Kingdoms within the Republic of Uganda

Typically, republics and kingdoms aren’t compatible and don’t coexist homewever, there are some notable examples around the world that are the exceptions proving the rule.

Some of the better known kingdoms that are part of a republic are those that are within the Republic of Uganda. The kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara, Busoga and Toro are ancient traditional kingdoms of Africa that long enjoyed local and international recognition, even by the British colonial powers.

Unfortunately, with the political upheavel that Uganda experienced in the late 1960’s the new government of Milton Obote forcefully disbanded all the traditional kingdoms. The constitution introduced in 1967 went a step further and fully outlawed them.

The famously violent regime of Idi Amin of the 1970’s was no better and it wasn’t until the democratically elected government of 1993 re-established them. Then in 1995, the new constitution fully recognized these ancient kingdoms in law and the powers of their leaders or Kings. The 2005 amendment to the constitution re-affirmed the position of these Kings, further confirming their status in Ugandan society.

Though these Kingdoms are fully recognized in law, they are not fully sovereign politically. However, they do have considerable political influence and regularly meet with government leaders.

As mentioned above, the only four kingdoms recognized in Ugandan law are the following:

Buganda is the largest of the subnational kingdoms of Uganda and the namesake of the country and covers about 17% of the population of the country. The traditional title of the King of Buganda is “Kabaka” and the current Kabaka is Muwenda Mutebi II.

Bunyoro-Kitara is the second largest of the Ugandan kingdoms and the only one that was once an empire controlling a large swath of the land that is Uganda today. The traditional title of the King of Bunyoro-Kitara is “Omukama” and the current Omukama is Solomon Iguru I.

Busoga is another ancient Ugandan kingdom that is smaller than those above. The traditional title of the King “Kyabazinga” and the last one to hold the title was Henry Wako Muloki. Unfortunately, there has been strife among the leaders of the Kingdom and a successor has not yet been chosen.

Toro was once part of the Bunyoro Empire and was created in 1830 when the eldest son of the Omukama rebelled and founded his own kingdom. The Kingdom of Toro also names its King “Omukama” and the current holder of the title is Rukidi IV.

 

Links of interest:

 

Note: Images from Wikipedia

 

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