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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Baganda merchant venturers
The incident at Nyakishenyi, 1917
Droughtmaking among the Lugbara
The sitting and relative importance of the fish landings of Lake Albert
Agricultural change at Namakata, Bulemezi
The diaries of Emin Pasha - Extracts XIII
Uganda bibliography 1967
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
The Uganda Journal
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
PART I 1968
BAGANDA MENTURERS - -
THE INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI, 1917 -
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA -
THE SITING AND RELATIVE IMPORTANCE
- A. T. MATSON
-- F. S. BRAZIER
- - L. AVUA
OF THE FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT D. A. CADWALLADR
AND J. STONEMAN
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA, BULEMEZI A. W. J. TODD
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-
EXTRACTS XIII - - - - SIR JOHN GRAY
THE RHINOCEROS VIPER: A NOTE ON
ENVENOMATION AND CAPTURE OF PREY -
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY - -
PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE KIBUGA - -
Men without God? (By J. K. Russell) -
Politics and Policies in Acholi (By C. Leys) -
Medical care in developing countries (By M. King)
African elite (By J. Goldthorpe) -
Factors affecting industrial employment
(By A. Baryaruha) - - -
Money in an African context
(By W. T. Newlyn) - - - -
Forest insects of Uganda (By K. W. Brown)- -
The African elephant (By R. M. Bere) - -
Birds of prey of the world (By M. Grossman) -
Families offlowering plants
(By W. G. Burger) - - -
Early Islamic architecture of the East African coast
(By P. S. Garlake) - - - -
SOCIETY NOTES - - - -
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS - -
CORRIGENDA- - - - -
UGANDA BIBLIOGRAPHY 1967-Compiled b)
J. D. MATTHEWS
-- L. PIROUET
F. B. WELBOURN
-J. O. DWYER
J. O. DWYER
-- B. OTAALA
R. E. MANKELOW
- W. B. BANAGE
-F. X. KATETE
W. B. BANAGE
- M. POSNANSKY
B. W. LANGLANDS
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Price Shs. 15/-
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
OFFICERS FOR 1967-68
The Excellency the President of Uganda, Dr. A. Milton Obote.
The Hon. Secretary
The Hon. Treasurer
The Hon. Editor
The Hon. Librarian
Professor S. J. K. Baker, o. B. E.
Dr. W. B. Banage
Mr. J. E. Compton
Mr. S. C. Grimley, M. B. E.
Messrs Cooper Bros. & Co.
Sir Edward Mutesa, K.B.E.
Sir Tito Winyi Gafabusa C.B.E.,
Sir John Milner Gray
1933-34 Sir A. R. Cook, c.M.G., O.B.E.
1934-35 Mr. E. J. Wayland, C.B.E.
1935-36 Dr. H. H. Hunter, C.B.E., LL.D.
1936-37 Dr. H. Jowitt, c.M.G.
1937-38 Sir H. R. Hone, K.C.M.G., K.B.C.,
1938-39 Mr. J. Sykes, O.B.E.
1939-40 Mr. N. V. Brasnett
194o-41 Captain C. R. S. Pitman, C.B.E.,
t94x-42 Mr. S. W. Kulubya, C.B.E.
1942-43 Mr. E. A. Temple Perkins
1943-44 Mr. R. A. Snoxall
1944-45 Dr. K. A. Davies, C.M.G., O.B.E.
1945-46 Mr. G. H. E. Hopkins, O.B.E.
1946-47 Mrs. K. M. Trowell, M.B.E.
1947-48 Dr. W. J. Eggeling
Mr. J. L. Dixon
Mr. W. B. Hudson
Mr. W. S. Kajubi
Mr. G. R. Katongole
Mr. Y. Kyesimira
Mr. A. W. R. McCrae
Mrs. M. Macpherson
Mr. B. Nabuguzi
Mr. J. D. Rubadiri
Mr. P Zirimu
Mr. M. O. Buluma
Mrs. J. Bevin
Mr. B. W. Langlands
Miss. M. Noble
Hon. Legal Adviser:
Mr. R. A. Counihan
Mr. E. B. 'Haddon
Mr. H. B. Thomas, O.B.E.
Professor A. W. Williams, C.B.E.
Reverend Father J. P. Crazzolara
Captain C. R. S. Pitman, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C
1948-50 Dr. G. ap Griffith
1950-51 Rev. Fr. F. B. Gaffney, w.F.
595I-52 Professor A. W. Williams, c.B.E.
1952-53 SirJ. N. Hutchinson, C.M.G., F.R.S.
1953-54 Mr. J. D. Jameson, O.B.E.
1954-55 Dr. Audrey I. Richards, C.B.E.
1955-56 Rev. Dr. H. C. Trowell, O.B.E.
1956-57 Mr. D. K. Marphatia, M.B.E.
1957-58 Mr. M. Barrington Ward
1958-59 Dr. H. F. Morris
1959-60 Professor A. W. Southall
1960-61 Mr. J. C. D. Lawrance, O.B.E.
g961-62 Mr. B. E. R. Kirwan, M.B.E.
1962-64 Mr. W. S. Kajubi
1964-65 Dr. M. Posnansky
1965-66 Dr. W. B. Banage
1966-67 Professor S. J. K. Baker, o. B. E.
Mr. S. W. Kulubya, C.B.E.
Mr. B. K. Mulyanti, O.B.E.
Secretary: Mrs. J. Bevin
Rev. K. H. Sharpe
Dr. M. S. M Kiwanuka
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Copyright Uganda Society 1968
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES -
THE INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI, 1917
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA
THE SITING AND RELATIVE IMPORTANCE
OF THE FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT
AND J. STONEMAN
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA, BULEMEZI A. W. J. TODD
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-
EXTRACTS XIII - - - -
THE RHINOCEROS VIPER: A NOTE ON
ENVENOMATION AND CAPTURE OF PREY -
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY - - -
PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE KIBUGA - -
Men without God? (By J. K. Russell) - -
Politics and Policies in Acholi (By C. Leys) -
Medical care in developing countries (By M. King)
African elite (By J. Goldthorpe) - -
Factors affecting industrial employment
(By A. Baryaruha) - - - -
Money in an African context
(By W. T. Newlyn) - -
Forest insects of Uganda (By K. W. Brown)-
The African elephant (By R. M. Bere) -
Birds of prey of the world (By M. Grossman)
Families offlowering plants
(By W. G. Burger) - - -
Early Islamic architecture of the East African coast
(By P. S. Garlake) - - - -
SOCIETY NOTES- - -
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS - -
CORRIGENDA- - ------
UGANDA BIBLIOGRAPHY 1967-Compiled by
- SIR JOHN GRAY
J. D. MATTHEWS
-- L. PIROUET
F. B. WELBOURN
-J. O. DWYER
J. O. DWYER
R. E. MANKELOW
- W. B. BANAGE
F. X. KATETE
-W. B. BANAGE
B. W. LANGLANDS
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Price Shs. 15/-
-- A. T. MATSON
F. S. BRAZIER
- D. A. CADWALLADR
Uganda Journal, 32, I (1968), 1-15.
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES
By A. T. MATSON
When explorers and missionaries first arrived in Buganda they noted the
natural ability and receptiveness of the people to European ideas, and con-
trasted these attributes with the listlessness, conservatism and suspicion which
they had encountered among tribes on the Nile and Tanganyika routes. After
the opening of the Masai route, these observations were confirmed by Company
officers and government officials. By the end of the 19th century, the readiness
of the Baganda to adopt European ways in religion, education, crafts and
material culture prompted Sir Harry Johnston and Sir Charles Eliot to compare
the imitativeness of the Baganda to that shown by the Japanese.'
The imitative faculty, which was further developed among the Baganda
leaders by their association with Protestant and Catholic missionaries, was
exhibited in one field of human endeavour which has passed almost un-
noticed: their attempt to participate in the caravan trade with the coast.
This enterprising venture has probably been forgotten because it was maintained
for only about a year, and eventually ended in failure. It took place during the
interregnum between Commissioner Berkeley's departure from Buganda in
February 1899 and Johnston's arrival at the capital in December of the same
year. During this period the government was in the hands of Colonel Ternan,
who was fully occupied in his professional military capacity with the concluding
stages of the operations against the mutineers and rebel kings, and with admini-
strative plans for the reorganisation of the armed forces, and the production
of foodstuffs to ration the sepoys in Buganda and the Baganda troops in the
Eastern Province. Moreover, the unaccustomed burdens of administrative
office caused the Acting Commissioner to become irascible when he was asked
to give his attention to what he considered to be unimportant matters, especially
when applications for advice and assistance were couched in the scriptural
language affected by the mission-trained Baganda leaders. It is not surprising,
therefore, that his despatches contain no references to the efforts of the Baganda
to open up direct trading relations with the coast. Johnston would probably
have viewed the matter in a different light, but after the Special Commissioner
arrived in Buganda he and the Baganda leaders were absorbed in negotiations
for the Agreement and had little time for other considerations.
Berkeley, who was a former consular official with considerable experience
in the commercial field, had encouraged private enterprise to open up the
Masai route in 1896. These efforts had failed but had brought home to Berkeley
the dangers and difficulties of the caravan trade. In view of these past setbacks,
it is unlikely that Berkeley would have urged the Baganda leaders to enter the
hazardous caravan business, especially as he was concerned throughout his
period of office to discourage activities which might lead to demands on the
Protectorate's inadequate military resources. He was particularly keen to avoid
embroilments with tribes on the lines of communication, such as were likely
2 UGANDA JOURNAL
to arise in Masailand and Nandi if poorly equipped caravans tried to loot
food from people near the Uganda Road, in the manner practised by Baganda
caravans in the western parts of the country. Nevertheless, although the over-
worked Commissioner was a very sick man long before he left Entebbe in
February 1899, Berkeley did show some interest in the Baganda venture during
the final stages of preparation, and gave the pioneer caravan a letter of intro-
duction to officers at the roadside stations.
The Baganda leaders apparently initiated the scheme on their own accord,
but it is not certain what encouragement they were given by George Wilson,
the Sub-Commissioner at Kampala, or by Dr. Mackinnon, the Director of
Uganda Transport. The latter reported to Berkeley in September 1898 that the
government's transport service had failed owing to cattle disease, the reluctance
of porters to engage for the through trip to Buganda and the bad state of
Sclater's Road. Supplies were running short in Kampala and none could be
brought up on the German route, which had been closed for three months
because of drought and famine. When Hobley reported that transport arrange-
ments in the Eastern Province were in danger of breaking down unless trade
goods were sent urgently to Mumias, an Entebbe official minuted: "We must
do our best at once, whatever that may amount to; Uganda Transport cannot
help; must come from here".2 Mackinnon was at his wit's end, and possibly
suggested that the Baganda should be encouraged to enter the caravan business
as soon as the restoration of settled conditions enabled traders to move about
without fear of molestation. It is more likely, however, that the Baganda leaders
themselves decided to compete in what they mistakenly believed to be a lucrative
business, and that government help was not forthcoming until they had made
clear their intentions to persevere with the enterprise. The missionaries, too,
could hardly have suggested a project which would cause large numbers of
their adherents to be absent from their homes and families for several months,
and which would not only bring the porters in contact with the predominantly
heathen or Muslim occupants of the road stations, but also expose them to the
'pernicious influence' of the Swahilis at the coast.3
The eagerness of the promoters to participate in the Mombasa caravan
trade was not altogether surprising, as the Baganda had been engaged in long
distance trading operations since the late eighteenth century. These activities
had taken trading parties to the southern shores of Lake Victoria and Baganda
canoemen to the Kavirondo Gulf. The Mombasa caravans were a natural
extension of customary trading practices, when the tapping of new markets was
made possible after the Pax Brittanica had ensured the safety of the Masai
route. It was equally natural that the royal monopoly, which the Kabaka had
traditionally exercised over the caravan trade, should be operated by the
Regents and leading chiefs during the minority of Daudi Chua.4 The venture
was a considerable act of faith and courage: none of the other tribes on the
Uganda Road, except the Kamba and Taita, had previously sent caravans to
trade in Mombasa; and neither of these tribes from the East Africa Protect-
orate had ever organised caravans on the scale of the Baganda expeditions.5
It is difficult to establish from contemporary sources how the Baganda
caravans were formed and financed, what articles were traded and what in-
cidents occurred during the long journey to the coast and back to Kampala.
This is partly owing to the surprisingly limited impact which the caravans
made on officials and missionaries, and partly to the confused nature of some
of the information that was recorded. There are discrepancies and omissions
in diaries, letters and reports concerning the names of the leaders, the number
BUGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 3
of porters and loads, and the direction in which the caravans were going.
Much confusion is also caused by the customary practice of recording a party
under the owner's name, whether he was personally leading the caravan or not.
There are many gaps in official records, but probably some of these could be
filled with the help of Station Cash Books, the Kagwa Papers, the Entebbe
Secretariat Archives, the archives of the former Buganda Residency, and the
recollections of men whose fathers made the journey to Mombasa.6
The project was first mooted in June 1898, when Mika Sematimba was
ordered by the Katikiro to go to Zanzibar to sell ivory for the infant Kabaka,
and "to buy such things as he is supposed to want for his household". The
party was to follow the route taken by earlier Baganda visitors to the coast,
and Archdeacon Walker proposed writing letters to ensure Mika a friendly
reception at the road stations in German East Africa. The Archdeacon also
planned to give his friend, the Makamba, a tent and other comforts for the
journey.7 But June 1898 was an unpropitious time for the projected journey,
owing to the closure of the German route and the demands made on the
Baganda in connection with the chase after Mwanga, Kabarega and the rem-
nant of mutineers. The road through the British sphere was also virtually
closed to all but military traffic and supply caravans for the Uganda Relief
Force. The transport system was breaking under the strain, caravans were
blocked at roadside stations and food resources were unable to meet the extra-
ordinary demands made upon them. To make matters worse, Berkeley was
anxious to send the 27 B.L.I. sepoys back to the coast and had ordered the huge
quantity of food needed for their return to be stock-piled along the route.
Moreover, the Kakamega and Nandi were attacking parties on Sclater's
Road, Jackson had recommended a punitive expedition against the latter
tribe, and Masailand was in ferment owing to a resumption of hostilities
between Lenana and Sendeyu. Berkeley proposed in July to visit Busoga,
Kavirondo and Nandi in order to investigate the disquiet in these districts and
the collapse of the transport system, but he was unable to leave Entebbe until
mid-September. The situation deteriorated still further in October 1898,
when the unpunished Nandi again attacked parties on Sclater's Road, and the
rebels cut up Hannyngton's patrol in Bunyoro and threatened Buganda.8
In view of all these factors, the Katikiro had no choice but to postpone the
Kabaka's expedition to Zanzibar. The scheme was revived in December
1898, when the security situation had improved, disquiet along Sclater's Road
had been allayed, and the departure of the Indian Regiment deferred until
March 1899. In the interval between June and December the project had
become changed in character and widened in scope. It had grown from a small
private party travelling through German East Africa to Zanzibar on the
Kabaka's behalf to a considerable commercial expedition, through the British
sphere to Mombasa, financed by the Regents and chiefs. Mika was retained as
leader, but the accountancy arrangements were presumably taken out of the
hands of Yusufu Mukasa, the Kabaka's storekeeper, and committed to a
nominee of the Uganda Trader's Association.9 The choice of leader was a
good one as Mika, "the most English of the Baganda", had been Mutesa's
storekeeper and had acted as Mubaka to bring in explorers and missionaries to
Mwanga's capital, and to command trading expeditions to the Arabs on the
southern shores of the lake. He was one of a party of thirty Baganda whom
Mutesa had sent in 1882 to Zanzibar with a gift of ivory for the Sultan; and
ten years later he had accompanied Archdeacon Walker to England. Neither
of these journeys took him through the British sphere, but his experience of
long distance travelling made him an obvious choice for leadership of the
first Baganda caravan on the Masai route.10
Mika's party was evidently intended merely to explore the possibilities
of the Mombasa market and to purchase goods, but not to carry them back to
Kampala. Only 37 men accompanied the Makamba when he reported at
Ravine on 26 December 1898, and handed Martin, Berkeley's letter to all
road stations asking them to help Mika Sematimba, "a chief of some import-
ance who is going on a venture that may have a very considerable influence
on the commercial development of the country". In addition to this charact-
eristically optimistic introduction from the Commissioner, Mika also carried
a number of Uganda Goverment promissory notes negotiable at Mombasa for
a total sum of Rs. 20,000. It had originally been intended that Mika should
take rupees to the coast, as well as the Kabaka's ivory, but this was evidently
considered too dangerous a proceeding. Walker was anxious lest the Indian
merchants would treat Mika "like a sheep with lots of good wool on its back",
so he wrote to his friends in Mombasa asking them to help the Baganda leader
with his purchases."
So far as is known no difficulties were experienced on the journey to the
coast, nor in purchasing trade goods at Mombasa. When the transactions were
completed, Mika sent up men in March 1899 asking the Association to organise
a caravan to fetch the goods. A large number of porters were quickly assembled
with Alexander Mukasa as leader, and George Wilson sent a circular letter
to all road stations on 30 March 1899 asking them to assist the Baganda chiefs'
caravan which was leaving that day for "direct trade with the coast". No
further details are given in official records but Wilson wrote in a private letter:
"A little incident may be touched upon as reassuring-the chiefs have 600
porters engaged on their own account in direct trade with the coast, involving
a risk of Rs. 45,000, or 3,000". This would have been a very large caravan,
which would almost certainly have attracted comment merely on account of
its size. The men mentioned by Wilson probably included those engaged in
collecting food for the porters before Mukasa's caravan left Kampala, and
possibly the members of other caravans as well. It is very doubtful whether as
many as 600 porters made the journey to the coast under one leader. Two
caravans passed through Ravine in April and May, either or both of which
may have been Mukasa's. The first was a 'Waganda caravan' which arrived
from Uganda on 27 April 1899; the second 'a private Uganda caravan', with
11 tusks of ivory (on which dues and duty had been paid at Kampala), which
reported at Ravine a week later.12
Much more information was recorded about the next Baganda caravan
to pass through Ravine. This came from the coast and was probably Mika's
pioneer party, with possibly some porters who had been engaged at road stations
and railhead or transferred from Mukasa's caravan. The Ravine Station Diary
records that on 29 May 1899 "the Katikiro's caravan sent for food-starving";
and that three days later a messenger came in from the Molo River to ask for
more food. There is no record that food was sent on either occasion but mail-
men, who left for Naivasha soon after the messages were received, presumably
took supplies to the stricken porters. Entries for 4 June 1899 record that "a
Uganda caravan under the leadership of Kata Kitisamla and Mika Simbakata
rsic] arrived exhausted and demanded food". Mohamed Bakar was prepared
to supply the caravan with flour at one rupee a pound, but Martin "with his
usual forethought and aptitude" refused, saying half a rupee was enough.
Martin's ruling was accepted by the trader, a receipt for Rs. 764- was signed
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 5
for 1,529 lb. of food, and "a letter explaining the case was sent by one PLATT
to the MIGHTY WILSON". The following January a cheque was received
at Ravine from Kampala for Rs. 766, which was paid to Mohamed Bakar
"for food supplied to Mika Sematimba and William Grant".13
Mika 'Simbakata' was possibly merely a careless error on Platt's part,
but although the food supplied by Bakar was subsequently charged to Mika
Sematimba, it is by no means certain that the latter was at Ravine in June
1899. The starving caravan was probably the advance contingent of the main
party from the coast, which Capt. Gorges claimed was led into Naivasha by
Mika on 23 July 1899. The advance contingent was also possibly the caravan
under Headman Andrew, which Major Martyr supplied with 20 loads (say
1,200 lb.) ofAdamji Alibhai's mtama flour at the Kavirondo Bridge (presumably
the River Isioka) about the 12th June, or seven days after the Katikiro's caravan
left Ravine.14 Andrew's party might also have been the caravan whose arrival
with fifteen men and eight loads was reported by F. W. Isaac, the Transport
Officer at Kampala, on 1 August 1899. This caravan was said to have taken
thirty men from Kampala for the journey to Kikuyu, where the porters were
rested while the headman went to Mombasa with two companions to buy
cloth and other trade goods. Sixteen of the porters died of dysentery at Kikuyu,
so replacements to carry the trade goods to Kampala were recruited from
Baganda at Fort Smith. During the homeward journey one man was left on
the road between Naivasha and Ravine without food, and three porters who
contracted dysentery after leaving Kikuyu disappeared on the Mau crossing.15
The amount of food supplied to 'Simbakata' at Ravine, and possibly by Martyr
in Kavirondo, was however evidently intended for a caravan larger than that
reported by Isaac, so the two may have been separate ventures.
Official records throw some doubt on whether Mika was in charge of the
starving caravan at Ravine in June. From the missionary evidence available,
it also seems likely that Mika pushed on ahead of the porters, or possibly he
may have returned to Kampala by the German route. The Rev. G. K. Basker-
ville noted in his Journal on 12 March 1899 that "Mika Sematimba was sent
to the coast to purchase goods for the King, and is on his way back"; and
Walker mentioned in a letter dated 20 June 1899 that Mika had recently
returned from Mombasa. Unfortunately neither source indicates the route
taken, nor describes the goods Mika had with him and the casualties suffered
by his comrades.16
In the period between Mukasa's departure for the coast in March 1899
and the return of the first party to reach Kampala in the following June or
July, caravan traffic on the Uganda Road received a severe and tragic setback.
This was caused by the heavy mortality among the Basoga and Baganda porters
who had taken the Indian Regiment down to railhead under William Grant,
and among their comrades in the large caravans organised by Wallace, Gem-
mill and other private contractors.17 As a result of the losses suffered by these
caravans and the spread of dysentery along the Uganda Road, George Wilson
urged that Dr. Mackinnon should be instructed to stop the loads of trade goods
bought for the Baganda chiefs' commercial enterprises at Mombasa, since
further porter casualties would jeopardise the continuance of the transport
system. If the loads could not be held at the coast or stored at railhead, he
suggested they should be detained at Naivasha until a caravan could be sent
to collect them after the epidimic had subsided. He estimated that about 400
loads would be affected by this action in caravans supervised by Chasama,
Butalagi and Mika Sematimba.18 When Ternan received these representations,
6 UGANDA JOURNAL
the embargo on the employment of Basoga porters in government, contract
and trading caravans proceeding east of Mumias was extended to the Baganda.19
Mackinnon was instructed to hold the trade goods at Mombasa or railhead,
and the road stations were asked to help the Baganda chiefs' caravans, whose
porters were reported to have suffered heavy casualties, and to store their
loads. Archdeacon Walker questioned the legality of the embargo, and also
queried the government's right under the recently published Porters' Regu-
lations to insist on the registration of porters in caravans organised by Baganda
Chiefs. Objections to the embargo were rebutted, but after considerable delay
a concession was granted allowing four domestic servants to travel with a
Baganda chief without payment of the registration fee. As a result of Walker's
representations and persistence, Mika and Ham Mukasa were refunded 18
and 12 rupees respectively for servants who had journeyed to the coast.20
In the meantime one of the earlier caravans had arrived back at Naivasha
from the coast on 23 July 1899. Gorges took charge of 40 loads of trade goods
from the caravan's leaders, Mika Sematima [sic], because a large number of
the porters were incapacitated by sickness. No arrangements had been made to
provision the caravan even as far as Ravine, where supplies were not often
obtainable, so Gorges bought 1,220 lb. of food from Somali traders to meet
the porters' needs. When this was reported to Entebbe, an official queried
whether the caravan really belonged to Apolo Katikiro as the latter had paid
for his men's food at Kampala.21 The caravan proceeded on its homeward
journey, but its arrival at Ravine is not recorded by name in the Station Diary.
There is, however, an entry for 2 August 1899 that two caravans arrived at
Ravine, but these are not identified by name and no indication is given as to
the direction in which they were travelling. What is certain is that Mika was
not on the Uganda Road at the time, so it must be assumed that Gorges entered
his name in the Naivasha log-book from the caravan's papers.
When the caravan (or news of its plight) reached Kampala, Dowse and
Vincent offered to bring on the goods left at Naivasha for Rs. 42 a load. The
Baganda chiefs agreed to this quotation in August 1899, but told Wilson they
had no specie to pay the transport contractors, and asked if they could sell
produce and trade goods to the government in order to raise the money.
Ternan agreed but refused to accept any responsibility for the negotiations
with Dowse and Vincent.22 The following month Grant, who had taken over
from Wilson at Kampala, was approached by the Katikiro's Lingwanya
[sic] for a government advance of Rs. 5,460 to pay Indian contractors to trans-
port 210 loads from Kikuyu to Mumias. The Katikiro's agent promised the
advance would be repaid when the consignment was sold in Kampala, if the
government was not prepared to accept trade goods to the value of the money
advanced. Grant added that the traders had no coast bills to enable them to
estimate the value of their wares, and Ternan refused to sanction the advance.23
The Katikiro was also asking at this time for help in bringing up dhow builders
and shipwrights' tools from the coast at a cost of Rs. 7,740. Jackson thought
the Regents could not afford to embark on such costly undertakings, and
although Wilson pointed out that the dhow would be the property of the
Buganda Government, Ternan rejected the application in a petulant minute
in which he declared that he could not be bothered with Biblical effusions
from the Katikiros.24 The Acting Commissioner, who was preparing for the
arrival of Sir Harry Johnston, was evidently not prepared to encourage, nor to
get financially involved in, the Baganda leaders' commercial enterprises.
Meanwhile the embargo on Baganda caravans beyond Mumias still
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 7
stood. But before it had been imposed, Apolo Kagwa had been preparing
another caravan for the coast. The Katikiro asked Isaac for compensation for
60 loads of food which had been purchased in Buddu for this venture, but
Boyle, the Assistant Accountant, rejected any claim for losses sustained as a
result of the embargo25. The embargo also apparently discouraged Kakungulu
from using a thousand rupees from the reward which he had earned in con-
nection with Kabarega's capture, for the purposes of a trading expedition to
Mombasa. Kakungulu was becoming deeply involved in Busoga and Bukedi
at the time and seemingly found other uses for his money. But Andrea Luwa-
ndaga, who had been similarly rewarded for his part in Mwanga's capture,
possibly took a caravan to the coast on his own account or in partnership with
Wilson, who was acting for Ternan while the Commandant was away on
a military inspection tour, asked the District Officer at Kampala in August
1899 to help the Baganda to organize a commercial expedition to the coast.
It is not certain, however, whether this instruction, which contravened the
embargo, was allowed to stand when Ternan returned to re-assume command.27
No such expedition is mentioned as having passed through Ravine, but it may
have been one of the many unspecified caravans which are recorded in the
Station Diary for August and September 1899. Wilson's intervention in the
dhow building controversy, together with the fact that his August instruction
was issued regardless of the embargo and Ternan's patent antipathy towards
the Regents' aspirations, suggest that the OC Kampala may have been partly
responsible for initiating the pilot project in December 1898 and Mukasa's
caravan in March 1899.
In August 1899 a caravan which was said to belong to Ham Mukasa
arrived at Naivasha from the coast under Headman Andrea; and about a
fortnight later an unspecified Baganda caravan passed through Ravine on the
way to Kampala.28 This was presumably either part of the caravan which
Alexander Mukasa had taken down at the end of March 1899, or the venture
sponsored by Andrea Luwandaga. It fared no better than its predecessors
despite the help it received from district officers at Naivasha and Ravine.
Gorges reported that when the caravan arrived at the former station it was in a
helpless condition, without enough fit men to carry the loads and with in-
sufficient food for the return journey. A number of men were left at the station
to recuperate, and several loads were taken into store as many of the Baganda
who continued with the caravan were not strong enough to act as porters.
Gorges had some difficulty in getting even the able-bodied men to proceed to
Kampala, owing to their feeling of helplessness and the headman's lack of
control. "In view of past experience and mortality", Gorges asked that Baganda
porters and caravans should be prohibited from making the long journey to
Once again the question arose of bringing up the loads left by earlier
caravans and those detained at Naivasha in August 1899. In October the
Katikiro suggested the trade goods should be handed over to the government at
Mumias to pay for the transport charges, but Boyle contended it was the Regents'
responsibility to pay the transporters in kind. The Accountant's ruling was
supported by Ternan, who also declined to buy the goods on the grounds that
the Mumias store was well-stocked. The Acting Commissioner offered an
alternative suggestion that the contractors should be paid with some of the
uncashed government cheques held by the Baganda, if none of the wholesale
merchants would take the goods off their hands.30 The fate of the goods is un-
8 UGANDA JOURNAL
known, but they were possibly taken on to Kampala by caravans belonging
to Mika Sematimba and the Katikiro which passed through Ravine on the
13th and 25th of October respectively.31 It is unlikely that either of these cara-
vans had sufficient spare carrying power to cope with extra loads, and the
detained trade goods were probably brought up by special caravans in the
New Year. Archibald Brown, the Kisumu Transport Officer, notified Entebbe
in February 1900 that Baganda canoes had arrived to collect "the chiefs'
loads", and that the canoemen intended to wait at the port until the goods
Archdeacon Walker's version of the removal of the detained loads differs
from the account given in official records. He claimed that about 900 of the
porters, who were sent to Kikuyu to fetch the trade goods, died of dysentery
and starvation, so that 600 loads had to be left behind.33 Walker stated that
the normal government charge for porters left at road stations was one rupee
a day and for loads was half a rupee a month. He thought these charges could
hardly be levied on the Baganda caravans because Mika had gone to the
coast "very much at his [the Commissioner's] suggestion". When the chiefs
were told that other Baganda would not be allowed to go down and fetch the
loads, they asked the government for advice and were persuaded to make a
contract with some English traders. While these negotiations dragged out in
Buganda, the custodians of the loads at Kikuyu acted on their own initiative
and signed a contract with some Indian traders to deliver the loads to Kampala.
The latter arrangement, which was made a month before the contract signed
by the Baganda chiefs, was concluded without the knowledge of the Kampala
signatories. When the English traders were "still close to Uganda" on the way
down to fulfil their contract, they seized the loads from the Indians' caravan
which they met on the road.34
The chiefs were faced with the problem of finding the money to pay both
contractors, but the Katikiro insisted that the Indians should be paid the
amount promised under their contract in full. The Baganda were urged by
their spiritual adviser to follow normal commercial practice in such cases, by
paying what they could to the Indians and giving them an IOU for the balance,
with a promise to pay in six months' time after the goods had been sold at a
profit. The chiefs preferred to follow St. Paul's injunction to "owe no man
anything". They insisted on paying the total amount at once, and raised the
Rs. 9,000 they needed to complete the payment by accepting the govern-
ment's offer to buy the loads of amerikani. This course was taken, although it
ment selling the goods at a lower rate than amerikani had ever previously fetch-
ed on the Kampala market. The transaction involved the vendors in a loss of
ten rupees on every bale, with the result that Ham Mukasa and the Katikiro
alone lost 120 and 300 rupees respectively. Walker censured the government,
which he considered was "responsible to a large extent for the whole mess",
but was gratified at the sense of honour displayed by the Baganda leaders.
The Archdeacon seemingly approached Collinson to ascertain whether the
second contract was binding in view of the first, but received little comfort
from the Consular Judge. The latter also pointed out that as the second contract
omitted to state the exact location of the goods, no action would lie for a reduction
of the transport charges, even though both parties thought the loads would be
carried from railhead at Kikuyu. Walker contrasted the Baganda chiefs'
attitude over honouring the two contracts with that of the English traders,
who ought not to have "pressed their legal right to do a morally unjust act".35
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 9
Meanwhile Mika Sematimba, who had gone down by the German route
in September or October 1899, was in Mombasa, where the widower courted
and married an English-speaking, Frere Town mission girl, Elizabeth. Mika
presented himself on 13 February 1900 to the C.M.S. party under the Rev.
A. B. Lloyd, with whom the married couple travelled back to Buganda. The
caravan left Mombasa on 23 February 1900 and arrived at Kampala on the
last day of March, three weeks after the Buganda Agreement had been signed,
but before the negotiations for the distribution of land had been completed.36
Mika may have been concerned during the journey with clearing the loads
left at the roadside stations by the Baganda trading caravans but, if he did so,
this interesting piece of intelligence was not considered worthy of mention by
any of the missionaries with whom he travelled.37
The Katikiro's caravan which passed through Ravine in October 1899
was apparently the last Baganda trading party to make the through trip from
Mombasa to Kampala. By then the Regents and chiefs had learned some of
the difficulties associated with long distance trading expeditions by the hard
way, and had revised their notions concerning the benefits to be gained
from the caravan trade with the coast. The Association's profits from
its commercial enterprises must have been small, and not at all commensurate
with the capital which had been placed at risk for a lengthy period of time.
Moreover the government, which had made no special efforts to encourage
the promoters or to extricate them when they got into difficulties, hardened
its attitude towards Baganda participation in the coastal trade. This presumably
was partly because Ternan did not want to become involved in unnecessary
complications on his lines of communication, and partly because the outcome
of the pioneer ventures had demonstrated that the Baganda chiefs were engag-
ing in a form of enterprise for which they displayed no particular aptitude, and
which had caused a great deal of suffering to the Association's porters. Another
consideration that weighed heavily with the government was the recrudes-
cence of hostility among the Nandi. This not'only threatened the safe passage
of caravans along the Uganda Road, but was also likely to disrupt transport
operations while the marauding tribesmen were being punished. The Ravine,
Kipture and Mumias garrisons were too weak to provide escorts for caravans
through the disturbed districts, and an attack on the vulnerable Baganda
trading parties could have expedited a collision between the government and
the Nandi. In addition to the deteriorating security position in the Eastern
Province, outbreaks of smallpox in most of the road districts discouraged long
distance travelling. The Porters' Regulations provided another bar to the
continuance of the Association's activities. Provisions regarding clothing, food
supplies and care of the sick, as well as the requirements concerning regis-
tration fees for porters and deposits as a security for the payment of wages
made the organisation of large caravans a much more difficult and costly,
undertaking than it had been when the pioneer parties journeyed to the coast.38
As the Uganda Railway approached the eastern boundary of the Pro-
tectorate towards the end of 1899, a growing number of Indian traders and
private contractors were competing for the Kampala market. Allidina Visram
was expanding the business established by his fellow Khoja, Sewa Haji, and a
number of British, German and Italian firms were opening stores in Buganda,
and stocking them with goods which were generally brought up by the German
route.39 Although their competitors were unable to meet all the demands of the
market, the Baganda leaders possibly realized that the profits to be expected
from trading operations would decrease as goods became more plentiful.
10 UGANDA JOURNAL
Moreover, the Regents and principal chiefs had important domestic matters
to claim their attention. The Special Commissioner was on his way to the
capital to reorganise the government, and after negotiations for the Buganda
Agreement were initiated shortly after Johnston's arrival in December 1899,
Apolo Kagwa and his colleagues were too busy to concern themselves with
speculative trading ventures. Indeed even before the Agreement negotiations
began, the Katikiro's thoughts were already turning to another and more
local form of commercial undertaking. This was the construction and employ-
ment of dhows for the lake transhipment trade, in which he hoped to be able
to compete with Boustead, Ridley and the German traders on more favourable
terms than in the caravan business."
It is difficult from the confused and contradictory accounts outlined above
to present a full and accurate picture of the Baganda trading caravans. The
number of porters said to have been engaged in single ventures varies from
30 to 600. From other evidence such as the food supplied and the loads left on
the road, it seems that the average strength of the caravans was probably
between 200 and 400 men, a large proportion of whom would have been food
carriers. Most of the promoters and caravan leaders were Christians of the
Protestant persuasion. They came from families holding official positions in the
Baganda hierarchy, and thus were able to enlist their followers as porters for
the Mombasa caravans. Since there were thousands of muzzle-loaders in
Buganda, as well as a number of precision weapons which had been captured
from the Sudanese during the mutiny operations, there was no difficulty in
providing arms for the porters' protection. There is no evidence, however,
that the caravans had to use their armament to defend themselves against
attacks from hostile tribesmen.
The capital raised by the Association's members was seemingly almost
entirely in rupees. Buganda produce was too bulky and perishable to be worth
transporting 700 miles to the coast, and even ivory, the sole commodity which
repaid the cost of carriage, was apparently only used as an exchange medium
on one occasion. It is unlikely that other caravans carried ivory, since its
passage down the road was invariably recorded in station diaries, even when
(as in this case) duty had been paid in Kampala. Some of the caravan leaders
may have carried a few of the uncashed government cheques which were
held by a number of Baganda at the time, as well as letters to the Sub-Com-
missioner, Dr. Mackinnon, Boustead, Ridley and other merchants at the
coast, asking for credit facilities so that purchases could be debited against the
Association's assets in Kampala. At the beginning of 1899 there were little
more than Rs. 150,000 in the Protectorate. Most of these were used for the
payment of government staff and troops, but cowries were generally used for
the payment of casual labourers. Specie was beginning to circulate more freely
and was gradually replacing trade goods as the medium for trading operations
in Kampala and Entebbe. The Baganda leaders were being encouraged to
accept rupees for produce transactions, and for the wages paid to their followers
who undertook temporary government employment as porters, labourers and
canoemen. The chiefs apparently retained a proportion of the wages paid to
the men they provided for these services, and a number of Baganda leaders
had also been given presents in rupees. But judging from Jackson's comments
on the dhow-building venture, and the pleas for government help in providing
money to pay the transport charges for the loads left on the road, it seems the
Association's members did not hold enough rupees to finance the coastal
caravans from their own currency resources.41 The project started a year too
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 11
soon in this respect, as the principal beneficiaries under the Buganda Agree-
ment gained control of an exceptional amount of currency, when the official
salaries and land distribution provisions in the Agreement became effective.42
Little is known about the goods which Mika and his colleagues bought
from the Mombasa merchants, except that cloth was one of the items brought
back to Kampala. There was a ready market for this commodity in Buganda,
as well as some demand for high-priced 'novelties' from a small number of the
richest people. Trade in arms and ammunition was forbidden, and the market
for cowries was becoming saturated, with the result that their value was decreas-
ing rapidly. Beads and wire, the other staples of the caravan trade, had lost
their appeal to the Baganda, so it seems that the bulk of the Association's
loads must have been made up of serviceable and fancy cloths.43 This supposi-
tion is borne out by the difficulties experienced by the caravan leaders in dis-
posing of their wares and in paying for food at the road stations in Mau and
Kavirondo. Traders operating in these areas, and others like Mohomed Bakar
and the Naivasha Somalis who traded with tribes to the north of the Uganda
Road, had no use for cloth because their transactions were carried out princi-
pally with beads, wire and cowries. The incidents at Ravine and Naivasha
suggest that the Baganda caravans carried none of the commodities that were
acceptable to the people and traders between Kikuyu and the lake. Apart
from the amerikani purchases made by the government, nothing has been re-
corded about the method of disposal of the loads that eventually reached
Kampala. Some items may have been bought in lots by merchant firms or
the government, while others were possibly "sent out" (to use Walker's phrase)
to be sold in small parcels through Baganda retail traders. The amerikani loads
appear to have been the property of individual Association members, but
some of the other goods may have been sold in consignments and the proceeds
shared in proportion to the capital put up by the various promoters.
The failure to master the technique of organising caravans, with due
regard for the welfare of the porters, caused a deal of adverse comment from
government officials. The shortcomings of the sponsors and caravan leaders
in this respect were not peculiar to the Baganda. On the contrary, frequently
since the days of the Company, complaints had been made about the inhumane
treatment of porters by trading firms, European contractors and Indian traders,
as well as by mission and government caravan leaders. Regulations were drawn
up to safeguard the porters' welfare, and district officers at road stations did
what they could to see that tolerable standards were observed. But abuses
continued and cases often came to light of sick men being abandoned, caravans
straggling along without proper supervision and porters dying in scores from
hunger and disease.44 A few inveterate wrong-doers like Gemmill were warned
off and several other caravan leaders were fined or imprisoned. Between 14
January and 22 February 1899 three Indian trading caravans arrived at
Ravine in a starving condition and had to be fed at government expense. One
of the leaders was fined Rs. 500 and another was imprisoned for four months.
When the Baganda parties arrived at Ravine and Naivasha in a similarly
destitute condition, the district officers were fortunately able to arrange for
provisions for the remainder of the journey to be bought on credit. The Baganda
thus avoided the punishment that was meted out to the Indians, and were also
excused for disregarding the government order requiring all caravans to
provide themselves with enough food at Fort Smith to see them through to
The difficulties of supplying caravans on the Mombasa route, which were
12 UGANDA JOURNAL
probably not fully realized by the Association's officers in Kampala, was one
of the principal reasons for the failure of the Baganda caravans. The venture
was launched at a particularly unpropitious time, since the whole of the East
Africa Protectorate was in the grip of a crippling famine. This not only made it
almost impossible for caravans to replenish their food bags on the road and to
stock up at Fort Smith for the foodless stretch to Kakamega, but also forced
up the prices of what little food there was to be had.46 Keen competition for the
available food supplies came from the government, which had great difficulties
in victualling Naivasha, Ravine and Kipture, as well as from private contractors
and the commissariat officers of the railway survey and construction gangs.
The Baganda found themselves at a disadvantage compared with their com-
petitors in this field, as the latter had the time and means to send parties into
distant producing areas, access to which was denied to caravans passing rapidly
along the Uganda Road. The section between Fort Smith and Kakamega
was particularly difficult for the Baganda to negotiate, because the conditions
they found there were vastly different from what they were accustomed to in
districts nearer their homes. It was customary for Baganda armies and traders
to be provided with food in districts where the Kabaka's name was respected,
or where the obligations of blood-brotherhood could be invoked, and to live
off the country in more distant regions.47 None of these practices could be
followed on the road between Fort Smith and Kavirondo, where it would
have been foolhardy for the Baganda to have tried to loot from the Masai or
the Nandi and their Kalenjin kinsmen. Not only would none of these tribes
sell food to caravans (and not often to the government), but their country was
unsuitable for the cultivation of bananas, sweet potatoes and other traditional
Baganda crops. The absence of customary foodstuffs from the porters' diet had
a lowering effect on stamina and morale, while the consumption of badly-
cooked grain often resulted in prostration from intestinal disturbance.48
The lack of experience which caused miscalculations regarding the
caravans' food supplies also probably placed the Baganda at a disadvantage in
their dealings with the Mombasa merchants. There is certainly a suspicion
that Mika and his colleagues were badly advised about the type of trade goods
that would be needed for the return journey. Inability to cope with unforeseen
difficulties owing to inexperience was particularly exhibited by some of the
caravan leaders, who not only failed to control the porters but also omitted to
take adequate measures to ensure their welfare. The leaders' failure to over-
come the problems of caravan organisation and supervision, and to keep up the
porters' morale in trying conditions was not altogether surprising. Although
the Baganda had considerable experience of long distance travelling, and some
of the Association's porters may even have visited Mombasa, these journeys
had hitherto been undertaken in much different circumstances, and often in
caravans commanded by Europeans or seasoned coastal traders. An Arab
trader and Archeacon Walker had taken the much-travelled Mika to Zanzibar,
but even he had no experience of coping with problems that were peculiar
to the Masai route.
Another factor contributing to the failure of the venture was the small
amount of help which the Association received from missionaries and govern-
ment officials. It is true that Walker went to some pains to help his friend,
Mika, and afterwards championed the Association's cause when its members
ran into difficulties. But there is no evidence that other missionaries of either
persuasion showed any interest in the trading ventures, and it can only be
assumed that Mika received some guidance from the Mombasa brethren about
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 13
trading practices, prices and pitfalls. Some assistance was given in the initial
stages by Berkeley and possibly Wilson in Buganda, and two of the caravans
were extricated from a difficult position by district officers at Naivasha and
Ravine. But the impression remains that the Association persevered with its
programme with little more than perfunctory backing from the administration
and, towards the closing stages, in despite of the Acting Commissioner's petulant
indifference. Ternan's attitude was understandable in the circumstances, but
his reluctance to commit the government was in sharp contrast to the readiness
with which help had been forthcoming for other traders who tried to open up
the Masai route and to lighten the burden on the overtaxed transport system.
Commissioner Colvile backed Muxworth's settlement and transport scheme in
1894; and Berkeley had helped a number of traders including Andrew Dick,
who was even paid in advance for the goods he had contracted to deliver, so
that he could finance a chain of stores and transport posts on the Uganda
Road. There is also a suspicion that Boustead, Ridley & Co. were offered
preferential rates as an inducement for them to use the Masai route, and other
traders such as Spears and Mayes were promised government contracts to
enable them to set up transport businesses of their own.49 These exceptional and
risky expedients, which successive commissioners considered justifiable because
of the chaotic state of Uganda transport, all involved much larger sums of
money than the amount which Ternan refused to advance to the Baganda
traders so that their loads could be brought up to Kampala and sold.
It is not surprising in the circumstances that the Baganda Association
failed, and that its efforts to enter the Mombasa-Kampala caravan trade
met with the same fate as most of its predecessors and contemporaries. Smith,
Mackenzie & Co., which had pioneered the trade in 1893, was forced to give
up after trying for five years to make it a paying proposition; and Boustead,
Ridley & Co.; the other large European coastal firm which entered the field
shortly after its principal competitor, also suffered heavy losses, and only kept
going by concentrating on the lake transhipment trade and the German route
while waiting for the railway to make the Mombasa route more attractive5 0
Similar setbacks were encountered by two other experienced trading organisa-
tions, the Italian Company and Mohamed Bawker & Co., both of which not
only lost considerable sums but were also heavily penalised for failing to carry
out their government contracts. Although substantial profits were made for a
short time by European and Indian contractors during the Uganda Mutiny
Relief Operations in 1898, a score or so of the smaller private traders had been
forced to abandon their businesses after running into debt or getting into trouble
with the Protectorate authorities. Commissioner Berkeley had done his utmost
to encourage private enterprise on the Mombasa route but all his efforts had
come to naught, and he was forced to concede that the German route held out
the best prospects for traders and transporters until the Uganda Railway
"rectified matters".5s Thus, the failure of the Baganda Merchant Adventurers
was but one item among the many similarly unfortunate episodes which make
up the catalogue of setbacks and disasters connected with the development of
the Masai route as a trading highway.
The Association's attempt to succeed where others had failed was never-
theless a brave effort, and the perseverance of its members after initial set-
backs, and without much positive assistance from missionary or government
sources, was a praiseworthy exhibition of pertinacity and independence. The
'commercial enterprises' may seem to have been foolhardy undertakings in
view of the Association's inadequate resources of capital, business knowledge,
14 UGANDA JOURNAL
caravan experience and leadership, but the abandonment of the project after
less than a year's trial showed that the Baganda leaders were prepared to admit
and to learn from their own mistakes.52
1. Lugard, F. D. Rise of our East African Empire, vol. I. 478; Portal, Africa 2(1894), FO2/60.
Johnston, Africa 7(1901), p. 16; Eliot, Africa 6(1903), p. 11; cf. Roscoe, The Baganda,
2. Mackinon-Com(missioner) 26-9-98 FOCP 7159/177. Hobley-Com 29-10-98 Entebbe
Secretariat Archives (ESA) A/4/13
3 E.g. Baskerville's Journal 1-8 Mar. 1899: "Government caravan service is taking many
Christians-pray for them"; Tucker, A. R., Eighteen years in Uganda and East Africa, vol. 2
4. Oliver, R. and Mathew, G. History of East Africa, vol. I. pp. 190-191 and 205.
5. Guillain, M. Voyage a la c6te orientale d'Afrique vol. 3. pp. 211-217; Krapf, j. Travels and
missionary labours, p. 144. Austin, H. With Macdonald in Uganda, p. 253, notes he was joined
in January 1899 by a party of Kavirondo, who "were anxious to proceed to the coast";
they may have been traders.
6. The caravans are not mentioned in E. A. P. and Uganda Railway reports, nor in Hall's
and Ainsworth's Diaries and Letters. The Station Cash Books and Kagwa Papers are at
7. Walker, L. G. W. 19-6-98, 7-7-98, Walker Papers (C.M.S. Archives). I am very much
indebted to Dr. J. Rowe for all the references to the Walker Papers.
8. See Matson, A. T., Nandi resistance to British rule, Chs. 15 and 16.
9. In June 1898 Walker stated that an "inferior man" (to Mika) could have gone to the'
coast and done the work there. Walker-T. D. S. 18-8-98; Grant- Com 28-9-99 ESA
10. Rowe, J. Mika Sematimba (Uganda J. 28., 1964, p. 179; Richards, A. I. Changing structure
of a Ganda village. Mika presumably returned from England with Walker, who arrived at
Zanzibar on 5-7-93 and travelled to Uganda by the German route.
11. This account differs from Rowe's version, op. cit. pp. 195-6. The sum to be expended
scarcely warrants Walker's description of "toys" for the goods Mika was to buy. Ravine
Station Diary (RSD). Walker-B. W. 14-12-98 and to F. Baylis (C.M.S. Africa
12. Circular 30-3-99 in Buganda Residency Archives (BRA); Wilson-? Clement Hill
30-3-99 in Lugard Papers. If Walker is correct in saying (see p 8. note 33) that 900
porters died at Kikuyu, the down caravan must have mustered between one and two
thousand men. From Walker's statement about the refund to Ham Mukasa (see p. 6)
and the latter's losses (see p. 8), Alexander was presumably a relative of Ham; or the
caravan may have been led by Ham himself.
13. Platt, whose letter has not been found, was not the sort of official to take pains over recording
African names correctly. For Grant, see p. 5 RSD 25 & 26-1-1900
14. Gorges-Com 25-7-99 ESA A/4/19; see p. 6 Martyr-Com 19-6-99 (the day he arrived
at Ravine) ESA A/4/19; RSD.
15. Wilson-Com 1-8-99, Isaac-Com 1-8-99 ESA A/4/19; this caravan, which looks as if it
might have been Mika's pioneer party, probably arrived before 1-8-99, the date on which
Isaac's appointment began. Two sick porters from "the Katikiro's caravan" arrived at
Ravine on 10-7-99 and were put in hospital until 22-7-99, when the RSD notes "Mika
Simba's two men" left for Uganda.
16. If Mika left Ravine on 5-6-99, he could scarcely have arrived at Kampala shortly before
17. See ESA A/4/17-19-24/I,; FOCP 7401/129/144 etc.
18. Wilson-Com 20-6-99 ESA A/4/17. If Chasama was Stoke's former employee, he was an
experienced traveller on the German route. Mika's inclusion suggests his return was not
known to the OC Kampala.
19. Circulars in ESA A/5/6 19-6-99 (Basoga), 24-6-99 (Baganda).
20. Ternan-Mackinnon 23-6-99 ESA A/5/6. Walker & Collinson-Com 16-7-99 ESA
A/4/24; Ternan-OC Uganda 18-9-99 ESA A/5/7; Walker-B.W.W. 16-10-99; Porters'
Regs. dated 25-6-99 in ESA A/5/6 but not published till 8-7-99. Porters' Regs. were
issued by Zanzibar (Oct. 1894), I.B.E.A. Co. (Dec. 1894) and E.A.P. (May 1896), but
were thought unnecessary in Uganda where nearly all the porters leaving Kampala were
either in return caravans or time expired men. Only a few government and mission parties
contained Uganda porters until May 1898, when Gemmill began recruiting in Busoga
and Buganda. Hobley drafted some local regulations on 26-5-98 (ESA A/4/11), an
BAGANDA MERCHANT VENTURES 15
expanded version of which was sent to the Foreign Office by Berkeley on 7-12-98).
Neither Berkeley nor Ternan's drafts (7-12-98 and 25-6-99) were approved and it was
not until 1-9-99 that Porters' Regs. were issued by the Foreign Office (FOCP 7402/88).
21. Gorges-Corn 25-7-99 ESA A/4/19; see note 29.
22. Wilson-Com 23-8-99 ESA A/4/19.
23. Grant-Corn 28-9-99 ESA A/4/21.
24. Wilson-Cor 26 and 29-9-99 ESA A/4/21.
25. Isaac-Boyle 22-7-99 BRA.
26. Wilson-Accountant 1-6-99 (BRA) asking for a cheque for Rs. 1,000 from Kakungulu's
reward of 200; see Petero Bagenda's biography in Munno 1932-1934. Wilson-Lugard
18-4-99 in Lugard Papers; Taylor, J. A. Growth of the Church in Buganda, p. 266.
27. Wilson-OCS Kampala 1-8-99 BRA.
28. Ternan-Gorges 10-8-99 ESA A/5/7; RSD 27-8-99.
29. Gorges-Com 4-11-99 ESA A/4/19; its position in the file and the proposal for an embargo
suggest the despatch may have been wrongly dated; see note 21.
30. Wilson-Cor 3-10-99 ESA A/4/21; Ternan to Sub-Corn Uganda 7-10-99 ESA A/5/7.
31. RSD. Johnston arrived at Naivasha on 8-10-99 and Ravine on 30-10-99 but he did not
mention the Baganda caravans.
32. Brown-Corn 26-2-1900 ESA A/4/25; the canoes' departure for Buganda is not recorded
in the Port Ugowe Diary.
33. Casualties among Baganda and Basoga porters in Grant, Wallace, Gemmill, Gibbons and
Vincent's caravans were carefully recorded (and condemned) by road station officers in
the E.A.P. and Uganda. None of these accounts mentions 900 deaths from starvation and
dysentery in the Association's caravans, and Walker may have been referring to the total
number of Baganda lost in all the caravans listed above. If 900 men had died in the
Association's parties alone, it seems strange this was not reported by E.A.P. officers who
were keenly aware of the effects of a dysentery epidemic in their districts. Uganda road
station accounts reveal nothing like the scale of casualties suggested by Walker; see note 12.
34. The Indians were presumably approaching the confines of Baganda when the loads were
seized; Dowse passed through Ravine on 20-4-99 and again on 9-11-99 (RSD).
35. Walker-H.H.W. 23-7-99; Walker-T.D.S. 6-11-99.
36. Walker-I.W. 3-11-99. It is not clear why Mika thought his land allotment was prejudiced
because of his absence when the Agreement was signed; see Rowe op. cit. and Richards,
37. Miss Glass' Diary, C.M.S. Archives G 3 A7/02/54 1900 (a); item 46 (8-3-00) of Miss
Allen's water-colours in the Royal Commonwealth Library depicts Chief Mika under a
38. See note 20. Ternan-Foreign Office 1-6-99 FOCP 7402/38; ESA A/5/5.
39. At the end of 1898 railhead was at Muani (mile 237) and by 31-12-99 it was nearing the
Kedong escarpment (mile 363). Matson, A. T., Sewa Haji, Tanganyika Notes and Records
65 1966, p. 91.
40. See p. 1o. Baganda-owned dhows were operating on the lake in 1900.
41. Wilson-OC Troops 24-1-99 BRA; Pordage-Deputy Cor 14-8-00 ESA A/8/1. See
pp. 4, 6, 7.
42. Low, D. A., Buganda and British overrule, p. 143.
43. Powesland, P. G., Economic policy and labour, p. 2.
44. See p. 5 Oscar Smith's caravan crawled into Ravine in dribs and drabs over a period of
four days in May 1899 (RSD). 45 RSD. See BN
45. RSD. Seep. 12.
46. Matson, A. T., Famine in the Nineties, Kenya Weekly News 18 August 1961.
47. Mair, L. P., An African people in the twentieth century, pp. 72 and 130.
48. Scarcity of bananas etc. prevented the useful employment of Baganda troops east of the
49. Berkeley's note 13-3-97 in ESA A/4/8; Jackson-Com 18-6-98 ESA A/4/11; Hobley-
Com 12-7-98 ESA A/4/11; Boustead, Ridley & Co. Com Aug. to Oct. 1899 ESA A/6/7,
50. History of Smith, Mackenzie and Co. Ltd., Ch XI. Johnston H. Uganda Protectorate, vol. 1.
51. Minute by Berkeley (in London) to Ternan-Foreign Office 25-9-99, F02/204.
52. The grounds upon which the chiefs took their stand about honouring their word suggests
their acceptance of Christianity was more deeply rooted and disinterested than some of
their critics have implied.
I am grateful to Professor D. A. Low and Messrs. H. B. Thomas, J. Rowe and M. Twaddle
for help in the preparation of this paper.
Uganda Journal, 32, i (1968)17-27
THE INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI, 1917
By F. S. BRAZIER
Among men commonly remembered in Kigezi before the coming of the
Europeans is a Mukigal prophet called Nyakairima, who foretold the country's
occupation by Europeans and the cataclysmic upheavals that would be its
accompaniment. "Houses shall walk; Ropes shall connect one corner of the
earth to the other end. Your country shall be ravaged by men with white
skins. Granaries shall collide with one another. You will build with earth;
you will thatch with earth"2. So went part of this prophecy of calamity. No
greater enthusiasm for prospective Bakiga-European relations was expressed
by early European travellers either. Major R. G. T. Bright of the Anglo-
Congolese Boundary Commission (1907) wrote of the Bakiga: "It is difficult
to get to know these people, as on the appearance of a white man every native
fled to the hills carrying any property that could be quickly collected."3 This
initial disenchantment was deepened by the apparent lack of a recognisable
system of government. In place of institutions of the kind so admired among
the Baganda, superstition and witchcraft appeared paramount among the
Bakiga. "They have no chiefs, but managed their affairs by families. A sect of
witchdoctresses, which calls itself Niawingi (sic) has obtained great influence in
the more remote districts. This power is unfortunately hostile to European
influence and is mainly used to stir up strife."4 This Nyabingi5 cult seems to have
been equated by early European travellers and administrators with hostility
to European rule. Its ramifications, secrecy and looseness of organisation made
it difficult to control. Colonel E. M. Jack illustrated the administrative problem,
somewhat flippantly, when he said. "The curious thing is that the fact that
possession by the spirit gives no immunity from capture or from death does not
seem to affect the prestige of the spirit at all. When one of those who is possessed
of Nyabingi is captured or killed it makes no difference to Nyabingi or to the
natives; she simply nips off and inhabits someone else and carries on as usual,
this makes the problem very difficult."6 With the lack of any suitable indigenous
political organisation as an administrative foundation, coupled with the un-
friendliness of the Bakiga, institutionalized in a spirit cult, it is perhaps not
surprising that the British turned once again to the Baganda as agents of
The first Muganda Agent in Kigezi, Joana Sebalijja, established himself
at Nyarushanje in northeast Rukiga in 1910.8 Nyarushanje lay on the edge of
the area under dispute between the British and Congolese Governments9 and
on the route from Mbarara to 'Mfumbiro'10 before Kabale became the district
headquarters in 1914.11 In addition, Nyarushanje was one of the first agricul-
tural areas reached after the cattle country of Kajara and therefore perhaps
more attractive to the Baganda. Sebalijja moved to Mpalo in 1912,12 leaving
Nyarushanje in the hands of a Muganda Agent, Abdulla Mwanika who from
1914 was living at Nyakishenyi.'3
18 UGANDA JOURNAL
The administration was in a very rudimentary state when the 1914-1918
War broke out. The consequent dislocation of the administration might not
have mattered if Kigezi had not been a war front.14 British administrators
were necessarily pre-occupied with the security of the borders rather than with
the problems of establishing a system of government for Kigezi. The Baganda
Agents consequently had greater freedom of action than might have been
tolerated in peacetime. Indeed, the demands for food and porterage for the
military made extraordinary measures necessary if quotas were to be met.
Rukiga, being the area most closely administered, probably supplied the bulk
of food and porters. How the norms were achieved is not stated but there is the
revealing comment for 1915 that "local Chiefs are now less averse from pro-
viding their quota of labour and do not need armed threats as before,"15 which
at least indicates that compliance was not entirely voluntary. In the following
year Sebalijja again "successfully supplied all the military requirements in the
way of foodstuffs and porters; thanks largely to his efforts the Belgian battalions
and some thousand of military loads were transported from Kigezi to Kamwezi
entirely by local porters."16 Not only were the Baganda able to meet military
needs, they were responsible also for civil administration, as the Annual Report
for 1916-17 states "The actual management of the native administration
machine is in the hands of Baganda Agents ... ." In the District Annual Report
1916-17 Sebalijja's loyal co-operation was commended, as was the "laudable
enterprise" of Abdullah Namunye in dealing with border areas.
At the end of the war, however, the administration of the Baganda, judged
by methods as well as results, was not seen in quite such a favourable light,
although full recognition was given for their efficiency and devotion to duty.
The District Commissioner in 1920, Captain J. E. T. Philipps outlined the un-
satisfactory nature of having the Baganda as agents of British administration.
"The District has been almost entirely in the hands of the Baganda (who
have steadily increased) since its opening. The mediums of communication
between the Government and the local population have been Baganda inter-
preters. The language used has been Luganda, though heretofore Agents
have always to employ Kiswahili in personal intercourse with officers-i.e.
both being on terms of equality in using a medium of speech which was not
The compulsory use of Luganda has been the most material influence
in misleading the indigenous population as to the Government's attitude
towards alien (Baganda) customs and misleading the Baganda as to their
own position in the country. In short, I cannot but consider its employment
in this District to be a distinct political error.
The local population has been submerged, incoherent and voiceless.
Their attitude, needs and aspirations have only reached the Government
indirectly coloured by Baganda intermediaries-who have been from time
to time confuted by volcanic upheavals arising from the resentment of the
people who they have, perhaps unconsciously, misrepresented.
Although strongly supported in execution of their legitimate duties,
the small but noisy Baganda oligarchy loses no opportunity of expressing dis
pleasure and annoyance at the firm check kept upon their continual attempts-
to impose their language and customs upon the incoherent masses of the
It is not pretended that the service rendered by alien Agents have not
been of real value to the Government.
A tribute is due to the intelligent and capable work performed by them
INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI 19
in this District, but their overbearing and domineering attitude to the local
populations has without doubt been the direct cause of 90% of so-called local
'rebellions' in a country where European Government has never been per-
An examination of the Nyakishenyi rebellion18 of August 1917 provides
an opportunity for assessing the causes of at least one so-called 'rebellion' and
for observing the interplay between Kikiga resistance, Kiganda domination
and European suzerainty.
At dawn on Sunday August 1917, a horde of Bakiga attacked the Gombo-
lola headquarters at Nyakishenyi. They burnt most of the buildings and the
clusters of huts in the immediate vicinity which were occupied by government
employees, followers of the Baganda, and their families. By all accounts, the
attack came as a complete surprise. At the subsequent trial of some of the
rebels, the Agent Abdulla Mwanika described what happened.
"On the 12th August in the early morning Hamsini came and said 'The
Bakiga are killing people and burning houses'. I saw five hordes of Bakiga
coming to my compound. They were only a few yards away; they were
shouting and saying 'We don't want you here. The Nabingi has ordered us to
kill you or drive you away.' They included all of us in the term 'you' which
was used in the plural. They cried out 'Kabale is burnt'. I shot the man I
just heard shouting out the above words. Seeing the rebels in large number,
I withdrew into the fence. The house near my house was burnt and the
Lukiko house was on fire and as I heard a lot of people had been killed
outside I thought we had better all get inside together; the Bakiga set fire to
the fence of my compound. This was about 6.30 a.m. or a little after. The
side of the fence was burnt and my askari Kasimbazi was speared. The wife
of my man Sulimani, by name Merajuma, was speared there; she died.
This was inside the fence. A boy Malisa was also killed there. Afterwards,
about 1.30 p.m. Kisiagali came and rescued us; he came with forty people
and fought the rebels . ."19
Abdulla Mwanika was lucky to escape. When the door of his house was broken
down, he climbed out of the window (which earned him the nickname Dirisa2o)
and managed to scramble onto the roof of his house where he was rescued
(as he described) by a loyal Mukiga chief, Kisiagali who came with his men
and escorted Mwanika and his entourage to safety in his kraal.
Other witnesses added further vivid touches to the actual fighting. The
Musigere21 of Abdulla, Musa Wavamuno, a Muganda, said, "After burning a
number of houses I heard some of the Bakiga crying out 'We've come to pay
tax.' But I saw no money in their hands, only spears and other weapons,"22
an eloquent if amusing illustration of grievances. The Muganda Muslim school-
teacher only just survived to tell his tale,
"I went outside and saw Bakiga coming and shouting. They were blowing
trumpets. I called Abdulla Magulumangu and told him to run to the Agent's
place. There were Bakiga in the way. We went to Nakahima's house. There
were four men, three women and two children inside, all Baganda. We
closed the door and the Bakiga said 'If there is any Mukiga in this house let
him go out.' There was no Mukiga there. They set fire to the front door.
We remained within. They set fire to the backdoor. We went outside. We
scattered. I went with Hassani towards the camp, the Bakiga followed us to
the river. I was speared on the thigh. I fell down, and a second time I was
speared on the back of the head .... They took my clothes from me and
left me. I heard Hassani being speared, I did not see it. I saw Bakiga coming
20 UGANDA JOURNAL
and saying, 'let us kill him (meaning Hassani) entirely.' I did not see the
corpse. I couldn't stand up. They left me naked, for dead. I heard the Bakiga
saying 'let us go and rob the Mbuga.' They went away. I was lying in that
place for two nights before I was found. I couldn't move."23
In all, sixty three 'Baganda' were killed, although thirty one of these were
Banyaruguru, four were Banyankole and one was a Muhororo.24 More than
half were women and children. The killing of dependants was particularly
remarked upon as it was contrary to Kikiga custom; more usual was the abduc-
tion of women and children as slaves or wives after success in battle.25 As to
property, sixty four houses belonging to the 'Baganda' were burnt and much
property was looted or destroyed. Government losses amounted to the burning
of the Agent's house and enclosure, the Lukiko and most of its contents includ-
ing five Poll Tax registers, case books of the Lukiko Court and five books of
Poll Tax tickets. Also destroyed were the C.M.S. Church and the mosque,
though the European camp was left untouched.6
Initial assistance for the Baganda came from the Bakiga themselves and in
particular from Kisiagali who rescued the hard pressed Mwanika from his
exposed perch on the ridge of his house. However, Baganda from other gombo-
lolas hearing of the attack began to arrive in the afternoon to reinforce those
of Nyakishenyi who were challenging the rebels.
The Muganda Agent of Kinkizi, Sulimani Ntagamalala, and of Kumba,
Zambatisi Jutte, arrived in time to assist Kisiagali in warding off an attack on
his compound. The Acting District Commissioner, J. M. M. McDougall heard
about the affray at 10.30 p.m. on the Sunday night when he was given a note
from Mwanika addressed to Sebalijja "I am telling you that the whole of my
area has rebelled. They have killed many people. They have also burnt my
Gombolola Headquarters. We the survivors are besieged in my Kisakati."27
The same night twenty two police, accompanied by Dr. Webb, a Medical
Officer from Kampala, who happened to be in Kabale, left for Nyakishenyi.
McDougall and E. E. Filleul, Assistant District Commissioner, left next
morning on their motor-cycles. However, the party did not arrive in Nyaki-
shenyi until the Tuesday morning, "after losing the way more than once" in the
dark of Monday night. The Acting District Commissioner then organisedd a
plan of campaign which lasted five days."28
The reassertion of British authority was quite thorough. Over one thousand
rounds of ammunition were expended. 479 head of cattle and 764 sheep and
goats were rounded up to be given as rewards to loyal chiefs, to recompense
those who had suffered at the hands of the rebels or to be retained as a political
fine, as "after the wholesale massacre etc, indulged in by the rebels, the return
of any proportion of the spoils is unthinkable and would have a disastrous
effect." Twenty two prisoners were sent back to Kabale. Officially, casualties
among the rebels were put at one hundred.29 It is of course difficult to establish
the truth as to the numbers killed and the amount of food and booty carried
off. It is likely that the zeal of the Baganda in avenging the death of their
fellows and the eagerness of all and sundry to pillage what they could, must
make the official figures an under-estimation.
The pacification of Nyakishenyi is well remembered for it caused a major
social upheaval. It is interesting to note (although great significance must not
be attached to it) that on the Kigezi tourist map prepared by the Department
of Lands and Surveyss30 the symbol marking a place of historical interest is
not placed at Nyakishenyi but some miles to the northeast by the Rubabu
river. It was here that many of the Bakiga fled to get away from the police,
INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI 21
the Baganda and their auxiliaries. At the river, which marks the boundary
between Rukiga and Rujumbura counties, they met the armed men of Mako-
bore,31 traditional enemies of the Bakiga. A great slaughter took place. Many of
those killed were members of the Abashaaki clan. They had been the inhabi-
tants of Nyakishenyi for many years. Some of the clan had been driven out of
Nyakishenyi earlier by the Abachuchu clan, the majority clan, and had moved
to Rujumbura. Those killed at Rubabu were fleeing for shelter among the
fellow clansmen in Rujumbura. An eloquent testimony to the expulsion of the
Ahashaaki lies in the Rukiga Saza Tour Book for 193732 where there is only
one Mushaaki recorded as a taxpayer in the gombolola of Nyakishenyi. The
Abacucu who took the greatest part in the fighting were more fortunate.
Many found refuge in the muruka administered by Kisiagali, who had rescued
Abdulla Mwanika. As Kisiagali was a Mucucu, he was prepared to protect
his fellow clansmen. In this way some were saved from the worst ravages of the
The Acting District Commissioner regarded the incident "as a serious
affair and in its results the most deadly I have known or heard of in this dis-
trict". When it came to analysing the causes of the disturbance, he named two
main ones; resistance to foreign rule and the machinations of Nyabingi. "Wide-
spread investigations support the belief that the rebellion was an attempt by a
section of the residents in Nyakishenyi to free themselves from European rule
and to restore former conditions of independence and absence of obligations
in the shape of Poll Tax and labour".34 The rebellion was "engineered by a
'Nabingi'35 or witchdoctor named Kaigirwa . .36" and "Ndochibiri37 ....
is believed to have entrusted Kaigirwa with the task of fomenting mischief in
Nakishenyi". The Acting D.C. absolved the Baganda of all blame and wrote
"No facts to support any charge of misdoings or unfair treatment against
the Agent or his followers, have come to light".38 One can be sceptical about
this view at any rate, as Capt. J. E. T. Philipps wrote in the Kigezi District
Annual Report for 1919-20, "the people's attitude, needs and aspirations have
only reached the Government indirectly coloured by Baganda intermediaries."
An illustration of this sifting process by an interested party is Sebalijja's in-
troductory remark to his collection of evidence from the rebels."Six out of
160 men told me the exact cause".39 After allowing for this bias one is able to
reconstruct something of the causes and effects of the incident at Nyakishenyi.
As a general assessment, the Acting D.C. was right in saying that objection to
foreign rule and the hostile influence of Nyabingi were the main causes of the
rebellion. Numerous witnesses testified to the effect that they attacked" ....
thinking that Abdulla and the Europeans will go back where they came from,
so we will be independent as we were before.., we killed his men and burnt
his kisakati .... we looted all their properties that was the cause (sic) because
we wanted to be free from paying tax, not to work on the road, kasanva and
other various work."40 This was the view of the common man. The leaders
also promised the rule of Nyabingi in place of foreign tyranny.41 Of the two,
Nyabingi came to be regarded by the Administration as the primary cause.
The more awkward question of objection to foreign rule was evaded by putting
the blame in the long run on the Baganda, although they were absolved of
responsibility at the time. Captain Philipps considered that the Baganda's
"overbearing and domineering attitude to the local populations have without
doubt been the direct cause of more than 90% of so-called rebellions in a
country where European Government has never been personally unpopular".42
Once the Baganda could be superceded or controlled, the big menace to
22 UGANDA JOURNAL
colonial rule would only be Nyabingi. Nyabingi, then, was regarded by the
British as the embodiment of most opposition in Kigezi, as can be seen by the
monotonous repetition of rumours of incipient revolt during the 1920's. In
fact, the part played by Nyabingi at Nyakishenyi, although very real and
important, may well have been a support rather than initiation of revolt. In
that the Nyakishenyi incident was a most memorable and influential example
of Nyabingi participation in civil disturbance, it may have aroused fears con-
cerning Nyabingi out of proportion to its potential for effective implementation
of resistance to colonial rule.
The mcst prominent Nyabingi adherent in Nyakishenyi in 1917 was
Luhemba. It is likely that he had strong connections with Ntokiibiri as some say
Luhemba was living with Kaigirwa, the Nyabingi priestess, alleged to be
Ntokiibiri's sister.43 What is certain is that Luhemba's house became something
of a tactical headquarters where Kaigirwa consulted 'the Great Lady' and
gave advice and encouragement to those who were fighting.44 To Luhemba's
house also came the booty and a few prisoners. In addition to the general
zenophobia which he no doubt shared with Nyabingi supporters, Luhemba
had his own reasons for disliking the Baganda in particular. He had been
arrested in 1912 on a charge of witchcraft but had been released. When Abdulla
Mwanika moved to Nyakishenyi in 1914, he made Luhemba live close to him
so that he could keep him under observation, which Abdulla confirmed as
being necessary as "every day they were bringing presents to the Nyabingi".45
He was eventually allowed to live further away near one of the chiefs concerned
in the attack. In 1916 Luhemba's hostility to the Baganda became even more
personal for his brother was speared and killed by an askari who was out
collecting food for the military.46
Kaigirwa was a well-known Nyabingi 'priestess'. She had been arrested
by Captain Coote, sent to Mbarara but subsequently released. She came to
Nyakishenyi from Kinkizi on the instructions of Ntokiibiri to help stimulate
the rebellion. Ntokiibiri himself maintained himself on the fringes of the affairs.
Although his famous white sheep was said to have been in evidence at the start
of the fighting, Ntokiibiri never involved his emblem or himself in the fight-
ing; he kept to the surrounding hills from which he could escape with ease.
No doubt his recent evasion of Lieutenant Colonel Riddick's punitive expedi-
tion in February 191747 made him exercise the utmost caution. He was how-
ever prepared to help others. A group of Nyakishenyi chiefs had gone some
months before the attack to Ntokiibiri to ask him "to come to fight against
Abdulla. If they drive him away he will be a mukama. Bichu gave them some
meat and medicine saying that anyone eats (sic) the meat and touches on the
medicine will win the fight. He told them to go to fight against them pro-
mising that if they beat them he will come to rule over them".48 From other
evidence as well, it is clear that this group of chiefs played the dominant part
in the attack. They kept knowledge of the plot to a small number of people
(themselves and the Nyabingi leaders) in order to minimize the risk of the
Baganda coming to hear about it.49 In this way they were aided by the fear of
Nyabingi, for as Abdulla Mwanika said "The Bakiga are afraid of the Nyabingi
but not of the Europeans".50 They also showed a modern awareness of timing
by launching the attack just before dawn on a Sunday morning. During the
attack, the Baganda identified the leaders as local chiefs from their exhortations
and orders, for instance "let someone go behind to prevent the Baganda from
There must remain some uncertainty as to the exact identity and position
INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI 23
of the chiefs who rebelled. Many of them were probably clan Ieaders52 con-
firmed in their position of authority by the Baganda. In 1915, Rukiga had been
divided into five districts with a Muganda at the head of each assisted by Bakiga
Sub-District chiefs. They sat on the Lukiko and were paid out of fees and fines
collected by the court.53 If one can generalise at all about their motivation,
one can start by saying that as Bakiga of Nyakishenyi they shared the general
antipathy towards the Baganda, (whether or not inspired by Nyabingi),
disliked the unaccustomed exercise of authority over them and resented the
tribute of food and labour demanded of them as a result of the war. Some had
grievances of their own. Baguma had been fined Rs. 4/- by Mwanika for an
offence connected with wheat planting. On another occasion when Baguma
had been disobedient, Mwanika threatened to send him to Sebalijja with a
view to his dismissal if his conduct did not improve. Baguma is also reported as
being incensed at the death of Luhemba's brother-"why does Abdulla send
his men to kill our people?"54 However as chiefs they may have also had motives
differing from those of the common man.
By accepting their position as chiefs under the Baganda, men like Baguma
and Bagologosa were also tacitly accepting the new order and perhaps realising
the advantages of power so ably exemplified by the Baganda. Perhaps they
wanted to expel the Baganda so that they could take their place as men of
authority under the British rather than wanting merely to return to former
conditions of ordered anarchy. One witness detected signs of this urge for power
when he complained that the appointed chiefs "behaved themselves big chiefs."55
The common man was not anxous to see these men ruling them. When Sebalijja
asked a rebel if they wanted to drive the Baganda and Europeans away so
that they could be controlled by their own Bakiga chiefs, he replied "The chiefs
you appointed could not rule over us. Everybody should be independent as
our forefathers used to be".56 How great the divergence of aspiration is between
leaders and led is difficult to assess, but perhaps the new 'big chiefs' realized the
prizes to be gained by collaboration with the British and envied the Baganda
their position of power and the wealth that obviously accrued from it.
Not all chiefs in Nyakishenyi rebelled. The Acting D.C. claimed that
seventeen rebelled and seven remained loyal. Their loyalty was disputed,
however. "Some of you think that the rest of the Bakiga Chiefs who did not
join the forces were loyal; that is wrong; they all rebelled." Tirwakunda, a
rebel leader imprisoned for his participation in the rebellion and still living, says
categorically that initially all chiefs in Nyakishenyi supported the rebellion.
He claims that Kisiagali, who rescued Mwanika, withdrew his men from the
fighting at an early stage and then rescued Mwanika because he was afraid of
the consequences of rebellion and because he was friendly towards him. He
was rewarded with fifteen cows for his perspicacity by the Acting D.C. Another
chief, Lisanga, who also changed sides in the middle received two cows.57
Whatever might have been the loyalties at the beginning of the battle, at the
end two groups, one loyal to the British, one rebellious, existed. This split
does not necessarily indicate a lack of sympathy on the part of Kisiagali and
others towards the aims of the rebel chiefs. But he and his followers were saved
the retribution handed out to the rebels58 and in fact were able to help their
rebellious clansmen by providing a refuge. Their defection may have been
motivated by expediency rather than principle.
The rebel chiefs were severely punished. Baguma and Bagologosa were
arrested after they had fled to Rujumbura and were tried in Kabale. Sitting
with two Baganda assessors, J. M. McDougall found them both guilty of murder.
24 UGANDA JOURNAL
They were sentenced to death and publicly hanged in Kabale on 27 February
1918 near the roundabout by the District Administration Offices.59 Five other
leaders received ten years imprisonment.
The strong measures taken by the Administration did not prejudice
Nyakishenyi's participation in district affairs in later years. In fact two of the
first Bakiga Saza chiefs60 in Kigezi came from Nyakishenyi and were nephews
of Baguma, the chief hanged in Kabale. Nor were the rebels branded as
opponents of British rule for the rest of their lives. Tirwakunda spent three
months in prison in Kampala and then was offered the alternative of serving
his sentence or joining the East African Expeditionary Force as a porter. He
chose the latter. He walked to Mombasa, went to Zanzibar and from there
went to Egypt. He came back in about 1922 and was given a commendation
for loyal service by the Governor. On the strength of this, he was made a muruka
chief and obtained a large area of land in Nyakisheny.61 He is now retired but
very active and still lives in Nyakishenyi. Kalinda, another rebel, who is alleged
to have knocked Abdulla Mwanika's hat off with an arrow when the latter
was perched on the roof of his house, also became a muruka chief to join Kisia-
gali, the man who had rescued Mwanika in the same rank. After about fifteen
years, rebels and loyalists were trusted in the same measure by the Adminis-
tration. Tirwakunda, at least, could rest satisfied with his career. He achieved
what he set out to do; to oust the Baganda.62
The protest of the Bakiga of Nyakishenyi was answered by the British
administration gradually involving the Bakiga in their own government by the
substitution of Bakiga chiefs for Baganda. The surprising element here is the
slowness with which thie policy was carried out, as no real changes were made
until 1927-1930, whereas the gradual removal of Kiganda influence had been
recommended in 1920 and before. The delaying factor may well have been
the Administration's fear of Nyabingi. Whereas the Nyakishenyi Incident
drew attention to the unsatisfactory relations between Baganda and Bakiga,
it also illustrated, in the minds of government at least, the insidious potential
of Nyabingi for using any grievance to stir up trouble. In 1938, the view was
still expressed that "though dormant at the moment, many years must elapse
before its organisation will be completely broken and many more still before
its influence will cease to have effect.".63 So what the rebels gained in political
terms by discrediting the Baganda, they lost by having the initiative associated
with Nyabingi. The Baganda had to stay because the Bakiga could not be
The alleged elusiveness of Nyabingi described by Colonel E. M. Jack may
may well have been due to an almost complete lack of effective organisation
and co-ordination. This would certainly be more in keeping with the Kikiga
distaste for authority.64 There do seem to have been attempts to involve other
areas in the Nyakishenyi rebellion. The Acting District Commissioner reported
a minor outbreak of trouble associated with Nyabingi on the Ruanda border
in south Rukiga at the time of the rebellion but it never amounted to very
much.65 Round Nyakishenyi itself, the Nyabingi leaders were singularly un-
successful in involving neighboring areas. Kabango a clan leader from Nyaru-
shanje66 and obviously a Nyabingi sympathiser came to see Kaigirwa when he
heard that Nyakishenyi was burning. His followers related what happened:
"We went to Luhemba who keeps Nyabingi; then we made war dances before
her. Nyabingi told Kabango to go back and bring a great number of men to
attack Abdulla at Kisiagali's .... Also the lady again told him 'you have to
burn Nyarushanje before you leave there', but Kabango refused that order
INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI 25
saying that he will not burn that place unless somebody starts to do that".67
Without widespread unrest which would prevent the concentration of the police,
the rebellion, as a movement to expel the foreigners, was bound to fail.
More evidence is required before any definite conclusion can be reached
on the real power of Nyabingi in Kigezi, however the Nyakishenyi Incident
would suggest that its ability to organise general resistance was small, but that
it maintained its reputation by its elusiveness and ability to create isolated
Fear of Nyabingi activities was sufficient to make the British cautious and
ironically enough as has been suggested confirmed the Baganda in their offices
until the collapse of the reputation of Nyabingi as a political force in 1928.68
Already the Catholic and Protestant mission had reported that "since the
manifestations in February last the attendance at the churches has increased
to an amazing extent and all school churches are overflowing with readers
young and old".69 The political impotence of Nyabingi had led, one might
assume, to mass apostacy. But the last laugh, perhaps was with the Great Lady;
for when a missionary, on safari in 1928, asked why an unusually large crowd
was following him, he was told that the local Nyabingi priestess had advised
them to go and listen to what the missionaries had to say. And they were
following her instructions!70
1. The Bakiga are the most numerous people in Kigezi; the other main groups are the Banya-
ruanda and Bahororo. Rukiga is the language most commonly spoken in the district, but
is also the name of the southeastern Saza.
2. I am indebted for this quotation to Mr. N. Bisamunyu M.P., from his unpublished type-
script. For other information about Nyakairima see Ngologoza, P., Kigezi N'Abantu Baa-
mwo, East African Literature Bureau, 1967, pp. 50-55.
3. Bright, R. G. T., Survey and exploration in the Ruwenzori and Lake Region, Central
Africa. (Geographical J. 34 1909, p. 146.)
4. Bright, R. G. T., The Uganda-Congo Boundary Commission. (Geographical J., 32, 1908,
5. The most accessible account of the Nyabingi Cult's activities in Kigezi is that of Bessell,
M.J., Nyabingi. (Uganda J. 6, 1938, pp. 73-86.) See also Philipps, J. E. T., The Nabingi-
Anti-European Secret Society in Africa, in British Ruanda, Ndorwa and the Congo,
(Congo, 1, 1928, pp. 310-321) and Ngologoza, op. cit., pp. 46-49.
6. Jack, E M, in discussion after the reading of a paper by Philipps, J E. T., Mufumbiro-
the Birunga volcanoes of Kigezi-Ruand-Kivu, (Geographical J., 61, 1923, p. 254.)
7. Roberts, A. D., The Sub-Imperialism of the Baganda, (Journal of African History, 3, 1962.
pp. 446-447). The activities of the Baganda in Kigezi are mentioned.
8. Ngologoza, op. cit., p. 57 also states that Sebalijja was sent by Mbaguta. "Omw, Ssebalijja
owaabaire ari omwebembezi waabo, akaba ayoherziibwe Enganzi ya Nkore, Omw.
Nuha Mbaguta, kuba kirongoza waabo." The Saza Tour Book of 1937 states that Sse-
balijja was in Nyarushanje in 1909. Sebalijja wrote an account of his time in Kigezi,
'Kyebyafayo by'e Rukiga n'awalala, Annexure to Munno, 25 1935.
9. See Louis, W. R., Ruanda-Urundi 1884-1919, 1963, for a detailed account of the boundary
disputes between Britain, Germany and Congo, particularly pp. 3-92. Nyarushanje lies
just to the east of the 300E meridian agreed by the Declaration of Neutrality, 1885, to be
the western boundary of the British sphere of influence.
10. For a discussion of the etymology of 'Mfumbiro' see Jack, E. M., The Mufumbiro
mountains, (Geographical J. 41, 1913 pp. 533-543.), Philipps, 1933, op. cit., p. 235 and
Louis, op. cit., pp. 62-63.
11. Kigezi District Annual Report (KDAR) 1914-15, Sub-Section Administration, District
Commissioner's Office, Kabale.
12. Rukiga Saza Tour Book, Assistant District Commissioner's Office, Kabale.
13. Abdulla Mwanika remains a shadowy figure. He is alleged to have come from Masaka.
He was quite well off. He received 33 cattle as compensation for his losses during the fight-
ing. At first his reputation with the British was good. "Good work has been done by the
Agent Abdullah of Nalusanji, who collected Poll Tax to the value of Rs. 6612" KDAR
26 UGANDA JOURNAL
1915-16. But after the troubles, there is little information about him. Much of the inform-
ation available comes from Kigezi District Court Case (KDCC) 62/17. These cases, to be
found in a cupboard in the District Court Kabale, are a fund of small detail about the
nature of Kikiga society when the British first came. A short article on the Nyakishenyi
by Mwanika can be found in Mumno, 8, 1918, pp. 14-15.
14. Thomas, H. B. ed., Kigezi Operations 1914-1917, (Uganda J., 30, 1966, pp. 165-173.)
15. KDAR, 1915-16, Sub-section 'Rukiga'.
16. KDAR, 1916-17, Sub-section 'Administration'.
17. KDAR, 1919-20, Sub-section 'Native Affairs'.
18. Most of the evidence concerning the Nyakishenyi troubles comes from the Kigezi District
Archives (KDA) and the Court Records. Some of this evidence has now been microfilmed
and can be seen in Makerere College Library. For another account see Ngologoza, P.,
op. cit. pp. 70-73.
19. KDA 73/16, Transcript of KDCC 33/17.
20. Swahili for 'window'. Information obtained from A. R. Ntegamahe, magistrate in Kabale,
who was brought up in Nyakishenyi by T. Rwomushana.
21. Luganda for 'Deputy'.
22. KDCC 62/17.
23. Salimu, Muslim teacher, KDA 73/16 Transcript of KDCC 39/17 'Albuga' means 'com-
pound' ('Embuga' in Luganda)
24. Most of these people were followers of Mwanika. One Kikiga complaint was that they were
taking the good land. Banyaruguru are people of Kiganda descent, living in the north-
eastern Saza of Ankole. See Morris, H. F., A history of Ankole, Kampala 1962, p. 30. The
Bahororo were, traditionally, the inhabitants of the old kingdom of Mpororo, but now
the word is used for the people living in Rujumbura, the northwest Saza of Kigezi. Details
of deaths to be found in KDA 73/16.
25. Kisiagali, KDA 73/16 Transcript of KDCC 33/77.
26. "We had to burn the houses where the people used to live, but in the camp no one was
living in it . ." Kanyalusa's evidence given to Sebalijja. KDA 73/16.
27. KDA 73/16. A note hastily written in pencil on a scrap of exercise book paper. Kisakati
is Luganda for an enclosed compound usually associated with a chief.
28. Acting District Commissioner (AG. ADC) to Provincial Commissioner, Western Province
(PCWP) 31st August 1917 KDA 73/16.
30. Kigezi 1:250,000 Uganda Surveys Department 1965.
31. Information supplied by Tirwakunda, June 18th 1966. He was one of the rebels and still
lives in Nyakishenyi Gombolola. Makobore was the hereditary ruler of Rujumbura
and the first Saza Chief.
32. To be found in Assistant District Commissioner's Office, Kabale.
33. Information supplied by A. R. Ntegamahe, himself a Mucucu.
34. ADC to PCWP 31st August 1917 KDA 73/16.
35. 'Nabingi' or 'Nyabingi' was used indiscriminately by the Administration to indicate any
person with alleged spiritual powers whose activities had political overtones. In fact
the word refers only to the spirit which is said to possess people. See Bessell, op. cit.
36. Philipps, op. cit. p. 319 gives further details about Kaigirwa (sometimes rendered
37. Ndochibiri or Ntokiibiri was a famous rebel in Kigezi. Accounts of his activities and his
white sheep are to be found in Bessell, op. cit, p. 82, Philipps, 1928 op. cit. pp. 318-320
and Ngologoza, op. cit. pp 70-74.
38. ADC to PCWP August 31st 1917 KDA 73/16.
39. Sebalijja's statement KDA 73/16.
40. The evidence of Kanyalusa to Sebalijja KDA 73/16.
41. Ntokiibiri told the leaders "that if they beat (the Baganda) he will come to rule over
them". Bangalube to Sebalijja KDA 73/16.
42. Already quoted KDAR 1919-20.
43. See evidence of Kandambuka about Kaigirwa and Luhemba KDA 73/16 and concerning
Kaigirwa and Ntokiibiri see ADC to PCWP 21st September 1917 KDA 73/16.
44. Evidence of Kandambuka KDA 73/16.
45. Abdulla Mwanika recalled KDCC 62/17.
46. Magistrate's Judgement KDCC 62/17.
47. Thomas, op. cit., pp. 170-172.
48. Evidence of Kangalube to Sebalijja KDA 73/16. Bichubirenga (the clouds pass over)
was another name for Ntokiibiri.
49. Tirwakunda's information, June 18th 1966.
50. KDCC 62/17.
51. Abdulla Mwanika, KDA 73/16 Transcript of KDCC 39/17.
INCIDENT AT NYAKISHENYI 27
52. Tirwakunda's information, June 18th 1966.
53. KDAR 1917-18, Sub-section, 'Native Affairs'.
54. Evidence of Batalingaya KDCC 62/17.
55. Evidence of Buhire KDA 73/16 Transcript of KDCC 39/17. See Edel, M. M., The Chiga
of Western Uganda, Oxford, 1957.
56. Evidence of Kanyalusa to Sebalijja KDA 73/16.
57. List of rewards to be found in KDA 73/16. Allegations of Kisiagali and Lisanga changing
sides from Tirwakunda June 18th 1966. Quotation from Mawatano to Sebalijja KDA
58. Ag. ADC to PCWP 29th September 1917. "Up to date according to my present informa-
tion there are probably about 1,000 rebels who have not returned to their homes".
59. See Ngologoza, op. cit. pp. 71-72 for a description of the gallows, that were brought speci-
ally from Kampala, and the execution.
60. These were Kangwaje who is still alive and lives in Nyakishenyi, and Mukombe who is
deceased. Mukombe was the father of the present Secretary General of Kigezi, S.
61. Information from Tirwakunda, June 18th 1966.
62. Tirwakunda states adamantly that he had nothing to do with Sataani, the church name
for Nyabingi, among other things.
63. Bessell, op. cit. p. 86.
64. Baxter, P. T. W., The Kiga in East African chiefs, edited by Richards, A. I. London,
1959, pp. 281-285. Edel, op. cit. pp. 2-3.
65. KDAR 1917-18, Sub-section 'Police'.
66. Ngologoza, op. cit. p. 13.
67. Evidence of Kandambuka to Sebalijja KDA 73/16.
68. KDAR 1928, Sub-section 'Native Administration'.
69. Kigezi District Monthly Report for July 1928, District Commissioner's Office, Kabale.
70. Told by Bishop L. E. Barham, who was in Kabale as a C.M.S. missionary in 1928.
See Smith, A. C. S., Road to Revival, n. d., pp. 36-38.
Uganda Journal, 32, 1, (1968), 29-38
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA
The Lugbara attach special importance to rainmaking. This is to be
expected, because rain enables the community to continue to live well and
to prosper, but droughtmaking by human beings with special powers seems to
play a greater role in a particular lineage or a number of contiguous line-
ages than rainmaking. Not all occasions of drought are the result of human
manoeuvres, but the majority of cases seem to be. To some extent, the term
is validly used: the Lugbara phrase is 'utuke sozu' (which I translate literally
'to swear drought', because this evidently corresponds to the swearing of an
oath). In other places the phrase used in 'utuke dizu' (whose English literal
translation is 'to crush drought, because the object which symbolises the
droughtmaking power is literally, ritually crushed, a symbolic action which
reflects the destruction of the drought itself). That rain results from this
symbolic action is a positive aspect of the process. But the term 'drought-
making' instead of just 'rainmaking', would add to the better understanding
of what happens, even though it is understood that 'rainmaking' plays an
apparently secondary role in Lugbara society.'
To understand fully this custom among the Lugbara, it is fitting to
start by visualising the symbolism which reflects the droughtmaking powers.
Among the Aringa (the northern Lugbara), the power is inherent in a stone
about the size of a tennis ball. The stone is oblong in shape. It is either white
and shiny or red and glittery. The stones are therefore very special. One
informant told me that they are capable of reproducing until there is a whole
potful of them. They even cry for water during a period of drought: they
chime "Give us water. Give us water to drink, please." Among the Terego
and Ayivu (the central Lugbara) stones are used which are found only on
certain sacred hillocks. These look like five or six very thick fingers joined to
what corresponds to a hand. One of the 'fingers' of this special stone is the
'male' and all the fingers are sometimes known as 'nostrils'.2 In Ayivu (at
what is now the eastern part of Arua town), the power is vested in a God-made
axe which no human-being must tamper with, except the rainmaker in his
capacity as rainmaker and ritual head. Among both the northern and central
Lugbara, huge sacred snakes, which live in the raingroves, also carry the
drought or rainmaking power in them. Among the Terego and Ayivu, there
is a snake called 'Niri' which can travel some fifty miles, passing from one
lineage to another. These lineages are very closely related to it and to one
another it does not pass through the territory of an alien lineage. The rain-
groves are what Middleton calls "external lineage shrines"3 and these shrines
serve the purpose of a centre for making rain and for invoking the living
dead. At one such shrine on the eastern side of Arua town, there used to
be three sacred snakes with long teeth and huge bellies like those of big
animals. There is a sacred stream nearby to which the snakes glide to drink
water and where there is a God-made axe. As the snakes glide over the grass
30 UGANDA JOURNAL
on their way to the stream they burn the grass mysteriously and leave fire
behind them. None of these sacred objects and places should be destroyed or
in any other way tampered with. The external lineage shrine near the eastern
end of the town alluded to was cleared for building the residential area of the
town. Destruction resulted, so the ritual head claimed, in a phenomenally
strong storm which destroyed many town buildings and tore their corrugated
iron roofs apart. Also, the colonial administrator who shot dead one of the
three sacred snakes died as a result.
The Aringa find the stones in the grass, in a field as they dig or on a path.
Anyone who finds the oblong stone regards his finding as a bad omen; he
must 'crush' it immediately or leave it alone. But if he is mistreated by another
member of the community, he seeks revenge by keeping his find; such an
anti-social course of action must be secret. In parts of Ayivu, the stone with
its five or six fingers is also kept secretly for a similar purpose. In other places
the man seeking revenge or redress relies entirely on the rainmaker, the
ritual head. He asks the ritual head to use the powers transmitted to him over
rain or drought on his behalf. The Terego who desires to own this power goes
to another lineage or to his mother's people and asks for it in the form of a
stone. He can pick up a sacred stone, 'child of the hillock', from one of the
hillocks. Alternatively, all he does is join a ritual rainmaking meal uninvited,
and the power is acquired. It is important to note in this connection that
the power to make drought or rain is inherited only by the ritual head, but
that an ordinary man who becomes a droughtmaker does not pass the power
on to his eldest son. This applies to all the sections of the causes of drought
in the Lugbara tribe.
The causes of drought
There are many causes of drought. Almost all the them are human and
anti-social or sacrilegious, but one is designed to restore a sense of respect
for the lineage head and this produces a sense of order in the community.
If a tree is cut down or even if only a twig is removed from any tree in a rain-
grove, this will result very often in a drought. If ants are collected from an
anthill which forms in the grove, or if fruits are gathered from the sacred trees,
or if honey is taken, there will surely be drought in the land. If a person cuts
grass from a sacred hill, if a person takes fire to the hill, if a person smokes on
top of the hill, or if a woman pounds millet or sorghum on a large flat stone
on the hill, these people will be held responsible for the resulting drought and
famine. With regard to women, they can dry their cassava flour or millet or
sorghum on the hills, but they must not pound the foodstuffs at the sacred
A second major cause of drought is the desire for more property. A
man keeps the sacred stone he finds by a path in order that his millet in the
grain store will last much longer than other people's. So, he must place it
secretly on the millet mound in the store. If he wants his cows or goats or sheep
to increase in numbers or to improve in health, all he does is to ask secretly
for the symbol of droughtmaking power from another lineage and to keep
it secretly in a pot somewhere in the house. If he desires prestige or respect
which the community have not paid him, he 'swears drought' through the
help of the sacred stone. The idea is to force people through the agony of
drought, famine and hunger, to appeal to him as the droughtmaker to use
his rainmaking powers. Once this happens, people begin to respect him,
especially during a subsequent famine. An informant said that many drought-
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA 31
makers claimed responsibility for the famine of the early 1940s which killed
many people, flocks and herds. He added that their sole reason for the claim
was ambition for power and respect.
A third cause of drought consists of certain grievances among ordinary
members of the community. If a debtor fails to pay back his creditor, the
latter seeks to own the power to make drought in order to force his debtor's
hand. After examining the ritual place to make sure that the ritual head has
not made an offering to cause rain, the creditor takes hold of a drought stone
and hides it in the grass outside his homestead. This marks the beginning or
continuation of drought, until his debt is paid. Similarly, a man accused of
thieving is blamed for making drought as a defence against the accusation he
considers false. Likewise, a person accused of poisoning (that is, of sorcery, a
very common accusation) may be blamed for making drought for the same
reason. This cause can be illustrated by the following example.
A man, A, was accused by people of another lineage of poisoning their
daughter. Instead of retaliating, he went to the ritual head, Y. He asked Y
to invoke the living dead to send drought on his accusers and their family
cluster. Interestingly enough, A further threatened that if Y refused to
present his petition to the living dead, Y's family should be struck with a
terrible epidemic. After reminding A never to forget his conditional curse
on r, r came home from the communal drink, with A's curse ringing in
his ears. Y said, appealing directly to the living dead, "Okpova! Anyafiyo!
Aruva! Ovavaa!. Have you three heard what A said to me, that if I do not
grant his requests my family would die through an epidemic? Make
drought rage!" The result was a most disastrous drought, going well
beyond the particular lineage it was originally intended for. The community
were so unhappy that their cries compelled Y to mention A as responsible
for this unhappiness. The chief had A arrested, and compelled A to colla-
borate with Y according to ritual, for the immediate removal of the existing
drought and for the making of rain.
Two other causes are specially interesting to note. One is the lowering
dignity of a ritual head by one of his 'subjects'. Among the northern Lugbara
this at once results in drought. To illustrate this cause of drought an incident
is related below.
A rutual head, r, was insulted, despised and beaten up by a man,
A, from his lineage cluster. Y, did not retaliate directly or at once. He
came home from attending a mourning ceremony, on which occasion he
had been maltreated. All he did immediately was tell his family and
neighbours about the way his dignity had been lowered. A fell seriously
ill as a result of his behaviour, and representatives from A's lineage went
to T's home in the early morning with a bull, to present A's apologies
and to satisfy r by admitting his wrong. After the wife of r thought,
"These people have come. What wrong have I done them? I am not
coming out to meet them." Then he said to his wife, "Go and tell the
leading visitor who has talked to you to come in and tell me what he has
to." Inside, the leading representative, B, of the sick man confessed,
"Father, I treated you badly: I maltreated you when, as you came to us
on a mourning occasion, one of us beat you up and lowered your dignity.
As a result he has become so ill that he may die at any moment. We have
have therefore come to you to 'catch your legs'.4 Please, do not refuse to
accept my confession; the punishment I have had inflicted on me has
taught me." Y, who had been listening quietly, said in a dignified voice,
32 UGANDA JOURNAL
"I have done no wrong against you. I have failed to discover the reason
why you have come. That someone has despised me I do not know."
B, however, insisted, knowing that Y was really testing his genuineness.
He maintained, "Surely, someone maltreated you on that day. So we have
come. Please, please, do not refuse our petition! We have brought the
payment for the injury we cause on you, so, please come out to us. Tell
us what we should pay for loweing your dignity, and we are prepared to
face up to it."
After much persuasion, necessarily a sign of renewed respect for T,
r came out and announced the sentence. As his blood had been shed,
a very serious offence indeed, a bull was the most suitable bloodmoney,
rather than less suitable payments like a goat or sheep. B and his colleagues
must pay this.
The last cause of drought worth noting is failure on the part of the
ritual head to make offerings to the sacred snakes associated with drought-
making. In Terego and Ayivu there is a snake specially called "Ndiri."
This python normally lives in an external lineage shrine in Terego. But
wherever offerings of food are not made to it, it is said to leave its permanent
dwelling-place to travel through lineages which are related intimately to it,
and to reside in one such lineage farthest from where it normally lives.
Only when a fatted bull is passed on alive from the lineage where the per-
manent residence is, through related lineages, to where the snake is, does
the python come back to Terego. After the bull has been offered to it at the
temporary residence and the python has come back to the permanent place,
rain falls. Otherwise, there is drought throughout Terego and Ayivu on
account of the failure to feed the python, either ritually or physically.
The detection of the droughtmaker
How the droughtmaker is found out is very interesting and very mport-
ant. The importance is that no mistake should be made about the man
causing widespread suffering in the community, that only the man or the
lineage deserving punishment should suffer it. The rituals involved are
therefore highly systematic.
In northern Lugbara territory, as a preliminary to the rites for detecting
the droughtmaker, the ritual head consults with his special appointees on
the prevailing drought. Sometimes a man who discovers the droughtmaking
object in his brother's grain store or house reports that brother to the ritual
head. In this case the appointees have no part to play.
One rite for finding out the troublemaker is the chickenstone oracle (buro).
The northern Lugbara use several chickens and ordinary stones for this
oracle. First a number of related lineages are collected at the ritual head's
home. Then a number of ordinary pieces of stone are arranged in a circular
fashion, each piece representing one of the lineages. Chickens are brought
to the ritual scene, the number of which birds does not correspond to that
of the lineages. Every lineage elder gathered at the ritual head's knows for
certain which piece represents him. At the centre of the circle a wooden peg
is erected, to which each chicken is tied, and is knifed to make sure that it
dies inside the circle. It staggers round and round in agony and dies. The
place and moment of its death is of the greatest importance. The chicken
should die in, or very near, one of the representative stones. The lineage
represented by the stone is thus held responsible for the drought. The rite is
repeated exactly as before, but using the second chicken. If the second chicken
dies at more or less the same place, this becomes the second piece of evidence
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA 33
to validate the responsibility of the particular lineage for the present trouble.
The rite is repeated again, and yet again. After this inter-lineage rite, the
guilty elder goes back to his home and repeats the rite at the level of his
family cluster. The point obviously is to find out the particular guilty man
in the guilty lineage. If the indivual person accepts responsibility for the
drought, a number of results occur. The lineage head may refuse to accept
guilt. In this case, the lineages very often fight it out with one another.
Even if he accepts the blame, an inter-lineage feud may be the alternative
to the chickenstone oracle at the family level. He may, alternatively
again, regard the result of the oracle as ghost vengeance rather than his own
doing. In this case a communal lineage rite follows with its own special
A second rite is the boiling medicine oracle, (Onda). Lineage heads gather
as for the chicken oracle. A fire is made. On it a number of very small
sacred pots are placed empty. Each pot has its bottom intact, and
it represents a particular lineage. After all the pots have become hot enough
to enable cold water to boil, the ritual head pours cold pure spring water
into the pots as quickly as he can. The boiling of water in a pot indicates
that the lineage represented by the particular pot is innocent. But if the
water in another pot will not boil, if, instead, it evaporates from the pot,
the lineage which the pot represents is held guilty of making the prevailing
drought. The clan ritual head repeats the rite as many times as he thinks fit.
A third method is the communal meal oracle. In this case, the clan head
instructs women to prepare a sizeable millet dish similar to a thin maize
meal. All the people suspected of causing drought are summoned to a
communal meal prepared specially for them. The guilty person who eats
this meal soon afterwards becomes sick with constipation, and after only a
few days he dies. The innocent droughtmaker enjoys his meal freely. To
save his own life, the guilty absents himself from such a ritual meal. Some
know of the purpose only too late. Others on realising the idea behind the
special meal, refuse to turn up. If such a one does turn up, he leaves the
company of his colleagues just about to start the meal. He goes out without
anyone else noticing, and accounts secretly for his misdeed.
The removal of drought
One way to remove drought is to punish the guilty person or lineage
by physical force. Inter-lineage fighting may follow the discovery of the
guilty family cluster. Fighting follows only if the lineage refuse to admit
their responsibility and if they will not account for their refusal. The indivi-
dual is often in danger of losing his millet and beans, sheep and cattle; all
these things are looted or destroyed by the community. The man himself is
tied to a rope. Although he pleads, "Surely, children found this drought-
making symbol and have been playing with it!" He is compelled to find a
sheep all the same and to have it sacrificed during a drought-removing rite.
There is no way out of his predicament. This is the individual punishment he
suffers among the northern Lugbara. Among the Terego the kin of the
droughtmaker in the family cluster punish him on the spot; they smear him
with mud and pour the hot water of the boiling water oracle on him. The
community also ransack his home and loot his property.
A ritual clan head who does not live up to his responsibility is punished
in a similar way by his appointees on behalf of the community.
34 UGANDA JOURNAL
Apart from this physical punishment, ritual is used. One rite is the
drought crushing rite. This rite applies only among the northern Lugbara,
(Aringa). The man blamed for causing the drought gives two male sheep
to the clan ritual head. The head asks a man alien to the lineage to do the
crushing. The alien takes one of the sheep down to a stream. He is given
the stone, the symbol of the droughtmaking power, to take with him.
Accompanied by a few observers appointed by the clan head, the alien
reaches the steam. He collects the leaves and rope of a certain strong wild
stem which is normally used in tying the big twigs to form a wall. He wraps
the dangerous stone in the leaves and ties everything into a bundle with the
stem of the plant. He collects two flat, ordinary stones, and literally crushes
the dangerous stone in between the ordinary stones, until the whole thing
becomes powder. The man throws everything into the stream. In some places
the alien throws himself into the water also. In this case, he must jump up and
down in the water four times. As the alien throws the dangerous power into
the water, his instructor orders that other observers make a big fire for
burning the hair on the sheep skin. When the hair of the sheep has been
thus removed, the alien roasts and eats the stomach and intestines of the
carcass. He must offer some of this at the stream before eating the remainder
of the intestines himself. All the meat and intestines and stomach must be
eaten without salt, otherwise drought will continue. The guilty drought-
maker has no part to play in this rite: only the alien has the right to eat
the ritual meat and to carry out the drought-removing rite. After he has
eaten the roast stomach and intestines, the alien takes home the rest of the
ritual meat. While the alien is thus occupied with destroying the drought
together with the symbol of drought, a communal meal is organised at the
home of the clan head. Under the supervision of one man, a number of men
appointed by the clan head will have gone round from home to home to
collect foodstuffs like millet or sorghum or cassava flour, simsim or ground
nuts and beans. Next day when the alien is crushing the stone, these are
cooked into a dish sufficient for large numbers of people to eat. While the
lineage guilty of causing the drought eats the communal meal, the clan
head and his subordinates make lengthy speeches.
The drought-crushing rite and the communal meal thus constitute the
first mystical method of removing drought. It is interesting to note in passing
that the crushing rite is carried out only among the northern Lugbara, among
the central Lugbara the special stone is not crushed but other rites are per-
formed. Alternatively, the droughtmaker simply returns the stone to the
sacred hillock where he at first deliberately sought to own it.
A second main mystical rite is performed instead of the crushing rite in
some areas. This second rite is a formal sacrifice of a male sheep or goat or beer
at the external lineage shrine. The formal sacrifice serves a treble purpose:
to 'cleanse the territory,' to remove drought and to make rain. The purposes
are closely related but distinguishable. The ritual lineage head and his senior
advisers take part in this rite. A sheep, or in places, a goat, is the sacrificial
animal. In yet other places foodstuffs like those used for a communal meal
are used instead of an animal. The central Lugbara make the actual sacrifice
on the sacred hill. In the case of a sacrifice rite involving an animal, the line-
age head and his seniors are the only people in the community eligible for
participation: no women or young men or children can take part. The elders
eat all the meat at the external lineage shrine. During the sacrifice which is
the centre of the ritual, the ritual head says,
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA 35
"I have eaten this my ram.
If there is rain in it,
Let it come down."
The ritual head makes this appeal very simply, without ceremony, without
so much as holding the ritual meat or thick millet meal in his hand. This is
among the northern Lugbara. But the central Lugbara use a certain drought-
resistant plant, whose leaves have thorny edges, in addition to mud from the
stream, for removing drought. These are ritually used during a sacrifice
similar to that in northern Lugbara.
The use of an animal in this ritual is worth further examination. Middle-
ton points out that amongst the Nuer, Evans-Pritchard regarded the animal
as a surrogate for man. He elaborates this point with reference to the Lugbara:
"Lugbara have never suggested to me that the sacrificial victim is in any way
a substitute for man. But there is one rite in which substitution is implied.
In Omugo, in east-central Lugbara, rainmaking rites were performed on a
small hill called Ili, to the northwest of Mt. Eti, the mountain on which the
hero ancestor, Dribidu is buried. Until the 1930s the rites on Ili involved
human sacrifice".5 The present writer did not learn of any pre-colonial rites
involving human sacrifice in those places studied in detail, in particular Aringa,
Terego (Katrini) and Ayivu. It would seem therefore that Middleton's record
of the ram being used in place of human sacrifice can only have applied to
A third major method of removing drought is the direct appeal to the living-
dead for rain. This is the job of the ritual clan, one of whom provided the follow-
A chief of Ayivu (Obitre) who had been a chief by the administration
invited the ritual head (Awidule Odrubo)a to visit him. After he had enter-
tained the clan head to a sumptuous meal and drink, the government chief
said to the clan head, "Father, there is much distress in the land now. I beg
you to go for us and present our petition regarding the prevailing trouble to
Anyafiyo and Avuva" The chief gave him thirty shillings adding, "Only
if you petition unsuccessfully should you give up. I wish it were possible for me
to be heard! Anyway, go and try'. So Awidule and the chiefs' askari set out for
the external lineage shrine. When they reached a certain sacred stream called
Amarua, Awidule collected a cluster of leaves on a branch of a wild fig tree.
He dipped this cluster in muddy water at the head of Amarua and brought it
carefully up to the shrine about 300 yards away from the stream. Near the
shrine he warned the askari to be prepared to run for shelter from the rain
which would soon follow the ritual that he was about to engage in. Then he
recited in a most poetic way the genealogy associated with this shrine, as he
asked for rain. He said,
"Ah! we are Kakwa,
We are Idialelea
Marrying a Kakwa daughter:
Married by Ibi.
Kirinya was born with Ibi.
Ibi married her and begat
Kirijo and Kirinya.
They begat Ndrimva
Ndrimva begat Cakacaka,
Cakacaka begat Lilibe, buried
36 UGANDA JOURNAL
Kijomoro and Lamila.
Lilibe begat Ava, buried
between Micu and Mbaraka.
Ava begat Jilimbe, buried
Jilimbe begat grandpa Drazini
There at Barajia
Drazini begat Wani.
Wani begat Lea
And then-I was born!
We beg you, give immediately,
The rain we request of you!
After this the ritual head shook the muddy sacred leaves vigorously in the air.
As a result the drought was terminated immediately.
In this illustration there is no doubt at all that the living-dead have power
over rain, but it is not clear whether they have power to make drought too.
One cannot draw any logical conclusions. Middleton's accounts do not quite
fit into this picture. A rainmaker, at least Awidule, does not know "the words
of God".6 Rather, he knows the words of the living-dead which he inherited.
The genealogy recited by Awidule indicates that the rainmaker's power is
inherited from the living-dead and does not come directly from God.7 The
living-dead may obtain that power directly from God, but the power that
reaches the living ritual head (rainmaker) is transmitted by the living-dead.
Middleton is right in stating that "each tribe has its rainmaker-chief. He is
the elder of a genealogically senior lineage and possesses rainmaking powers
inherited from the founder of the sub-clan which provides the core of the
tribe".8 He limits this statement, however, only to the northern Lugbara (the
Aringa), whereas the statement applies as much to the central Lugbara clans
or sub-clans. Hence Middleton's valid reference to Cakida in Maraca (western
central Lugbara) who, "being rainmaker, he was said to be above all sectional
interests."9 Again, Awidule's case shows that the central Lugbara also have
rainmakers who inherit power through genealogical seniority.
The seasonal incidence of ritual
In what are now termed November, December, January, February and
part of March, no droughtmaker wastes his time punishing the man who
accuses him of thieving or poisoning. As one informant retorted, "Now that
Adroa has blocked the sky, such that it just cannot rain, who dares go against
him to act the contrary"? The dry season is the direct responsibility of Adroa
(the High God). Another informant told me, however, that in northern Lug-
bara (Aringa), usually the ritual clan head, discerning the times, cleanses the
territory in preparation for the rainy season (from mid-March onwards),
or just after harvest. All that happens is that the head instructs that food-
stuffs be collected from every home. These are prepared into a sumptuous meal
for the whole community to eat. During the meal, the elders make long speeches
(adi) about the history and the present condition of the land. This is said to
enable them to appeal to droughtmakers indirectly: they should not cause
distress, they should realise that children should have enough to eat so that
they can grow and thus the lineage can prosper. If droughtmakers co-operate,
then the rains soon follow the communal meal at the expected time. If a
troublemaker does not heed the appeal the new wet season is certain to start
DROUGHTMAKING AMONG THE LUGBARA 37
After a drought-removing ceremony a heavy downpour is expected.
That is why Awidule warned the chief's askari to be prepared to run for shelter.
After he had finished his genealogical recital and waved the fig branch a
thunder storm occurred immediately. Sometimes if these rites are unsuccessful,
the clan blames other clans. This leads to inter-lineage feuds, in which many
people may die.
It may also happen that the rains go on too long. When this happens
in northern Lugbara territory, a sacred twig which has been oiled along
before, is placed before a burning fire to dry. The drying has the mystical
effect of making the rain subside and eventually stop. The twig has to be
turned round and round breadth-wise until it is completely dry. This is a rite
performed only by the senior clan ritual head. Another method is to turn a
sacred pot of water at the external lineage shrine sideways. The water collects
from the overwhelming rainfall; some of it runs out of the pot as the pot is
tilted. This also is said to reduce the fall of rain. A third method is the method
of verbal petition to the living-dead. Precise details of this are unclear. Maybe
a genealogical poem is recited by the ritual head. The ritual head makes the
verbal petition at his home; he does not have to go to the external lineage
shrine, because the living dead can listen to him as much at his home as at the
shrine. In Terego it is believed that rain stops by itself, that it does not require
human petitioning or an offering by man to the living-dead or to Adroa.
Most of the people I visited say that the power of droughtmaking is not
hereditary in ordinary cases. A person who is compelled by circumstances to
become a droughtmaker through the possession of special piece of stone does
not pass this stone on to his son when he dies. Awidule's case illustrates that the
ritual head has power over drought, as much as the ordinary man who wants
his millet to last longer than his neighbours. But Awidule's case also shows
that the ritual head alone can pass his power on to his eldest son; hence the
genealogy during his petition for rain at the chief's request. The question of
rainmaking applies only to the ritual head. He alone has power over rain,
that is why the community appeal to him for the removal of drought and so
for the making of rain. That is why also he is responsible for most of tne rain-
making rites at his home compound. The ritual head, therefore, is the only
member of the community who passes his drought and rainmaking power on to
the first born of his first or most loved wife.
Among the Lugbara, rainmaking is impossible to understand if it is isolated
from droughtmaking. The causes of drought are much more important than
the way in which rain is actually made. The causes of drought, which imply
the invisible rites involved, are as important as rainmaking, whose rites can be
seen by those allowed to take part in the rituals. This is to say that rain should
fall as the basic means of the community's prosperity and welfare. This must
be the case in an agricultural society like the Lugbara who depend entirely
on crops and animals for their daily living. It can only be expected, therefore,
that while the ordinary droughtmaker is hated by every member of the com-
munity, the rainmaker, partly by virtue of his status as clan head but mainly
because of his responsibility as rainmaker, is the most respected of all the line-
age or clan. The clan ritual head, Awidule, is a good living example of the
respect paid to the rainmaker in his double role. When he was an active clan
head no bull was slaughtered for a communal meal or for cleansing the territory
or for other sacrifices to the living dead unless he was present. If he was dis-
satisified with the fatness of the bull about to be slaughtered that particular
bull was not knifed. On the other hand, he would show his approval of a diff-
38 UGANDA JOURNAL
erent bull by getting the bull to urinate and washing his mouth with the urine.
Middleton is right in submitting of the Lugbara that "the tribe has no
single head with authority".10 But his next statement that "there may be a
rainmaker in a tribe but he has only sporadic ritual authority over its members"
is not borne out by the circumstances portrayed in this essay. In most places
the rainmaker is both general ritual head and clan senior. As such, he has
power as much over the mere droughtmaker as over ordinary members of his
community in cases of sickness, ghost invocation and cleansing the land.10
From the point of view of the lineage community or communities, the
part played secretly by the droughtmaker is obviously negative or destructive
and worthy of the man's death. But in no place is he ever killed; only his
property is destroyed. He contrasts sharply with the rainmaker who acts as
the medium of blessing to the communities. Through these two men drought-
making and rainmaking are the two most significant single rites among the
Lugbara, because they concern whole lineages instead of only single families.
The writer obtained oral evidence for the basis of this essay from Awidule
Odrobua, a ritual head living near Arua at Mvara, and Arense Ezekeli a
former ritual head living near Arua at Nyovua but he is now quite old and his
memory is not too certain. Other informants as ritual heads included Musa
Kana of Nyori, Aringa; Sila Okujo of Odravu, Aringa; Apangu Anderia also
of Odravu; Ojotre Tito of Odravu and Lika of Anyangba, Terego. The author
is grateful to all the above for their assistance. This article is adapted from an
earlier draft which appeared in Dini na Mila, 5, May 1967, and is reproduced
with the kind permission of the editors of that journal.
1. Middleton, J. Lugbara religion, London, 1960, especially references to rain-groves, rain-
makers and rainmaking.
2. This reference to the parts of the stone as 'nostrils' is because people in parts of Lugbara-
land believe that the droughtmaking power comes into the physical world through these
fingers as breath comes out through the nostrils of a human being.
3. Middleton, op. cit., pp. 11, 13 and 29.
4. i.e. to implore him to prevent A's death by accepting the admission of guilt made by
the representatives of the wrong-doer.
5. Middleton, op. cit., p. 100
6. loc. cit., p. 207.
7. loc. cit., pp. 252 and 256. Though God is the ultimate source of all power and moral order,
though he also associates himself with rain, this association becomes felt only through the
rainmakers, because it is to them that he delegates his power of control over rain.
8. loc. cit., p. 128.
9. loc. cit., p. 197.
10 loc. cit., p. 7.
Uganda Journal, 32, i (1968), 39-52
THE SITING AND RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF THE
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT
By D. A. CADWALLADR AND J. STONEMAN
Fish production in Uganda is currently a major industry, employing
approximately 20,000 people, of whom 5,000 are employed in the distributive
side of the trade.' The total production in 1964 was estimated as 71,000 tons,
which has a value of 3 million at the lake shore, and a retail value of 4k-
Lake Albert and the Albert Nile, representing 10.1% of the total surface
area of 1,385 square miles of open water and swamp in Uganda, contributed
14.1% of the total annual catch in 1964. Production of the lake and river in
that year was valued at 209,000 at the landings. Until 1961 a large proportion
of the catch was exported to the more accessible markets of high demand in the
Republic of the Congo, such as Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville). Exports
started decreasing in that year until they ceased in 1964, due mainly to the
political and economic instability which prevailed in the Congo at that time.
Exports of dried salted fish commenced once more in 1966, and will in time
provide important foreign earnings for the country. The loss of the Congo market
at the time did not have any serious adverse effect on production from the
lake, as an increase in home consumption during these years compensated the
fishermen for the lack of exports.
Cadwalladr and Stoneman have reviewed the development of the fisheries
of Lake Albert from 19232. They showed that the advancement of the fisheries
from a subsistence level to a commercial one since this time, was related to,
and dependent on, improvements in the type of gear and canoes, and an
increase in the number of canoes and outboard engines in use. Improved
marketing facilities and better road communications, particularly since 1957,
were also shown to have contributed to the rate of development of the fisheries.
The present paper discusses the siting and organisation of the fishing
villages and landings of the present time, in relation to the hydrography of the
lake, and the topography of the Lake Albert region. It is shown how the villages
have in turn been affected by the development offish marketing, and economic
pressure which have arisen since they were originally sited. The siting of fishing
villages and ports in other parts of the world is governed just as firmly by the
relevant factors as in these areas. The particular pressure and factors which
have governed the development of the Lake Albert fisheries to their present
state, are of interest and possible value in the development of unexploited
fisheries in other lakes of similar nature in East Africa, such as Lake Rudolph.
40 UGANDA JOURNAL
Fish production and hydrography
Holden presented evidence from experimental fishing and echo-sounding
to show that the most abundant species landed in the commercial catches,
Alestes baremose, was limited in its distribution to water of less than 20 m. depth.3
This is currently the predominating factor in the extent and intensity of the
fishing effort in the various parts of the lake, as A. baremose formed 81.3% and
78.3% of the total annual catch in 1964 and 1965 respectively.4 In a descrip-
tion of the state of the fisheries in 1928, Worthington showed that fishing
communities were established only in places where seining was possible.5
These were areas with sheltered, sandy beaches, off shallow waters and where
there were few or no weeds to obstruct seining, and which are the sites of the
major fishing villages of the present time.
Fig. 1 of the hydrography of the lake shows that the only extensive shallow
areas of less than 20m. depth are found at the south end off the delta of the
Semliki river, and off the Victoria Nile delta and exit of the Albert Nile in the
north. The shallow water between these areas is restricted to a narrow zone
north from the Nkusi river delta, and which extends a little further offshore
from Butiaba and Wanseko (formerly Ndandamire). Holden showed that
Alestes baremose was not abundant in this narrow zone north of Buhuka, and
that the limited width of shallow water proved an effective barrier between the
A. baremose stocks of the Semliki and Wanseko areas. Holden also noted from
studies of the state of maturity of the gonads, that this species migrated into
the Ntoroko area of the Semliki delta, and the Victoria Nile to spawn. He
observed that the migration path into the Victoria Nile in July was followed by
the fishermen. In February and July the catch of A. baremose at Wanseko, on
the delta of the Victoria Nile, increases considerably, and this increase is
presumably at a time when the fish are migrating into the river. In February,
1965 and 1966 large numbers of the species were observed running up the
river as far as the Murchison Falls.
The two major shallow water areas today support the biggest fisheries,
mainly for A. baremose, in the lake, the fishermen landing their catches at the
two biggest landing of Ntoroko in the south and Wanseko in the north. A
considerable amount of fish from the shallow water area in the north is also
landed at several small villages along the shore from the Congo border to
Panyigoro in West Nile.
Table 1 shows the disposition of canoes in relation to the two major shallow
water areas in the north and south, and the narrow zone of shallow water
between these two areas. In terms of total numbers of canoes fishing, the largest
numbers operate out of the Kitara point area, Wanseko and the West Nile
shore in the northern shallow waters. The total number of canoes fishing the
southern shallow waters out of Buhuka, Ndaiga, Ntoroko and the swamp of
the Semliki delta, is lower than the number fishing the narrow water zone out
of the landings south of Kitara point and north of Buhuka. It has been estimated
from daily catches of the different types of canoes that the planked canoe is
3-5 times more efficient than the dug-out. The efficiency of the planked canoes
varies with the type of canoe, from the mostly un-powered Sesse and Congo-
barque to the powered Kabalega type. In Table 1 the "dug-out equivalent"
of the three areas has been calculated by multiplying the number of planked
canoes by 3 and 5, and adding this number to the number of dug-outs. This
shows that in terms of fishing intensity the southern shallow waters are more
intensely fished than the narrow shallow water zone, despite the total number
of canoes being lower.
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 41
Dug-out Planked Total Dug-out
Major shallow water:
North .. .. 420 122 542 886-1030
South .. 50 111 161 383- 405
Narrow shallow water
zone .. .. 139 43 182 268- 354
Numbers of planked and dug-out canoes and the intensity of fishing
in these areas by "dug-out equivalents"
The fishing intensity in the three areas is shown by the production figures
of 1965, when 4,659 tons were landed in the Wanseko-Panyimur area, 4,000
tons from the south end of the lake, and the remaining 3,376 tons from the
the narrow shallow water area and the length of the Albert Nile.
The large catches from the north and south areas were marketed mainly
through Wanseko, Ntoroko and the West Nile shore. The formation and
existence of these two most important villages is not only the result of their
close proximity to the shallow water areas, but also of the influence of topography
on the physical and social development of the region, governed by economic
priorities in the past.
Lake Albert, a rift valley lake, is one of the smallest of the African great
lakes, but it is by no means inconsiderable in its dimensions; it is over 100
miles long and 30 miles wide, and more than half of it lies within Uganda.
The coast line varies from papyrus swamp (mainly in the south and a little
between Butiaba and Wanseko), through low-lying desolate flats, (such as the
Tonya/Kaiso, Semliki and Bugungu flats), to the rocky escarpment of the rift
valley which falls 1,000 feet almost sheer into the water. If the wider part of
the Albert Nile to Panyigoro is included in the lake proper the shore line north
from the Congo border would represent a fourth physiographic area in this
classification. This area consists of low-lying lake shore and highly vegetated
(papyrus, Phragmites, etc.) river bank with very little sandy beach, with the
land behind being relatively densely populated compared with the rest of the
lake shore. The lengths of shore line occupied by these four physiographic
types and the percentages of the total length of the Uganda shore line involved
are given in Table 2. The part of the Murchison Falls National Park on the
Albert Nile to a point opposite Wanyigoro, is also included in the table for
Length and percentage of coast line and the number and percentage of
canoes in use in each area.
I No. OF CANOES
i Miles of % Total % Dug-out
shore line Planked Dug-out equivalent
Papyrus swamp .. 24 13.5 38 12 50 5.6 126- 202
Flats .. .. 83 47.0 183 305 488 55.1 854-1220
Rocky escarpment 44 1 24.8 -
Panyigoro Nile .. 16 8.0 55 292 347 39.3 457- 567
National Park .. 10 5.6 -
42 UGANDA JOURNAL
Number and percentage of the total number of canoes in use at the villages
on the flats in 1966.
NUMBER OF CANOES
Village Total % Dug-out
Planked Dug-out equivalent
Wanseko . .. 49 109 158 17.2 256-354
Butiaba area (north to Wanseko) 89 41 130 13.1 308-486
Kibiro ..... 10 2 12 2.5 32- 52
Tonya .. 39 11 50 5.7 128-206
Kaiso ... .... 20 7 27 3.1 67-107
Buhuka .. .. .. 35 16 51 5.7 121-191
Ndaiga .... .... 1 18 19 2.2 21- 23
Ntoroko .. .. .. 2 39 41 4.7 45- 49
(i) Papyrus swamp.-The papyrus swamp physiographic area consists
mainly of the large swamp in the vicinity of the Semliki river. Up to the end
of 1953 it was thought that the Semliki delta was the sole breeding ground for
the lake, and that any depletion of the stock of this area would lead to the
deterioration of the fishing on the productive grounds to the north of Butiaba.
This attitude was encouraged by the results of a survey of the area in June,
1952 by Lowe who concluded that any fishing should be restricted to 8 inch
gill nets for Citherinus citherus (mpio) and further recommended that the area
should not be re-opened until more was known of the biology of the species.6
Prior to 1923, the Muzizi-Wasa area and the Ndaiga-Kaiso shoreline were
fairly well populated. The steamer Samuel Baker called regularly at Ntoroko,
which was connected by the "Ntoroko Road" (a well-established track) to
Following a sleeping sickness epidemic after 1923, the inhabitants of
these areas were moved away by government and resettled elsewhere. This
lead to the area between the Musisi and Semliki rivers being closed to fishing.
The Belgian authorities also held similar views at the time, and declared two
small areas west of the Semliki closed to fishing. It was also thought at the time
that it was undesirable to open up the waters to fishing, as the influx of fisher-
men into the area would lead to large scale poaching on the unsupervised,
game-rich Semliki flats. As a result of this, and the sleeping sickness prevalent
on the southwestern shore of the lake, fishing was actively discouraged in the
south and no fishermen were licenced to operate in the area. Fishing did take
place, however, from a small camp at Ndaiga, (where, mainly for political
reasons, fishing was permitted to satisfy the demand from Buganda for an
outlet on Lake Albert; the landing and its environs were cleared of bush and
tall grass by the district administration and a Medical Department Sleeping
Sickness Inspector kept a daily check on fishermen) and a few isolated camps
in Toro waters, with the one at Rwengara being connected to the Bwamba
road by a track. Fishing had been going on for some time from Kasenyi in the
Congo, where Greeks were fishing the southern waters on a commercial scale
with motorised, steel launches. There were many reports at the time, and par-
ticularly in early 1952, that poaching from the Congo was on the increase in
Uganda waters between the Musisi and Semliki rivers.
In 1953 these objections were no longer valid as new evidence, and an
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 43
44 UGANDA JOURNAL
examination of the fisheries statistics of the time, indicated that the fish stocks
at the south and north ends of the lake were distinct and did not share the
Semliki delta as a common breeding ground. This was substantiated much
later by Holden who showed from the results of experimental fishing that the
northern stocks of Alestes baremose and Hydrocynus forskahlii were separate to
those of the south, and used the Victoria and Albert Niles as breeding grounds.3
Also in 1953 a Game Department office was opened in Fort Portal and poaching
on the Semliki flats was brought under closer control. With additional pressure
from the Toro Government, it was decided to re-open the southern waters to
fishing in 1954. This was facilitated by an increase in field staff of the Fisheries
Division who were posted to control the development of the southern landings.
In January, 1955 it was noted that full scale development was occurring at
the small landings, particularly at Rwengara. Rwengara village was first
established in September 1954 by Batoro fishermen from Lakes George and
Edward, fishing under the titles of the Rwengara Fishing Association and the
Kasoga Fishing Company. The development of the village was preceded by
the building of a road from Rwebisengo, but as this latter village was itself on
the flats the connection with the Fort Portal-Bundibugyo road was passable
only in the dry season and then with difficulty. The village was not ideally
situated as canoes had to be dragged over 100 yards of mud and papyrus to
reach the landing. Owing to this, and the distance involved in getting the fish
to the main markets outside Bwamba and in getting supplies in, permanent
settlement did not occur on the site. Most of the fishermen moved to Ntoroko
when it was established in 1956.
There are several camps at the present time on the low lying ground in
the swamp, which are sometimes up to a mile from open water along the swamp
channels. Despite the temporary nature of the camps, the number of canoes
fishing the area is higher than that fishing the same area out of Ntoroko (Tables
2 and 3). The catch is prepared and salted in the camps, and although a little
finds its way through the swamp, the major part is now taken to Ntoroko for
(ii)Flats.-The major part of the lake is bounded by flats (Table 2), which
are raised lake-bed deposits, accounting for the flat nature of the terrain and
the sandy sedimentary soil. The flats are the only area to provide sandy beaches
around the lake shore, and the sandy spits, a distinctive feature of Lake Albert,
are found only off the flats. Worthington has discussed the formation of these
spits in relation to direction of water movement and depth of water.5 the current
major fishing effort, in terms of numbers of canoes, takes place off these areas
(Tables 2 and 3).
The flats vary in size; for example at Bugungu the low lying land is 20
miles wide and extends from the Nile to beyond Butiaba. The Tonya-Kaiso
flats, 5 miles wide and with a lake frontage of 20 miles, were little known or
visited until 1957. Both villages were small and difficult of access, and both are
near the northern end of the flat. After 1923 and the movement away of
population, the large southern region of this flat was left undisturbed and
unvisted except by a few fishermen. With the gradual neglect of sleeping sickness
restrictions, and with the advent of motorised canoes, camps and villages were
again established and old village sites, the names still remembered, are now
used again. This re-opening of the southern Kaiso flats was encouraged by the
frequent coasting trips of motorised Kabalega canoes, moving from Bugungu
to Ntoroko after the re-opening of that village in 1954-55. It is interesting to
note that before the days of motors, fishermen and their families would pole
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 45
and paddle their dug-out canoes from Butiaba to Ndaiga in 2-3 weeks. The
powered canoes of today make the same journey in 10-12 hours.
A review of the Lake Albert fisheries has shown that seine netting was the
most important method of fishing up to the early 1950's2. The presence or
absence of sandy beaches suitable for seining would, therefore, have been an
important consideration in the siting of villages from which beach seines were
used. This aspect of the distribution of the major, but small scale fishing com-
munities using beach seines was noted by Worthington at Panyamur (Panyi-
mur), Bugungu (Ndandamire, now Wanseko) and Butiaba.5 He noted that
the fishing communities established near the spits of Tonya, Kaiso and Buhuka
used long lines rather than seine nets, and that the important feature in their
siting was the more productive fisheries of the shallower parts of the bays
formed by the spits.
Whilst the flats are the only areas to provide sandy beaches, the beaches
are never more than a few yards in width, sometimes fringed with vegetation,
mainly Phragmites, and are nearly all exposed to the rough conditions often
encountered on the lake. Nearly all present day landings are situated on or
near the lagoons developed on the leeward side of the sandy, hook-shaped
spits. The spits provide the large areas of sandy beaches, especially at their
distal ends, suitable for seining. Whilst the spits are less important for seining,
since the decline in its importance, they still provide convenient open areas for
the sorting and laying out of the gill nets to dry. The lagoons also afford the
fishermen protection for their canoes from rough weather, often met with on
the more exposed beaches.
Whilst the location of the spits off the flats has governed the siting of the
major fishing villages by providing focal points for settlement, the rate and
extent of the development of the individual villages has differed considerably.
Major factors have been the abundance of fish in the vicinity of the spits, and
topographical features governing the social and physical development of the
area by the government.
As described earlier, the shallow water zone off the Tonya/Kaiso flats is
restricted in width, and does not support a large Alestes baremose population.
Although the number of canoes fishing from these flats is greater than out of
Ntoroko, the number of planked canoes is low, making the "dug-out equivalent"
lower than for Ntoroko (Table 3). The development of any major fishing
community on the flats has also been precluded by the absence of a road down
the steep escarpment, the building of which has never been given priority in
the development of the region. In addition to what is consumed locally on the
flats a little of the catch is carried on foot up the escarpment to Biseruka for
limited distribution. The small amount of fish in excess of local demand and
what can be carried easily up the escarpment is taken out by canoe to Wanseko
A similar situation exists at Buhuka on the smaller flats to the south of,
but not connected to the Tonya/Kaiso flats. These are five miles long and one
mile wide at the most. The fishing off Buhuka is more productive, and a larger
quantity of fish is taken out to Ntoroko after deducting what is consumed
locally or carried up the escarpment to Kyangwali. Table 3 shows that the
fishing intensity by "dug-out equivalent" is also higher off the Buhuka flats.
The village of Buhuka is situated on the flat a mile to the south of the spit.
The area around the spit is used by fishermen from the village, and with the
rise in importance of Ntoroko, large fishing camps were established on the
spit by fishermen from Wanseko and Panyimur. Buhuka village has been
46 UGANDA JOURNAL
identified with Vacovia where Baker first discovered Lake Albert in 18647.
The area has been inhabited for a long period, as is evident from the mounds
of pottery fragments at various sites on the flats.
Kibiro, on the narrow, southern extension of the Bugungu flats, is now
isolated from the road system of the flats by the Waki river which has been
unbridged since about 1929. The village is exceptional in that it is not situated
on a spit, but it owes its presence to the long-established settlement where salt
has been extracted from high salt bearing sediments in the vicinity. The fore-
shore at the village gets slight protection from rough water conditions created
by the prevailing southerly winds in the area by the large Tonya spit 15 miles
to the south. A little of the catch is carried by canoe to Wanseko, but the large
part is either consumed locally or carried up the escarpment to Kigirobya.
As with Tonya and Kaiso, similar factors of unproductive fishing grounds and
poor communications have restricted the development of the village.
Ndaiga, similar to Kibiro, is situated on the north of the narrow extension
of the eastern Semliki flats, and is isolated from them by the wide, extensive
estuary of the Musisi river which starts at the foot of the escarpment. The
shallow waters of Ndaiga bay and the waters off the flats are productive, and
a large quantity of fish is taken to Ntoroko after allowing for what is consumed
locally and carried up the escarpment to Muhorro.
Until 1956 the productive waters off the Semliki were fished from Uganda
only from the temporary fishing camps in the papyrus swamp described earlier,
and from Rwengara. Owing to the unsatisfactory site of Rwengara for a major
fishing village, continuous pressure was exerted by the fishermen to move to
nearby Ntoroko in the Toro Game Reserve on the opposite side of the Wasa
estuary. This move was at first officially resisted, as the capital invested by
government and fishermen alike at Rwengara would have been lost, but
eventually settlement was permitted at Ntoroko. In 1956 a 1 mile strip of
land at the tip of the Ntoroko peninsula, and which included the sandy spit on
the northwestern shore, was excised from the Toro Game Reserve. Settlement
occurred at first on the higher ground away from the spit by Batoro, but later
settlement by fishermen from Wanseko occurred on and behind the spit.
The Ntoroko peninsula consists of a relatively high, dry southerly extension
of the Semliki flats between the estuaries of the Muzizi and Wasa rivers. Although
there was no road to the village when it was established, the site immediately
attracted fishermen as a station to fish the Semliki waters, or as a base for
their fishing expenditions from the temporary camps in the swamp. Most of
the catch of this time was sold to Greek wholesale buyers visiting the village in
their steel launches from Kasenyi in the Congo, but a little was taken out by
way of the tracks to Bwamba. A road was built in 1961 connecting the village
with the Bundibugyo-Fort Portal road, at a point 20 miles from the latter. No
fish has been exported to the Congo through Kasenyi since 1962 and most of
the catch has been marketed in Bwamba since that time. In the last two years
at times of high demand, fish has been taken by canoe or road to West Nile
for sale in and around Arua. Since the beginning of 1966 fish has also been
exported to the Congo by road from the village.
The opening of the Ntoroko road in 1961 and the considerable demand
for fish which followed led to the establishment of many more fishing camps
between Ntoroko and Buhuka, and a greater fishing intensity from the
established landings in the area. The pressure on landing and camp sites became
such that many camps were set up on unsuitable areas of shoreline.
The Bugungu flats have been made accessible from the escarpment by a
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 47
motorable road, first built in 1914 to Bukumi. Fishing was never productive
in the area due to the narrow, shallow water zone, and catches went mostly to
supply local demand. There are currently several permanent fishing camps on
the flats to the north of Butiaba, the fishermen exploiting the shallow waters
which become more extensive as the 20m. depth contour moves away from the
shore to the north. The present village of Wanseko, ideally situated on the delta
of the Victoria Nile to exploit the productive waters of the north end, although
recently founded has always been the site of a fishing community. The village
as it is known today, although it moved to its present site after flooding of the
old site a mile to the south with the rise in lake level in 1962, stems from the
marketing development which occurred in the late 1940's. Before this time
most of the Wanseko catch was consumed locally, as there were no communica-
tions across the Bugungu flats to the rest of the country. In the late 1940's
Greek wholesale buyers started operating at Mahagi Port in the Congo and
along the West Nile shore and later at Butiaba in response to the high demand
for fish in the Congo at that time. The fishing intensity in the area increased as
a consequence, with the majority of the catch being taken by canoe across to
Mahagi Port or West Nile for marketing in the Congo. The catch from the land-
ings south of Wanseko was taken either across the lake by the shorter route
from the village, or carried by canoe to Butiaba or Kitara point for tranship-
ment on the lake steamer for export to the Congo. A road connecting the village
with Butiaba was built in 1956, and a track forced through from the village to
the Masindi-Paraa road which was built in late 1955. With the improvement
in the roads in the other parts of the country at this time, distribution from the
landings became easier, and more of the catch was consumed within Uganda.
The state of the communications and the effect on internal fish marketing
before this time was noted in the Uganda Game and Fisheries Department
Annual Report for 1952. It was reported that despite the demand for fish
in Acholi in 1952 very little fish actually reached the district due to the poor
road communications and high cost of transport.8 An increase in demand in
West Nile after 1956, led to a greater traffic of canoes carrying fish across to
the opposite side. Nearly all the current catch along the eastern shore destined
for marketing in Acholi and West Nile passes through Wanseko, This has led
to the village becoming the centre of the fishing industry at the north end of the
lake, and the most important village in the distribution of retail and wholesale
commodities for the fishing communities.
The construction of the Wanseko, Ntoroko and the Masindi to Paraa
roads in 1956 facilitated the distribution of fish from the landings into the
country behind. As well as satisfying the demand of that time, these roads
helped to create new internal markets and to expand existing ones. It has been
shown that whilst the maximum weight of fish was exported in 1959, the
highest proportion of the catch was exported in 19562. This indicates that
internal consumption increased at a greater rate than did exports in the period
1956 to 1959, when exports started decreasing in quantity. The increase in
internal consumption has continued up to the present time, and has now fully
compensated for the loss of the export market.
(iii) Rocky escarpment.-The escarpment plunges directly into the water in
places, but for most of its length a rocky shelf, only a few feet wide, has developed
on which temporary camps are sometimes found. The fishing along the bottom
of the escarpment south of Buhuka is more productive than to the north, and
the waters are exploited from small camps on the flatter ground where the
escarpment moves away from the lake in the south, and also from Ndaiga.
48 UGANDA JOURNAL
There are also temporary fishing camps in the area near the delta of the Nkusi
river, which extends a half mile into the lake, where the river falls over the
(iv) Congo border to Panyigoro.--Whereas, elsewhere on the lake the sandy
spits have provided convenient sites for the establishment of fishing villages,
no such spits occur on the West Nile shore. The whole of the West Nile shore,
is sheltered from the prevailing southerly winds. There is no surf to damage the
canoes and the whole shoreline is normally safe to land and embark from at all
periods. This, and the fact that the Pakwach-Panyimur road makes com-
munication along the shore easy, as it is never more than a half mile from the
water, has led to a general fishing from the shore rather than the concentration
into villages. Table 1 show that this stretch of shoreline is the most intensely
fished area of the lake. The canoes fish out of several small settlements, with
the following villages acting as focal points for landing the catch:- Dei,
Kayonga, Ganda, Munyuwa, Nyakagei, Jakwoki, Boro and Panyigoro. Nya-
kagei and Panyigoro with 64 and 97 canoes respectively are the biggest landing
points, but unlike the other villages of similar size on the lake, they owe their
status to being conveniently situated as general trading centres for the immediate
(v) National Park.-In the early years of Uganda's history, prior to 1902,
this area was heavily settled, and in fact the headquarters of the then Gulu
District were at Koba (now Pakoba Ranger Post on the Albert Nile). The
administrative headquarters were moved from Pakoba to Gulu in 1902 and
later the whole of the east bank of the Nile from Lake Albert northwards to
Liri was cleared of population, and the inhabitants moved into Acholi Dis-
tirct as a result of sleeping sickness epidemics. When the population moved
out the opportunity was taken to gazette the area as a game reserve and later,
part of it as the Murchison Falls Park. It may be noted that there is currently
pressure from the Acholi population to be permitted to return to their ancestral
fishing grounds along the east bank of the Nile.
The Congo shore line differs from that of Uganda in that it is dominated
by an escarpment, which rises higher than on the Uganda side. The Congo
escarpment, whilst higher, is less abrupt, and the vegetation on it more open.
Population pressure would seem to be greater than in Uganda and this has led
to many small permanent settlements often 300 to 400 feet up the side of the
escarpment. These are fishing communities where canoes (all dug-outs) are
hauled out on small rocky beaches and coves. Fishing pressure on this stretch
of shore is high, the number of nets set in the narrow, shallow coastal belt
being comparable to the density off Wanseko- Much of the production is
collected by Greek launches from Kasenyi and Ndaro. The Congo African
fishery remains primitive, from dug-out canoes, and never had the officially
controlled expansion and development of the Ugandan fisheries. Development
was instead by the introduction of Greek fishing companies in the early 1920's
with a considerable amount of capital investment which set up fishing stations
along the western Semliki flats around Kasenyi. Larger boats and stone faced
piers did not demand the sheltered spits of the Uganda fishing villages. High
exploitation of the Semliki delta area was possible from Kasenyi with the large
powered craft in use, and by methods such as large seine nets being hauled by
men working up to their necks in shallow water, and later hauling the nets
up on to flat barges. The more benevolent labour regulations of Uganda would
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 49
not have permitted this kind of use of labour. Up until 1963 all Uganda exports
from the south end of the lake were exported through Kasenyi, which is con-
nected with the rest of the country with a road up the escarpment. The north-
western extension of the Semliki flats, reaching 10 miles beyond Kasenyi,
resembles the Kaiso-Tonya area, and is similarly rich in game. The only
fishing village of importance between Kasenyi and Mahagi Port is Ndaro.
This fish landing was set up by a Greek operator, and is sheltered from the
prevailing winds from the south by a rudimentary spit, and is linked by road
to Mahagi Town. Caioes fishing out of Mahagi Port, which connects with the
rest of the country by an escarpment road, exploit the limited area of shallow
water in the north in Congo waters.
Structure of Villages
Many villages have been on or near their present sites long before the
mid-nineteenth century. When a site is re-occupied after some time, or a new
site used, however, the process of growth can be readily observed. It is probable
that this currently observed process is essentially that followed in the earlier
settlement of these villages.
The typical village starts life as a cluster of very temporary huts of beehive
shape, thatched with grass. After a few months' occupation, these are replaced
by mud and wattle buildings with a round or ridged roof. Prior to 1954 these
were almost invariably thatched with grass, but during the decade after 1954
they were almost entirely re-roofed with corrugated iron. This wattle and
daub, corrugated-iron roofed hut is the major construction now found in all
the main villages.
Except for government and railway installations at Butiaba, the first
permanent building of concrete block walls and cement foundations on the
lake shore was a school built at Tonya in 1955. Since then one or two such
buildings have been put up in some of the villages, but they are not favoured
because of the essentially temporary nature of the villages and the working
life of the fishermen. The very first buildings of a village are always on the light
sandy soil immediately behind the beach, the easily drained nature of this
making the method of sanitation and refuse disposal less offensive. As villages
grow, the habitation extends further back from the foreshore on to less suitable,
often marshy and swampy ground, and pits are dug to deal with refuse and
sanitation in a very primitive manner. This leads to a completely haphazard
arrangement of buildings and access tracks, often making it very difficult for
lorries to reach the foreshore and the work area of the village. Here nets are
mounted and dried, fish unloaded, processed and packed, canoes repaired,
and all the activities of a fishing village carried out. The wealthier fishermen
move first to the more substantial houses, further back from the insanitary
beach, their porters still living close to the work in inferior huts. In time, bars,
shops, brothels are built, while in Wanseko and Ntoroko petrol filling stations,
motor repair shops and boat building yards are now established.
Attempts have been made recently by government to control the major
villages. Approved plans have been drawn up for Wanseko and Ntoroko, and
some clearance and re-building to approved standards commenced. Fish
stores for rent, in permanent materials, have been built in some villages and
Fisheries, Police and Medical staff are being posted in increasing numbers to
With the increasing pace of production and development of the fisheries,
the fishing villages must be much more strictly controlled than before and
50 UGANDA JOURNAL
new factors will have to be considered.
It has been shown that the predominating factor in the extent and intensity
of the current fisheries in the Uganda area of Lake Albert, is the distribution
and abundance of Alestes baremose, which is the most important species in the
commercial catches. The foregoing description of the fish landings shows that
the development of the major fish landings of Ntoroko, Wanseko and the
landings along the West Nile shore were dependent upon the influence of
hydrography on the distribution and abundance of A. baremose, and to a large
extent on the construction of roads as governed by topography and previous
Worthington in his report on a fishing survey of Lake Albert in 1928,
describes the small scale fishing, mainly by seine nets and long lines, at Kaiso,
Tonya, Butiaba and by the Bagungu tribe in the Wanseko area.5 At that time
no fish were exported to the Congo, and the small amount of fish caught
annually was consumed locally. Exports to the Congo were first recorded on the
small scale of 12 tons in 1938, continued at a relatively low level until 1940.
After this time exports started increasing until 1956, when the maximum pro-
portion of 70.4 o of the total catch was exported. In 1940 it was estimated that
the total catch was only 1,200 tons, and although records do not exist for the
next twelve years, the increase in fishing intensity must have been small as
the total was only 1,800 tons higher in 1953. After remaining stable between
1,000 and 2,000 tons from 1940, exports started increasing in 1955 when they
were 2,745 tons, until they reached a maximum of 6,200 tons in 1959, the
year before Congo attained independence. The increase in exports after 1955
was reflected in an increase in total catch at the time. A year after the roads to
Ntoroko and Wanseko were constructed in 1956, there was a sharp rise from
the 1956 catch of 7,766 to 10,3413 tons the following year. The weight of exports
actually fell between these two years, confirming that the increase in total
catch was consumed internally, as a result of the new roads facilitating dis-
tribution within the country. The increase in catch which occurred after
1955 was due to an increase in the landings of Alestes baremose from the 477 tons
of that year to 9, 419 tons in 1965. Records show that gill netting had super-
seded seine netting in importance by 1953, and at about this time there was
an increase in the number of canoes and outboard engines in use, as well as
an improvement in the type of canoe. It was mainly the introduction of the
nylon gill net which led to the better exploitation of A. baemno..2
With the increase in demand for fish in the early 1950's the fishermen
turned to exploiting the productive shallow waters with gill nets. It was fortunate
that the villages of Ntoroko and Wanseko, ideally situated to exploit these
productive shallow waters, were also convenient sites from which to export
the catch to Kasenyi and Mahagi Port respectively. This then led directly to
an increase in exports at the time. The importance of these two sites from the
above points of view led to the Game and Fisheries Department pressing
for priority to be given to the construction of roads to the two villages, which
was realized in 1956. The opening of these roads led to a rapid increase in
internal marketing, which is shown in the records of total catch and percentage
which is shown in the records of total catch and percentage exports.2 The
increased marketing through Ntoroko and Wanseko led also to the establish-
ment of more small camps, and an increase in fishing intensity away from the
As described earlier, exports to the Congo ceased in 1965 after a rapid
FISH LANDINGS OF LAKE ALBERT 51
decline from the maximum of 1959. As shown by the difference between the
13,350 tons landed in 1959 and the 10,042 tons landed in 1964, the decline in
exports had a relatively small effect on the total catch. This was because internal
consumption was increasing at the time. The slightly lower catch in recent years
up to 1964 was due also to the result of the upheaval following the rise in lake
level in 1962 when most of the villages had to be re-organised on new sites on
higher ground. If exports to the Congo had not ceased in 1964, however, it is
probable that the rise in catch by 1965 would have exceeded the actual catch
of 12,032 tons. Exports commenced once again in 1966, and the total of 1,000
tons exported to the Congo was the main factor in the 1,000 tons increase in
production between 1965 and the 13,000 tons of 1966.
The rise in total catch, initially in response to exports and then to home
consumption from the early 1950's has also been the history of the rate of the
development of the fish landings. This has led directly to the development of
Wanseko and Ntoroko into the major villages which they are today. These
two villages not only take the major part of the catch directly or during mar-
keting, but are also the main distribution points for the necessary social and
commercial commodities for the majority of the inhabitants of the lake shore.
Holden in his survey of the productivity of the lake, concluded that the
annual sustainable yield (a.s.y.) of the exploitable stocks of Alestes baremose
was 6,000 tons in the Uganda waters of the Wanseko area, and that the total
a.s.y. of all species from both Uganda and Congo waters at the south end of
the lake was 11,000 tons.3 It is expected that the consumption offish in the
areas adjacent to the lake in Uganda will increase rapidly in the near future,
with the development of the country as a whole at the present time. The catch
of A. baremose in the Wanseko area in 1965 was approximately 3,400 tons, which
is only 2,600 tons lower than the estimated 6,000tons a.s.y. for the area. Simi-
larly in the south end of the lake, if the Uganda waters are expected to yield
two-thirds of Holden's figure of an a.s.y. of 11,000 tons then the 1965 production
of approximately 4,000 tons is only a little over 3,000 tons below the expected
a.s.y. The actual annual production of A. baremose in the north and of all species
in the south attaining the expected a.s.y., should be anticipated to occur within
the next six years at the present rate of development of the fisheries. The time
taken may be even less if the Congo market flourishes once more and adds to
the rate of expansion. Once this situation arises, rigid control of the fisheries
will be essential if the exploitable stocks are to be conserved and the a.s.y.
maintained. This cannot be over-emphasized in the case of A. baremose, which
is exploited mainly on its spawning migrations. The control of the fisheries
once this stage is reached will be a major enterprise on the part of the Fisheries
Department staff, and will involve much labour and time and a great deal of
co-operation from the fishermen. Various methods of control are available
under present legislation, including placing restrictions on the number of
canoes and/or nets in use. The method of control adopted will be of great
importance, and will be decided at a high level where other factors concerning
the fisheries will be taken into account. The degree of success of the method
eventually adopted will be of value when considering the form of control to be
applied to other fisheries in East Africa reaching the same stage.
Once the total catch attains the level of the a.s.y., there will be no further
expansion of the fisheries as they are currently known, other than for more
intensive fishing of species other than A. baremose in the north. A possibility of
limited expansion exists in the potential exploitation of a variety of Nile perch
52 UGANDA JOURNAL
(Lates niloticus macrophthalmus), which has been shown to occur in the deeper
waters of the lake.3 Before this is done on a scale involving capital investment
further research is required on the abundance and distribution of the species.
In the event of the species being shown to be present in exploitable numbers
further expansion will either have to be related to existing marketing facilities,
or further road construction will be required down the escarpment to the
Tonya-Kaiso flats which are in the centre of the deep water area. As marketing
through Wanseko and Ntoroko is relatively well organised at the present time
it would be sufficient to employ bigger vessels than those currently in use to
carry the deep water catches to these villages. Operation of larger vessels would
entail other requirements in efficient landing sites than those obtaining at
present, and possibly only a few of the present sites could be utilised to provide
bases for the larger vessels. This may already be seen in the contrast between
the Congo and Uganda shoreline, where Greek operators using 45 feet steel
launches have created a different type of landing to the characteristic ones of
The a.s.y. of non-predatory species forming the lower elements of the
food chain is potentially far higher than that for predatory species. In 1965
just over 11,000 tons of the total catch of 12,032 tons consisted of predatory
species, mainly Alestes baremose, Hydrocynus forskahlii and Lates niloticus alber-
tianus. The a.s.y. described above for Alestes baremose in the north and total
species in the south are based on the current degree of exploitation of the
various species. It is conceivable, therefore, that when these a.s.y.s are attained,
a rational manipulation of the stock by a greater fishing effort upon non-
predatory species, may increase the yield above that from current fishing
We have been allowed access to much of the data used in this study and
also the observations were made during the course of our work in the Uganda
Fisheries Department. We are grateful to the Minister of Animal Industry,
Game and Fisheries for permission to publish the material.
1. Uganda Fisheries Department, 1964 Mimeo.
2. Cadwalladr, D. A. and Stoneman J. A review of the Fisheries of the Uganda waters of Lake
Albert, East Africa, 1928-1965/66, with catch data mainly from 1953. Entebbe, Government
Printer, 1966, E.A.F FR 0 Suppl. Pub.
3 Holden, M.J., Report on the Fisheries of Lake Albert, Lowest Fisheries Laboratory, 1963,
4. Annual Report for Lake Albert Region, 1964 and 1965. Masindi, Fisheries Office, (Typescript).
5. Worthington, E B A Report of the Fishing survey of Lakes Albert and Kyoga, London, Crown
6. Lowe, R. Lake Albert Safari (III), 12th-25th June, 1952 Masindi Fisheries Office, 1952,
7. Baker, S. W. The Albert Nyanza, 1866.
8. Uganda Game and Fisheries Department, Annual Report Entebbe, Government Printer,
1952, p. 60.
Uganda Journal, 32, 1, (1967) 53-63
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA, BULEMEZI
By A. W. J. TODD
Namakata is a mutalla situated in the south of Bulemezi county in the
Mengo District of Buganda. It is typical of much of the land in this area.'
The first agricultural survey was carried out in September 1937 and June
19382. It was resurveyed in May and September 19623. The purpose of these
mitalla surveys has been described by A. R. Dunbar4.
The position of the mutalla is 0 35'N, 320 23'E and is about 3,700 feet
above sea level. The mutalla is about 2- miles long and 1 mile wide at its
widest point. The mutalla is at the southern end of a ridge running from north
to south. There is one main motorable track running across the ridge. The
track leads from the main Semuto-Matuga road through Maumo to the village
of Namengo, where it joins the Kagembe-Kisito road, The mutalla is bounded
on the east by the River Mayanjawenkalwe, on the south by the River Danze
(which forms the county boundary), and on the west by the River Lubumba.
To the north it is bounded by the village of Bulimanyankya and for a short
stretch by the Semuto-Matuga Road.
The soil has been classified as Mirambi Catena, the dominant soil type
being yellow-red loam underlain by soft laterite5. The soil has a good water-
holding capacity and is classified as highly productive. There were no large
areas of rocky outcrop unsuitable for cultivation. The swampy areas were
suitable for tree planting. The natural vegetation was of a woodland climax
comprising Chlorophora excelsa (Mivule) with Pennisetum purpureum (elephant
grass). It was thought at one time that there were two separate mitalla, Nama-
kata and Kivule, but it was found later that the area known as Kivule had
been named by the purchaser of the land after the mivule trees growing on it.
Much of the Mivule was cut down before 1937 to facilitate cotton planting.
Only 41 mivule trees were recorded in 1962, 14 of them on the area that is
still known locally as Kivule.
The mean annual rainfall is 47 inches and is well distributed in two seasons,
the first and usually the heaviest in April to June, and the second from August
to November. Rain can often fall in any month, but the driest time is usually
December to March, with light showers often occurring in February. Because of
the bimodal type of rainfall there are two planting and harvesting periods each
year. The mean maximum annual temperature is 25-27.5C (77-820F) and
mean minimum annual temperature is 15-17.5C (59-64F).
The population is given in the following table:-
Number of families .. 75 86*
Number of taxpayers .. .. 67 154
Number of men .. .. 108 153
Number of children (resident) .. 43 125
Total resident population .. 233 404
Porters included above .. .. 33 83
*An additional 4 householders were not included in this survey
54 UGANDA JOURNAL
In 1937 seven of the householders were women and this figure had increased
to 15 by 1962. The total number of offspring recorded in 1937 was 55 and in 1962
was 284. The difference between the total number of offspring and the number
resident can be accounted for by the fact that 12 offspring had left the mutalla
to marry. In 1962 the situation was much more complex. Twenty seven of the
children classified as resident were in fact children belonging to someone else,
usually a nephew or a neice. Of the 284 children belonging to the householders
the placement was as follows:
Years of age At school At home Non-resident
0-7 . 34 79 11
7-18 .. 59 14 6
Over 18 .. 2 5 74
TOTAL .. 95 98 91
Approximately 46 per cent of the children under 18 years of age attended
school, of these 60% were boys. The average number of children per household
was 0.73 in 1937 and 3.55 in 1962. As only 58 of the householders in 1962
reported having children, the average number of children per family was 4.7.
The ethnic composition of the householders is given in the following table:
Number % Number %
Baganda . 62 82.66 71 86.60
Padhola .. 4 5.33 2 2.44
Banyarwanda 1 1.33 5 6.08
Madi .. 5 6.66 -
Baruli .. .. 1 1.33 -
Itesot .. .. 2 2.44
Jonam .. .. 1 1.22
Tanzanian .. .. 1 1.22
Not known .. 2 2.66 -
TOTAL.. 75 82
The proportion of Baganda had changed little over the years, but a notable
change occurred with the departure of the Madi and the arrival of some Banya-
rwanda. In 1937 all the porters were Baganda, but in 1962 they were all Banya-
rwanda. The five Banyarwanda householders recorded in 1962 had all formerly
been porters, and carried Luganda surnames. In 1962 the Baganda were rep-
resented by 18 clans; the commonest were the Mamba (27%) and Nyonyi (13%)
In 1937 only two of the householders had an occupation additional to
farming; one was a teacher and one a carpenter. In 1962 there were nine
craftsmen and seven traders, two of the householders were schoolboys. The
mutalla appeared to be a good place in which to live. In 1962 the average length
of stay on the mutalla for the householders was 26 years. The average for those
born on the mutalla was 38 years
The area was originally surveyed by the Lands and Surveys Department
in April and May 1909. The whole area was then owned by two people with
final certificates. One person owned block 217 with 495.75 acres and another
person owned block 216 with 453.66 acres. There was an additional 7.35 of
road reserve. By 1937 these two blocks had been sub-divided into eleven plots,
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA 55
held by eleven landowners. By 1967 21 holders had 38 plots with final cer-
tificates and 6 other holders were registered to share 3 plots; the final survey
had yet to be completed. As four of the largest landowners (totalling 414 acres)
have died recently, further transfers of titles and fresh surveys can be expected.
Six of the other landholders of 1937 were still in possession of titles in 1962,
there acreages were as follows:-
i .. 63 52.7
ii .. 60 80
iii .. 40 22
iv .. 20 20
v .. 20 20
vi .. 10 10
Thus the average of holdings has changed from 474 acres in 1909 to 86 acres in
1937 and 35 acres in 1967. In 1962 the largest single landowner had 21 tenants.
The owner himself grew only four acres of perennial crops and had no annual
crops, but he received a total of Shs. 336 in tribute (busulu and nvujo) per annum
from some of the tenants as well as beer at brewing time. Land prices are known
for fourteen transactions that have taken place in the past few years and the
average price was Shs. 50 per acre, there were, however, wide variations from
Shs. 240 down to Shs. 2.50 per acre.
The acreage registered in 1909 is slightly less than that registered in 1967
when 951.9 acres were registered. It is unfortunate that the total acreage record-
ed in the 1937 survey does not agree with the officially recognized acreage
recorded and registered by the Lands and Survey Department. For the 1937
agricultural survey, a plane table survey was carried out, and 1,000 acres
were recorded in the perimeter measured, compared with 956.66 acres on the
1909 survey. This difference, however, will not greatly affect the results as in
both the 1937 and 1962 surveys, resting land has been calculated as the residue
after other uses have been noted. It is also unfortunate that in 1962 four holdings
calculated to total 25.66 acres were not surveyed. This leaves 926.24 acres
included in the survey.
The land use of the area is recorded in the following table:-
Acres % of Acres % of
Perennial crops ..233.16 24.6 437.43 47.2
Annual crops 154.24 16.2 70.95 7.7
houses .. 9.20 1.0 12.37 1.3
Swamp/woodland .. 3.00 0.3 41.50 4.5
Roads, paths 10.61 1.1 9.47 1.1
Grass/resting .. 539.10 56.8 354.52 38.2
TOTAL .. 949.31 926.24
In 1937 approximately 41% of the land was cropped and in 1962 about
55% was under crops. It is interesting to note that over the past twenty-five
years the area under crops had increased by only 14% whereas the resident
56 UGANDA JOURNAL
population had increased by 58%. This could be accounted for in three ways,
a greater reliance on non-agricultural occupations, an increase in crop yields
or by a change over from annual to perennial crop production. In the past
twenty-five years there has been a noticeable change in the relationship between
annual and perennial crops. Thus, whereas the importance of perennial crops
has almost doubled, that of annual crops has more than halved. As will be
shown later much of this is due to a swing away from cotton to coffee production.
On the original 1909 plan approximately 102 acres were shown as swamp/
woodland but at the 1962 survey this had been reduced to 41.5 acres. The
proportion of resting land to cropped land (annual and perennial) had changed
from 1937 to 1962 from 4:3 to 4:5, due to an expansion in perennial crops,
principally coffee. In 1937 there had been an average of 7.2 acres of grass per
farm but this had fallen to 4.3 acres in 1962.
This proportion of resting land to cropped land is an important index in decid-
ing whether the area is underpopulated or overpopulated. Tothill laid down that
a porportion of less than 2:1 should be regarded as overpopulated. According
to this standard the area was overpopulated in both 1937 and 1962, the ratios
being 1:1.4 and 1:0.7 respectively. Much of the land is therefore being over-
cropped with the consequent dangers of loss of fertility and soil structure
especially in the light of little manure being used and little soil conservation
being practiced. However, the change-over of most of the cropped land to
perennial crops by 1962 will have gone some way to alleviate the problem of
soil erosion due to the better and more continuous soil cover provided by the
The livestock kept in the area is presented in the following table:-
Cattle .. .. Nil 34*
Goats .. .. 130 132
Sheep .. .. 16 42
Chickens .. 558 367
Pigs .. .. Nil 10
Fish Ponds .. Nil t
*Kept on mutalla, average of ist and 2nd rains surveys.
tNot in production.
In 1937 it was reported that any form of animal management on the mutalla
was absent, so that a slight improvement had taken place since then. At the
time of the first survey in 1962, 38 cattle were present, there being 8 males
and 30 females. Of these 16 belonged to one farmer who was in the process
of erecting a barbed wire fence around his coffee so that the cattle could be
paddocked in it at night. This process of night paddocking has the advantage
of giving the cattle some grazing at night when they would normally be kept
in a kraal, and also they manure the land. All the cattle kept were Nganda.
Three of the ten owners gave salt and banana peelings to their cattle. None
of the cattle were sprayed against ticks or given any other prophylactic treat-
ment. The cattle were grazed on the resting land in the day-time (and on the
swamps in the dry season) and were housed in kraals at night. The cattle
were in almost all cases herded by paid porters who were paid Shs. 35 per
month. As the average herd size was only about six cattle, and almost no
trading was recorded and no milk was sold, cattle do not appear to be an
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA 57
Little change had taken place over the years with reference to other forms
of livestock. The poultry were still allowed to range freely in the daytime and
were kept in a store or a room of the house at night. No supplementary food
was given, but there was evidence of some Black Australorp and Rhode Island
Red blood in 14% of the birds in 1962. The number of chickens kept had
however decreased. The number of goats had not changed over the years,
but the number of sheep had trebled, as had the number of owners. In 1937
the sheep and goats were herded around the compound, but in 1962 they
were tethered on areas of resting land and some owners gave banana peelings.
Pigs had been introduced by 1962 on two forms, and there was evidence in
1967 that more farmers were keeping pigs.
The proportion of livestock units to residents in an area is a useful measure
of livestock keeping. In 1937 there was one livestock unit to 5.8 residents and
in 1962 1:5.6. With regard to grazing there appears to be little danger of
overgrazing in either year. In 1937 there were about 20 acres of grass for each
grazing livestock unit and in 1962 there were about 6 acres.
The methods of cultivation had not altered over the years. No ox or tractor
powered cultivation methods were employed, only the hoe. Even in 1962
there were no lumbugu forks, pruning saws or pruning shears for use in the
large acreage of coffee, although these implements are recommended by the
Department of Agriculture and can be bought at a subsidized price. One
farmer had a wheelbarrow and another a watering can.
In 1937 all the houses were constructed of poles, elephant grass, reeds
and mud, and all had thatched roofs. By 1962 89% of the houses had roofs
of corrugated iron, although all but one had the same type of wall construction;
that house was built out of murram bocks. By 1962 30% of the houses had some
form of guttering and a water storage tank of small capacity. In 1962 over
60% of the farmers had bicycles. There were five motor cycles and two cars.
This general lack of transport helps to account for the majority of the minor
crops being sold locally at usually a low price. In 1962 20% of the households
had radio receivers.
Crop production has been portrayed in the tables at the end. The first
and most noticeable change over in the past twenty-five years is the great
expansion in the acreage of coffee, the acreage having more than trebled
whilst the acreage planted to cotton was only one-quarter of what it was in 1937.
The acreage of coffee per grower has risen from 1.30 acres per family to 3.60
acres in 1962. Half of the acreage present in 1962 was approaching thirty
years of age. 2.5% of the coffee was still young, which showed that plantings
were still continuing even though at a reduced rate. The average plot size of
the early planted coffee (before 1930) was just over three acres, while the
average plot size of that planted in the 1960s was just over half an acre. Coffee
had become more important than cotton because of the higher relative price
and smaller amount of labour involved (roughly 80 as against 120 man-days
It was noted in the 1937/38 report that the standard of husbandry of
cotton was low, the farmers then spent most of their time on the coffee plots.
This fact was still true in 1962, but it can hardly be said that in that year the
husbandry of coffee was at a particularly high level, as evidenced by the lack
of suitable recommended equipment. In 1962 the average yield of coffee was
58 UGANDA JOURNAL
about 850 lb. per acre, though it was estimated that in 1937 the acreage that
was in full bearing produced around 1,000 lb. per acre. In 1937 only 56% of
the farms grew coffee, in 1962 all but one farm had coffee; though it does not
mean that it was all picked. One farmer had ceased to pick his in 1959 when
the yields were 2 bags (about 350 lb.) per acre.
More factual information was available from the 1937 survey on cotton
than on any other crop. Cotton production is shown in the following figures:-
Acres per grower .. .. .. .. 2.63 0.79
Acres per taxpayer .. .. .. .. 2.49 0.27
Mean plot size (acres) .. .. .. 0.75 0.40
Percentage of farmers growing cotton .. 85% 65%
Percentage of acreage planted in perennials 14% 20%
There has been only a slight increase in other cash crops. In 1962 very
small amounts of simsim and grams were grown. Two farmers had developed
vegetable growing, cabbage, carrots, potatoes for sale on the Kampala market.
In 1961 one farmer received Shs. 385 from this source. Sorghum, which was
used mainly for beer making rather than as edible grain had also increased
over the years. Sorghum was mainly a first rains crop in 1937, but was much
more important in the second rains in 1962. This heavy planting in July 1962
could be accounted for by the high prices on the Kampala Market in mid 1962.
This increase in the price of sorghum had come about through an increase in
demand for the red variety in anticipation of the demand for beer with which
to celebrate Independence. As about 55 acres of cotton were planted in 1961
compared with 42 acres in 1962 it can be assumed that some of the cotton
acreage was replaced by sorghum.
The major food crop was plantains, the acreage of which per family was
hardly changed, there being about 1.9 acres per family in both years. However
the acreage per resident had fallen from 0.61 to 0.36 in the same period. The
acreage of other food crops had also fallen from 2.03 acres per family to 0.75
acres which in terms of residents means 0.68 acres and 0.19 acres respectively.
This is a remarkable fall, but it does not mean that the people are more poorly
fed in 1962 or that yields have increased to allow for smaller plantings. The
fact illustrates further the greater importance placed on coffee. The greater
cash income and cash reserves in 1962, made the farmers less reliant on self
sufficiency. It is also true that in 1937 many more of the food crops were marketed
than in 1962. Cassava the main famine reserve crop had fallen from 17 to 2
acres over the years.
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA 59
The sale of produce is represented in the following tables:-
Crop Values % of total family
Coffee .. .. 4,263 22.3 57
Cotton . 7,692 40.4 103
All others* 7,096 37.3 95
TOTAL 19,051 255
1937 Crop Sales value per resident = Shs. 82.
All other crops were given as poles, food, bark cloth, fowls, etc.
Crop Values % of total family
Coffee .. .. 130,093 79.5 1586
Cotton . .. 8,954 5.4 109
Beer .. .. 9,564 5.8 116
Food crops .. 15,904 9.3 194
TOTAL .164,515 2005
1962 Crop Sales value per resident = Shs. 407.
The average income per family from crop sales has increased eightfold in the
past twenty-five years, and the crops from which the income is earned have
changed considerably. In 1962 almost 80% of the income came from coffee
compared with a little over 20% in 1937. The importance of cotton on the
other hand has fallen from 40% to around 5 % of the total income from produce
Economic changes in Namakata between 1937 and 1962 have also been
considerable. In 1937 only Shs. 19,051 was raised by the sale of produce,
as compared with Shs. 164,515 in 1962. In the former year only two persons,
a teacher and a carpenter, had other sources of income and only earned Shs.
140 and Shs. 216 per annum respectively, leaving 98% of the income for the
mutalla to be derived from the sale of produce. By 1962 15 persons were in
employment, and earned a total of Shs. 19,123 so that produce sales represented
89% of the income. In 1937 Shs. 3,960 was paid out for labour, and by 1962
this had increased to Shs. 56,565. Thus in 1937 20% of the gross income was
used to employ porters and this rose to 31% in 1962. As already seen by 1962
80 of the 83 porters were Banyarwanda, as against a preponderance of Baganda
in 1937. Although the amount paid to porters has increased, wages for porters
increased only 3 to 4 times, whilst the income to farmers increased 7 fold.
Another measure of the increase in economic value of the area can be seen in
the cash return per acre cropped. In 1937 this had been only Shs 33.50, but
had increased to Shs. 294 by 1962.
60 UGANDA JOURNAL
The agricultural change taking place in the mutalla can be summarised
in the following table which shows the production of a typical family holding.
Acres of crops per annum
of a typical family
Crop 1937 1962
Coffee .. .. .. 1.30 3.60
Plantains .. .. 1.90 1.80
Cotton .. .. .. 2.25 0.51
Cereals .. .. 0.61 0.39
Legumes and oil seeds .. 0.97 0.08
Root crops .. .. 0.54 0.19
Mixed food crops .. 0.27
TOTAL .. 7.57 6.84
The average number of residents per farm increased from 3. 1 to 4.9 so that the
acreage of land used per resident decreased from 2.06 to 1.25 acres; though
allowing for double cropping the difference in acreage of crops per resident had
fallen from 2.44 to 1.39 acres. The average acreage of cash crops per resident fell
from 1. 14 to 0.83 and the average acreage of food crops fell from 1.30 to 0.56
acres. With the radical change in cropping on a typical farm, especially from
cotton to coffee, only the acreage under plantains remained fairly constant.
Although smaller acreages of annual food crops are being grown, a larger
sized family is being supported. This has been made possible by the expansion
of the coffee acreage and a greater participation in the monetary economy.
1. Parson, D. J The plantain-robusta coffee systems Entebbe, Department of Agriculture,
1960, (Memoir of the Research Division Series 3, no. 2).
2. Williams, E. An agricultural survey of the Mutalla known as Namakata in Mutoba VI;, Gombolola,
Bulemezi County in Mengo District. Entebbe, Department of Agriculture, 1938 (?), (Type-
3. Todd, A. W. J. Mutalla Survey-Namakata. Entebbe, Commissioner for Agriculture, 1967.
4. Dunbar, A. R. Mutalla Survey of Bujenje, Kisonga, Bunyoro, (Uganda J. 2a, 1965,
5. Radwanski, A. S. The soils and land use of Buganda. Entebbe, Department of Agriculture,
1960, pp. 44-48. (Memoir of the Research Division Series 1, no. 4).
6. Tothill, J. D. (Ed.) Part I, A report on nineteen surveys done in small agricultural areas in Uganda;
Part II, Fifteen agricultural surveys selected from the above. Entebbe, Government Printer,
7. Uganda Department of Agriculture, Marketing Officer-Buganda, Annual report, 1962.
CROP PRODUCTION-FIRST RAINS
Crop Total Acres/ % of total % acreage of Total Acres/ % of total % acreage of
Acreage grower* acres annual crops Acreage grower acres annual crops
Coffee .. .. .. 97.21 1.30 28.6 291.01 3.60 59.7 -
Plantains .. .. .. .. 142.59 1.90 42.0 147.71 1.91 30.3 -
Maize .. .. 35.9 0.48 36.0 16.74 0.72 34.6
Sweet Potatoes .. .. 7.70 0.10 7.7 8.87 0.22 18.3
Groundnuts .. .. 12.84 0.19 13.0 3.83 0.24 7.9
Sim sim .. .. 11.18 0.15 11.0 0.22 0.22 0.4
Beans .. .. .. .. 22.53 0.30 22.0 0.16 0.08 0.3
Yams .. .. .. 0.38 29.4 0.3 0.06 0.015 10.0 0.1
Sorghum .. .. .. .. 6.12 0.56 6.0 2.68 0.45 5.5
Finger Millet .. .. 0.26 0.26 0.3 0.71 0.71 1.5
Vegetables. .. .. 0.21 0.21 0.4
Mixed food crops .. .. 12.71 0.60 26.3
Cassava .. .. .. 2.74 0.04 2.7 2.17 0.13 4.5
TOTAL .. 339.46 100.0 100.0 487.08 100.0 99.8
Acres of perennial crops 1.33 5.35
Acres of annual crops 3.19 0.59
Some figures shown as per family.
CROP PRODUCTION-SECOND RAINS
Crop Total Acres/ % of total % acreage of Total Acres/ % of total % acreage of
Acreage grower* acres annual crops Acreage grower acres annual crops
Coffee 92.21 1.25 19.5 291.01 3.60 57 -
Plantains .. 140.95 1.88 29.9 148.59 1.92 29 -
Cotton 168.89 2.22 35.8 70.2 41.69 0.78 8 58.5
Beans 28.00 0.37 11.4 0.92 0.15 1 1.3
Mixed food crops -9.78 0.33 -13.7
Sweet Potatoes 15.45 0.21 6.4 4.21 0.14 5.9
Cassava .. 14.39 0.19 6.0 -
Groundnuts 9.29 0.12 14.8 13.9 1.34 0.09 6 1.9
Maize 2.32 .03 1.0 0.35 0.17 0.5
Vegetables 0.60 0.21 0.8
Sorghum .. 1.46 0.13 0.6 12.04 0.71 -16.9
Yams 0.36 0.04 0.1 0.19 0.09 0.3
Grams 0.16 0.16 0.2
Tobacco .. .. .. 0.35 0.04 0.1 -
TOTAL . 473.67 510.88
Acres perennial crops
Acres Annual crops
AGRICULTURAL CHANGE AT NAMAKATA
Total Acreage Cropped during a complete year of farming operations.
Mixed food crops
Land used-One year
. .. 0.16
The Annual General meeting of the Uganda Society was held on 10th
April 1968. The number of full members of the Society had increased during
the year from 646 to 683, and there had been a substantial increase in the
number of associate members. As in previous years there had been a large
number of new members enrolled to balance the hundred resignations. Also,
as for a number of years past the financial status of the society depended upon
income derived from the sale of back runs of the Uganda Journal. As seen
from the following list over thirty meetings of the Uganda Society were held
during the year, at some of which attendance exceeded a hundred persons.
The programme of meetings and excursions for the year was as follows:
18 January. Lugard in Uganda-Professor R. W. Beachey.
31 January. Walking and climbing on Ruwenzori-Mr. D. Pasteur (in
conjunction with the Mountain Club of Uganda).
7 February. Glaciers, geology, geomorphology-Dr. P. H. Temple (in
conjunction with the Mountain Club of Uganda).
14 February. Plant and animal life on Ruwenzori and comparisons with
other mountains in tropical Africa-Dr. H. C. F. Rowell (in
conjunction with the Mountain Club of Uganda).
The African meaning of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'-
Professor A. A. Mazrui.
Natural History half-day excursion to the Animal Health
Research Centre, Entebbe.
Iceland's submarine fissure volcano-Dr. A. T. J. Dollar.
Roman Catholicism in East Africa: the problems of adapt-
ation-Mr. R. E. S. Tanner.
The Sebei of Mount Elgon-Mr. J. Weatherby.
The role of wild animals in the transmission of diseases to
man in East Africa-Professor G. S. Nelson.
Aspects of the religion of the Central Lwoo-Dr. Okot
Plant life in Uganda-Dr. E. M. Lind.
Natural History half-day excursion to the Namanve eucal-
The importance of fungi to man-Dr. J. Mukiibi.
Cattle in Uganda-Dr. Posnansky and Mr. M. Smith.
Important new fossil primates from Uganda & new isotopic
ages for the fossil-bearing strata-Dr. W. W. Bishop & Mr.
A. C. Walker.
Natural History members' slide evening.
Apolo Hotel-architectural problems on large projects in
Uganda-Mr. R. C. W. Browning.
Mosquitoes-Mr. A. W. R. McCrae.
Aid for malnutrition-but how?-Dr. I. Schneidemann.
Full day excursion to Kome Island.
The use of the fruit bat in medical research-Dr. J. Church.
Birds, beasts and bilharzia-Professor J. D. Goodman.
Natural History full day excursion to Gobero Falls.
The social behaviour of mangabeys in Uganda-Dr. N.
Education in Karamoja-Mr. J. D. Rubadiri.
Agents of colonial rule in Kigezi-Dr. D. J. N. Denoon.
Natural History half day excursion to the Mpanga Re-
search Forest and the Kamunye Forest.
The Society in conjunction with the British Council arranged a fourth
series of lectures for the post School Certificate pupils of schools and training
colleges in and near Kampala. The programme was as follows:
4 September. Introduction to social psychology-Professor M. H. Segall.
18 September. Introduction to social philosophy-Mr. A Gombay.
25 September. New approaches to African history-Dr. M. S. M. Kiwanuka.
2 October. Culture, society and social change-Professor R. W.
16 October. Economics in simple societies-Mr. B. W. Muriithi.
Uganda Journal, 32, i, (1968), 65-80
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII
Edited by SIR JOHN GRAY
(These extracts from Die Tagebiicher von Emin Pascha edited by Dr. Franz
Stuhlmann, vols. i, ii, iii, iv and vi, (Braunschweig: Westermann, 1916-1927)
have been translated and provided with introductory notes and comments by
Sir John Gray. They have been planned to appear in the Uganda Journal as
a series covering Emin's first visit to Buganda in 1876, his visit to Bunyoro in
1877 and his second visit to Buganda in the same year, followed by such
portions of his later diaries as are relevant to Emin's contacts with the Uganda
region during the years spent as Governor of Equatoria until his withdrawal
in 1889. Extracts I to X have appeared in successive issues of the Uganda Journal
commencing with Extracts I in Uganda J., 25, (1961) mo. 1 until Uganda J. 29
(1965) no. 2. Extracts IX appeared in Uganda J. 30 (1966) no. 2 and Extracts
XII in 31 (1967) no. 2. The next instalment will conclude the series.-Eds.)
XIII-THE STANLEY RELIEF EXPEDITION AND
THE MARCH FROM KAVALLI TO ANKOLE
17 November 1888 to 3 July 1889
Emin Pasha's career has been the subject of an extensive literature,
chiefly in English and German. His Life was written by his nephew Georg
Schweitzer in 1897 and was translated into English by Dr. Robert William
Felkin in 1898. The literature is extensive, but it is also most controversial.
Gaetano Casati, who took refuge with Emin after the outbreak of the
Mahdist rebellion wrote an account of his experiences in 1891. This was trans-
lated into English by Mrs. J. R. Clay as Tenyears in Equatoria.
A. J. Mounteney-Jephson, wrote Emin Pasha and the rebellion at the equator
in 1890. The author relied to a large extent on his diary, but one looks forward
to the early publication of that diary in full as edited by Mrs. Dorothy Middle-
ton for the Hakluyt Society. The journey from Kavalli to Ankole is dealt with
very scrappily in the "Conclusions" to Mounteney-Jephson's book.
T. H. Parke was the medical officer of Stanley's Relief Expedition and
published My personal experiences in equatorial Africa in 1891. This book is methodi-
cal, and taken by and large, most reliable. Parke tells a plain, matter of fact
story which is devoid of any sign of prejudice against either Stanley or Emin.
He also kept a diary, which corresponds in length with that of Emin, but
only a few of these diary entries will be referred to here.
H. M. Stanley covers this period in his In darkest Africa in Volume 2,
published in 1890. Both in this and in his other writings Stanley makes copious
66 UGANDA JOURNAL
references to the events of this period, but he was patently hostile to Emin.
Moreover, the falsity of certain of his earliest statements is clearly proved by
the contents of Appendix A to these extracts.
Vita Hassan was a Jewish pharmaceutical dispenser who took service
under Emin in 1880. He wrote an account of his personal experiences in Die
Wahrheit iiber Emin Pascha in 1895. Emin once described him as being "as good
as gold, but flighty, hot-headed and a babbler."
The volume of this literature is so immense that no attempt is made here
to adjudicate thereon, save only to explain errors or omissions from Emin's
diaries. Nor is it sought to point out the discrepancies between the entries in
Emin's diary and the narratives of any of the fore-going. Like the immortal
diarist, Samuel Pepys, neither Emin nor he wrote up their notes and diaries
from day to day. Consequently memory played them false from time to time.
It has also to be remembered that both Emin and Casati had gone through
experiences which it is difficult for others to appreciate, and that the same words
apply in the case of Stanley and his officers. Commentators on both Emin and
Stanley must realise that they are dealing with two very sick men and their
equally sick companions, who, as is often the case, failed to realise the ordeals
through which those they seek to criticize had passed.
Extracts from Emin's Diaries
November 17, 1888. At 7.35 in the morning we were under way from
Dufile, the cannon thundered and the trumpets were sounded. What a contrast
to my arrival on 19 August. The steamer is full of loads and people.
November 18. At midnight we arrived at Bora in order to take in wood.
At 3 o'clock in the night Wadelai came in sight. When we landed, the soldiers
were on parade and the cannon fired salvos.
November 20. (Emin received a report from Shukri Aga at Tunguru
that Stanley and his people were very near).
November 24. All the under officers visited me and pledged their devotion
to me. They wish to follow me wherever and whensoever I go. God grant that
Stanley may come soon. Our position is bad enough.
(Between this date and 4 December Emin was receiving copious, and often
contradictory information as to the activities of the Mahdists, rebel troops and
local African chiefs, but no further news regarding Stanley).
December 4. At two in the afternoon the officers came in a body and
informed me that they had mustered the soldiers and had resolved that, as
the station was defenceless, they would abandon it. Cannons and boats would
be sunk and the ammunition distributed amongst the soldiers, and they would
go to Tunguru and Mswa to await the arrival of Stanley.
Jephson declared himself ready to offer them his boat. He and likewise Casati
agreed to stand by the officers' decision. There was nothing further that I
could say. It had been arranged that we must beat a retreat tomorrow very
early .... The officers asked me to take command. I told them that I could
not do so. When they again asked me, I said that it would be only on condition
that my orders should be put into writing.
At five o'clock in the afternoon all the soldiers came to my door, I explained
t he facts .... The rest of the evening and part of the night were occupied by
me in packing up a few of the things I had brought and could take away with
me, my journal, my clothing etc. All my collections, all my books, all my
instruments must be left behind. Towards midnight all was ready. I think a lot
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 67
of people will refuse to come on the march.
December 5. Kodi Aga has found 37 porters for me out of which I gave
4 for Jephson, 5 for Casati, and 10 for Vita. Jephson's people had without our
knowledge brought 3 porters for themselves. For myself and my property
I have 15 porters. I gave my riding donkey to Casati, who is ill. My second
donkey I gave to Osman Effendi for his children. I set out at six o'clock in the
morning. Behind the station were masses of women and children with their
things ready for the march .... On the way came news that the soldiers had
plundered our houses and that they had refused to march and that there were
only two or three soldiers with us and that Kodi Aga had sent to bring us all
back to Wadelai.
(Jephson op. cit. p. 318 records that he extemporized a hammock for
Emin's daughter Ferida in which she was eventually carried to the coast.)
December 6. Our small party consisting ofJephson, Casati, Vita and Marco
set out at 5.40 in the morning to continue our march forwards. Soon after-
wards it was reported that a steamer had been seen near by in the river. By
good luck the village of Panyango, which had been recently built, had a hill
top and, I sent some of my servants to look out thence on the river. We had
just reached the foot of the hill when they came back and said that Kodi Aga
had sent the steamer to bring me back to Wadelai. An officer was waiting for
me with three letters. The first was from Rajab Effendi, my former Secretary,
informing me of his arrival in Wadelai. The second was unofficial from Selim
Aga to myself. .... The third letter was official and came from Kodi Aga.
(The text of the letter from Selim Aga is set out in full by Emin in his
Journal. It is also printed in Jephson, op.cit. pp. 327-9. In it Selim reports
a determined assault on Dufile station by a Mahdist force which had been
routed and was in retreat towards Rejaf)
I asked Rehan Aga to take us in the steamer to Tunguru, which after
some hesitation he agreed to do.
December 7. At eight o'clock in the morning we were afloat and sailed
At 2.45 in the afternoon we reached Tunguru. While the people were
disembarking I wrote to Kodi Aga and Selim Aga to give them my best wishes
and explain to Selim the reason for my departure. When everybody had been
disembarked I sent one of my servants (to Wadelai) to rescue my effects, if
So now we are in Tunguru. I cannot conceal from myself that my flight
from enemies in Wadelai was all for the best, and that perhaps very difficult
times may arise. That I must risk. God grant that Stanley will come in these
days. Then all will end well.
December 8. In good time the soldiers came on parade to my door. I
could not do otherwise than to receive them. So I gave them the history of
myself from the day on which I left them until today and of the victory at
Dufile. As usual they showed the greatest enthusiasm. But I explained to them
categorically that I did not want to know anything about their administration.
Small presents were sent to me from everywhere .... From Shukri Aga came
a letter from Mswa but no news of Stanley.
December 9. It would be better if we all went to Mswa.
December 11. If Stanley comes soon, we possibly may be able to save
ourselves. If he is much later, I shall be more afraid of my own poeple than of
those of Khartum. The best time for him to come would be the middle of
January. Besides I want to know for certain, when the time for our departure
68 UGANDA JOURNAL
arrives, whether they will want to go to Zanzibar or to Egypt or whether on
their departure they will settle at the first good village they reach, if Stanley
has taken away their arms and ammunition. (Complaints are coming in about
Shukri Aga's conduct at Mswa). As for myself I am at least for the moment
free to go or to stay behind. At present I am in favour of the latter, because if I
went to Mswa, it would arouse the suspicion that I should act in agreement
with Shukri Aga, whose devotion for me is known and is feared. If a new station
chief were to be appointed a fresh guard would be posted at my door. For the
present it is better for me to stay.
December 17. (A long letter received from Rajab Effendi at Wadelai
about the events and situation to the north which makes Emin believe that the
the mutineers are in greater numbers than ever).
December 19. After I had paid my usual morning's visit Suleiman Aga
knocked on my door and asked me on the morrow to take the salute as formerly
as their chief at the victory parade. This naturally put me in a difficult position.
I thanked Suleiman Aga very much for his kindness to me when I was a
prisoner at Dufile, but I was sorry I could not please him. It further seemed to
me that his own soldiers were not faithful.
December 20. The parade took place very early. Some shots were fired.
The soldiers received an extra meat ration and all was over.
At midday I was glad to have a visit from the Chief Mogo, who had come
come from Mswa. He told me he had sent his brother to Kavalli for news.
Stanley should be at Kavalli's, who had prepared many huts for him, at earliest
in the new month (January); Katonza had twice attacked Kabarega's people,
killed many people, and carried off many women and cattle as plunder. One
of Stanley's men named Sadallah had been left behind ill and was living with
December 21. I have made two copies of my letters to Stanley and put them
in Jephson's wallet.
(These letters are printed in Stanley's In darkest Africa vol. ii, pp. 110-2).
Kabarega is in Mruli. The Acholi disapprove of him because Kiza, the
late chief Anfina's son, was raiding Acholiland. Ruyonga's sons have been sent
to Mwenge and most probably have been killed. The boats did not leave today.
December 23. The boat left today and with it my letter (of 21st) to Stanley.
December 25. Jephson has for days been recalling "Christmas Eve in Old
England"; he was lucky enough in the morning to shoot a Nile goose, which
could be used for the joint and in the evening I asked Jephson, Casati and
Marco to eat with me. An African punch, brewed with hot water, spirits and
honey concluded the festivity.
December 28. A boat came early today from Mswa. A European envelope,
greasy and dirty, and without any address puzzled me greatly. I found therein
a letter in Kiswahili which Stanley and I had addressed on 12 May 1888 to the
"white men" who according to Katonza's information were on the plateau.
December 29, 1888. Suleiman Aga died yesterday evening at half past
ten and we buried him early today. He is a great loss to me because I fear
that an agreement will soon be made by the rebel party with the chief of the
station and everything may be altered.
January 12, 1889. At half past seven in the evening a servant of Shukri
Aga came with the following letter saying that:
"At seven o'clock this morning a man came to me who had been sent by
Mogo with the good news that Mr. Stanley has reached Noosuma. Mogo
has gone there to see him and will soon bring the letter we want from him.
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 69
If God so wills, there will soon come good news like this and I will at once
send it to you."
The letter is dated 12 o'clock today.
January 26. Today at noon a servant of Shukri Aga came with a packet of
'letters. Shukri Aga writes. "At midday today Mogo returned with the letter
herewith which I send with a request for instructions." There is one letter for
Jephson and one for me. (These were the long-awaited letters from Stanley
announcing his return with the remainder of the Relief Expedition. On 28
January Jephson in the Khedive left Tunguru for Mswa and after frustrating
delays, joined Stanley at Kavalli's on 6 February. Emin followed some days
February 13. (Emin wrote to Stanley from a "Camp (below Kavalli)"
"Yesterday I arrived here with my two steamers, carrying a first lot of
people desirous to leave this country under your escort. As soon as I have
arranged the cover of my people, the steamships have to start for Mswa
station to bring on another lot of people awaiting transport.
"With me there are some twelve officers anxious to see you, and only
forty soldiers. They have come under my orders to request you to give them
some time to bring their brothers-at least such as are willing to leave-
from Wadelai, and I promised them to do my best to assist them. Things
having to some extent now changed, you will be able to make them undergo
whatever conditions you see fit to impose upon them. To arrange these I
shall start from here with the officers for your camp, and, if you send carriers,
I could avail me of some of them.
"I hope sincerely that the great difficulties which you have had to
undergo, and the great sacrifices made by your Expedition in its way to
assist us, may be rewarded by a full success in bringing out my people. The
wave of insanity which overran the country has subsided and of such people
who are coming with me we may be sure."
February 14. At 4 p.m. Mr. Jephson came with a party of Zanzibari and
and four Sudanese soldiers together with an officer. He brought me a letter
from Stanley (which Emin has incorporated in the dairy and reads as follows):
St. Valentine's Day, Febr. 14th 1889. Camp at Kavalli's.
My dear Pasha,
Had you observed last evening when we received your letters and under-
stood their contents you would not need to be told that our joy was inexpres-
sible. Mr. Jephson and I were certainly the happiest men in all Africa. Any
better news than what your letters contained would have been too great a
stress on our feelings.
I send Mr. Jephson down to you with Zanzibaris, Manyema, and natives.
Mr. Jephson is instructed simply to submit himself to your wishes. Therefore
you will please state to him what he has to do.
Like a zealous fellow he has suggested a great many "supposes",
but my final answer has been this "not knowing exactly what the Pasha
desires I am unable to advise you. Of course if the Pasha were able to come up
-the Zanzibaris can carry him-I would advise you to bring up only the
personal baggage and provisions that I might have the interview as soon as
possible with the officers, for it may be that all together we could negotiate
with the rebels to the better advantage of the Pasha and his loyal followers.
However it is far better to leave the matter in the hands of the Pasha who
knows the state of affairs better than we do.
70 UGANDA JOURNAL
I expect our caravan here on the 17th or 18tb. A despatch will be sent
off to meet Lieut. Stairs and hurry them all up with the good news.
Believe me, there is no fear of our desiring to be inconsiderate, or pre-
cipitate, now that the advance of the loyal party has actually arrived within
reach. We shall not only be happy to wait for the steamer to go to Mswa,
but also to Tunguru and Wadelay to bring all those willing to leave, with
all their property and, if you consider it advisable, to carry a good stock of
cattle and goats.
Again expressing my delight at the sudden dawning of good time on
the part of the refractory people, and congratulating you upon the accomp-
lishment of what appeared to me a hopeless task, I am my dear Pasha in all
Your most faithfully,
HENRY M. STANLEY.
P.S. Please give my hearty welcome to Signor Casati and your other friends
etc. etc. H.M. St.
February 15. .I have advised Vita and Casati to make use of the porters
who have come with Jephson. Vita raises difficulties.... Casati, who has
always before said he has absolutely no possessions, wants eighty porters......
February 16. Jephson wants some more flour and so delayed the departure
until 7.10 a.m. Shortly before that my oldest servant Bilal, whom I obtained
from Gordon, came, and explained that he does not want to bring his wife and
children to the hills, but to remain here. He has been with me ever since 1876.
I expect others of my servants will follow his example.... I am very sorry.
This is the first time I have marched without making a map. I have not got the
February 17. We were quite ready to march at sunrise and soon after we
had crossed the foreground began a steep and toilsome climb up the mountain
side, often falling down in the steepest places .... At 1 p.m. we were received
in Stanley's camp, where all the chiefs, Zanzibari and local people came to
greet us. Stanley was very friendly, and let us have a well-cooked breakfast.
He was full of promises about the journey.
February 18. I took my officers to Stanley to hear what he had to say to
them. On Stanley saying that he wanted to know what they intended and
what they wanted, they asked him first of all to explain his mission-as I and
Jephson had already done. They were unanimous in saying they wanted to go
wherever he took us. These are fine words, although I am convinced some of
them wanted to stay and see what the rebel party in Wadelai would manage to do.
Towards midday Stanley's rear party arrived under the leadership of Dr.
Parke, Capt. Nelson, and Lieut. Stairs. The caravan looked quite imposing as
it came over the hill, but as it came nearer a lot of s;ck were to be seen.
February 19. I must go back to my lake camp from time to time to look
after the sick; and must present some of my officers to Stanley so that he can
hand to them a letter for the people at Wadelai.
(Emin's officers handed to Stanley a document explaining their wishes
together with one signed by officers at Wadelai. Stanley said he would give
them a written promise to the effect that they would be granted sufficient time
to proceed to Wadelai to collect their troops and their families and embark
them on board the steamers).
February 21. (Emin received a letter in Italian from Casati dated 20
February alleging that on 14 February Rwabudongo had raided the country,
and intended to attack the camp by the lake side. In the afternoon Emin left
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 71
Stanley's camp to return to the lake.)
February 22. (On his way back from the hill station Emin received another
letter from Casati dated 21 February saying that on 19 February Rwabudongo
attacked Katonza and took 400 cattle and many women and killed 100 blacks.
Rwabudongo and Ireta had returned from a raid on the confines of Buganda.
Kabarega had ordered them to concentrate on the island of Bukokwa so as to
attack the lake camp).
February 23. In answer to my questions Katonza says Kabarega has heard
that we want to give up the land in the north and build in the south. He has
given orders to Rwabudongo, Ireta, and Kahuka not to cross the Semliki.
Casati has misunderstood the information given to him.
February 24. At 3 p.m. the Khedive arrived from Mswa with a full load of
women, children, officers, clerks, donkeys and sheep. Kabarega's people have
crossed the river in large numbers near Panyigoro and destroyed Okello and
Boki's villages and carried off some sheep. The Khedive was stranded in a storm;
she lot an anchor and sprang a leak in the keel. With some trouble the steamer
was refloated but is still in a doubtful state. In the same storm the Nyanza
lost zinc roofing (Zinkdach) and we must thank God that the small steamer did
not completely overturn.
February 25. Early today a porter from Stanley brought me the under-
written letter from him, Kavallis, Feb. 24th 1889.
My dear Pasha,
Your note was received yesterday afternoon 2 p.m.
Chief Mpinga on whom I relied for carriers came to report yesterday
morning (23rd) that his people, over-a-hundred, would set out and meet my
Zanzibaris at Bundi (edge of plateau) and together would descend to your
camp. Confiding in his word I send 25 Zanzibaris who will stay at Bundi
until Mpinga's people reach them.
All the chiefs round about, having sent one detachment each to the lake
shore, will not I think repeat their kindness. We therefore must depend on the
Zanzibaris alone which will be equal to about 150 loads per week. Of course
I shall avail myself of all native assistance procurable but it is not to be
Katonza's story was all a hoax. It is the "wolf-wolf". He never keeps
cattle near the Lake. They are always on the plateau in care ofchiefKonumbi,
As soon as Nelson's party arrives I shall send Stairs with 70 or 75 Zanzi-
baris down to your camp. On the return of Stairs I shall send another party
down and so on until all people are up from Lake.
I forgot to ask you whether-all circumstances considered-, it would be
wise for Shukri Aga to remain at Mswa until the arrival of all the people
Your tailor has finished one coat (blue serge) and has cut out two more
coats on which he is at work now. The pair of pantaloons is suspended-
though nearly finished-for want of lining-and buttons. Have you no old
pair of pants which would serve for this?
We are steadily at work building-but it is a slow job compared to the
demands on us. Marco requires two houses as he has so many women.
Casati wants two houses and Vita two and all the clerks want one-
there will be needed some 50 or 60 houses more.
With best regards I am most faithfully yours, HENRY M. STANLEY.
To Emin Pasha
72 UGANDA JOURNAL
About 11 a.m. another load of clerks arrives and our camp appears to
be like a Noah's Ark.
(The vessel brings what Emin describes as "an arrogant letter" from
some mutinous officers of Wadelai. He supplies the names of the writers but
no details as to the contents of their letter).
So soon as the news spread the officers assembled and we resolved to
abstain from travelling until early next day so as to avert possible excesses
at Wadelai. I gave them all instructions and Selim Bey a discretionary power
to remove all weapons. I myself am going to Stanley to inform him of this
new phase in order to warn him and to expedite the transport of the people.
Captain Abdul-Wahab Effendi remains in command of the (Lake) Camp.
February 26. At 7.30 a.m. both steamers depart-the Khedive for Wadelai
and the Nyanza for Tunguru and Mswa. Soon afterwards I marched out ....
February 27. At 11 a.m we met with a friendly reception from Stanley and
his officers and some of our people at our huts, which were ready for us.
(Stanley notes that Emin was accompanied by his six-year old daughter,
Little Ferida. "She is extremely pretty.")
February 28. Lieut. Stairs has gone with 122 porters to the Lake, I have
written to Casati to send Vita and to come himself.
In the afternoon my friend Mpigwa, who lives in a nearby village, came.
During my absence from here Mr. Stanley has made a raid and amongst other
cattle has brought back 50 cows belonging to Mpigwa, who now comes to reclaim
them. We go together to Stanley, who was ready to explain that not only those
fifty cows but the cows of everybody else will be restored, if for each cow five
loads are brought from the Lake. He adhered to this and Mpigwa soon went off,
promising to supply the porters in three days' time.
March 1. Towards evening Kavalli came. He had not previously come
since my arrival.
March 2. At 12 noon Lieut. Stairs came back from the Lake and brought
(amongst others) Vita. A letter from Casati full of complaints about disorder
in the camp.
March 3. Casati arrived at midday.
March 4. Stanley is ill and has not left his tent since yesterday.
March 5. Hawash Effendi has come with the porters from the Lake.
March 8. Stanley is better and has paid me a long and pleasant visit.
March 10. (A party under Nelson was sent to the Lake for Jephson's and
other loads. Presently they returned followed by Nelson. Stanley had them
disarmed by another company after the ringleaders had been tied to the
flagstaff. They were then sent under Nelson to the Lake without arms. In the
evening some Zanzibaris came to Emin asking to be released from this transport
duty and that a transport column be formed with one or two Zanzibaris as
chiefs. They were very friendly and protested to Emin that they were ready to
take him to the coast if he so wished).
March 11. (Stanley drew up a schedule as to the number of loads to be
March 12. (Emin comments on excessive quantity of loads brought up
from the Lake for three clerks.)
March 13. (Similar comments on excessive number of loads of three clerks).
March 14. Shukri Aga arrived at 4 p.m. with five soldiers having left
Lieut. Stairs on the way. Suleiman Effendi and an Egyptian had come from
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 73
Tunguru, and Osman Effendi, Mohamed Shah and some soldiers from Tunguru.
Everybody complained that Osman Effendi shipped his property and left no
room for other people. In Mswa everything is in good order. In Tunguru
there is disorder. On 7 March Selim Bey left Tunguru for Wadelai.
March 15. Early this morning Shukri Aga announced that he wanted to
stay here with the soldiers who came with him and that a large number of
people from Khartum had come to Rejaf.
Towards evening I went to Stanley and after a long discussion which
became somewhat warm on both sides, decided to postpone the march from
here until 10 April. Stanley wanted the march to begin on 30 March. The
result was due to the withdrawal from Wadelai. Here I must observe that as
Jephson once said (in English) "St(anley) may be everything but he never will
be a gentleman". On every occasion I learn something new about Stanley.
March 18. A large caravan has arrived from the Lake: officers, clerks
children and other impediments.
March 19. Further people from the Lake. Shukri Aga reports that he set
out for Mswa on 18 March.
March 22. At 3.30 a.m. Stanley sent his people under the leadership of
Stairs and Jephson on a raid without saying a word about his intentions to me.
They returned after sunset with one wounded man and a lot of cattle
(over 300) besides some women. They had attacked and plundered Melingwa's.
people under the leadership of a son of Mpigwa. The pretext for this raid was
that a local chief had complained that a body of hill-dwellers had stolen 40
of his cattle and some women. I have had a long discussion with Stanley who
is still most obliging.
March 25. Near evening time two of Shukri Aga's men came with some
letters for me. Shukri Aga has not come-only his clerk. On opening the letter
a letter from Shukri Aga fell into my hands. Annexed to this letter were two
documents-one for Mr. Stanley and one for me.
That for Stanley was dated 12 March. (Brief statement follows as to its
contents. The letter to Emin reported that Shukri Aga had arrived at Wadelai
on 4 March and sets out his difficulties).
March 26. Early today Stanley brought his letter saying that the march
would begin on 10 April. Whoever remained behind would have to thank
Stanley came and we again had a long conversation in which to my
astonishment he said amongst other things that I would be assured of a yearly
income of 700 to 800 if I was appointed either by the King of the Belgians
as Governor of the Lower Congo or by Mackinnon as Governor of Mombasa.
In the afternoon I was called to Casati to act as interpreter. Stanley
explained to him the motive for his departure on 10 April to which Casati made
a strong objection from a moral point of view but Stanley overruled him and
he suddenly submitted.
(Emin's diary is from this date full of details of the preparations of loads
for departure on 10 April).
April 7. An early parade and mustering of my people and their weapons.
Finally there came Stanley's servant and spy to summon me to Stanley and I
sent him back to ask what I was wanted to do. He came back again and told
me to come at once, which I refused to do as I am ill.
In the evening Ferida fell down in the street and had a severe contusion
of the elbow which brought on fever.
74 UGANDA JOURNAL
April 9. I have all my instruments packed, cases brought out and every-
thing ready for tomorrow. Later I was going to Stanley to change five sick
Madi, who had been allotted to me as porters and are unable to carry. But he
only sent me an evasive answer. Later he let me know that there were 330
porters ready. At night there was noise and singing until rain dispersed the
April 10. The preparations of the porters began at 6 a.m. without
assistance from anybody. Half an hour later Jephson brought 26 porters. Of
these I sent 13 to Hawash's house, 4 to Vita, 3 for separate clerks and 6 as
extra help for my people; Jephson and Stanley set out and immediately after
them followed the people. I set out at 7.30 a.m. with my servants on foot. The
two donkeys have been taken for sick people.
About 2 p.m. we reached our camping ground-a farmstead belonging to
a chief of Mpinga called Katente. Stanley, who was not carrying anything,
arrived before us and established his camp near ours.
Late in the evening Stanley informed me that he was going to arrange a
raid in order to obtain porters for his and my people.
April 11. At 4 a.m. the raiding party set out. They returned at 5 p.m. and
brought back 60 cattle and 20 goats.
April 12. I reduced my loads to three and marched at 6.30 a.m.
April 13. Stanley is very ill. Gastritis.
April 14. I sent early to Stanley to ask after his health. He sent word to
me that he was a bit better and would be glad to see me. I went to him and
found him in bed. (Parke and Emin had a consultation and prescribed treat-
ment. Parke, op. cit. pp. 415-6, described Emin as being "really well up in his
work as a medical man, considering what he must have forgotten during the
past thirteen years of African life.").
April 15. Stanley had a restful night, but I was early sent for because he
and Parke wanted to have my opinion about painful paroxysms which were
(Treatment was prescribed)
April 16. Mazamboni says our camp is called Nyangabo. His people are
Stanley is a little better today and has slept. I saw him this evening when
he was somewhat feverish. He spoke to me about another raid tomorrow evening.
I must confess I did not say much about this.
April 17. Stanley is undoubtedly better and has for some time been getting
up. I hope that in five or six days we will be able to set out. Four the last few
days I have been investigating Casati's claims. (respecting his personal staff.)
(Their details take up most of pp. 258-60 of the Tagebiicher. Casati
demanded a commission of inquiry into them).
Stanley is better this evening.
At 9 p.m. a party under Jephson and Stairs and my people under Shukri
Aga set out on a raid. I fear the whole land will rise against us. We are in
great need of provisions and Mazamboni brings us absolutely nothing and
Stanley has nothing to give us.
April 18. All my people are away and I myself have had to patrol during
I have not seen Stanley today, though I twice went there. Parke tells me
he is undoubtedly better and has taken food.
At 5 p.m. people returned from the raid. The Zanzibaris have taken a
rich booty of slaves, cattle, poultry and bananas. Regarding this Shukri Aga
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 75
has complained that Stairs and Jephson kept back our people and let the
Zanzibaris do what they liked.
Yesterday Stanley asked for a coffee-mill belonging to Vita.
April 19. Today I again went to Stanley but found him apparently asleep.
Casati has written again. Shukri Aga has been to Stanley and spoken somewhat
bluntly about the methods of the raid and treatment of his people and has
expressed a wish for his people to make a raid without the Zanzibaris, which
Stanley would be very glad to do.
Dr. Parke is very ill. High temperature. High fever. He has stayed for five
nights in Stanley's hot tent.
April 20. Stairs came from Stanley who wants Vita to be "in attendance"
on Dr. Parke. I suspect that if Parke needs service and nursing, not only Vita,
but I myself will next see him. I realize, however, that Stanley cannot under-
stand the attendance on an invalid, which he has received from Parke. So I
made no promise. Then I went to see Parke. High fever.... Towards
evening he was a little better.
April 21. Dr. Parke is a little better. I have not seen Stanley but have
given Jephson an emetic for him as his own remedy was laughable.
April 22. Parke is better. I went to see Stanley, whom I found fully clothed
and sitting on a stool in the fly of his tent. He said he felt much stronger.
April 23. Parke is certainly better and almost free of fever. Jephson is ill.
Towards evening I went to see Stanley but I found him full length in bed,
but he soon showed weariness in his speaking with me. He told me he had
heard that some of my people had failed to arrive and he said he could not wait
for them. Illness brings out the good and bad in people and I regret I must say
with Stanley's officers "There never was a more egotistical person than he"
(words set out in English).
April 24. Stanley has been very restless during the night. I found Jephson
better. Parke was a bit feverish.
April 25. The expedition set out at 8 a.m. Parke, despite his illness receives
so many questions etc. to answer from his colleagues and people that he is
again ill. Nelson is ill. I have seen Stanley. He appeared to be ill and complained
of pains in the liver. He seemed so ill that I went to Parke, whom he trusts,
to ask him to go and examine Stanley and speak to him.
April 26. Stairs went out early with some Zanzibaris to look for a new
camp one or two hours from here.
April 30. The chief Sagara wants ten or fifteen soldiers for help against
Kabarega's people, who have built huts in his neighbourhood and thence
make raids for cattle and women.
Stanley has left his tent today. I have been housebound owing to the heat.
May 3. Stairs came. He had (in English) "an unpleasant message" for me.
(The English text follows)
"Tell the Pasha that, if he seems not very anxious to procure slaves for
his people, I am not anxious at all to do it."
I spoke somewhat sharply to Stairs about this and asked him to tell
Stanley to spare me his "impertinence", as I was not a schoolboy. Jephson was
loath for me to use the word "impertinence". He asked me, however, quite
calmly to say "to mind his own affair,". Dr. Parke, who had been at this scene
had left. When I asked him why he came so infrequently and if he was a thorough
going "Stanleyist", he answered (in English) "Never I shall (be) so, at least
only when pigs can fly".
May 6. I made a contract with Rashid Bin Omar. Stanley's principal
76 UGANDA JOURNAL
headman for three porters at a monthly pay of five dollars to carry my servants'
loads to Usukuma or Zanzibar.
May 8. The march began at 7 a.m. Soon afterwards our camp was set
on fire. Our night quarters are Vunumbe.
(In the afternoon Emin went to Stanley to ask him to wait for Selim Bey so
as to enable him to join the expedition with one hundred old soldiers).
Stanley emphatically explained-and I think he was right-that he could
not do so.
May 9. (Reached Bujungwe). A report reached Stanley that outlandish
(? Manyema) people had attached and burnt Kiriyanga, which lies on our
May 10. (Reached Vurumbe). Received four cows from Stanley.
May 11. At midday reached our night quarters Buvovo or Buhogo and I
found a big hut in the village ready to receive me.
(Kabarega's people reported to be in the vicinity)
May 13. Jephson is ill, feverish, and had to be carried yesterday, Kiriyamo
and the people on the Semliki have capitulated to Kabarega. On this side of
the Semliki Mboga, one of Kabarega's chiefs, will be ready with a lot of armed
men to fight us. In the fight on the day before yesterday there were six to eight
Banasura. They all retreated-some to the mountain and some to the lake.
May 14. We marched almost before day break. (Reached Kiriyamo, a
market place belonging to Kabarega).
May 15. (Nelson sent to find a suitable place for crossing the Semliki).
Jephson is very ill and should he leave Africa in better health (hope to God he
will) he will for years have bouts of fever in Europe. Stairs is ill today. (Nelson
returned from the river towards sunset. All the canoes had been removed by
I went then to see Jephson and Stairs, each of whom has a bad dose of
May 16. Stanley is again ill. Stairs-fever. Jephson-fever. A good outlook!
May 17. Left Kiriyamo. Bakwaiwuga yesterday made blood-brotherhood
(Parke himself gives an account of the ceremony in Personal Experiences,
May 18. Parke has opened a way to the river and the ammunition is on
the other bank. Bakwaiwuga went ahead this morning. On each side of the
river there was incessant firing. Stanley had let me know that, if my people
wanted to cross, everything was ready. I went at once and found him sitting by
the river supervising the crossing of which Nelson was in charge. Stanley was
in a conciliatory mood. I went back and shipped my people and loads across
the river. The crossing place is sixty yards wide with a strong flowing stream,
which was very strong on our side of the river. The bank on which we landed
was somewhat better. We found ourselves near some huts. The Zanzibaris
had established themselves in a large farmyard. There were small huts left
Whilst I was writing these notes, we were all called to arms. Kabarega's
Banasura had hidden in a banana plantation and were firing into Stanley's
camp. The firing was heavy.
The worst of all is that all our cows have disappeared and up to now cannot
(The fullest account of the crossing of the Semliki is that of Parke, op. cit,
pp. 429-30. He and Nelson were the only Europeans physically fit to super-
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 77
intend the operation. Bonny had occupied the opposite bank so as to supervise
May 20. About 6.30 a.m. we began our march along the river to the east.
May 21. We rested today.
May 23. Stanley sent me yesterday privately the information that we would
march early and we came at once into a forest. We at last came to our camping
ground at 7 p.m.
May 24. Yesterday we were in Bwamba. The people have suffered much
from Kabarega's raids.
May 27. All the villages in this district belong to the Bawamba, whose
principal chief is called Mworagongi and resides in Bukoko. All these lands
were once rich in herds of cattle, but these have been taken by Kabarega and
today there are only goats, sheep and poultry there. They are unwilling to
give any geographical information.
May 29. We are now encamped in a small village surrounded by bananas
and maize fields, which are full of pumpkins.
Notes-Yesterday's camp Bssaro. Today's Butaro. Tomorrow we shall
reach Buesse and the day after Bukoko, where we shall sleep two nights. Thence
it is only three days to Busongora. The people here are not Bawamba but
Bartambwa. They speak a modified form of Runyoro.
May 30. A prisoner was brought in by Stanley's people with a flint stock
gun (Victoria Regina, Tower, 1861). This shows we must be very close to
Kabarega's Banasura. We are now in Buesse, whose inhabitants are like the
Bawamba. Our next night's camp is Bukoko, where the Manyema dwell.
Then follows Waranoogwe and then Busongora begins.
May 31. The Manyema have come to visit Stanley. It is only three days
from here to Busongora. From Busongora to Bunyampaka it is six to eight
days. Stanley has ordered every body to collect three days' provisions.
June 1. (Difficulties of collecting provisions set out) The Manyema are
eagerly employed in buying and selling.
June 2. (Once again set out on march to east).
June 3. Stanley himself came-the first time since Kavalli's-to say that
no route had been found and that we must stay here tomorrow. So the people
may be lucky in their foraging.
June 4. (Marched early WSW and then S).
June 5. (A halt whilst exploratory parties go to find a suitable route).
June 6. (Set out at daybreak in a southerly direction and halted by a
river at 3 p.m.).
June 7. (Halted for day to collect provisions).
June 8. (A captured woman says the present camp is called Musukali and
its chief is Mutaregara. It is four days march to Busongora).
June 10. A deputation of eight Bakonjo came. The chief of this district
of Bulega is called Nyamyambogo.
June 11. This was the most agreeable march that I have ever made in
Africa .... Our camping ground in the small Bakonjo village Mtsora or
Mutjora. The people have been dispersed by Kabarega's Banasura. From here
to Busongora is two days. From thence to Bunyampaka is five days. We have
today crossed the small districts of Bulema and Bubenga. Stanley has told
people that it is only three days from here to his former camp in Bunyampaka.
June 12. My people were sent out foraging. Stanley has told me that the
day before our arrival here twenty of Kabarega's Banasura with one hundred
spearmen had been here. In Busongora at the Lake there is a rear guard with
78 UGANDA JOURNAL
many weapons and herds of cattle. Their chief is well known to me. He is a
certain Rukara who once came to see me at Lado. Kabarega's people have
laid waste and plundered Busongora. From here to the Lake is three marches.
From here to Stanley's old camp is about fifteen days.
June 13. Quite early I received the following note from Stanley (in
"Will you be kind enough to muster your principal people and to say
that after tomorrow there is little or no food for several days, 4-5 days.
Therefore they should make provisions for as many days as they can carry
as a reserve.
"I wish all men having rifles to muster before our tent at 9 a.m. with
such young fellows as would like to have rifles."
I at once did what was necessary. Stanley has formed a company and
given them weapons and placed them with my consent under Shukri Aga.
In the evening Shukri Aga came to inform me that all my servants and armed
men had taken service in the company.
I thereupon went to Stanley and told him I would willingly give up three
of my six servants, but three men for keeping watch over my things and two
armed men for my body guard were absolutely necessary. There then followed
an outburst of fury more brutal than that at Kavalli .... First of all I replied
quite calmly, but as more accusations quickly followed I said it would in any
event be best to treat me as a trouble-maker and to leave me where I was and
for him to go his own way.
(Parke, op. cit. p. 439, describes this incident as having taken place on 16
June. He say:-
"The Pasha and Mr. Stanley, who had always been good friends up to
the present, had a row today about making a company of the Pasha's men.
The Pasha said impatiently "You had better leave me where I am, Mr.
Stanley." The latter replied "You can do as you like, Pasha. You are a
thankless, ungrateful man." The Pasha afterwards apologised."
(Parke's dating of the incident is cleary wrong, but his summary of what
took place rings true).
June 14. (An African called our camp Masambo and said it belongs to
Busongora). From here we will go tomorrow to chief Mukasa and the next
day to Kisaka and reach the Lake (Albert Edward) early the following day.
June 15. (Emin records that he apologised to Stanley for his apparent
display of ingratitude regarding Stanley's treatment of him and his people.
See entry under 13 June 1889).
Our night quarters are called Kyamvali and belong to Busongora. For
the first time since 9 April I have slept in a hut.
June 16. Two natives-Basongora-give me the information that our
night quarters are called Kisaka. The chief is Kikamba, a brother of Ireta.
Rukara's station is on the Lake and is called Katwe. Thence to Bunyampaka
is only two days' march. Rukara has been set up as chief by Kabarega. My
acquaintance Kakende of Toro has been driven out by the Banasura and is
now settled in Buganda.
June 17. (Expedition reached Katwe. Stanley proposed to halt next day so
that people could collect provisions.)
June 20. (Expedition left Katwe and is now on the Equator).
June 22. Our night quarters are called Mruli.
June 23. The people of Katwe have a permanent trade with those of
itagwenda (noted by Stanley), where there is a large market place. The
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XIII 79
chief of Kitagwenda is Mukasa, the son of Ruigi, who is ready to acknowledge
Kabarega or Ntare ofAnkole. Perhaps he will come to us. It is a good five days'
march from here to Kitagwenda. No. 1 camp in the open, No. 2 at Nsongi,
No. 3 at Kibale Kyakonya and early on the fifth day at Kitagwenda.
June 24. Reached Kinyayuwi in District of Kitagwenda. After this
Kiramoli and Kigale.
June 28. Stanley has fallen ill today.
June 29. Stanley is still ill.
Captain Nelson was received in a friendly manner by a friendly Muhuma
chieftainess and I learn from him what follows. Our camp is called Mpanga.
Kibale was the last camp and belongs to Toro. We next reach Kasunga Nyanja,
a great salt market, to which the people of Buganda, Karagwe, Mpororo,
Kitwara and Ankole flock. The chief of Kasunga is Mukasa, son of Bulemu, son
of Ruigi, and is now himself called Ruigi.
June 30. Mukasa Ruigi has sent a deputation to inquire whether we are
friends or foes.
I went to Stanley but did not see him. Dr. Parke was preparing an in-
jection for him. Jephson and Stairs are better, but still weak. Bonny is ill with
fever. Casati has not been seen for three or four days. Why?
A second deputation has come to Stanley from Mukasa Ruigi. In his
name Stairs and Nelson have assured him of our peacefulness and friendship.
Stanley is a little better and has let me be informed that he will be able to
July 1. Ten or twelve boats were provided for us. (sc. to cross the estuary
of the Mpanga River). We were soon good friends. They call this place Buku-
rungu. It belongs to Bunyampaka and Mukasa Ruigi is their chief.
Stairs has brought me the following message from Stanley. The first
part of our journey is at an end. The tribes ahead of us are more dangerous
than those behind us. We will have to make longer marches. Stanley has told
his officers that we are very near to his old camp in 1876. It is three hours inland
on a plateau. He is waiting until tomorrow for a visit from Mukasa Ruigi.
(See Early Treaties in Uganda in U.J. 12 (1948), 25, 28-9, and my letter
in U.J. 17 (1953), 189. See also Appendix A, post.)
July 2. I went to Stanley who told me we would certainly have to fight
our way through Ankole.
A boat has arrived from Katwe and the people have told Stanley that
after our departure Kabarega's Banasura had returned and established them-
selves in their former quarters.
July 3. Today Captain Nelson has broken down and is sleeping feverishly.
At 6.20 a.m. we were on our way. Here we are in Ntare's kingdom of Ankole.
People from here with whom I have spoken call the place Tjikumbe and say it
belongs to Ankole.
Nelson is very ill indeed.
The original Bulemu was a grandson of Olimi V, who was supplanted
c. 1852 by Kamurasi as Mukama of Bunyoro (H.H. Karubanga, Bueya Niberwa
(1949), p. 11) This Bulemu was succeeded by a son named Ruigi, who was
succeeded by Mukasa, who on accession assumed the name of Bulemu.
Hertslet, Map of Africa by Treaty, Vol. i, p. 76 and Africa No. 4 (1892).
'Papers relating to the Mombasa Railway Survey and Uganda' state that
Bulemu Ruigi ceded Unyampaka and Kitegwenda to "Bula Matari (or H.M.
Stanley ..... in this moon (May 1888)".
But Stanley was at the south end of Lake Albert in May 1888, and did not
reach Bulemu Ruigi's territory until the latter days of June 1889. The falsity
of this document is accordingly apparent.
When Lugard reached Kitagwenda on 28 November 1891 he was met by
envoys from Mukasa Ruigi, professing friendship. "I therefore reassured him,
telling them that he should retain his country, but would, as in old time, regard
Kasagama and not Kabarega, as his suzerain chief. This, he said, was what he
earnestly desired .... I have not a good opinion of this men Ruigi.... I
determined to build two forts in Kitagwenda with the object of closing the
roads by which powder is brought into these countries" (Africa. No. 2 (1893),
Mukasa Ruigi died of small pox shortly after Lugard's visit.
THE RHINOCEROS VIPER:
A NOTE ON ENVENOMATION AND CAPTURE OF PREY
By J. G. MATTHEWS
The rhinoceros viper, (Bitis nasicornis, Shaw), is to my mind quite the
most beautiful of the East African snakes; the colouring is outstandingly
attractive. For those who have not seen this snake I quote from Isemonger's
description, "The head is bluish-green above, with a dark lance-shaped mark,
with its point on the snout. A vertebral series of pale blue nicked oblongs, each
bisected and bordered with a very narrow bright yellow line extends to the
tail. There is a geometrical pattern of triangles in bright red and greyish-
brown on the flanks".1 The common name of this snake arises from the vertical
scales, like small horns, set on the snout.
I kept one of these snakes for a considerable time, and thus was able to
observe it feeding on a large number of occasions. The food used at each
feeding was a live or freshly killed mouse or a frog. When offered food this
viper never failed to take it. Among herpetologists it is the generally accepted
view that when a viper bites it does so very swiftly and that the bite is followed
by an immediate withdrawal of the head. Thus Fitz-Simons wrote of it :-
"Unlike the back-fanged and elapid snakes there is no holding on after the
bite, but immediate release and withdrawal to the former position of readiness;
this whole action of strike and immediate withdrawal is so quick that it is
often difficult to follow with the eye."2 I therefore think it worthy of record
that my viper, when offered food, seized it instantly, burying its fangs deeply,
but never once released the prey after the initial forward strike. After seizure,
the prey was gripped firmly between the jaws for some minutes. Presumably
this firm grip was to ensure complete envenomation of the prey, and whether
such prey was alive or dead made no difference, the pause, animal in mouth,
always being noticeable and prolonged. The normal procedure of swallowing
then ensued, the viper's long fangs being used alternately, in a finger-like
manner, to push the meal into the throat.
I would have preferred to have observed the feeding habits of this snake
over a much longer period of time, unfortunately the snake developed a re-
spiratory infection (I suspect, virus pneumonia) and died very rapidly. Since
then I have been unable to obtain another viper of the same species. I am,
consequently, left wondering whether holding after the bite is a specific trait of
Bitis nasicornis, or if this was a habit developed by the individual in my posse-
ssion. If in fact such a deviation from normal viper behaviour proves to be
widespread within this species, then it would seem possible that there is a
definite reason for it, and that more prolonged study would therefore prove
In closing I should mention that my specimen was quite a small one;
a long way, I judge, from maturity.
Any correspondence on this subject would be welcome.
82 UGANDA JOURNAL
A brief description of this snake is here appended :
General: The head is triangular, and is very distinct from the neck. Two long,
horn-like scales are set between the nostrils. Remainder of head covered
with small, imbricate scales. Dorsals and laterals are strongly keeled.
Body very thick, and the tail extremely short.
Length: Up to six feet, though specimens of such a size are extremely rare.
Food: Amphibians and small mammals.
Venom: Very powerful. Probably a mixture of haemotoxins and neurotoxins.
Habitat: Damp forest. Found mainly in or under bushes, under logs, large
Temperament: Generally quiet and non-aggressive, but will bite if molested.
Nocurnal in habit.
Other names: "Nose-horned viper" or "River-jack".
Distribution: Uganda and western Kenya.
1. Isemonger, R. M. Snakes of Africa-Southern, Central and East, 1962, p. 159.
2. FitzSimons, V. F. M. Snakes of southern Africa, 1962, p. 25.
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY IN AND AROUND UGANDA
The following table and accompanying map provide a summary of the
spread of Christianity in Uganda and neighboring areas. The dates indicate
the year in which evangelism was first effectively undertaken in an area. Hence
the first Christian teachers to visit Ankole in 1898 have been omitted because
they stayed only about a week, but the 1894 venture to Kavirondo has been
included because one source says there were baptisms as a result of it.
The following initials have been used:
A.I.M. =Africa Inland Mission.
B.C.M.S. Bible Churchmens' Missionary Society.
C.M.S. =Church Missionary Society (Church of Uganda).
M.H.M. = Mill Hill Mission. (St. Joseph's Foreign Missionary
V.F. = Verona Fathers. (Sons of the Sacred Heart).
W.F. = White Fathers.
Bugande .. 1877 C.M.S. Lt. Shergold Smith
Rev. C. T. Wilson
1879 W.F. .. Pere Lourdel
Usukuma (Nassa) 1891 C.M.S. Not the year when this station Baskerville's Journal 13 July 1891
was first started but the date Nassa Account Book, Namirembe Ar-
when the first Baganda went chives
as evangelists outside their S. Kalikuzinga, oral information given
own tribe (N. Mudeka, B. in 1965.
Mudiru, S. Kalikusinga)
Busoga .. .. 1891 C.M.S. F. C. Smith, Rev. E. C. G. Baskerville'sJournal, 20 April 1891
Gordon. and Baganda
1894 C.M.S. Rev. F. Rowling and Baganda Comments on Finance Committee
Minutes, 9 July 1894.
1900 M.H.M. Fr. Van Agt. Catholic Directory, 1965.
Fr. Thoonen, R.C.S. files.
Toro .. .. 1894 C.M.S. Mako Lweimbazi, Petero Nsu- Comments on C.M.S. Finance com-
buga, Nua Nakiwafu, Tito mittee Minutes, 9 July 1894.
Wakibinga N. Nakiwafu in Ebifa November 1911
1895 W.F. .. Pere Achte G. Leblond, Le Pere Auguste Achte,
Catholic Dictionary 1965.
Firipo Bamulanzechi, Andereya
1901 ? in Nyabushozi
1902 Mbarara catechistss)
Peres Salles, Gorju, Varangot
A. R. Cook Journal 3 Dec. 1899
Canon Y. Buningwire, oral information
J.J. Willis Journal 30 Aug. 1901
J. J. Willis Journal 15 Sept. 1902
J.J. Willis Journal 18 Oct. 1902.
Fr. J. Nicolet Yohana Kitagana p. 15
Names of Missionaries
Area Date Mission Names of Missionaries Authority
Mbale area .. 1900 C.M.S. Seme Kakunguru's followers Bishop and Ruffell, History of the Upper
Nile Diocese pp. 2-3
1901 M.H.M. Fr. C. Kirk Fr. Thoonen, R.C.S. files.
Catholic Directory 1965.
Bunyoro .. 1896/7 C.M.S. (Daudi Kagiri? 1895) Mika Fataki, Bunyoro Church
Yairo Musenziranda and Magazine, 1931, pp. 65-7 confirmed
Danieri Kamukukuru by Fisher papers.
W.F. .. Placidi Mutyabi, Gabulieri Oral information from Bazilio Bicocoli,
Kaliisa, Gabulieri Kajura Patrisi Kasaija and Francois Kya-
wera, all recommended as reliable
by Mgr. Wandera.
Mboga .. .. 1895 C.M.S. Petero Nsubuga T. B. Johnson, Tramps round the Moun-
tains of the Moon, p. 57.
Burega .. .. 1902 C.M.S. Andereya Dwakaikara and Mss by Rev. H. D. Muherya s/o
Asanasio Bafirahara Dwakaikara (internal evidence sup-
ports date as a messenger told
Dwakaikara when he was in Burega
of the deposition of Kitehimbwa).
Luzung'ana and 3
Yosua Konge and
Yosua Konge and
Fr. Casari & Fr. Malandra
A. R. Tucker, Eighteen years in Uganda,
Vol. 2. p. 186
Comments on C.M.S. Finance Com-
mittee Minutes July 9 1894.
Canon R. Ogwal: Coming of Christianity
to Lango (undated typescript)
Bishop and Ruffell op. cit., p. 16.
Catholic Directory 1965.
S I -I
Names of Missionaries
Yohana Murusura and etc.
Bishop Geyer & etc.
Rev. Andereya Batulabudde
Crabtree & Rowling
Drs. Sharp & Stanley Smith
A. B. Lloyd; Uganda to Khartoum
Okech, Rwot Lacito: Tekwaro Kiker
Lobo Acoli p. 25 & oral information
Catholic Directory 1965.
Bishop & Ruffell: op. cit. p. 21.
Catholic Directory 1965.
Baskerville's Journal 7 July 1984..
Bishop & Ruffell: op. cit. p. 1.
SWillis Papers: undated account of
S beginnings of work in Kavirondo
Catholic Directory 1965 and Fr. Thoonen's
note on Bp. Hanlon in R.C.S. files.
Roscoe to Baylis C.M.S. Archives 12
See The man and his church by Rev. A.
Kajerero translated C. Hellberg.
Fr. J. Nicolet, Yohana Kitagana. p. 35.
Guillebaud: A grain of mustard seed
(History of C.M.S. Rwanda Mis-
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY IN AND AROUND UGANDA
PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE KIBUGA
By F. B. WELBOURN
In The royal capital of Buganda (p. 122) P. C. W. Gutkind quotes Roscoe's
report that Kabaka Ssuuna II "made the neglect of certain sanitary conditions
in the capital punishable by death". He does not complete Roscoe's report
that a certain medium criticised him, in the name of balubaale, for so doing.
The whole story comes out more clearly in Sir Apolo Kagwa's Basekabaka
(1927 edition, p. 88). One of Sssuuna's bearers slipped on obusa while passing
through a camp of Bakerere and nearly fell. He explained to his master that
he had stepped on empitambi. As a result, three hundred Bakerere were killed
and Ssuuna forbade the depositing of obusa in the capital. Despite Snoxall's
dictionary [busa, o n. XIV dung of animals (not of human beings)]. I am
assured that obusa unqualified (cf. obusa obw'ente. cow-dung) is in regular, if
vulgar, use for human dung. In speaking to a superior the word would be
empitambi, which means only human dung. The story of the encounter between
Ssuuna and the medium is more fully told by M. B. Nsimbi, Amannya Amaga-
nda p. 146 ff. It is plain that what may well have been the first public health
enactment in the kibuga had nothing to do with empirical considerations.
On seeking Mr. Nsimbi's view on the above note it became apparent
that some people interpret obusa as a polite term and empitambi as vulgar, in
contrast to Mr. Welbourn's informant. Mr. Nsimbi writes "Roscoe and Sir
Apolo Kagwa both relate the story of the decree issued by Ssuuna against
the dropping of human excreta in his capital, in much the same way. One
thing I doubt very much is whether Sir Apolo Kagwa used the very same words
uttered by Ssuuna and his bearers and courtiers at the time of the incident.
In those days people had to be very careful of the language they used when
speaking to the Kabaka and other high ranking officials as well as to one's in-
laws. The nouns empitambi, amazi and ebyayi have always been regarded as
vulgar if used in high society and I doubt if anyone would have used such
words in front of Ssuuna. On the other hand obusa unqualified is quite accept-
able, although obubi is the most polite word. Another word bbi (probably
derived from obubi) is now much in use when referring to children's dung.
There are, however, other clauses which people use in order to avoid being
vulgar in public."
Mr. Welbourn also draws attention to the fact that Dr. M. Kiwanuka
in his Ph. D. thesis says that the bearer slipped on animal dung and lied in
saying that it was human.
Other interpretations of the incident would be welcome (Eds.)
A few corrections need to be made to the previous number of the Uganda
Journal, Volume 31 part 2.
Kasagama of Toro pp. 186-187. Two references are made to Mr. and Mrs.
Fisher in 1896 and 1897. These should be to Mr. Fisher alone, since the Fishers
were not married until 1902.
Drums of Padhola p. 192. The clan referred to in the penultimate para-
graph should be the Orua-Lapa (not Orua-Iap). On p. 193 the gombolola
referred to on the third line from the bottom should be Paya (not Paye).
On p. 194 the location (line 7) should read Katajula (not Kitajula), the area
(line 14) is the Yo woko (not Ye woko) and in the last paragraph the clan is the
Amor/Kagulu (not Kugulu). On p. 198, note 3, the clan is the Orua-Dembe,
The Baganda Martyrs is correct in its Luganda version, but a few amend-
ments are necessary in the English version. On p. 212 line 6 of the English text,
the date 1887 needs inserting after January. The very last line should refer to
Bazzekuketta Atanasi (May 27, 1886), (not to Atanansi-May 27, 1887).
The Editor apologises for these, and doubtless many other, errors.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
Mr. L. E. C. Avua is a graduate of religious studies of Makerere University
College and is now working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Stephen Brazier is resident tutor for Kabale and southwest Uganda with the
Department of Continuing Education, Makerere.
Dr. D. A. Cadwalladr is now with the Nature Conservancy in the west of England.
He was Fisheries Research Officer with East African Freshwater Fisheries
Research Organisation from 1962-64 and the Regional Fisheries Officer in the
Fisheries Department on Lake Albert from 1964-66.
Mr. A. T. Matson served with the Kenya Medical Department from 1944-63,
and has contributed several papers to the Uganda Journal. His history of the
Nandi resistance to British rule is about to be published.
Louise Pirouet is a research assistant of the Church Missionary Society and had
worked for the past three years on missionary archives in Uganda.
John Stoneman has been with the Uganda Fisheries Department since 1954
and for ten years has worked in the Lake Albert area. He is now Senior Fish-
eries Officer in the department headquarters at Entebbe.
Mr. A. W. J. Todd has been lecturer in Agricultural Economics and Farm
Management at Bukalasa Agricultural College.
Rev. F. B. Welbourn lectures now in the Department of Theology in the Univer-
sity of Bristol, after having been Warden of Mitchell Hall, Makerere College
for many years.
MEN WITHOUT GOD?
By J. K. RUSSELL
London, The Highway Press, 1966. 7s. 6d. (U.K.)
POLITICS AND POLICIES
An essay on politics in Acholi, Uganda, 1962-1965.
By C. LEYS
Nairobi, East African Publishing House, 1967. 12s.
Publications concerning the Acholi are so rare that one is tempted to
elevate these two essays to the status of "books." Neither Bishop Russell nor
Professor Leys have had anything so comprehensive in mind, however, and
their offerings are mere chapters in the piecemeal study of Acholi-land. The
two essays deal respectively with God and Government-both twentieth-
century imports into northern Uganda-and the limitations of each are self-
imposed. It is only because the subjects are universal that the reader feels he
could have expected more.
J. K. Russell, lately Anglican Bishop of Northern Uganda, has taken as
his text Bonhoeffer's provocation: "God is teaching us that we must live as
men who can get along very well without him." The Acholi, Russell maintains,
are very well aware of this, for dini, or religion, came to them "as something
entirely other, entirely discontinuous with anything previously known." The
work of Okot p'Bitek on the concept ofjok is cited to show that there was no
hierarchy among these enigmatic "spirits": "There was no High God to whom
all knees were bended." Indeed, there is no mention of God or gods in any
Acholi clan ritual; Christianity was thus never allowed to intrude upon the
corporate clan existence.
Early missionaries found it difficult to believe that they were to describe
their message on a tabula rasa. Bishop Russell has used linguistic evidence and
common sense to discredit A. B. Lloyd's testimony that the Acholi wishes to
"worship the white man's God." Further, in an analysis of the texts of the
early preaching in the region, he has explained (as has Father Crazzolara)
the serious misapprehension on the part of the missionaries: their insistence
on finding the equivalent of the Christian Creator-God. The mistake was
compounded by the willingness of the Acholi to listen to the "teachers" tell of
the "Great and Loving Father"; it was not clear that he was seen as that
aspect of the white man's wisdom which brought forth material miracles. It
was only for the very few that Christianity replaced clan ritual.
Social factors (politics, marriage, death) are analysed in an attempt to
explain this condition. In education, the conclusion is that the separation of
"schooling" and "religious practices" has led to a decline in Church-going in
Acholi. There is irony in the admission that the demand for education in the
90 UGANDA JOURNAL
early years was primarily responsible for the success of the Church in Acholi.
The condition of the ministry, ordained and unordained, has been weakened
by the lack of a tradition of voluntary service and insufficient monetary in-
centive. Given these depressing conditions, and the additional stress of politics,
the dedication of the few is remarkable.
In his article on the Acholi concept of Fate, Okot p'Bitek has noted the
irreligious tendency of the Acholi and described their spiritual concern as
"this-worldly." Russell attempts to draw a number of parallels between the
Acholi world-view and Bonhoeffer's denial of religion. But, having charac-
terized the Acholi outlook as being "pragmatic rather than speculative, earthy
rather than heavenly, corporate rather than individualistic," he finds that
Bonhoeffer's premise has no meaning for the Acholi. Undaunted, he turns to
Tillich's thesis that man's "Ground of Being" is Love, and suggests that here
may be a common meeting-ground for the Acholi and western situations. If
so, Russell insists, Christian missionaries must not assume that the outward
forms should coincide.
More important missionary contributions to northern Uganda than
religion were education, agriculture, commerce, and hospitals. When govern-
ment entered the picture as a parallel agency for social service, the Acholi
realized that if they encouraged competition, they would get more material
benefits from each of the institutions. In sixty years the distribution of these
benefits have become policy issues and Colin Leys has considered those issues
which require acts of government. Because of low incomes, almost all govern-
mental actions or decisions are of major importance to the individual, and
government is seen as a source of further income to be obtained by manipu-
lation. Politics, for the Acholi as for others, is the art of the possible: realistic-
ally, they expect some improvements in rural life but not a wholesale trans-
formation of their lot.
This, it seems, is the point of view of the rural voter which Leys has
sought; he claims in his preface to have presented only "a fragmentary glimpse
of some of the political concerns of the district elite." A second objective of
the study was to determine a pattern "in which local politics and national
policies interact." What emerges from the study is an account of the obstruc-
tions to the implementation of policy. These include the formidable divisions
in Acholi society themselves (East v. West, Protestant v. Catholic, UPC v. DP,
clan v. clan) as well as the difficulties inherent in the establishment of any
new political system (the effective use of an impartial bureaucracy, the pursuit
of party rather than public interest).
Although Professor Leys has not allowed himself to speculate on the
possibility of removing these obstructions, he has attempted to define the
demands of the electorate and the issues which evolve therefrom. It was perhaps
premature to seek "patterns of political competition" in the first years of
independent government, but the methods Leys has used in Acholi will no
doubt succeed in future examinations of Uganda's local political scene. This
will be especially true as researchers receive the same excellent co-operation
from politicians who have learned that rural concerns have taken the polis
out of politics.
Makerere Institute of Social Research
J. O. DWYER
MEDICAL CARE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Edited by M. KING
Nairobi, Oxford University Press 1966. 200p. 22 Shs. 50 cts.
There is no doubt that Uganda can be, and is, rightly, proud of the
traditions of its University and teaching hospital at Makerere. A great deal of
valuable research in medicine has been undertaken there, and now Maurice
King's book comes from it as one of its most outstanding Publications. It is
subtitled a Primer on the Medicine of Poverty, for it deals-as do all too few
medical books-directly with the problems of medical care in that vast neglected
half of the world which is still underdeveloped.
For these regions, largely but not only tropical, in Africa, much of Asia,
central and south America, the basic problem is not ignorance of what should
be done but poverty: poverty of funds, of trained personnel, of equipment,
supplies and of good communications. This therefore is a symposium designed
to help the student and the doctor in his work especially in the poorer and
remoter parts. Here are numerous practical hints and new approaches, bring-
ing the most necessary and modern medical techniques to bear in an economical,
simple, and efficient manner where they are most needed. It ranges widely
over problems of medical administration, hospital and health centre practice,
the design of buildings and sites, the best deployment of professional and
auxiliary personnel available, laboratory techniques, choice and use of drugs
and anaesthetics, maternity and child welfare, health education, blood trans-
fusion and emergency surgery, radiography, mental health, malnutrition and
the supply and choice of library facilities for the staff.
The constant stress is on economy, simplicity and feasability. Out of a
number of Professor King's axioms stand out most clearly the duty of the
doctor to teach as well as heal, to teach other doctors, students, nurses, auxilia-
ries, and the whole field of hospital and public health staff, and to spread out
to unreached areas, to extend the range of medical care to reach every village
and every patient with some help before further improving the lot of the
fortunate few in the large cities.
In fact the whole book has a distinctly missionary atmosphere about it.
This is not surprising when one notes that the editor began the book after
doing a locum for Dr. Peter Cox, a medical missionary in what is probably the
remotest hospital in the country, at Amudat in Karamoja. He had in mind the
great lack of suitable texts to guide doctors in just such situations, and thus
helped to spark off a conference, supported by WHO and UNICEF, on health
centres and medical care which attracted doctors of like mind to put together
their ideas. They included government doctors, medical missionaries, lecturers
from Universities in Africa and Britain, and laymen. Of particular interest to
readers of the Uganda Journal will be the chapters written by Professor D.
Jelliffe on malnutrition, Dr. P. Stanfield on immunisation, Dr. J. Bennett on
health education, three distinguished teachers whose chapters are based on
work done in Mulago, at Kasangati, and elsewhere in Uganda, and the chapter
on progressive medical care by the medical missionary brothers, Peter and Ted
Williams in the West Nile. In fact 42 of the 73 contributors were working in
Uganda, though some, like the editor himself, who recently accepted the
Chair of Preventive Medicine at Lusaka, are no longer in the country. Too few
of the writers are Africans, and it is to be hoped that future editions will find
chapters increasingly written by them.
92 UGANDA JOURNAL
A few minor criticisms are the lack of a chapter on occupational health,
for all too few medical assistants and nurses in tropical estates, factories and
even mines know how to set about their work adequately. There is a rather
irritating lack of the normal page numbering, for though the sectional key
numbers with their good cross references should stay, page numbering as well
would save time in locating material. The additional printed sheets sent out
with copies of the East Africa medical journal are a good idea.
Dr. King claims to be only the editor of this work, but apart from his own
chapters, he is much more than merely an editor. Into the whole book has
gone something of his spirit and enthusiasm which gives it a uniform character
of compelling interest and value. His devotion to the task of putting all this
complex technical information together became almost legendary in the
Medical School. He gave every spare hour, often late into the night, and those
who worked close to him and saw him often as I did, could not fail to catch
his infectious enthusiasm and admire his minute attention to detail in the
revision. The numerous sketches, diagrams, charts and graphs were all his own
labour, and his room fulfilled his own axiom, that the right equipment for the
job was in the end the most economical and efficient. The result is invaluable,
and should be in the hands of every doctor who wishes to practise medicine
in developing countries, and in the hands of a good many others in related work.
AFRICAN ELITE-MAKERERE COLLEGE STUDENTS 1922-1960
By J. E. GOLDTHORPE
Nairobi, Oxford University Press, 1965, 109p., (East African Institute of
Social Reasearch, East African Study, No. 17)
In this interesting book, Dr. Goldthorpe draws on the Makerere College
Register, and on information obtained from his follow-up of 55 men who left
the College during the 1930s, and a survey he carried out in two stages in
1958 of students in residence at Makerere. He sets out "to make a systematic
survey of Makerere students, and the roles and characteristics finally acquired
by these elites when they left school".
The book traces the tribal and family back-grounds of the 1700 students
covered in the survey; it describes the system of schools through which they
came, and their experience on the way; and it describes the students' problems
of adjustment, their careers, and their styles of life. The general picture which
emerges is that between 1920 and 1960 Makerere held a key position for
African aspirations. The students' social origins, though sophisticated compared
with those of East Africa generally, were humble compared with students
elsewhere. The path of the African child who sought entrance to a
secondary school and Makerere, was beset with many difficulties. The
Pilgrims Progress was a pleasant Sunday afternoon walk compared with the
scholastic swamps, precipices, thorn thickets, and miscellaneous obstacles
which faced the intrepid African child who set off on a narrow road leading to
a diploma or degree.
Dr. Goldthorpe's African elite is at once a penetrating sociological account
of Makerere students in pre-independent East Africa, and a misinterpretation
of African conditions, especially in those sections where subjective judgements
are made of the relationships between the African elite, and his fellow Africans,
Europeans and Asians.
The Makerere students are a product of the educational system of the pre-
independence era in East Africa, and this system seems to have had limited
objectives. As Goldthorpe ways, the educated Africans were wanted, under
British rule, firstly as teachers; next as medical men, and thirdly to staff the
agricultural and veterinary extension services. The stability in career of most
Makerere men referred to later in the book was in part due to these limited
and specific jobs for which they had been prepared.
In describing race relations in East Africa, Goldthorpe says these were
not easy, due mainly, to the shortcomings of the African elite. "One factor in
this situation was that most educated Africans at that time lived in such poor
houses that they felt unable to offer reciprocal hospitality to Europeans." He
also talks of the irritation which could be caused by "The rather prevalent
habit among educated Africans of accepting invitations to meals which they
did not turn up to eat, and being generally slapdash about times, places, and
arrangements." To me it seems rather odd that the blame was so one-sided.
Dr. Goldthorpe described one instance in which he visited the home of a former
Makerere student. He was given "cloud-grey water in a glass; I drank it with
misgivings." He was also entertained to "tea, African style-half-milk, heavily
sweetened, and flavoured with ginger, and stale thick slices of bread and
butter." If this is how hospitality in an African home can be described, is it
any wonder that you do not get invited again? These are only a few examples,
of some of what I have described as a misinterpretation of African conditions.
Nevertheless, the book for the period it describes, fills in an important
gap in sociological literature in East Africa. One only hopes, as does Dr.
Goldthorpe, that a study of how the educated elite stands in the present
"confusion" between traditional and western values can be undertaken by
one of the elite group.
Department of Educational Psychology, B. OTAALA.
Makerere University College.
FACTORS AFFECTING INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT:
A STUDY OF UGANDA EXPERIENCE 1954 TO 1964
By A. BARYARUHA
Nairobi, Oxford University Press 83p., Shs. 8 (East Africa only). (East
African Institute of Social Research, Occasional Paper, No. 1).
The author states that his study was prompted by the failure ofemploy-
ment to expand in the last few years. This is perhaps an understatement of the
situation in Uganda since, as the figures in the study reveal, employment has
actually declined over the last few years; in 1964, 224,894 people were in paid
employment compared to 259,220 in 1954, a fall of about 13% on 1954 figures
(table IV, p. 7). Another way of looking at this problem is that nearly 35,000
jobs will have to be created in order to restore the 1954 employment level;
this is equivalent to one-third of the new jobs expected to be created under the
2nd Five-Year Plan 1966-71. This phenomenon must be viewed against a
94 UGANDA JOURNAL
population increase of about 2% per year combined with a higher emigration
of people from the rural areas to urban centres. Thus the challenge to the
government is first to arrest this decline and then expand employment.
At the same time there has been substantial increases in output over the
same period, so that fewer people have been producing more. This would lead
one to the conclusion that employers have either been substituting capital for
labour or improving the productivity of their labour force, through better select-
ion, training, and stabilization of their labour force. Accordingly, the author
made careful studies of six firms in an attempt to assess the importance of these
factors regarding employment, and the body of the study is taken up by a
report of his findings in these case studies. The firms selected were Nyanza
Textiles, Uganda Breweries, British America Tobacco, Kilembe Mines, Sikh
Saw Mills and Madhvani Sugar Works. These case studies produce diverse
results: for instance Nyanza Textiles and Kilembe Mines have both increased
employment substantially while B.A.T. and Sikh Saw Mills are conspicuous
by the rate at which they have reduced their labour force. The Uganda Brew-
eries and Madhvani Sugar Works have also reduced their labour force but
not to the same extent. In cases where information was made available concern-
ing investment an attempt was also made to relate capital to labour (i.e.
capital needed per job created) and capital/output relationships.
One conclusion which stands out clearly in these case studies is that the
minimum wage legislation of 1963 which substantially raised wages in the
lower brackets has been a major factor in inducing employers to adopt capital
intensive techniques. This process has been greatly facilitated by the avail-
ability oflabour-saving machines due to technological advances in more deve-
loped countries; but some labour saving devices would have been introduced
even without minimum wage legislation just to keep up with technological
advances elsewhere. While the profit motive could be blamed for this sub-
stitution it is interesting to note that employment in the public sector has not
increased either: in fact since 1959 the level of employment in the public
sector has been declining, a point which is not mentioned in this study. This
must be an indication of the limitations on the choice of technique in produc-
tion amid advanced technology elsewhere. For instance in the construction
sector which is directly or indirectly (through the tender system) controlled
by the government very little has been achieved in the way of adopting labour
intensive methods of production. It is noteworthy that a Conference on
Education, Employment and Rural Development held in Kericho in 1966
was not "convinced that there is any major opening for labour-intensive
manufacturing, processing, craft or cottage industry" in Kenya.
This book would have benefited greatly from an expansion of the third
chapter concerning conclusions and policy implications. For instance no
attempt is made to justify the ranking of factors which have contributed to
labour productivity; one might ask why better nutrition is ranked eighth in
affecting labour productivity in Sikh Saw Mills and Madhvani Sugar Works
but fourth in Nyanza Textiles. Even subjective evaluations need some justi-
fication. Nor is the recommendation that escalation of salaries should be
halted especially at the top justified as the study itself shows that wage in-
creases have been most rapid in the lowest brackets.
It would also appear that the author paid too little attention to trade
union activity in Uganda with respect to wage determination. Trade unions
can swell a firm's wage bill, not by fighting for increased wages per month but
by negotiating for fewer working hours. Also the labour cost to a firm could
increase by granting (under trade union pressure) such things as better housing,
longer leave and other fringe benefits. Concentrating attention on wage rates
may mask important developments in this area. Trade union activity must
have scared employers in another respect with the achievement of indep-
endence under majority rule. This must have acted in favour of machines which,
after all, do not go on strike. These are some of the considerations which
ought to have been discussed at length after the case studies, in order to buttress
the valuable work embodied in the case studies.
Department of Economics, Y. KYESIMIRA.
Makerere University College.
MONEY IN AN AFRICAN CONTEXT
By W. T. NEWLYN
Nairobi, Oxford U.P. 1967, 156p, Shs. 12.
Mr. Newlyn's book, which is the first in a series under the heading
"Studies in African Economics" published by the Oxford University Press,
sets out and applies monetary theory to African economies, in particular to
the three East African territories of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The
author is perhaps uniquely qualified to undertake this task as not only is he a
noted authority on monetary theory and finance, but he has been closely
connected with the economic affairs of East Africa since 1951.
In the standard texts on the subject, monetary theory has usually been
applied to fully developed economies, and it was while preparing a course of
lectures on money and banking at Makerere University College that the author
came to realise the need for a book which would apply monetary theory and
analysis in the context of less sophisticated monetary systems such as those in
the developing countries of Africa. The book is addressed primarily to students
at University degree level, but the subject matter is presented clearly and
logically, and should not present undue difficulty to the interested general
In the first chapter Mr. Newlyn sets out to analyse the nature of monetary
development and describes five analytical stages in the progression from a
simple barter economy to a fully developed monetary system. This develop-
ment is illustrated by reference to the English monetary system, upon which of
course the East African system has been based. An interesting feature of
African development is that by virtue of the superimposing of sophisticated
monetary practices on primitive systems all these five stages can be found taking
place at one and the same time. The book proceeds in the next chapter to
examine the determinants of the money supply in a general form applicable
to any monetary system, to present a definition of money and to discuss the
relationship between primary and secondary money, i.e. currency and bank
deposits. The supply of money is then considered with the origin and function
of the East African Currency Board described, and the development of
banking in East Africa. The purpose and functions of a Central Bank are set
out in detail and it is pleasing to note that the author takes a moment to
correct the widely held misconception among the un-informed that the Com-
mercial Banks suck out money from exploited underdeveloped countries. In
fact as Mr. Newlyn points out, the Commercial Banks in East Africa at least,
are over-committed. After examining the general accepted analytical model of
96 UGANDA JOURNAL
monetary equilibrium and indicating its application in economies such as
those of East Africa, the author goes on to discuss fiscal policy and the intro-
duction of the Central Banks in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The diagrams and graphs throughout the book are well prepared and
complement the text, and the writer although concerned to offer a serious
study of a complex subject, has produced a lucid and engaging style that makes
Money in an African context a thoroughly readable as well as instructive work.
R. E. MANKELOW
FOREST INSECTS OF UGANDA: AN ANNOTATED LIST
By K. W. BROWN
Entebbe, Government Printer, 98p., Shs. 10.
As stated in the sub-title, this is an annotated list of the insect species of
forestry importance, collected by the Entomology Section of the Forest
Department. The work has been going on since the section was started in 1957.
In comparison with temperate regions, fundamental biological studies have
had to wait in Uganda, while as Mr. Brown says in his introduction, "more
important and economically urgent research" had to be carried out. Never-
theless, some 2,000 insect species have been collected together with information
on their host plants, habits and control methods.
This small book is arranged in two sections. The first covers the insect
species list under seven orders: Coleoptera (21 families), Diptera (5 families),
Hemiptera (8 families), Hymonoptera (12 families), Isoptera (3 families),
Lepidoptera (21 families) and Othoptera (3 families). In the second part, from
which insects which are parasites, predators and scavengers are omitted, the
species are arranged under their host trees. Those working on insect pests
in Uganda and elsewhere will welcome the book for, as Mr. Brown says, the
insects are neither restricted to Uganda nor to its forests. Unfortunately, the
author who has now departed from Uganda, does not foresee its rapid revision,
but envisages periodic amendments. (There is no date on this first edition but
internal and other evidence indicates that it was closed in 1966 and published
in 1967). The author is to be congratulated on producing it.
Faculty of Agriculture, W. B. BANAGE
Makerere University College,
THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT
By R. BERE
London, A. Barker, 1966, 21 Shs.
"I have to be at my grave when I die", the elephant is reputed to confide
to itself. And does it do it? In The African Elephant, Rennie Bere, formerly
Director of Uganda Parks fascinatingly recounts many tales about the ele-
phant. He also tells several interesting elephant stories.
The African Elephant is a well written layman's book, profusely illustrated
with very good photographs, many of which are in colour. Both adults and
children will enjoy Rennie Bere's most recent contribution to the documentation
of East Africa's wildlife.
Uganda National Parks
F. X. KATETE