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Chronology for Baganda in Uganda

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Baganda in Uganda, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38ebc.html [accessed 29 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1844 A trading route had been opened up as far as Buganda.
1851 - 1860 Arab traders are barred from Buganda.
1861 The first European reached Acholi country.
1862 J.H. Speke crossed Acholi country and entered Buganda.
1870 Traders operating from the Nile led severe raids on the Acholi and Lango in the north. The Lango expanded their territory driving the Iteso to the northwest.
1876 Christian missionaries are introduced to the Baganda people.
1881 - 1890 Baganda convert to both Islam and Christianity. Buganda and Bunyoro were continuously at war.
1890 Lugard signed a treaty with the Baganda on behalf of the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEA) and became the first administrator in Buganda.
1894 British protection over Buganda was secured and Busogo and Toro were incorporated. The IBEA surrendered its charter to the British crown.
1895 East Africa Protectorate was proclaimed. Bunyoro was incorporated the following year.
1897 Ankole was incorporated by the British. The British put down a rebellion by the Buganda chief.
1900 The Uganda Agreement was drawn up giving the Buganda more internal autonomy than was granted to the rest of the country which led to much dissension during the rest of British rule.
1904 African undertake cultivation of cotton.
1908 Buganda Land Law was passed providing a sound legal basis for freehold tenure in Buganda.
1914 The Western Nile is given to the British by Sudan in exchange for some border adjustments.
1919 The Native Authority Ordinance defined the powers of the chiefs and the Courts Ordinance defined the powers of the native courts.
1922 Under the Crown Lands Declaration Ordinance, most land in Uganda became British land.
1945 Serious political disturbances in Buganda.
1949 Civil disturbance broke out in April and September. Baganda rioters wanted the right to bypass government price controls on cotton exports, the removal of the Asian monopoly on cotton ginning, the right to have their own representatives in local government replace chiefs appointed by the British.
1952 The Uganda National Congress is founded as the first modern African political party. The British begin preparing Uganda for independence.
1953 The Baganda leaders demanded a timetable for the independence of Buganda from the rest of the country. In November, the Baganda king was deported to Britain and a state of emergency was declared.
1954 The government and Baganda leaders hold talks on the constitutional relationship between the kingdom and the government. The king returned as a constitutional ruler the following year. The Buganda Agreement gave the kingdom internal self-government.
1956 The Democratic Party (DP) was founded. It was mainly composed of Roman Catholic Bagandans. Non-Bagandans began to worry about domination by the Baganda king, so they formed a new party, the Uganda People's Congress (UPC). It was led by Milton Obote, a Langi.
1961 The British announced that an election would be held in March. Bagandan leaders urged a boycott of the election because their bid for total independence had been rebuffed by the British. As a result, the DP won 20 of the 21 seats allotted to Buganda. The UPC and Bagandan nationalists (Kabaka Yekka (KY)) were afraid the DP would entrench themselves in the independent state, so they joined together in a loose coalition. This preferential status of the Baganda kingdom eventually led to demands from other kingdoms for formal recognition.
Apr 1962 The new UPC-KY coalition won the majority of seats in the April elections. Obote became prime minister and the Baganda king, head of state.
Oct 9, 1962 Uganda became independent.
Jan 1964 The military mutinied, demanding higher wages and quicker promotions. Obote was forced to call in the British to restore order. From this time on, the military began to assume a more prominent role in the government. Obote selected Idi Amin as his personal protege and rapidly promoted him.
1964 The UPC freed itself of the KY after an alliance is formed with the DP. The UPC agreed to restore lost Bunyoro territory in exchange for the alliance. This threw the Baganda kingdom into disarray. Obote continued to strengthen the central government.
Feb 4, 1966 A no confidence vote against Obote was passed by UPC members of parliament while Obote was in the north. Obote turned to Amin and essentially threw out his own government. He suspended the constitution and arrested the UPC MPs. The Baganda leaders objected to Obote's move and demanded his illegal government remove itself from Buganda soil. Obote responded by sending in Amin and the army.
1967 A new constitution abolished the five kingdoms of Uganda. Buganda was divided into four districts and ruled under martial law.
1969 Obote escaped an assassination attempt. He began to wonder how far he could trust his army.
1970 Another attempt was made on Obote's life. He began recruiting more Acholi and Langi to the military to counter the larger numbers of troops from Amin's home district (West Nile).
Jan 25, 1971 Amin carried out a coup against Obote while he was away. Amin then massacred Acholi and Langi troops he suspected were loyal to Obote. His government was more riddled by rivalries, regional divisions, and ethnic politics than was Obote's. He relied on the military, mainly Nubians and Anya Nya rebels from southern Sudan, to remain in power.
Sep 1972 Amin expelled most of Uganda's 50,000 Asians and seized their property. Throughout the 1970s, Amin's government was characterized by religious conflicts, an obsession with Obote's potential to bring about a coup d'etat, and terror as a means of controlling the population. Approximately 300,000 were killed under Amin.
Nov 1978 Amin invaded Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian president, joined by exiled Ugandan rebels, counter-attacked. The rebels eventually took Kampala in April 1979, and Amin fled. Following the defeat of Amin, individual leaders in Uganda began amassing private armies. An interim government was established, but there was much fighting between factions.
May 10, 1980 A coup was engineered under the direction of Obote's right-hand man, Paulo Muwanga. Obote returned from exile. Elections were scheduled for December.
1981 - 1985 Museveni's rebels continued to fight the government. Both sides committed atrocities, and more people were killed, perhaps 500,000, than during the eight years of Amin's rule. Acholi soldiers, having survived Amin's genocidal purges in the north, avenged themselves on the inhabitants of Amin's home region (West Nile). Obote forcibly removed 750,000 people in 1983 in an effort to eliminate rural support for Museveni. Abductions by police and disappearances were frequent.
Feb 1981 After winning elections, widely thought to be rigged, in December, Obote once again took office. Yoweri Museveni and his armed supporters declared themselves the National Resistence Army (NRA). The "war of the bush" began with Museveni vowing to overthrow Obote. Museveni's support base was in the western regions of Ankole and Bunyoro and in central and west Buganda.
Jul 1985 Acholi commander Basilio Olara Okello mobilized his troops and led a coup against Obote who fled to Zambia. Obote's military had begun to split along ethnic lines in 1983 with Acholi complaining they were given too much front line duty and too few rewards.
Jul 1, 1985 - Jan 31, 1986 Okello ruled with no coherent policy except self-preservation and continued to fight Museveni's troops.
Jan 1986 Museveni gained Kampala and took over the country. Okello and his troops fled to their ethnic base in the north. His victory gave a predominantly southern cast to both the political and military institutions for the first time since the protectorate was founded. He faced increasing division between the north and south and tension between his NRM (National Resistence Movement) government and other political parties.
1987 Joseph Kony began fighting Museveni's government, first under the Holy Spirit Movement, then the Uganda Democratic Christian Army (UDCA), then under the Lord's Resistence Army (LRA). All three groups are off-shoots of Alice Lakewena's fanatical Christian movement. She led an army against the government in 1987, but it was quickly defeated. Kony, her cousin, then took over the movement after he had had a falling out with the Catholic Church. These rebels are radical Christians who want to rule the country according to their version of the ten commandments. They wage their war in the North, and though not a real threat to the state, they are known for terrorizing their fellow Acholi, especially through kidnapping, killing and maiming.
Jan 1990 Forty-three, all but 1 Bagandans, were charged with plotting a coup against Museveni. Some were members of Museveni's NRA, which, during its rebel years, consisted mainly of Baganda, Banyarwandan and Bayankole peoples.
Feb 1990 Okello died. He had formed the UPDM (Uganda People's Democratic Movement) in exile which waged sporadic war close to the Sudanese border.
Aug 1990 Six Bagandans were sentenced to death for their part in the plot to oust Museveni.
Sep 15 - Dec 15, 1990 A peace accord was signed between the government and UPDM. UPDM leader Eric Otema Allimadi vowed to stop the war and return peace to Acholi.
Aug 1993 The Bagandan monarchy was restored.
Apr 1994 Elections are held. Acholi in the north, most of whom are Catholic, vote for the UPC or DP parties.
Sep 1994 Ugandan police prevent a meeting by members of the Baganda tribe and a constituent assembly. They were to debate Uganda's new draft constitution to agree on a common position to press demands for traditional tribal kings. They want more political power for the kings.
Dec 1994 An amendment is passed giving the government party another five years before it has to open up elections to multi-party competition.
Feb 1995 The National Democratic Alliance, a Bagandan rebel group, is formed in the Luwero region. It demands semi-autonomy for the Buganda kingdom, the most populous and wealthy of Uganda's tribal kingdoms.
Mar 1995 A new group, the Buganda Youth Movement, has begun fighting for autonomy for the Buganda region. They have been operating north of Kampala and have stolen weapons from local police stations in surprise attacks. No reports of confrontation between the rebels and government have appeared to date.
Apr 1995 Uganda severs relations with Sudan over Sudan's support for Kony's LRA movement. Kony's army is thought to number between 1000-2000. Throughout 1995, there have been reports monthly about killings, kidnappings, and other crimes, including selling children into slavery in Sudan, perpetrated by the rebels.
Apr 5, 1995 The National Democratic Alliance kidnapped a government minister.
Apr 29, 1995 Colonel Ronald Kawima, a deserter from the NRA turned up in Nairobi and announced the establishment of the Federal Republican Movement/Army. It advocates a federal system for Uganda. Other deserters, mostly Bagandans, have joined the new movement. Many deserted because they feared a purge of Baganda and Ankole from the NRA in an anti-rebel sweep.
Jul 21, 1995 Uganda announced new regulations to clamp down on opposition politicians addressing public rallies. Delegates to the Constituent Assembly must seek police permission before calling meetings with their constituents, The Assembly is dominated by supporters of President Museveni and it rejected the demand for the legalization of political parties and the restoration of political power to the Bagandan kingdom. The decision on the legalization of political parties was put off until 2000. It also rejected proposals for granting Uganda's four hereditary kingdoms federal status.
Aug 20, 1995 Military officials confirmed that the National Democratic Alliance has written to the government seeking amnesty. The group, led by Herbert Itongwa, has been fighting the government since January and wishes to restore full federal status to the Baganda kingdom.
Sep 13, 1995 Three-year-old Oyo Nyimba Iguru was crowned the twelfth king of Toro in Fort Portal.
Sep 19, 1995 Conservative Party leader Ken Lukaymuzi was arrested for leading a demonstration against the country's new constitution. He led about a dozen Bagandan protesters who shouted slogans denouncing the new constitution which is scheduled to take effect before presidential and parliamentary polls next year. Lukaymuzi was released after questioning.
Oct 1995 The new constitution was adopted by the government of Uganda.
Feb 5, 1996 President Museveni said that Kenyan authorities have arrested NDA leader Herbert Itongwa. Itongwa fled to Kenya last year after suffering heavy defeat at the hands of the military. The NDA had kidnapped Health Minister James Makumbi and the government began a manhunt for Itongwa and offered a reward for his capture. Several NDA commanders were killed in the hunt for Itongwa. The Minister was released after five days.
Feb 11, 1996 Bagandan Prime Minister Joseph Ssemogerere said that the Baganda might ally with the Democratic Party's Paul Ssemogerere in the upcoming presidential elections if Museveni continues to deny the Baganda more autonomy.
May 11, 1996 Museveni gained 74% of the vote in the country's first presidential election since 1980. The main opposition candidate Paul Ssemogerere of the DP received 24%. Turnout was about 73%. Ssemogerere rejected the vote as fraudulent because of the ban on political parties. The hundred-strong International Observer Group said that it saw very few cases of intimidation or efforts to influence the vote in the vicinity of polling stations. It declared the election results reflective of the polling process. Museveni won among the Baganda in south and central Uganda, the DP's traditional power base. Observers thought this may have been due to the endorsement of Ssemogerere by the Uganda People's Congress, the party of former President Milton Obote who killed many Baganda during his reigns as president.
May 21, 1996 There is little enthusiasm as Ugandans prepared to go to the polls in parliamentary elections. Bagandans are reportedly especially apathetic to the elections because they have not had any success in pushing their ideas to the government through elected officials. Candidates in any election must stand as individuals and not be supported by political parties. The Inter-Political Forces Cooperation (IPFC), a coalition of political parties that had supported Paul Ssemogerere in the presidential election, has decided on a semi-boycott of the parliamentary elections. Advocates of a full boycott included most constituents in the south where Ssemogerere lost his home constituency. IPFC members in the north and east, where Ssemogerere won the greatest number of votes, are eager to run in the elections. The IPFC decided that candidates who want to run will do so as independents. The likely effect of the semi-boycott will be to make it easier for Museveni's NRM to win
Jun 1, 1996 General Salim Saleh, half-brother of President Museveni, was appointed special military advisor to the president. There is growing resentment within the military amongst the Baganda, Tesso and other groups from Eastern and Central Uganda. They claim they are sent to the front lines of the war against the LRA and that Museveni's tribe, the Ankole, are never sent to the front.
Nov 1996 Several rebel movements opposing Museveni's regime have met in southern Sudan to coordinate activities. Those represented included the Lord's Resistance Army, the Allied Democratic Front, the National Democratic Front and the West Nile Bank Front. They appointed former Ugandan president Godfrey Binaisa, a Muganda, a sub-clan of the Baganda, as head of the united front. The northern groups are trying to bring the Baganda to their side, but the Baganda are distrustful of northerners and unreceptive to the rebels. Baganda have always backed President Museveni, but have recently become disenchanted with his rule. However, they still have a strong fear of being ruled by northerners.
Aug 1997 Several rebel groups, including the WNBF, the UPA, and the UFFO, opposing Museveni's government met in Kenya. The Uganda People's Army fought Museveni in the east after he gained power in January 1986; the West Nile Bank Front was operating in the northeast until April 1997 when its bases in Sudan were overrun; the Uganga Federal Freedom Organization was established by Duncan Kafeero, a former monarchy minister in the Buganda region, in 1996.
May 1998 A land reform bill that is being discussed in the Ugandan legislature has Bagandans fearing they will lose their land to other groups. Badandan MPs say the Land Bill draft favors Banyarwandans and Banyankole. The MPs accuse Museveni of favoring these two ethnic groups in his government.
Jun 25, 1998 The entire town of Gulu was put in a frenzy mood as fear gripped the people. A number of "Gulu coaches," a slang for the armored vehicles commonly called Mambas, entered the town. A local bus conductor said soldiers were looking for bus drivers to drive mambas to war. From their physique and language, the soldiers were likely Baganda and Banyankore. They spoke in Luganda, considered to be a safe medium of exchange in Gulu because it is not understoob by the rebels.(Africa News Services Inc)
Jun 29, 1998 A controversial Land Bill was yesterday passed with Baganda legislators succeeding in having the District Land Boards (DLB) administer the former public land in Buganda in the name of the Kabaka of Buganda. The bill also provides for the DLBs to administer land in the name of other traditional and cultural institutions.( Africa News Services Inc)
Jun 30, 1998 A demonstration planned for today in New York by Ugandans living in North America against the controversial Land Bill could be called off following the passing of the Bill by Parliament yesterday. Gwanga Mujje members, organizing the march, are reportedly upset that the Bill which was passed into law yesterday afternoon would allegedly deny their offspring the right to own land. "All offsprings of Ugandan citizens born overseas are denied Ugandan citizenship and therefore cannot acquire or inherit land in Uganda. Article 10 (b) of 1995, on the contrary, granted citizenship to persons born outside the country, as long as one of their parents is a Ugandan citizen. Gwanga Mujje argued that the Land Bill would deny Ugandans living abroad rights over any land they buy but leave vacant or unused over time.( Africa News Services Inc)
Jul 23, 1998 Two people summoned as State witnesses yesterday failed to turn up in court to testify against members of Parliament charged with inciting the public against the Land Act. The New Vision journalist, Mr. Grace Matsiko, was then issued with criminal summons to appear and testify while Mr. Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu, 60, MP Makindye West was charged with inciting violence and Mr. John Ken Lukyamuzi, 45, MP Lubaga south was charged with inciting violence and promoting sectarianism. The principal State attorney, Mr. Amos Ngolobe, told court that he had summoned two witnesses, Birungi Zirimenya and Grace Matsiko of The New Vision.( Africa News Services Inc)
Aug 4, 1998 The Baganda, instead of celebrating the coronation day of their Monarch chose to mourn. The Baganda were not mourning the death of their king or any member of the royal family. They were mourning, in their own words, the loss of the kingdom's land --thanks to the controversial Land Act. The mourning, for whatever it's worth, kicked off with special prayers at the Kibuli mosque, last Friday, and both Kabaka Mutebi and his prime minister (Katikkiro), Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, were in attendance. Mutebi called upon the Baganda to resist "foreign cultures" - and concluded Buganda was once again threatened with a "crisis" -- an obvious reminder to what happened in the run-up to what is now known as the 1966 Crisis. (Africa News Services Inc)
Aug 10, 1998 On Thursday, July 23, members of Buganda Kingdom's parliament, Lukiiko, were summoned for a special session to discuss new developments in the kingdom. ( Africa News Services Inc)
Oct 1, 1998 Rebel leader Joseph Kony was injured and in critical condition in Juba, the Minister of State for Security, Mr. Muruli Mukasa, has said. He said Kony's biggest camps at al-Gabelain, about 38 miles south of Juba, the largest southern Sudanese city, were destroyed. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) a week ago captured al-Gabelain, Liria and other small garrisons from the Sudanese army. About 40 Kony rebels were said to have been killed in al-Gabelain. (Africa News Services Inc)
Oct 7, 1998 The Minister of State for Land, Water and Environment, Baguma Isoke has pinned Baganda youth as one of the dominant groups supporting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels who are fighting to topple the government. Baguma in the same vein has appealed to Baganda parents to advise their children who joined rebel forces to abandon fighting and return home. "Most people think ADF is Bakonjo and Muslims alone but it is an allied force which even includes Baganda, " he said. (Africa News Services Inc)
Oct 9, 1998 The Baganda in the US and London have donated various items to primary schools in Mpigi district. These include scholastic materials which comprise 20 computers and a container full of used items. (Africa News Services Inc)
Oct 13, 1998 A two-day international conference of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) ended with a call on the Uganda People's Defence Forces(UPDF) to reject the government of President Yoweri Museveni. Presided over by UPC's Presidential Policy Commission(PPC) chairman, Dr James Rwanyarare, the conference, which opened Saturday, October 10, at Queen Mary and Westfield College, in East London, was convened to commemorate Uganda's 36th Independence Anniversary celebrations. The conference, which attracted 70 delegates from Uganda, Canada, continental Europe and UK, was organized by the Apollo Milton Obote (AMO) Club (UK).(Africa News Services Inc )
Nov 9, 1998 Anglican bishops from war-torn northern Uganda have launched a three year campaign for Peace, Reconciliation and Human Rights throughout the country aimed at removing past inter-tribal animosity. The Rev. Melchisedek Otim, expressed his apologies for the role his tribesmen played in dethroning the Kabaka (King) of Buganda Kingdom. (Africa News Services Inc)
Nov 15, 1998 Clan leaders in Buganda protested against any muganda who may try to make a will in favor of a daughter. A daughter cannot become an heir. The clan leaders alleged that whoever includes a girl in the will goes against the traditional norms of the Baganda. (Africa News Services Inc)
Jan 5, 1999 Kabaka king Ronald Muwenda Mutebi has urged the Baganda in the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) to renounce the rebellion against the government. He called for dialogue. "The Baganda in the ADF and others fighting in the north should renounce the rebellion and talk peace with the government. It is a pity that war in the north and Kasese western Uganda have continued despite continued calls for peace," he said. (BBC Monitoring Africa - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring)
Mar 10, 1999 A group of Baganda living in South London have reportedly issued a death threat against Mr. Herman Ssemuju, a leader of a newly formed rebel group. Ssemuju and his Secretary General of Uganda Freedom Front/Army, Mr. Moses Nsereko, have been issued with death threats after they claimed they were going to destabilize the Buganda region. The angry Baganda, led by Jan Katende and Charles Lwanga, have told the duo face-to-face that if they kill any Muganda, they too would be killed.( Africa News Service, Inc.)
May 1, 1999 MPs John Ken Lukyamuzi and Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu were yesterday acquitted of charges of inciting violence and promoting sectarianism. The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Mr. Andrew Bashaija, ruled that there was not enough evidence to prove the charges. He said the charges were based on newspaper reports and the author of the story was not called to court to testify. Bashaija also said there were no investigations into the case and the arresting officer, CID director Chris Bakiza, was not called to testify. (Africa News Service, Inc.)
May 1999 On Thursday, April 15, a representative group of 16 local and international women pressure groups visited the Katikkiro of Buganda for clarification on an alleged case of child abuse of Sarah Nakku by the Buganda Kingdom. Despite the various attempts by kingdom officials to explain that there was no wrongdoing, the good ladies are still up in arms with Mengo over Nakku's case. (Africa News Service, Inc.)
Sep 5, 1999 The Buganda have been advised to stop blaming other tribes for their woes. After the over-due marriage of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II, late last month, passions are again running high in Buganda for a federal status. According to the critics, what the Baganda wanted was not a "Muganda President" but rather a group of leaders with a national out-look rather than those for ethnic advancement. (Africa News Service, Inc.)

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