over his competitors.

    In Ntenjeru South, former MP and veteran woman politician Victoria Ssebagereka has returned to claim the seat from incumbent Kazibwe Musisi.

    In Ntenjeru North, current MP Sarah Nansubuga Nyombi has to defeat former MP Saziri Nsubuga Mayanja in order to stand on the NRM ticket. Any of the two who goes through will tussle it out against the opposition.

    Most of the population in Buruuli region survive on farming. In Kayunga, the people grow a lot of pineapples, maize and coffee while cattlekeeping and cassava growing are the major economic activities in Nakasongola.

    Kangulumira has been growing pineapples for many years, but no value addition to the crop takes place. Instead, 95% of the pineapples are sold raw to traders in Uganda, DRC, Sudan and Kenya.

    “We have produced everything. We produce enough fruits, especially pineapples to produce juice and wines but the means to do so is not effectively there,” says Godfrey Kizito, a farmer.

    Land is one of the leading problems in Kayunga and Nakasongola districts, according to Madada. Last year, some landlords were even killed in Kayunga.

    “We had never had anything like this,” says one of the few residents who have ‘defied’ threats of being arrested for engaging in mob justice.

    Samuel Bunjo did not anticipate any problem on the 800 acres of land he inherited from his grandfather when he went to open up the boundaries on August 15, 2009.

    “He only wanted to open up boundaries and find out the number of tenants on his land. There was no plan of selling off the land,” says one of the relatives.

    But residents claimed that he was selling the land. How and why the quiet village rose up surprised many. It showed that land is such an emotive thing that it activates even the quietest of villages.

    Bunjo’s killing was not the first in Kayunga. It was the third in a few months. Livingstone Ssekamatte had taken a client to inspect land, before buying it. He was spotted by tenants on the land, who mobilised thenmselves and killed him.

    “We have been on this land since the 1970s. Throwing us off, just like that is not the solution. I bet such acts of mob violence will continue,” says Misairi Mukasa of Bbaale.

    Over 80% of the land in Kayunga is under the mailo holding while the rest, especially in areas of Galilaya was classified as ‘waste land’ and vested in the Government.

    But just like the case is with land in Nakasongola and Kibaale for example, many of the mailo land owners, some of who own square miles are not residents of Kayunga District. In fact, most of them are not carrying out any activity on the land. In the early 1900s, the area called Bugerere was attacked by deadly black flies called mbwa that attack bananas.

    When the population ran away from the area, it was completely depopulated, leaving huge swathes of land empty. Gradually, however, people encroached on these empty pieces of land, whose owners had left. Many of the families that owned the land did not go back there, leaving room for encroaches to settle on the land. But as the value of land has went up, they have regained interest.

    As long as the landlords are not selling, there is no problem. This is how Basoga from across the River Nile settled in Kayunga. There are also Bagisu, Bagwere and many eastern tribes, who are engaged in farming on land ‘let’ out to them.

    For candidates now, even these ‘other’ tribes have to be catered for. On top of the tenants who were legally leased the land by the landlords, others illegally encroached on land.

    “I have land in Kayonza, but I have failed to carry out any activity because it has got over 50 families on it,” says Margaret Lwanga.

    With the kind of wrath tenants are venting, it is unlikely that Lwanga will soon use her land. To make matters worse, only 10 of the families on this land came there legally.

    “Others are immigrants. They include Rwandese and Bagisu. I do not know how to handle them,” she says.

    Some of the are the mobile pastoralists. In the last five years, herds have entered northern Kayunga through Nakasongola District to areas like Bbaale and Galilaya. This is the area of Kayunga that falls in the cattle corridor.

    “They just came and started grazing on that land. When we tried to ask them why and how they came, they claimed that they are supported by people from ‘above’,” says Erias Magambo.

    In Nakasongola, land was mainly characterised as crown land under the 1900 agreement while the remainder was given out to Baganda chiefs and few Baruuli elders.

    In effect, most of the indigenous Baruuli were made landless. In essence, Buruuli holds some of the much talked about 9,000 square miles.

    “This is very painful because this is our land and to simply take it away from our grandfathers was a very big insult,” Muruuli Mukasa, a Buruuli elder complained.

    He termed making the Baruuli landless and dispossessing them of their identity as the biggest of insults to them.

    As modern Uganda was founded, the Baruuli started demanding back their land from the absent Baganda chiefs.

    However, many of the Baganda landlords asked for huge amounts of money before they sold their land to the indigenous people ‘sitting’ on it.

    “We want the Government to assist us as quickly as possible to get back our land. We should not even buy it from the Baganda who got it as a donation from the colonial masters. The Government should just declare that this land belongs to those who are sitting on it and give us our titles,” says Edward Mugenyi.

    Most of the local people who are landless supported the Government‘s initiative of introducing a tougher land law because it was protecting them. Likewise, most of the candidates should be emphasizing ways of solving this land problem.

    There are both good and bad roads in Buruuli and Kayunga. In Buruuli, of course the main highway to Gulu cuts through the district. However, feeder roads like Nakasongola-Lwampanga need to be maintained. This road is the gateway to Lake Kyoga, a leading source of income for the population.

    In Kayunga, the main road from Mukono-Kayunga is due for repair because of its appalling state. Both the Kayunga-Busaana road onwards to Lake Kyoga and the Kayunga-Baale-Galilaya roads need to be tarmacked.

    “These roads pass through highly productive areas. For example, Kayunga-Busaana goes up to Lake Kyoga while Kayunga-Galiraya goes to the cattlekeeping parts of the district,” says district LC5 chairman Thomas Mulondo.

    Transport across the lake has, however, been improved with the introduction of a ferry between Kayunga and Kamuli while another will be introduced at Lwampanga to facilitate crossing into Lango.

    As far as education is concerned, both districts still lag behind other areas of the central region. Kayunga has got several secondary schools worth mentioning. St Kalemba and Namagabi which used to be mid-level secondary schools are no longer so popular. Yale High, a private school however keeps the flag high.

    Primary education was first introduced in Buruuli in early 1900s, mainly to cater for children of Baganda chiefs.

    However, through the years, more schools were opened up in places like Nabiswera, Nakitooma, Kakooge and later Nakasongola. At the moment, the main primary school is called Nakasongola Army Primary School. Later, a secondary school was opened up at Wabinyonyi.

    As far as health is concerned, Kayunga has got a big hospital in Kayunga town, in addition to smaller Health Centers across the district. But like the case is with other regions, the facilities at these Health Centers are not that satisfactory. Nevertheless they are better than nothing.

    But overall, education, health and the infrastructure may have less than 30% of the bearing on the final outcome of the votes-the key issue is, who can deliver back our land to us? Whoever has a concrete answer will sweep the votes.

    Published on: Saturday, 28th August, 2010



    Ab’oluganda bamugobye mu kika

    Abanyala batutte Gavumenti mu kkooti lwakubawubisa
    Bya Musasi Waffe

    Capt. Baker Kimeze, eyeenaanikako ekitiibwa ekya ‘Ssaabanyala’ kitegeezeddwa ng’ab’ekika bwe bamutabukidde ne batuuka ne bamugoba ne mu kika, okutuusa lw’aneggyako eky’okweyita Ssaabanyala.

    Ab’ekika bagamba nti Kimeze, abateekesezzaako olukongoolo, ng’ekika kyonna kifuuse ekivumo, ng’abantu bakiranga okukozesebwa abantu abalina enge ku Bwakabaka bwa Buganda.

    Ensonda ezeesigika zitegeezezza Ggwanga nti ab’ekika baatudde ne basaba Baker Kimeze abayambe aggyeyo amagye ge yassa mu maka ga mukadde waabwe, omugenzi Nathan Mpagi, e Kyerima mu ggombolola y’e Wabwoko mu ssaza ly’e Bugerere .

    “Kimeze tumusabye mu mirembe ffe ng’ab’ekika atuyambe aggye abajaasi mu maka ga mukadde waffe. Ffe tumwetamiddwa olw’okutulemesa okukolagana obulungi n’abantu b’omu kitundu”. Omu ku b’oluganda ba Kimeze ataayagadde kumwatuukiriza mannya bwe yategeezezza.

    Ebyo nga bikyali awo, ekimu ku bibinja by’Abanyala ebikaayanira Obwassaabanyala nga kyeyita ‘Banyala bakasangwa cultural installation’ bali mu kukunngaanya

    mikono batwale Gavumenti mu mbuga z’amateeka, nga bagiranga kubakakaatikako saabanyala atali mutuufu.

    Abanyala bano nga bakulembeddwamu Namuyonjo owokubiri.

    Ekibinja kino kirumiriza, nti Capt. Baker Kimeze eyeeyita saabanyala, tabeerangako yadde mu lulyo lulangira olw’Abanyala, nga Gavumenti ye yamuleeta nemubateekako, esobole okutuukiriza ebigendererwa byayo.

    Abanyala bano bategezeeza Ggwanga nti bakirabye nti okukozesa ekkubo lya kkooti, kye kyokka eky’okusalawo eggoye.

    Omuwandiisi w’ekiwayi kino Matoovu Mutumbi yagambye nti bo bebanyala abatufu era nga bali wansi w’Obwakabaka bwa Buganda obukulemberwa Ssaabasaja Kabaka Ronald Mutebi.

    Baagaala emikono gy’Abanyala 320, kyokka bamaze okufunako 292.

    Ggwanga bweyayogeddeko nomwogezi wekibinja kyabanyala abakulemberwa munnamagye Barker Kimeze, Rwebikire James yagambye abo baddembe okukola kyebaagala kyokka n’akkaatiriza nti bamala biseera kubanga bo aba Kimeze balina obuyinza okuwabula n’ekkooti ku nnono y’ekitundu ekyo

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