Uganda Peoples Congress

UPC External Bureau Victoria, British Columbia

In Support of Mama Miria Kalule Obote

In her lies the salvation of our Nation

21 Feb 2006

Pre-election commentary

Almost one hundred years ago, the Imperial British East African Company (IBEAC) did Ugandans an injustice. Captain F.D. Lugard extorted a treaty of protection from King Mwanga. This was in 1890. It was a two-year agreement, which was renewed in 1892. Subsequent treaties were signed in 1893 and 1894 after a decision was made by the IBEAC to withdraw from "Uganda".

The first treaty between Mwanga and Lugard read (in part) as follows:

"I Mwanga, King of Uganda, do hereby, after due council with and with the full consent of the chiefs of all parties of the state, give my Royal consent and sanction to the treaty therein contained, which has this day been ratified by myself on the one part, and the chiefs of my State, and signed by me with my own hand and seal, and Captain F.D. Lugard D.S.O., an officer of the army of Her Majesty, Queen of Great Britain, Empress of India, etc., acting solely on behalf of the Imperial British East African Company, incorporated by Royal Charter, with full powers to conclude and ratify the same on behalf of the said company on the other part."

  1. "The aforesaid Imperial East African Company agree on their part to afford protection to the Kingdom of Uganda, by all means in their power to secure to it the blessings of peace and prosperity, to promote its civilization and commerce, and to introduce a system of administration and organization by which these results shall be obtained."
  2. "I Mwanga in the name of my chiefs, people, and kingdom, do agree to acknowledge the suzerainty of the IBEAC, and that my kingdom, and all tributary states, are under the sphere of influence and protection, as agreed between the European powers. And in recognition thereof, I undertake to fly the flag of no other nation, to make no treaties with, grant no kind of concessions whatever to, nor allow to settle in my kingdom and acquire lands, or hold office of State, any Europeans of whatever nationality, without the knowledge and consent of the Company's Resident in Uganda."

In sections 3 to 11 the treaty specified what Mwanga could do, and what he could not do. The Company on the other hand, was given considerable latitude to establish an army and a system of administration. Company officials were granted freedom to come and go as they wished. The most interesting part about this agreement was that the Chiefs insisted on inserting two escape clauses in Swahili! The translation from Swahili to English reads as follows:

'"An agreement we now make between the white man and ourselves, and I also in my own person, King Mwanga the Sultan, and all its territories, make another agreement, viz., should another white man, greater than this one, come up afterwards, these words shall be whipped out, and we make another.

"Now we, the Catholics, want to read and to teach all people in your country as we please, and our former Agreement remains as we agreed, and this Agreement amongst ourselves is the same as your Agreement, also that our work be done as formerly, and respect among my people as formerly."

The additional clauses in Swahili, must have bothered Lugard, because the bad relationship that existed between him and Mwanga became worse after the agreement.

The other significant part about the treaty was that Mwanga remained firmly in control of the food and land resources. The treaty did not grant the IBEAC rights over land. This issue was not settled until after Mwanga was deposed, and his infant son was conveniently installed as King. It was addressed in the "the Uganda Agreement of 1900".

The entire (1900) agreement was crafted in England. The regents who were the effective rulers for Mwanga's infant son were consulted, but were not allowed to make any substantial changes. Besides, the document had a bribe in it for the chiefs. This agreement was the origin of what today is known as Mailo land.

The key feature of the agreement was that the British government distributed land, it did not own in the first place, to the chiefs. This is how the allocations panned out:

To the three regents
The Katikiro Apolo20 square miles
Mugwanya15 square miles
Kangawo10 square miles
To the Princes
Joseph8 square miles
Augustine8 square miles
Ramazan8 square miles
Yusufu-Suna8 square miles
To the princeses & relatives of the king90 square miles
To the Abamasaza (20 county chiefs)8 square miles each
Official county estates8 square miles each county
Forests under the Uganda Administration1,500 square miles
"Uncultivated land" to be brought under
Her Majesty's gov.9,000 square miles
Private property of the Kabaka of Uganda350 square miles
To the Namusole (Kabaka's mother)26 square miles

The allocation of land in square miles is what gave rise to the expression "Milo Land". This was a major land grab by the British, and it would not have been possible if it was not for the fact that the Kabaka was an infant and the Regents were major beneficiaries of the windfall.

Over the years several Uganda government administrations have perpetrated this injustice in one form or the other. Mama Miria Kalule Obote probably understands what is at issue here more than any other presidential candidate. Her commitment to establish a federal system in Uganda is the first step in resolving issues around this problem. All of us peace loving Ugandans should put our confidence and support in her candidacy - For God and our country.

Long Live Mama Miria Kalule Obote. Long Live the Baganda People. Long Live UPC.