Every year, when the Baganda celebrate the restoration of their kingdom, the recall the role of Prince Badru Kakungulu
The newly appointed Prime Minister of Buganda kingdom, Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga deserves praise for visiting places of worship after his appointment in the high post by the Kabaka Sabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.
The Katikiro first visited Rubaga Cathedral for a very well attended service conducted by Catholic Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
Next he visited Namirembe Cathedral to another well attended service conducted by Bishop Kityo Luwalira.
After Rubaga and Namirembe, the Katikiro visited the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road and recently he visited the Orthodox Church at Namungoona where he attended a service conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Yona Lwanga. He also visited the Born Again Christians at Ndeeba Victory Christian Centre.
The Katikiro was well received by the Christians in all these places and the Church leaders said they will support his plans of developing Buganda and eradicating poverty.
The people are happy with what the Katikiro has done to visit those Christian missions but are unhappy because up to now he has not visited Kibuli Mosque for prayers with the Muslims.
People are asking, especially here in Buganda, why and when will the Katikiro visit Kibuli Mosque for the Juma prayers?
Religion has played a leading t part in the building and development of Buganda and Uganda and Kibuli is a very important place in the Kingdom of Buganda. It should not be overlooked on important matters affecting this country.
The young generation should know these very important historical facts.
The Arabs were the first to arrive here in 1864 mainly to spread Islam and establish trade. They came in from the Island of Zanzibar which was also known as Unguja and their base was that village now called Lungujja near Mengo. They named that village Unguja but the Baganda changed the name to Lungujja.
Sekabaka Mutesa I invited the Christian Missionaries in 1875 to educate his people and the English from England of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) arrived here in 1877. The Kabaka gave them Namirembe Hill.
They were followed by the French of the White Fathers who arrived here from Algiers (Algeria) which was the headquarters for Black Africa, in 1879. The Kabaka gave them Rubaga Hill and moved his palace to Kasubi.
The White Fathers were followed by the Mill Hill Fathers from England in 1895 and Sekabaka Mwanga gave them Nsambya Hill. From there they spread Christianity to Eastern Buganda, Eastern Uganda and Kenya up to Mombasa. The Mill Hill Fathers were English and they came to Buganda to prove to the Kabaka that in England there were Catholics also.
The CMS established a local native Church called Native Anglican Church (N.A.C) and it built missions, schools and hospitals everywhere in Buganda and Uganda. They built famous schools, colleges, and hospitals which are well-known. The Catholics did the same.
The Muslims built Kibuli Mosque and Kibuli Secondary school which produced very many famous leaders. Right now they have built a fabulous modern hospital at Kibuli. It is well equipped with modern facilities and it is only compared to hospitals in UK.
The Moslems have also built the biggest and most modern Mosque in Africa at Kampala Mukadde. The late Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya helped them to build this mosque.
The Moslems are now a force to reckon with. They have built three universities; IUIU at Mbale, Kampala International University and Kampala University at Gaba.
One of the founders of Uganda National Congress in 1952, Abubakar Kakyama Mayanja was a Muslim. UNC spread the gospel of nationalism and fought for Uganda’s Independence which we achieved in 192.
The Muslims have now produced a formidable group of young politicians who are in high positions and if all goes well, one of them will one day be President of Uganda in future.
These young Moslems are Elias Lukwago, now Lord Mayor of Kampala, Mohamad Nsereko, MP, Semujju Ibrahim Nganda, MP and Muwanga Kivumbi, MP and others are coming up. They have also produced many well qualified people in medicine, education and management sectors.
Prince Badru Kakungulu of Kibuli (the grandfather of Islam in Uganda), was one of the Baganda who contributed quite a lot in the development of Buganda and Uganda, educationally, economically and socially.
Every year the Baganda celebrate the restoration of the Buganda Kingdom. Prince Badru Kakungulu was one of the three Bataka who were leaders in the struggle from 1981 to 1986 to restore the Buganda Kingdom. The others were Paul Kavuma (who was Katikiro of Buganda at one time) and Bishop Mukasa formerly of Mityana.
Towards the end of 1970 Prince Kakungulu was in detention in Luzira but he managed to join the secret plan with General Amin that overthrew then-president Milton Obote. Obote was loathed in Buganda for exiling the Buganda king, Kabaka Mutesa.
Prince Kakungulu used to send secret emissaries to Idi Amin and they met him after the Juma prayers at Kibuli and they briefed him on the whole plan. Amin agreed to carry out the plan and on January 25, 1971 Milton Obote was overthrown.
When Obote returned from exile in Tanzania on May 17, 1980 Prince Kakungulu quickly decided that the only way to finish Obote completely was to fight him militarily. He and Paul Kavuma and Bishop Mukasa organised and initially funded a small fighting group.
They decided to enlarge it and the only person who had the required “military muscle” to help them in the war, was Yoweri Museveni (now President). He was the deputy chairman of the then ruling military commission which was headed by Paul Muwanga, and he was the Minister for Defence. He was in control of powerful military installations like the Kabamba Military Training barracks.
Prince Kakungulu trained 40 young Baganda fighters who fought together with Museveni’s National resistance Army and they won the five-year bush war in Luwero on January 26, 1986.
We all know that the biggest achievement on the side of the Baganda out of the “Luwero Liberation war” was the restoration of the Buganda Kingdom.
When we restored the Buganda Kingdom, we started to rebuild our “economic power” and “political power” which Obote had destroyed in 1966. All these achievements came about as a result of what Prince Badru had done for Buganda. Besides what the Muslims have done to develop Buganda and Uganda in the modern times, there is another very important historical factor which the young generation should know.
It was the Muslims who came here in the 19th Century from Muscat and Oman who introduced that beautiful ceremonial robe (Kiganda Busuuti) which the Kabaka of Buganda wears when he appears in the Buganda Lukiiko.
The Baganda modified the Busuuti to its present form and they put on the symbols of Buganda –“the shield and spears” – “Amafumu n’Engabo”. It is only the Kabaka’s Busuuti which should traditionally bear the shield and spears and the Lion at the bottom on both sides.
The Moslems introduced the cassock (Ekanzu) but the Baganda modified it to its present form by putting on a maroon and gold lining at the front from the neck to the feet. The kanzu is now the official and traditional dress for men in Buganda and Uganda.
Finally the Moslems introduced trade in the whole of Uganda. Right now they have built schools, hospitals, hotels and lodges, commercial buildings, supermarkets, shopping arcades and new towns in Buganda.
I have brought out all these very important historical facts to show the people the importance of Islam in Buganda and Uganda and why the Katikiro needs to visit Kibuli and work well with them.
KAVUMA-KAGGWA is an elder from Kyaggwe, Mukono District