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Buganda: 19th century AD Uganda, on the equator and surrounded by the great lakes of central Africa, is one of the last parts of the continent to be reached by outsiders. Arab traders in search of slaves and ivory arrive in the 1840s, soon followed by two British explorers. Speke is here in 1862. Stanley follows in 1875. The ruler visited by both Speke and Stanley is Mutesa, the king (or kabaka) of Buganda. His kingdom is one of four in this region which have become firmly established by the mid-nineteenth century. The others, lying to the west, are Ankole, Toro and Bunyoro. The existence of these African kingdoms has a profound influence on the development of Uganda during the colonial period. But when the scramble for Africa begins, in the 1880s, this remote interior region is not immediately in the sights of any of the colonial predators. It is seen at the time merely as a distant place lying beyond the territories of the sultan of Zanzibar, which are in dispute between Britain and Germany. When separate spheres of interest are agreed, in 1886, the area of modern Kenya falls to Britain. Beyond it, round the north shore of Lake Victoria, lies Buganda. Britain expects this to be little more than the far corner of its new colony. Events prove otherwise.
Meanwhile the East Africa Company faces further problems in Buganda. The running sore which saps their energy and their funds is Buganda. Germany is able to argue that this region (the most powerful kingdom within the territory of Uganda) is not covered by the territorial agreement with Britain. remarkably. Salisbury offers the tiny and apparently useless island of Heligoland (in British possession since 1814) in return for German recognition of British protectorates in Zanzibar. where civil war breaks out between factions led by British Protestant missionaries and their French Catholic rivals. In January 1892 there is heavy gunfire between and among . accepts. Instead it assigns to a commercial company the right to administer and develop the territory. on the northwest shore of Lake Victoria. the British government is reluctant to take active responsibility for the region of east Africa which is now its acknowledged sphere of interest. but circumstances conspire to make this task far beyond the abilities of the East Africa Company. Being in a sense beyond Lake Victoria. The Imperial British East Africa Company is set up for the purpose in 1888. It is evident to all that the development of this region depends on the construction of a railway from the coast to Lake Victoria. Lord Salisbury. a year ahead of Rhodes's British South Africa Company. proposes a deal which Berlin. But Germany derives her own benefit from the deal. In 1890 he arrives at Kampala and persuades the kabaka (the king of Buganda) to sign a treaty accepting a German protectorate over his kingdom. A possibly dangerous confrontation between the imperial powers is averted when the British prime minister. Moreover the irrepressible Karl Peters now forces the issue.British East Africa Company: AD 1888-1895 As with the areas being colonized by Rhodes at this same period in southern Africa. Uganda and Equatoria (the southern province of Sudan). The region given into the company's care stretches all the way from the east coast to the kingdom of Buganda. Heligoland subsequently proves an invaluable naval base in two world wars.
The Johnston policy becomes effective with the Buganda Agreement of 1900. the British government needs to be sure of the new protectorate's access to the sea. The chiefs' collective approval of the British protectorate over the region is eased by Johnston's acknowledgement of their freehold right to their lands (a . Buganda is by far the most significant of the kingdoms. together with Buganda. On the top of one hill is the palace of the kabaka. who is the only combatant with the advantage of a Maxim machine gun. as is the authority of his council of chiefs. As a result the British government appoints in 1899 a seasoned administrator. Lugard prevails. In 1894 the British government declares a protectorate over Buganda.000). The Uganda Protectorate: AD 1896-1962 Recent events in Uganda have made evident the difficulties likely to be faced by any colonial power. Harry Johnston. So in 1895 the company's charter is revoked (with compensation of £250. Toro and Bunyoro to form. But in taking responsibility for Uganda. On the fourth is the fort established for the company by Frederick Lugard. even if the East Africa Company has achieved little of value there. His brief is to recommend the most effective form of administration. On a third the Protestants are building their church. Kenya becomes another new responsibility of the British government.the four hills which form Kampala. Meanwhile the much larger region of Kenya has been relatively calm. Under the terms of this agreement the kabaka's status is recognized by Britain. Two years later British control is extended to cover the western kingdoms of Ankole. On another the French have completed a Catholic cathedral of wooden poles and reeds. The evident power of the local African kings convinces Johnston that control must be exercised through them. But the loss of life and destruction of property in this unseemly European squabble makes it plain that the East Africa Company is incapable of fulfilling its duties. as the East Africa Protectorate. as special commissioner to Uganda. the Uganda Protectorate.
but nevertheless extremely welcome to the chiefs themselves). Johnston subsequently makes similar agreements with the rulers of Toro (in 1900) and of Ankole (in 1901). Its main political platform is opposition to the hegemony of the southern kingdom of Buganda. In the following month Obote is elected prime minister. when all African colonies are moving towards independence. by far the most powerful of the kingdoms. the likely leaders of the future.concept alien to African tribal traditions. Young educated Africans. a region to the immediate southeast of Uganda. . founder of the UPC (Uganda People's Congress). introduced by the British. And the dominant position of Buganda. are out of sympathy with feudal Uganda. Uganda grows prosperous as cotton. Britain grants Uganda full internal self-government in March 1962. and pressure builds to allow the establishment of European farms and plantations . still in the years before World War I. But Johnston's successor declares that Uganda is not suitable for European settlement. Many disagree.until another commissioner. But a federal system of semi-independent monarchies proves less appropriate in the years after World War II. makes it a point of principle that Uganda is to be an African state. causes an imbalance in Ugandan politics with much talk of possible secession by the kabaka and his council of chiefs. and a clear pattern set for the Uganda Protectorate. The economics of the protectorate support this policy. a party drawing its support from the northern regions of the country. White settlers are actively encouraged to move into Kenya's highlands. With this much achieved. By the early 1960s the leading Ugandan politician is Milton Obote. It is he who negotiates the terms of the constitution under which Uganda becomes independent in October 1962. is grown with great success by African peasant farmers. Johnston returns to Britain. Later commissioners develop Johnston's solution for Uganda into a clear-cut distinction between it and neighbouring Kenya.
Obote sends a force.000 Ugandans are reported to be murdered or tortured during Amin's seven years in power. takes the opportunity not only to repel Amin's army but also to topple his grotesque neighbour. Julius Nyerere. In 1971. to attack the kabaka's palace. is making good use of the widespread discontent. This abolishes the hereditary kingdoms. Between 100. ends the nation's federal structure and provides for an executive president . reach Kampala in April 1979. joining forces with Obote's private army. Obote accepts a constitution which gives federal status and a degree of autonomy to four traditional kingdoms. to the largely ceremonial role of president and head of state. Tanzanian troops. led by his newly appointed army commander Idi Amin.Confronted by the problem of Buganda. With the help of army and police he terrorizes any remaining political opponents. to the century's end and beyond. It proves to be a short-lived collaboration. when Obote is abroad.000 and 500. Obote settles just over the border from Uganda in neighbouring Tanzania. In 1978 Amin takes one unbalanced step too far. The country's economy is severely damaged when he suddenly expels in 1972 all Uganda's Asians. the Tanzanian president. Mutesa II. In the same spirit Obote approves the election in 1963 of the kabaka.a post taken by Obote himself in addition to his role as prime minister. more ruthless even than himself. where he maintains a small army of Ugandan exiles under the command of Tito Okello. his regime is toppled in a coup led by Idi Amin. He invades Tanzania. Mutesa flees to exile in Britain. His obsessions take more local form in the persecution of tribes other than his own. as an exile in Saudi Arabia). of which Buganda is by far the most powerful. Amin flees (and lives on. Here Obote bides his time while the unbalanced Idi Amin subjects Uganda to a regime of arbitrary terror. . a mainstay of the nation's trading middle class. Obote and Amin: AD 1962-1985 By 1966 the deteriorating relationship between Obote and Mutesa comes to an abrupt end. Obote immediately introduces a new constitution. But meanwhile an ostensible ally.
organizes a coup which brings Obote back into power. driving Obote back into exile (eventually in Zambia). During the 1980s the NRA steadily extends the area of southern and western Uganda under its control. The economy is making vast strides (an annual growth rate of 5% in the early 1990s and of more than 8% in 1996). Museveni: from AD 1986 Yoweri Museveni was briefly Uganda's minister of defence during the interim government after the fall of Amin. is suddenly almost a model for Africa. after toppling Obote in 1985. Tito Okello. When Obote returns to power as president in 1980. He withdraws into the bush and forms a guerrilla group. But in May 1980 a Ugandan general. But both Obote and Okello are already peripheral figures. In 1985 Tito Okello intervenes once more. Museveni proclaims a government of national unity. health and transport. There are improvements in education. The only well organized faction in these years of chaos is a guerrilla army led by Yoweri Museveni.During the following twelve months there are two interim governments led by returning Ugandan exiles. A decade later the country is back under the rule of law (apart from some northern regions. The nation. while the country continues to suffer economic chaos and tribal massacres carried out by armed factions beyond anyone's control. . During the 1980s Obote uses violent means to reimpose his rule. with himself as president. International approval brings a willingness to invest and to lend. It is a turning point in Uganda's history. where rebellion rumbles on). Museveni refuses to accept this turning back of the clock. By January 1986 the NRA is in control of the capital. Kampala. subsequently known as the National Resistance Army (NRA). emerging from two decades of appalling chaos. And Okello. Uganda lurches back from a mad dictatorship to a repressive regime held in check only by anarchy. He is confirmed as president in a general election six months later. proves no match for Museveni. and his party (the UPC) wins a majority in elections widely regarded as fraudulent.
net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories. Museveni argues instead that the important elements are the benefits taken for granted in a functioning multiparty democracy . often based on tribal allegiances. claiming that people of widely differing views can argue their case to the electorate as competing individuals (it is campaigning as a party that is banned).universal suffrage. a free press and the separation of executive. It is an essentially pragmatic state in which good ideas from any part of the political spectrum are welcome (even Uganda's kings now have a role restored to them). He describes his Uganda as a 'no-party democracy'. are often likely to frustrate democracy. But the new constitution of 1995 limits executive power to the National Resistance Movement. to western eyes. is that this remains oneparty rule.The only flaw. the party emerging from Museveni's guerrilla army.historyworld. the secret ballot. He criticizes western insistence on the multiparty model. legislative and judicial powers. In his view parties in Africa. Democracy is a subject on which Museveni has strong and interesting views.asp? historyid=ad22#ixzz104MtRBZL . Read more: http://www. seeing it as simplistic to assume that a single pattern can be appropriate in every circumstance.
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