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Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 3

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This is a long history which we have broken down into 6 PART

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 2

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 3

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 4

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 5

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 6

The extremist Muslims who had rejected Mwanga’s reign plotted with the Sudanese troops commander, Salim Bey to regain the throne.  Apollo Kagwa spied on them and on 17th June 1893 a pre-emptive attack was carried out on their base at Nateete, in Kampala.  The Sudanese at Old Kampala and Entebbe were disarmed while their Commander, Selim Bey was arrested and deported.  After a short exchange of fire with the Protestant forces, the Muslims were suppressed and their leaders arrested while their Katikiro, Juma was killed in action.

Sir Gerald Portal left Uganda and was replaced by Col. Colville who opened the direct route to Lake Albert by taking over control of Bunyoro’s territories in Buyaga. In December 1893, he led Protestant troops under the command of Semei Kakungulu and Sudanese soldiers to attack Kabalega in Bunyoro.  In August 1894 Uganda was formally declared a British Protectorate. In Buganda, Mwanga was powerless as real power lay with his Katikiro, Apollo Kagwa and the Protestant missionaries.

Mwanga got impatient with the humiliation at the hands of Apollo Kagwa, the Protestant missionaries and the British colonialists.  He plotted to rebel and though his gun runner, Charles Stokes has been arrested and executed in Congo, he still managed to assemble a formidable cache of arms which he hid in Bulingugwe Island.  On 6th July 1897 Mwanga fled his palace in Mengo via Lake Victoria to his Catholic stronghold in Buddu.  He declared war against the British and their Protestant collaborators.

Mwanga reorganised his Catholic army under the command of Lui Kibanyi and on 20th July 1897 his 14,000 strong Catholic army armed with spears and 3,000 guns was assembled at Kabuwoko in Buddu, Masaka.  A combined force of British/Sudanese and Protestants confronted them and defeated them.  Mwanga fled south across the Kagera river to Bukoba where he sought sanctuary under the Germans.

To ensure loyalty, Mwanga had earlier strategically given his two sisters for marriage to his army chiefs, Semei Kakungulu and Gabudyeri Kintu but now Kakungulu had converted to Protestantism and allied with the British.  The Catholics under Bishop Hirthe who harboured ambitions of curving out a Catholic kingdom in Buganda had now been replaced by Bishop Henri Steicher who was willing to cooperate with the British.  He had even earlier on, basing on information obtained from the confessions of Catholic faithfuls, warned the British of an impending rebellion. He went ahead to warn the Germans against the dangers of harbouring Mwanga.  Consequently, the Germans moved Mwanga to the far away Mwanza and placed him under some kind of arrest.

Back in Uganda, Mwanga’s Catholic army reorganised and assembled for battle at Villa Maria, in Masaka but were defeated by the Protestant army with the help of the Maxim gun on 23rd August 1897.  After Mwanga had fled and declared war on the British, he was deposed by the Chiefs in Council composed of Catholic and Protestant factions led by Stanslus Mugwanya and Andrew Kagwa.  The two factions had each kidnapped and taken custody one of Mwanga’s pregnant wives in the hope of delivering an heir to the throne.  A son born earlier to a Catholic wife had died in infancy but the Protestant wife in the custody of Apollo Kagwa gave birth to a son, Daudi Chwa.

On 14th August 1897, thirteen months old Daudi Chwa was crowned the Kabaka of Buganda.  On the advice of the Bishop Tucker, Apollo Kagwa, Zakaria Kisingiri and Stanslus Mugwanya were made regents of the infant kind.  In the earlier preparation for a Catholic kingdom, the Catholics had taken two of Mwanga’s nephews to Bukumbi, Mwanza for religious instructions.  Col. Colville had cut Mwanga’s nephews from the succession line on flimsy grounds that they had not grown up in Buganda.

Catholic Bishop Henri Steicher advised the Germans to move Mwanga from Mwanza to Zanzibar and the British also warned the Germans of a plot by Mwanga’s loyalists to rescue him from custody but in both cases the Germans were adamant.  The same Germans had earlier on ignored an appeal by the British for the Germans to deal with Kintu’s army bases in the German territory across River Kagera and the arms supply across Lake Victoria but to no avail.  On 31st December 1897 under the cover of darkness a fleet of canoes carrying Mwanga’s loyalist natives of Ssese Island landed at Mwanza and stealthily rescued Mwanga from the custody of the Germans.   The now fugitive Mwanga headed for Buddu where he linked up with his Catholic army under Lui Kibanyi and Gabudyeri Kintu and the adopted guerilla tactics.  He allied with Princes from Ankole and Chief Luba of Busoga.

The British were now strained over having to deal with the rebellion by Sudanese soldiers in Busoga where they killed a Protestant Missionaries and British officers after they defeated the Protestant forces.  At the same time, the British and their Protestant collaborators were fighting Mwanga and his Catholics in Buddu and Kabalega and Muslims in Bunyoro.  As luck had it, Mwanga made a strategic blunder by opting to proceed to Bunyoro and join hands with Kabalega.  He took with him part of his Catholic army but his army chief Gabudyeri Kintu refused to go to Bunyoro opting to stay fighting in Buddu.

In August 1899, the British led a force of Protestant army under Semei Kakungulu and Andrew Lwandaga for a major offensive against Kabalega and Mwanga in Bunyoro.  The Sudanese soldiers stationed in Bunyoro had mutinied against the British but when their commander, Afendi Amin Bilal was killed the mutiny was contained. Mwanga and Kabalega were flushed out of Bunyoro and they escaped across the River Nile to Lango where they continued to resist.

On 9th April 1899 the Protestant army under Semei Kakungulu and Andrew Lwandaga captured Kabalega and Mwanga in Dokolo, Lango.  At the time of his capture, Kabalega shot in the arm while his son, Mujaasi who was fatally injured died a few weeks later.  His other son, Duhaga who was not injured became the British puppet king of Bunyoro.  The captive Mwanga and Kabalega were matched to Kampala and later to Kisimayo port in Somalia from where they were shipped to the Seychelles Islands for exile. In Buddu, a devastating plague epidemic and famine worked against the Catholic rebel force under Gabudyeri Kintu in Buddu.  Mwanga died in exile after he had been baptised as Daniel in the Anglican Church while Kabalega died in 1923 at Jinja on his way from exile.

The Protestant Missionaries influenced the appointment of Apollo Kagwa as Katikiro since he had been the most powerful of the three Regents of the infant King Daudi Chwa. The other two Regents, Stanslus Mugwanya (Catholic) and Zakaria Kisingiri (Protestant) became Chief Judge and Treasury respectively.  The following year in 1900 he signed the infamous Buganda Agreement which had been negotiated and arrived at by the Missionaries and the British.  The agreement gave large chunks of Buganda’s most productive land to the King’s estate, the Chiefs and other notables/collaborators.


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