Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Professional needs in agriculture...
 Sorcery accusations among the Kiga...
 The young Basoga and Abataka Association:...
 The politics of education in Uganda...
 The process of Islamisation in...
 The effects of removing leaves...
 Colour polymorphism in the grasshopper...
 Back Cover

The Uganda journal
External Link ( Journal issues, 1999-2002 )
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080855/00082
 Material Information
Title: The Uganda journal
Abbreviated Title: Uganda j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 22-24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Uganda Society
Publisher: Uganda Society etc.
Uganda Society etc.
Place of Publication: Kampala etc
Publication Date: 1976
Frequency: irregular[1976-<1995>]
semiannual[ former 1934-]
annual[ former <1948>-1973]
completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Periodicals -- Uganda   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Uganda
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- 1934-
Numbering Peculiarities: Suspended May 1942-Mar. 1946; replaced by the Society's Bulletin.
Numbering Peculiarities: One issue published every few years, v. 38 (1976)-<v. 42 (1995)>
Issuing Body: Vols. 11-13 published in London.
General Note: Journal of The Uganda Society (formerly The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society).
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ABS8002
oclc - 01644239
alephbibnum - 000301510
issn - 0041-574X
lccn - 52026895
System ID: UF00080855:00082
 Related Items
Related Items: Uganda journal

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Professional needs in agriculture in Uganda
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Sorcery accusations among the Kiga of Mulago village
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The young Basoga and Abataka Association: a case study in chiefly politics in colonial Busoga
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    The politics of education in Uganda 1964-1970
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    The process of Islamisation in Uganda 1854-1921
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The effects of removing leaves by birds on the performance of Cymbopogon afronardus in Rwenzori National Park, Uganda
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Colour polymorphism in the grasshopper Homorocoryphus nifidulus vicinus (orthptera tettig, conocephalidae)
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

The Uganda Journal


Vol. 38





1964-1970 -

1854-1921 -





'7. 6 og 5



UTE LUIG 11-32


A. R. NIBAMBI 58-82

A. B. K KASozI 83-108



K. NSUBUGA 118-119





The Office Bearers For

Mr. P. Karani


Mr. M. Kagwa



Hon. Secretary
Hon. Treasurer
Hon. Editor
Hon. Librarian

Hon. Auditors

Dr T. Tuma
Mrs. M. Macpherson, M B E.
Dr A. B. K. Kasozi
Mr. J L. Dixon
Dr. Turyahikayo-Rugyema
Mr. J. W. Arube-Wani

Mr. D. A. Zabasaija
Mr. B. K. Muwanga
Dr. J. W. Muwonge
Mr. P. Birungi

Sekabanja & Co.

Mr. P. N. Kavuma

Mr. H. S. Nsubuga

Mr. C. M. Kisosonkole

Administrative Secretary Mrs F. Katuramu
Library Attendant M r. A. Kato


The Journal of the Uganda Society

Published by
P.O. Box 4980

@ Uganda Society 1976

Published in 1976.

Vol. 38





1964-1970 -

1854-1921 -







UTE LUIG 11-32


A. R. NSIBAMBI 58-82

A. B. K. KAsozI 83-108



H. K. NSUBUGA 118-119

. W. LANGLANDS 120-125


Agriculture is not only one of ments basic activities, but
also of his most complex. It involves continuous interactions
between soils, climate, microorganisms, crops, pastures,
natural plant and animal communities, livestock, markets, costs
and manhimself and his environment. Consequently the training
of appropriate professional men and women to assist guide the
destiny of farming activities is of utmost importance.
This paper advances the view that in educating agricultural
scientists in contrast to what could be called 'specialists in
fields of science involved in agriculture' there is need to stress
the understanding of fundamental biology and economics of this
complex. It is only in this way that the student can comprehend
the interrelations between its components and see specialised
knowledge in perspective. Thus the objective of the first degree
level should not be to produce graduates trained for specialised
aspects of agriculture or science. It should instead strive to
provide deep understanding of biological systems from the cell
to the ecosystem and ecosphere, the interrelations of ecology
and economics, and the manipulation of agricultural ecosystems.
Another way of describing the philosophy of the first agriculture
degree is to say that it should be problem and policy oriented,
andnot subject oriented. It should enable the student to under-
stand that the subjects are a means to an end and not an end in
themselves. In otherwise, it should not be directed to detailed
training in practical agricultural techniques but rather to the
production of graduates that have the understanding needed for
asking the right questions in approaching agriculture and other
biological and ecological problems, and for learning most effi-
ciently from experience.

* Lecture to the Uganda Society 28th April 1976.

In contrast to Medicine both Human and Veterinary, Law
and Clergy, for example, it appears no comprehensive legally
based provisions, permitting exclusive operations to professional
agriculturists exist. Thus farmers, extension staff and the
public are free to learn and practice a variety of practical
agricultural techniques ad libitum. This situation calls, in my
view, for the agricultural graduate to concentrate on in-depth
understanding of the ecosystems and their manipulation to the
ultimate benefit of mankind.
While it is not possible to predict the likely career and
post-graduate training opportunities in particular fields four
or five years ahead (the time of most interest to commencing
students) there are no grounds for believing that opportunities
for contemporary agricultural graduates will be restricted given
the preceding training premises. Broad training opens up a
wide range of possible fields of postgraduate and career spe-
cialisation and provides flexibility in both taking advantage of
immediate employment opportunities and in changing careers as
interests develop and opportunities offer. The circumstances
of modern life inevitably mean that there will be changes in the
needs and demands for different types of professional expertise.
A broadly based course provides the flexibility needed for
adapting these changes.
Against the stated background a Bachelor of Science in
Agriculture graduate may specialise in one of the following
fields, or approved combinations of them:
1. Agricultural Engineering
2. Agronomy
3. Animal nutrition

4. Animal production systems
5. Botany
6. Biochemistry
7. Ecology
8. Economics
9. Education
10. Genetics
11. Horticulture
12. Microbiotic associations
13. Social science
14. Soil conservation
15. Zoology.

To date, in Uganda, only few areas of possible speciali-
sation have been exploited. These include Agricultural Engineer-
ing, Pasture agronomy, Animal Nutrition, Agricultural
Economics, Education, and Genetics. Career opportunities of
a broad based curriculum at the undergraduate level of the
Agriculture degree includes a wide range of opportunities not
only in agriculture and related fields, but also in fields in which
sound grounding in basic science and applied ecology is required.
At present the main fields which Agricultural graduates enter
are agricultural administration and extension, research, teaching
atUniversity and Schools and in para-agricultural institutions.
Future trends are likely to open fields in commerce, industry,
pure biological research, wildlife research, radio and television,
agricultural trade attaches, University administration, and Farm
Management consultancy.
Agricultural extension involves working with primary
producers as individuals and groups in extending scientific,
technical and economic knowledge and advice to them and assis-
ting in their management decisions. Extension officers have to

keep themselves abreast of scientific, technical and management
advances and relate these to problems in their districts/areas.
They are also involved in answering technical and management
enquiries from producers, preparing press, radio and television
extension material, and organising extension programmes.
There are about 1500 extension staff in the field of agri-
culture out of which about 130 are graduates and the rest are
diplomats, certificate holders and in-service trained field staff.
It is estimated that there are 1,500,000 farm holdings in Uganda.
Thus currently each extension staff is theoretically responsible
for about 1000 farm holdings. This situation under ideal condi-
tions would result in each farm holding being visited at most, once
every three years. In a number of agriculturally advanced
countries there is one extension staff per 500 farmers most of
vhom are easily accessible by road, and telephone. The impli-
cation of just the numerical shortcomings of extension staff in
Uganda's agriculture is seen in a serious perspective against
the background of Uganda's multitude of seasonal food and cash
crops and in particular the second major and annual cash crop
namely cotton.
In the light of the above background it seems worthwhile
to re-define the role and functioning of extension staff with a
view to ameliorating a situation that can be described artisti-
cally as: "an almost invisible thin painting on a vast canvass".
The needto sharpen our focus on selected "critical crops" such
as cotton has never been greater. This concentration could be
done in a similar fashion as was done for tea and tobacco where
various cadres of staff were regrouped and are now devoted
exclusively and entirely to the two crops.

Agriculture and Biochemistry Research.
Agriculture graduates have the basic science background

to enter a wide field of research in agriculture and related
sciences including agronomy i. e. crop and pasture production;
soil sciences; plant and animal biochemistry, physiology and
nutrition; genetics, andplant and animal breeding; microbiology;
parasitology; sheep, goats, beef and dairy production; poultry
and pig sciences.
In agricultural production there areon the one hand positive
factors that enhance increased and better quality products such
as correct and optimum fertilizer application. On the other hand
there are negative factors which limit production and producti-
vity. It appears that one of the most important constraints in
crop husbandry, particularly in Uganda's context, is crop
diseases. Uganda is renowned for possessing a pleasant climate,
relativelyfertilesoils and high rainfall reliability in most parts
of the country. These physical attributes unfortunately favour,
as well as people, a wide range of crop and animal pathogens
including not only microorganisms but larger pests in the arth-
ropod, fungi, nematode, avian and mammalian groups of biological
science. As an example and in the cotton industry alone it is
estimated that effective control of pests at the agronomic level
would result in nearly doubling the crop yield. To-date virtually
all the basic research in chemical control of crop pests is
conducted outside the borders of Uganda. There seems to be
an urgent need for indigenous scientists to address themselves
to this important area of research with a view to perfecting
effective and cheap biochemical and/or chemical control methods
in the entire crop industry.
Another related and equally important area of research is
that of chemical fertilisers. Uganda's economy is based on two
main cash crops namely coffee and cotton. Both these crops for
years have been exported to overseas markets in the form of
coffee beans and lint respectively. With the beans and lint is

exported thousands of tons of nutrients largely responsible for
the structure of the products. These nutrients need to be
estimated and appropriately replaced in the environment if the
fertilityofsoil is tobemaintained and even improved. Presently
chemical fertilisers are largely products of fossil fuel energy.
Recent steep and upward trends in petroleum by-products has
affected the availability of chemical fertilisers to farmers at
prices which can be borne by them and the ultimate consumers of
their products. There seems to be need to initiate, and where
present, intensify research in alternate sources of fertilizer
including that naturally available in the recycling process viz A.
Water is one of the major requirements in crop, pasture
and animal production. Indeed most crop and animal products
contain over 50% water. Rainfall reliability in most of Uganda
is higher than in many tropical countries. The pattern which
isbimodal in practically all areas would appear to lend itself to
an adequate distributionof water for the farming systems. How-
ever, thecapacityof different soils for retention of the precipi-
tation and eventual use by crops and animals is a subject which
requires research for different ecological areas. Further,
there is need to define the water requirements of different crops
at different stages of their growth. Once this is done there
would be the formidable task of extending and applying the results
of the research to farmers in existing and new farming systems.
The Uganda Government has two major crop research
centres namely the Namulonge/Kawanda complex in Central
Uganda and Serere Research Station in Eastern Uganda. With
a total number of 61 at Namulonge/Kawanda complex and 16 at
Serere Research Station their 3 seems to be a numerical paucity
of an important cadre of staff in agricultural production. Further,
agricultural research is more and more demanding a broad

integrated approach to problems as well as highly specialised
knowledge. Makerere University's crop and animal science
departments of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry are
making substantial contributions to the research efforts. Its
actual and potential establishment stand at 22 and 30 staff res-
pectively. The faculty in addition to its undergraduate teachings
of 300 students in the three year course trains on average 20
post graduate students per annum in the fields of crop, animal
science and agricultural economics.

Secondary School Teaching.

Agricultural graduates with a postgraduate diploma in
Education teach agriculture in Schools. This is in line with
Government policy aimed at exposing youth to agricultural sub-
jects and making them aware of the central position of agriculture
in Uganda's economy. A combination of an agricultural degree
and journalistic ability can lead to careers in the agricultural
press, radio, and television and in extension writing for the
Department of Agriculture and Research Centres. There is
growing need for persons able to work at the interface between
agricultural production, and food transport and processing.
Post graduate training in food technology is a subject under
active discussion at the University. The human, or sociological,
problems of agriculture are as important as the ecological and
economic ones and are often much more complex. There seems
to be a need to consider strengthening the component of rural
sociology in the under-graduate and postgraduate agricultural
curricula in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
InUganda'scontexto day large individually owned proper-
ties arefew. However, parastatal bodies and their subsidiaries
e.g. Agricultural enterprises, Uganda Livestock Industries
benefit by management headed by graduates of agriculture. In

the fulness of time it is conceivable for graduates with experience
tomanage their own properties full time or on a part-time basis
and operate a consulting service at the same time. This combina-
tion can provide a more certain income than farming alone, and
provide an opportunity to contribute to the development of a
district. Of particular importance in the strategy of integrated
agricultural development is the gradual rise in the number of
farmers who undertake farming as a commercial activity. In the
long term such commercial farming must be developed from the
current millieu of small peasant farms. It has already been
noted that small holder peasant farms cultivate on average 6-10
acres of crops to support a family of 5 6 persons and earn a
cash income (if any) tomeet needs outside the subsistence living.

Considering specifically the issue of agricultural adjust-
ment, the Uganda Government, supports four levels of operations
n :mely: individual farmers, co-operative farming, company
farming enterprises and state farms. Firstly, it is the intention
of Government to concentrate on increasing the productivity of
existing units through improving quality and numbers of extension
services, increase the size of holdings from the present 3
hectares, wherever possible. In this way, it is hoped that larger
and more economic units will emerge. These will also be super-
vised by better personnel as well as supported by more agricultu-
ral credit.
With regard to Co-operatives, Company and State farms,
the current sizes of the units are very much larger and farm
level adjustment is being focused on increasing the equipment
on these farms, improving labour productivity and adapting the
composition of the output to changing market needs.
There is, nevertheless, a relative scarcity of fuel power
(and this is at inflated prices), so essential in enhacing agri-

cultural production on larger units. This factor coupled with
the inflexibility occassioned by the Lxistence of a large hectarage
of aged perennial crops (coffee and bananas in a big proportion
of the fertile crescent) compound the problem of implementing
rapidly and efficiently thepolicy of agricultural adjustment. One
important "fall out" of the situation is the relative inability of
the professional agriculturist to exploit to the full his training
inmostof the fields particularly in agricultural engineering and
animal production systems on the average "mini" farm holding.
The question is what can the professional agriculturist do on a
1-2 hectare farm holding to improve productivity in the given
situation? Answers to this question, seem to the author, to be
one of the major challenges of both teachers and professional
agriculturists on the contemporary agricultural scene in Uganda.
In this paper an attempt has been made to explore the
professional needs of Agriculture in the contemporary situation
of Uganda. Some salient features that emerge from the text are
as follows:

1. Trained and skilled manpower in the basic undergraduate
course and post graduate specialisations have been given due
priority within the limitations of the country's resources. Some
key special isations in the field of research e. g. disease control,
fertilizer industry, water requirements and availability for
various crops appear to demand urgent emphasis.

2. There appears to be a need to review the role of extension
staff particularly in the context of a multitude of small holding
units serviced by a limited modern communications network.
Cotton and coffee which between them are responsible for over
80% of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings seem to deserve a
bigger share of this important in-put. For the rest of the crops
a radical approach, in the circumstances, deserves serious
study. One such approach can be the use of specific radio and

television channels addressed to farmers on a daily basis. In
any case a cost/benefit analysis of the existing extension service
would appear a reasonable exercise.

3. The complex subject of agricultural adjustment involves
an interface between economics and sociology. Uganda's popu-
lation is increasing at the rate of about 3. 5% per annum. The
land and water areaof the country is static. In a situation where
over 80% of the population derive their livelihood direct from
the land the conclusion seems clear namely that areas of farm
holdings will continue to diminish with the passage of time.
Against this background there seems to be a twin responsibility
of increasing the productivity of existing and potential farm
holdings as well as providing alternative opportunities for
employment in non-primary agricultural sectors of the economy.

Finally it has to be stressed that this paper was not designed
to produce "answers" to agricultural problems but rather to
stimulate thought on selected areas highlighted in the text. It
is with circumspection that all people interested in Uganda's
agriculture and well being including professionals, public
officers, and farmers are invited to make their contributions to
more in-depth studies of the whole and various facets of the


Uganda's Country Statement.
1. F. A. 0. Conference, Rome, 17th Session November 1973

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, September 1973.
2. Potential Agricultural Development Zones in Uganda -
Prospects and Programmes for increasing crop production.
3. Source of Diagram: Faculty of Rural Science Handbook
1975/76. University of New England, Armidale N.S. W.

After the publication of Evans-Pritchard's classical study
of Azande witchcraft and sorcery (1937), much work in the field
of thesociology of witchcraft and sorcery has been done. While
Evans-Pritchard emphasized the logical consistency of those
beliefs, others, like Marwick (1952) and Mitchell (1956), were
more interested in the structural and normative significance,
whereas Turner focused on the role they play in the development
of social processes, which he understands as social dramas
(1957). Despite the different approaches, general agreement
has been reached that accusations of witchcraft and sorcery
are indices of social tension and expressions of social conflict.
If this assumption isvalid, it may be concluded that there should
be an increase of accusations of witchcraft and sorcery in
African towns, which, as centres of social change, are generally
thoughtof as generating tension and conflict. Heterogeneity of
the population, frequently resulting in tribal strife, economic
differentiation, expressed through achieved rather than ascribed
status, multiplicity and complexity of roles as well as the clash
of juxtaposed value systems are mostly assumed to be the main
causes of social conflict in Afr.it. n towns. Mitchell has refined
this hypothesis by arguing that, due to the low degree of 'inte-
gration' characterising social life in town, there is no need to
express personal tensions through witchcraft accusations except
inco-operative enterprises, where interaction is intimate, com-
petitive and potentially hostile (Mitchell 1960).
This paper attempts to test Mitchell's hypothesis and to
gain a better understanding of the functions that accusations of
witchcraft and sorcery fulfil in urban areas. This is undertaken
by a structural-functional analysis of accusations of sorcery.
In order to understand the situations of conflict, a description

of Mulago's major social problems is first attempted.


In spite of Mulago's geographical position inside the peri-
urban belt surrounding the City of Kampala, it appears more
urban than peri-urban, if we consider building, land-use and
population density as criteria for being "ubarn" As a result
of this position Mulago developed certain functions for the
African labour force. Its nearness to the City, cheap accom-
modation and uncontrolled growth were of advantage in the choice
ofresidence. Mulago Hospital built in 1913 served as a major
source of employment from the start. The development of a
retail market created opportunities for earning a livelihood
through petty trade.
Despite the quick development and growth Mulago's classi-
ficationas an "urban village" is still justified, considering the
lack of sufficient urban facilities and sanitary conditions for
the constantly expanding population. Gutkind's estimation of
2000 inhabitants might cautiously be replaced by an estimation
between 5000-6000. Mulago's dominant structural feature is
its division into the business part with the highest population
density inside Kampala, which contains very poor housing, re-
ferred toby its inhabitants as the "slum", and into a fairly rural
area with lower density and better housing.
Like most African towns Mulago has a heterogenous popula-
tion of approximately 25 tribes, compared to Gutkind who esti-
mated 31 tribes. They are mostly of recent origin in town; the
average length extending from 5-10 years, except the Ganda,
who are often born there or have spent considerable periods of
their urban life in Kampala. In comparison to areas like Kisenyi
orKibuli the impact of cultural diversity is somewhat reduced,
as the tribes in Mulago are predominantly from Western Uganda
and Rwanda. The proportions are (with Gutkind's proportions

are bracketed for comparison): Rwanda 23.5 (14. 5), Kiga 11.6
(5. 83), Toro 3.8 (7.2),3 Ankole 3.5 (2. 1), and Nyoro 2. 1 (2.83).
Nevertheless the Ganda 42. 1 (46. 6) constitute the largest single
group. Though there is a distinct economic and cultural cleavage
between the Ganda and the migrant people of non-Bantu origin,
the latter are so few as almost to discount its sociological signi-
ficance, in Mulago at least. This small enclave of people are
the speakers of Nilotic, and Sudanic languages and include the
Luo 2.9 (4.83), Teso 0.72 (-), Acholi 0.31 (-), Lugbara 0.23
(-), and Madi 0. 15 (-).
InMulago the significant division is between the Ganda and
other Bantu speakers. The differences are less cultural than
economic. Land and house ownership, better education and
easier access to better jobs put the Ganda at a great advantage
in relation to non-Ganda for acquiring wealth and status inside
the urban social system. There are slight indications that the
non-Ganda are successful in minimising the existing gaps. A
survey of ownership of business enterprises still reveals the
dominance of the Ganda (60 as against 40 per cent), which is
especially obvious in their ownership of the larger and better
stocked shops and European styled beer bars, but it also indica-
tes the desire of the non-Ganda to become economically equal.
Many of the Kiga assessed their economic opportunities quite
favourably since they noticed greater equality of chances since
Ganda still own nearly three times as many houses as non-
Ganda, who may be more likely to lack the capital needed for
construction or simply to prefer not to settle permanently in
town and to invest their capital in their places of birth.
Nevertheless the migrants have become quite conscious of
improving their educational and occupational standards (see
tables 1 and 2). Table 1 may even show a general increase in
the level of education in Mulago, since Gutkind's data refer to

a much younger population.
Although economic inequalities between heterogenous groups
are bound to lead to considerable tensions and open conflict,
the degree of open tribal strife in Mulago is relatively low. A
more important reaction appears to be the displacement of
aggression in the form of privately expressed tribal prejudices;
the greatest social distance again being observed between BantL
and the non-Bantu minority.


Economical ly Mulago represents one of the poorer sections
of Kampala, as the majority of the population are employed in
unskilled, skilled as well as lower grade clerical jobs. As a
result of the stagnation of Uganda's economy in the years between
1958 to 1963, job opportunities are outstripped by demand and
are heavily competed for. Because of rising aspirations and
expectations of life style, a considerable decrease of "target
working" has been noted. The tendency is towards a combination
of permanent wage employment supplemented by agricultural pro-
duction, performed mostly by the female members of the family
or paid labourers in the rural areas; either on a subsistence
level or if possible by cash-crop production. Although this has
led to greater stability in the length of residence in town, the
rising unemployment poses serious problems.
According to table 3 most of the jobless belong to the younger
age group, who have had better education and whose aspirations
for a white collar job are easily frustrated, while the expecta-
tions of their kin in the rural area are unrealistically high. As
a consequence many a migrant delays his return home out of
fear of being ridiculed by his fellow tribesmen for his apparent
failure in the light of others' successes. It would not be sur-
prising to find that this constant frustration and relative depri-

vation turn them into a potential danger to the person and property
of the more successful inhabitants in the community. A statistical
survey suggests that this may be so: it shows that Mulago has
the highest crime rate inside Kampala though Kisenyi is gene-
rally considered to be the centre of thieves and prostitutes.


The economic problems are connected with and mainly the
cause of family problems. In many cases extremely low wages
prohibit the establishment and maintenance of a family in town.
The bulk of the wages lies between 100 to 300 shs, which is hardly
enough to eke out a living and support a wife E id children in
town. Although more than half of the men state that they are
married, many wives live either for a short temporary time with
their husbands in town or entirely in the rural area, tl-- Ganda
being a frequent exception. The men who live with their wives
in town for the most part have a better paid job with more skill
and show a greater tendency to spend most of their lives in town,
provided they keep their jobs. No precise figure can be given
on this for the whole of Mulago, because the actual composition
of thefamily, which is very fluid can only be properly understood
by consecutive surveys over a considerable time. However of
the married male Kiga migrants in Mulago a survey reveals that
60. 8% never have their wives with them in town, 11. 1% have
their wives commute between country and town and 28. 1 % have
wives who live with their husbands in town for substantially
longer periods at a time.
The prolonged separation of families causes substantial
conflict since it puts a great number of men in a quasi-single
status for a long time. Apart from the practical disadvantages
of having to do housework, washing, cooking the psychological
consequences of lacking the warmth and comfort of a home and

regular sexual satisfaction may even be greater. As compensa-
tion for their psychological as well as their material needs many
migrants take a mistress during various periods in their town
career. Due to the imbalanced sex ratio in most migrant ethnic
groups, the mistresses tend to be drawn from different ethnic
groups and are called harlots or malaya. These liasons last
various lengths of time. The majority of the older married men
tend to prefer occasional relations for a short period, while
the unattached younger men often have longer lasting unions.
People who retain 'traditional' views on the status of women,
such as the Luo, Kiga and those from Northern Uganda, do not
consider women in town adequate for marriage due to what are
i} terpreted as their loose morals and relentless pleasure seek-
ing, and to the fact that such unions can be broken off at any
time at the convenience of the partners. The great number of
-ifocal families gives ample proof that such unions are very
unstable. They are especially widespread among the Ganda, the
we ien mostly supporting one to two children on their own.
Although urban sex codes may be less rigid than those in rural
areas, illegitimacy is to a certain degree frowned upon, though
less so among Ganda, Toro and Haya.
One might be justified in comparing the attitudes most of the
younger men in Mulago display towards sex, violence and alco-
holism with a behavioral pattern commonly termed "machismo"
in Latin American studies. 6In Mulago "machismo" is more based
on one's sexual conquests and number of girl-friends compara-
bletothe values held by Italian street gangs analysed by Whyte
(1943) than by male heroism and superiority as found by Lewis
inMexicoCity (1964), though the latter are not altogether absent.
These values are expressed and reinforced by peer groups
or gangs. In the absence of satisfactory family ties, such per-
sonal relationships are of great importance. These can be

manifested In close ties with all sorts of kin, in feelings of
brotherhood extended to unrelated members of the same or cultu-
rally similar tribes and in longstanding friendship andneigh-
bourhoodties. Because mutual economic aid occurs within such
relationships they are considered a main safeguard against the
permanent insecurity of town, especially by people of the lower
occupational strata. They are even more important when there
are no established voluntary associations to resort to in times
of need, as in the special case of the Kiga in Mulago.
The sphere of activities within the Kiga peer group revolves
around the beer parties, which are focal points of social gather-
ings. They provide an alternative urban prestige system to that
which rests on such formal properties as educational level and
typeof job. Peer groups are predominantly ethnocentric and so
have this extra basis of solidarity. They therefore leviate
the feelings of insecurity and unfamiliarity with an alien environ-
ment. These beer parties make the participants temporarily
equal, bringing the less and more successful into harmony and
so minimizing the antagonisms caused by educational and economic
inequality. Here, conflict and tension concerning the community
are discussed, measures decided and the deviants brought back
to adherence to Kiga norms. Hence the main function of these
beer groups are to preserve one's personal and ethnic identity
which is exposed to considerable threats from outside as well
as from within the community.
Thus it is not at all surprising that the security of long
established friendship ties found in the neighbourhood are con-
sidered more valuable and are sought after more than the physical
comfort of better houses. Although 73% of Kiga residents ranked
Mulago next to the last in comparison with other areas of Kampa(a,
only a minority were will ing to move to better houses if opportu-
nities arose and economic conditions were favourable.7 This

suggests that most of the Kiga in the lower occupational strata
who are likely to be found in Mulago see a greater chance for
economic and psychological security through ethnic group loyalty
as compared to individual achievement.
Reviewing the conditions found in Mulago there are many
traits, which Lewis attributed to the elements of the "culture
of poverty", such as instability of marriages, high frequency
of matrifocal families, machismo, as well as a marked emphasis
on peer groups and neighborhoods ties. It is not the intention
here to criticize the concept of the culture of poverty, which
has been done in detail elsewhere but to accept that for present
purposes it usefully provides some rough indications of the pro-
bWems encountered by the inhabitants of Mulago and of possible
: ids of conflict arising out of them.


Despite apparently multiple causes of strain and anxiety,
relatively little overt conflict was observed in the community,
ey .-ept for occasional fighting at beer parties and cases of theft,
which often result in the thief being beaten to death. However,
several case studies suggest that some conflicts are dealt with
by "supernatural means" where no alternative direct sanctions
are available.
In this paper sorcery is to be understood according to the
distinction Evans-Pritchard has drawn between witchcraft and
sorcery. The main difference is that sorcerers use medicine
(material substances) combined with a magical formula to harm
thoseagainst whom they bear ill will while witchcraft is under-
stood as a mystical and innate power. In this paper a further
distinction is made between sorcery and magic, the criterion
being the intention of the medicine applied. In contrast to the
definition of sorcery as destructive magic or aggressive magic,

medicines used for personal gain and for protection are enume-
rated under the more neutral term of magic. Themost frequently
used objects in the latter category are charms to acquire or
keep a job, and various love potions used for securing a lover
or for continuing a relationship. If these magical measures are
proved ineffective recourse is mostly taken to sorcery. The
Kiga word for sorcery is oburogo, which, following Beattie,
is "to injure somebody by the frequent use of harmful substances
or techniques". There are different techniques of oburogo;
the one most commonly used among the Kiga as well as among
the Nyoro seems to be poisoning.


In the course of the research no clear-cut distinction was
reached as to which particular types of misfortunes were at-
tributed to sorcery, witchcraft or ancestor spirits (mizimu).
Traditional beliefs continue to be held and there is a general
readiness to apply "proven" methods or those with a reputation
for being superior. Thus the following list of misfortunes is
not distinguished according to the methods applied but only sug-
gests frequency of occurrence, whereas the case studies refe-
rred to are limited to those which were attributed to sorcery.
Inorder of reported frequency, the following misfortunes were
experienced by Kiga informants:- mental illness (27), lack of
jobs(18), body swelling (15), barrenness (14), impotence (11),
stomach trouble (11), loss of jobs (7), failure of business (7),
and death caused through traffic accidents (6). Although some
Kiga informants conceded that in some cases natural causes
couldhave been responsible, too, they insisted that mental ill-
ness, loss of jobs or failure in business and especially death
caused through traffic accidents are almost exclusively effects
of witchcraft or sorcery. This reveals a tendency to explain

and treat situations or events, which are characteristic of urban
circumstances, by traditionally known means and remedies. A
presumption that this mightonly be the case until other explana-
tions and methods have been learnt or adopted by longer urban
residence appears unjustified, as many of the victims reported
up to 10 years of residence in town. Thus the use of accusations
of witchcraft and sorcery appears to be one of a number of di-
mensions of a cultural and social continuum between African
towns and their surrounding countryside; a more obvious and
better known example is the close network relationship many
labour migrants have built up between their home villages and
the towns.


InMulago accusations of sorcery mainly express two types
of conflict, resulting from sexual and economic competition.
The relationship, which is most frequently disrupted by accu-
sations of sorcery, is the one between "harlots" and their lovers.
Although in most cases the accusation is levelled by the lover
against his former girlfriend, the underlying tension arises out
of the competition among the women themselves, either between
a husband's wife and his "harlot" or between several of his
Due to the great importance Mulago's men attach to "ma-
chismo", most wives, especially those living temporarily in the
villages, constantly fear that their husband may take a harlot.
That only two instances of accusations of sorcery were recorded
is to be explained by the carefulness most men display to conceal
these relationships when their wives come to town. Although
sexual jealousy has apart to play, the desire for securing econo-
mic support for themselves and their children appears to be
dominant for most wives. Thus the situation seems to be an

"urban var nation" of the conflict between co-wives, as the econo-
mic conditions in town hinder the establishment of polygamous
marriages. Yet in cases where such marriages exist accusations
of sorcery are used as a means to resolve conflict, as two
examples show. Thus Mitchell's conclusion that "in the face of
a largemajorityof foreigners, the family is essentially a tightly
integrated co-operative group" and that acts of hostility and
aggression are expected from outside forces of the larger
society, should be treated cautiously. 12 The anxiety to ensure
education for one's own children in town as well as in rural
areas seems to be much more dominant than a postulated feeling
of family cohesion and obligations to solidarity.
In the relation to the sex ratio in Mulago, which is fairly
balanced, the heavy competition among "the harlots" is un-
expected. Thus other factors other than demographic have to
be considered responsible. As in the case of conflicts among
"co-wives" economic motivation is again prominent, although
sexual jealousy should not be underestimated. Regarding the
insecuresocial positionof the women in town, which is exposed
tq continuous hazards, the reason becomes at once obvious.
Of the 39% unattached women only 55% have a job; the average
wage level does not exceed 50 to 100 shs, which forces them to
look for economic support elsewhere. As housing is scarce and
difficult to get, notwithstanding the relatively high rent (20-30
shs), the anxiety for securing a more or less permanent supporter
becomes evident. Furthermore, the Independence of the women
in the rural areas based on trade of surplus crops in the market
is reached only by a few of the women in town, since most of
them do not have enough capital to start trading or to make a
living by brewing beer. Thus a considerable number of women,
especially thoseof migrant tribes having severed ties with their
kin in the country, have only to choose between various types

of prostitution or finding a more permanent partner in a lover
relationship. 13 Since theseveranceof ties with the rural areas
are frequently caused by expectation of a better standard of
living, resulting frustrations and hence feelings of aggression
are made manifest. 14
In accordance with the heavy economic competition already
mentioned above, relationships between co-workers are also
frequently disrupted by accusations of sorcery. Envy, ambition
tooutdoone's rival, as well as limited opportunities for success
were found to be the main claimed motives, which induce co-
workers to usesorcery against each other. In many cases long
series of quarrels and false denunciations preceded the accu-
sations, which were only made when the Individual's self-interest
was fundamentally threatened. This situation was brought about
if sexual rivalries in additions to economic competition rein-
forced tension. As in traditional situations of conflict the
accusation of sorcery was used as the only means to achieve
catharsis in the relationship, as geographical mobility due to
scarcity of jobs was made impossible. The presumption that
geographical mobility would occur if feasible, needs cautious
consideration, as in cases involving harlots and their lovers
geographical mobility took placeonly after the actual occurrence
of a misfortune. A possible explanation may be the interwoven
network of relationships of the Kiga in Mulago, which accounts
for their reluctance to give up local ties.
Tribal prejudices play a viable part in the accusations of
sorcery between workmates, since they mostly involve members
of different tribes, with charges of nepotism frequently being
thought of as the main motive. The greater frequency of accu-
sations between the Kiga and the Ganda reflects their greater
likelihood of competition; not only do the Ganda outnumber other
tribes statistically but are also to be found more often in the

positionof better jobs. It would be false to conclude that soli-
darity toone's own tribe prohibits the use of sorcery among its
members in town, such as when many Kiga beer brewers con-
stantly complained about their beer being charmed. It is sugges-
ted that this is a mor frequent occurrence among the "aspiring"
(see Gans 1962) who actively seek social mobility and who pay
adherence to these values only by lipservice. In case of the
beer brewers this conclusion is not entirely unjustified, since
many of them belong to the more prosperous people, who often
own houses or even their own businesses.
Compared to the knowledge available about accusations of
witchcraft and sorvery in rural areas, the near total absence
of accusations of sorcery between relatives in Mulago is striking,
although not entirely unexpected. The importance and solidarity
of kinship ties in town and their artificial creation in case of
non-available kin has already been mentioned above. However
the relations between kin are too complex to be satisfactorily
evaluated by one type of behaviour, as with increasing economic
differentiation kinship attitudes undergo modification. Thus in
cases of greater economic security and independence kinship
ties tend to be less intimate, which can be interpreted as a pre-
Ventivemethod to avoid undue dependency on family resc .nces.
Considering the very dense housing conditions prevailing
in Mulago by which privacy is limited to an absolute minimum,
conflict between neighbours was relatively seldom and accu-
sations of sorcery insignificant. If conflict arose, it was either
resolved by open quarrel, intervention of the muluka-chief and
In very serious cases by leaving the area. In general, however,
harmonious relationships seemed to be wide spread and close
co-operation genuine. This was as much the case among the
small nuclei of tribal clusters, being spread all over Mulago,
and resulting from the informal influence tenants exercised in

al lottment of rooms, as among the tribally mixed neighborhoods.
Besides being based on sympathy and mutual understanding the
motive for holding together often resulted from the ever present
fear of thieves and robbers. Furthermore, as the main objects
for competition, such as securing jobs or promotion, are closely
connected with the socio-economic structure of town and thus
beyond the direct influence of kin, neighbours or friends, pos-
sible conflicts are minimised. The importance of this argument
can be judged from the tension-ridden atmosphere among the
harlots inMulago, as their "objects of competition" are close at
hand and exposed to all kinds of influence.


As Middleton and Winter point out, sorcery seems to be
"an inevitable weapon of the weak, the downtrodden, the poor
and the envious. "15 In town the use of magic and sorcery is
believed to become instrumental in securing either a better
positionor in defending one's rights. Consequently, the victims
are more liable to be found among the successful minority which
has succeeded in town. Most of these socially mobile men are
either clerks or in other skilled positions, with an above average
level of education. However, that the successful ones are envied
and particularly prone to be bewitched, is common for most
African societies.
The Kiga being a traditionally segmentary society (Edel
1957) can at least be expected to have ambiguous feelings towards
any deviation from the concept of egalitarianism. This was
supported by the difficulties, imaginedor real ones, which many
informants with advanced education encountered in their native
villages. But the feeling of egalitarianism is not limited to the
economic sphere alone but becomes operational on all levels of
social life. Although generosity at beer parties, boasting of

sexual conquests and fashionable appearance are central values
in Kiga group life in Mulago, aggrandizement of any kind Leads
to district and ambiguity and can result in the use of sorcery to
re-establish the status quo inside the group. Bearing these
consequences in mind the Indtivdual tends to be careful to subject
himself to social norms in order not to become a target. Hence
the mere possibility of sorcery, if reinforced by casual applica-
tion, canbe a meansof social control. Especially in the absence
or incompleteness of family councils in town belief in sorcery
becomes instrumental in bringing deviants back to conform with
socially accepted behaviour. This was amply demonstrated by
thecases where harlots attacked their lover's wife or children,
as with only one exception the harlots were forsaken by their
lovers in order to restore proper family relationships. Further-
more, in a situation of economic conflict, belief in and threats
of sorcery can be successfully used to minimize emerging diffe-
rences by constraining conspicuous consumption and eventually
directing a more equitable distribution of resources.
In so far as aggression is directed against people belonging
to a higher economic stratum but still to the same class (using
class in the Marxist sense of a group of people having the same
relationship to the means of production), beliefs in sorcery
stabilize and conserve the status quo. They enable aggression
to be projected onto "equals"; and they thereby temporarily dis-
rupt but do not seriously threaten the overall social system.
Psychologically, the belief in sorcery allows self-justi-
fication incaseof failure which is important since institutionali-
sed means for shrugging off failure are non-existent in Mulago.
The harlots seem to be a case in point, as it is especially their
weak social andeconomic position which exposes them as sca-
pegoats. Their observable envy and revenge is thought to derive
from their low position, andmay be condemned by others in self-

justification. 16 Through extra-punitive measures the individual
is thus capableof projecting his failures onto others, thus pre-
serving his sense of identity, which enables him to redefine his
position in the urban social system and remain competitive there-
in. 1This is an effective mechanism because only a few can
successfully realize their aspirations in this situation of limited

The data presented confirm Mitchel Its hypothesis that accu-
sations of sorcery are closely linked to co-operative enter-
prises, "where interaction is intimate, competitive and tense".
It was shown that this resulted from the economic conditions in
Kampala and the type of social relationships found in Mulago.
As the attainment of a higher standard of living is the primary
incentive for most migrants, economic competition is automa-
tically determined as the most important source of possible
conflicts among them. Even in those relationships, which seem
to be based on other than economic interests, namely sexual
irnerests, the economic element cannot be overlooked. Due to
the insecurity and instability that characterizes life in Kampala,
the search for economic security has penetrated all spheres of
life, subordinating other conflicts to the basic economic one.
The difference in the type of social relationships in town,
compared to the rural areas, seems to provide an explanation
for the fact that accusations of sorcery in town are apparently
limited to few types of relationships. The heterogeneity of
Mulago'spopulation, the strangeness of its environment and the
impersonal atmosphere impede intimate interaction with a greater
cit-cleofpeopleand leads to rather superficial and uncommitted
relationships. With the extension and differentiation of the in-
dividual's social network in town, greater selection in deter-

mining the type and intimacy of a relationship is rendered fea-
sible. Thus by means of geographical mobility, residential dis-
tance and temporary limitations of relationships, possible
conflict can be avoided. Where interactions are close and
emotionally toned, as is the case with kin, friends and neigh-
bours, they arebasedon mutual assistance and solidarity in the
face of common difficulties and are therefore less prone to be
disrupted by serious conflicts. If hQwever conflicts and hostility
occur, they are more likely to be expressed openly, which allows
for retributive action, since tribal mores provide no regulation
for situations of conflict between strangers, whereas in rural
areas people frame their conflicts in accusations of sorcery
because they are prohibited by social norms to express their
hostility openly.
However, the occurrence of accusations of sorcery between
strangers in ethnically mixed work groups suggests that, even
in the absence of clearly defined customary mores, sorcery can
be used as a weapon in new situations provided the underlying
conflicts are similar to those experienced in the rural areas.
Thus the use of accusations of sorcery in town as a means to
express conflict seems to be dependent on two factors. The
object of competition is open to the influence and manipulation
of the competitors, who are assumed to evaluate the object
highly. Secondly the relationships between the competitors is
tense and emotionally toned and cannot be resolved by other,
institutionalized as well as non-institutionalised means.


1. See O'Connor and Semugooma (1963) p. 5
2. Southall and Gutkind (1957) p. 97
Research was carriedout inMulago during an 18 months period between
1968-1970, being made possible by a German Government grant, and
focused mainly on family and urbanization problems among the Kiga.
The data concerning Mulago as a community are the result of a brief
survey which was designed to enable comparison with Gutkind's data,
and are therefore limited in scope.
3. Gutkind, The Royal Capital of Buganda (196 ) pp. 107-8.
In relation to other tribes the Kiga are over-represented, since all of
the Kiga living in Mulago were included in the sample, whereas only
two thirds of all other tribes.
4. For simplification the classification of jobs was reduced to three cate-
gories, thus differing from the one used by Southall and Gutkind. Skilled
is here understood to apply on the job, e.g. driver, carpenter; unskilled
is used to classify those jobs for which no special knowledge is required,
e. g. watchman, sweeper; clerical may refer to typists and secretaries
as well as the large number of ordinary clerks who have received no
formal training but who are literate.
5. The relativity of this statement should be borne in mind in view of the
tendency of crime statistics to be understated and the approximate esti-
mate of population figures. Oral Communication from Mr. Dan Abbot.
6. It is felt that a more systematic comparison of African low-class neigh-
bourhoods with those in Latin America could provide useful contributions
to the discussion of the "culture of poverty". To point out existing
similarities an otherwise unfamiliar term in African urban sociology
is applied here.
7. See Morris (1961)
0. See Albrecht (1969)
9. For an elaborate account of techniques and methods of sorcery, which
description is beyond the aim of this paper, see Damman, E. 1963,
Die Religionen Afrikas, Stuttgart; and Adam, L. and Trimborn, H.
1958, Lehrbuch der Volkerkunde, Stuttgart, ch. Magie.
10. See Beattie (1963) p. 29
11. Furthermore, a tendency was noted to resolve this problem rather by
physical violence, either between wife and harlot or between husband
and wife, than by accusations of sorcery, which apparently were only
used, if no satisfactory solution for either party could be reached.

12. Mitchell (1960) p. 196.
13. Southall and Gutkind (1959) pp. 160-165.
14. For a more detailed account of the frustration-aggression hypothesis,
see:Miller, N. E. /Dollard, J. et.al.: 1939, Frustration and Aggres-
sion, New Haven.
15. Middleton and Winter (1963) p. 13.
16. Furthermore, this reflects the ambiguous attitude most men display
towards the harlots. Although they are indispensable in the circum-
stances of town, the consumption of money, which they induce, is
distinctly conceived as a threat to the improvement of the standard of
life of one's own family, which for many is the ultimate reason for
coming to town.
17. Jahoda (1966) pp. 199-200 and Lloyd (1966).
18. Mitchell (1960) p. 201.

Table 4.
Analysis of Accusations of Sorcery.

Tribe Education

Relation- Misfor-


tune recorded

p'". by
1. Victim Kiga Some Primary None Wife Illness of Victim
Accused Toro Some Prim.7 Barmaid Harlot Child

2. Victim Kiga Some Prim. None Wife Illness of Husband
Accused Ganda Some Prim. Barmaid Harlot Wife

3. Victim Kiga None None Co- Divorce Accused
Accused Ganda None None Wives

4. Victim Kiga None None Co- Illness of Victim
Accused Kiga Some Prim. None Wives Child

5. Victim Kiga Compl.Sec. Salesman Lover Loss of Victim
Accused Ganda Some Prim. Barmaid Harlot Job

6. Victim Kiga Some Sec. Clerk Lover Mental Victim's
Accused Ganda Some Prim. None Harlot Illness Friend

7. Victim Kiga Some Prim. Carpenter Lover Mental Victim's
Accused Ganda Some Prim. None Harlot Illness Friend

Note: 1: Mental Illness occurred after loss of job.


Table 4 continued.

Tribe Education

Relation- Misfor-




8. Victim Kiga Some Sec. Clerk Lover Loss of Victim
Accused Ganda Some Prim. None Harlot Job

9. Victim Kiga Compl. Prim. Cook Lover Car Relative
Accused Ganda Some Prim. Beer Harlot Accident

10. Victim Kiga Some Sec. Clerk Work Loss of Victim
Accused Ganda Compl.Prim. Office- mates Job

11. Victim Kiga Some Prim. Cook Work Illness Victim's
Accused Rwanda Some Prim. Cook mates Friend

12. Victim Kiga None Porter Work- Death Relative
Accused Ganda Some Prim. Mechanic mates

13. Victim Kiga Some Sec. Student School- Death Friends
Accused Ganda Some Sec. Student mates

14. Victim Kiga Some Sec. Clerk Neigh- Illness Child's
Accused Mudama Compl.Prim. Driver bours of child Mother

15. Victim Kiga Compl.Sec. None Nephew Loss of Victim
Accused Kiga None None FBW1 Wife and
Death of

Note: 1 = father's brother's wife.


L. Adam/ H. Trimborn Lehrbuch fur Volkerkunde. Stuttgart 1958.
J. Beattie, Sorcery in Bunyoro. In: Middleton/ Winter (eds.): op. cit.
OIConnor/ Semugooma, The Peripheral Zones of Kampala. Makerere
Geography Papers, no. 4, Kampala, 1968.
E. Damman, Die Religionen Afrikas. Stuttgart 1963.
E. Edel, The Kiga. Oxford 1957.
E.E. Evans Pritchard. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the
Azande. Oxford 1937.
M. Fortes/ G. Dieterlen (eds.), African System of Thought. Oxford 1960.
G. Jahoda, Social Aspirations, Magic and Witchcraft in Ghana.
P.C. Lloyd (ed.), The New Elites of Tropical Africa. Oxford 1966.
P.C. Lloyd (ed.), op. cit.
P. Marris, Family and Social Change in an African City. London 1961.
M. Marwick, The Social Context of Cewa Witch Beliefs. Africa. XX, 2,3
Sorcery in its Social Setting. New York 1965.
J. Middleton/ E. H. Winter (eds.), Witchcraft and Sorcery in East Africa.
London 1963.
N. E. Miller/ J. Dollard et. al. Frustration and Aggression. New Haven
1939. J.C. Mitchell. The Yao Village. Manchester 1956.
The Meaning of Misfortune for Urban Africans. In: M. Fortes/ G.
Dieterlen (eds.): op. cit.
A. Southall/ M. Gutkind. Townsmen in the Making. Kampala 1957.
V. Turner. Schism and Continuity in an African Society. Manchester
Uganda Government. Enumeration of Employees. Entebbe 1967.




Specific details on events leading to the formation of the
Young Basoga Association in 1922 are not available. It seems
that a group of young gombolola chiefs and clerks formed the
association in the Iganga area. The founder leaders were Abaami
Musa Kaduyu (President), Yekonia Lubogo (Vice-President) and
Tomasi Geme (Secretary) all gombolola chiefs. 1 Among found-
ing members wereyoung gombolola chiefs like Zedekiya Wambi,
GideoniMayengo, Benjamin Menya, Yosia Tibyasa and Zefaniya
Nabikamba. 2When asked by the colonial authorities to spell
out clearly the objects of the association the leaders wrote:

"We want the young men of this generation to unite them-
selves in one body. Because in the old days the whole of
Busoga was not united together in one body, people who
lived in one county did not know anything about people in
some other counties or thought anything of them. We
want this sort of Young Basoga Association so that it may
unite all the young men of this generation who have been
taught English wisdom. This Association will think of
Basoga workers who do works to make the country go ahead,
it will remind them to work very steadily and to be true
and faithful workers and not to be untrue and unfaithful
workers who do bad things to bring disgrace to our

Before giving official leave to the "Young Basoga to form
an association, colonial authorities had to consider whether it
would in any way undermine colonial authority. The Provincial
Commissioner told Entebbe that he had tried to convince the
"Promoters" of the Association that, given the formal channels

-of communication like the Busoga Lukiiko and the District
Officers, the need for an association did not arise. 4The Acting
ChiefSecretary in a confidential letter to the Provincial Commi-
ssioner said that while "approval, recognition or encouragement
of these Associations should be for the present largely a matter
of District and Provincial policy", there were political consi-
derations to be taken into account. Although Entebbe was
sceptical about the Associationsi contribution to the "develop-
.ment" of the tribes concerned, it was prudent to allow them to
operate in the open lest they become secret political organisa-
Colonial authorities moreor less defined the kind of Young
Basoga Association they wanted to see. It should promote the
social welfare of the District and not challenge the legitimacy
of thecolonially created native structures; its area of operation
was to be confined to Busoga Distrl*t. Given its ostensible
objectives and the reputable names of the signatories to the
petitions for permission to form it, leave was given to form the
association in 1922.
In 1933 the Abataka Association was formed when the chiefs
and chiefly groups could not get Mailoland. The Bataka Asso-
ciation was formed to fight for the "Protection and defence" df
Busoga land. The moving spirit behind the formation of Abataka
was Azalia Wycliffe Mutekanga Nviri.. The two associations
soon merged to form the Young Basoga and Abataka Association
(hereafter Y. B. A. A.). 9
The founder leaders and members of the Young Basoga in
1922 had some common underlying characteristics. They were
either chiefs or clerks in the colonial administration. They
belonged to a new generation of young Basoga born into or

brought up in the colonial situation. By virtue of the fact that
they had been educated in missionary schools, they were products
of the colonial situation. As a result of colonial institutional
pressures, the young chiefs were forced not to play official
roles in the Association. Threatened with disciplinary action
or ultimate dismissal, the young chiefs' offices in the association
were taken by ex-chiefs and clerks. 1The Y. B. A. A. came to
be led by Abaami Ernest Wandira its President, Zefania Munaba,
the Vice-President, Amosi Kaduyu and Azalia Mutekanga Nviri.
The last two served as "Honorary"Secretaries. These officials
were not as much hampered by colonial institutional pressures
as the chiefs in the formal colonial structures because they were
outside the colonial establishment.


In his account of the background to post 1966 Busoga
politics, Hansen says that the Young Basoga Association was
opposed to the grant of Mailoland to Baspga chiefs and that it
campaigned actively "for merit appointment of Saza Chiefs as
opposed to hereditary appointment. 1 In the I ight of the evidence
before us, on the contrary, the Young Basoga and Abataka
Association was a chiefs' extra-bureaucratic vehicle for arti-
culating their interests on such issues as Mailoland, Bwese-
ngeze, tax rebate and generally their power position in the
colonial administrative structure. It is true that during the
mid-1930s, there was a temporary cleavage between the upper
chiefs (Kyabazinga, Saza and Gombolola Chiefs) on the one hand
and the lower chiefs (Miruka, Mitala and Bisoko chiefs) and the
Y. B. A. A. on the other but this temporary cleavage arose out
of a feeling on the part of the lower chiefs that the upper chiefs

had let them down on the issues of Mailoland, Bwesengeze and
tax rebate (Busulu).
In terms of its "chiefliness", the Y. B. A. A. differs from
quite number of tribal associations formed in British colonial
situations. Many of these associations tended either not to have
chiefs among their members or to be outrightly anti-chief. Youth
Associations in Yorubaland (in Nigeria), Ashanti (Ghana) and
inKikuyuland (Kenya) were generally anti-chief and were made
upofyouths who had been kept out of the colonial establishment.
Nearer home, the Y B.A. A. differs from its counterpart in
Buganda, the Bataka Association. The Bataka Association in
Buganda was not a chiefs' "party". Although one of its founding
members, LwangaMiti, was an ex-chief, the majority who made
it up were those groups at whose material expense the chiefs in
the formal colonial structures had established themselves with
theassistanceof the colonial authorities. 1Those clan leaders
who had lost their lands by the 1900 Agreement came to form
the Bataka Association to reclaim the lands they had tost to the
Apolo Kaggwa chiefly "Establishment". As a counter-response,
Sir Apolo Kaggwa formed his Association of Bataka. 13
During the 1920s there was no articulate group other than
the chiefly groups who could have formed an association. In
other words, there was no equivalent of Ashanti or Kikuyu
Youths kept out of the chiefly establishment. It is possible that
by the 1920s chiefly groups realized that, with the colonial autho-
rities unwill ingness to allocate Mailoland to them and the debate
that was going on about the salaries scheme, they needed some
extra-bureaucratic organisation to take care of their interests.
In this sense they conceived of it as more than a welfare asso-
ciation. Thus, compared with their counterparts in Buganda,

Basoga chiefs had enough grievances to warrant the formation
of an association.
An examination of the origins of the Y. B. A. A. leadership
and the kind of issues they were mainly concerned with shows
that the association was intended basically to serve as a vehicle
for chiefly interests. We have already seen that the original
founder leaders and members were young chiefs or clerks. We
have also seen that under colonial pressures, the young chiefs
had to leave the leadership to others outside the colonial esta-
blishment. Thereafter, the office bearers and other prominent
members were of chiefly background. The President of the
Association, Ernest Wandira was a Mwisengobi from Kigulu and
an ex-Gombolola chief. Zefania Munaba, the Vice-President,
was son of a Mukungu, who before the establishment of colonial
rule had been ruler of Busambira, a tributary state of Kigulu.
AzaliaMutekanga was son of the ex-regent Daudi Mutekanga who
was closely allied with the Baisengobi rulers of Bugabula.
Amosi Kaduyuis mother was a Mumbedha (Princess) of Buweira
inKigulu. More than this, Amosi Kaduyuls father, Musa Kaduyu,
was close friend of the Baisengobi of Buweira. 1Of the other
most active members, Mwamadi Isiko belonged to the Baiseigaga
clan in Busiki; and Gideoni Obodha ex-Saza chief of Kigulu was
aMwisengobi. 1Besides, many ex-chiefs, Bisoko, Mitala and
Miruka chiefs were actively involved in the Y. B. A. A. activities.
In addition to their chiefly social origins, the leaders of
Y. B. A. A. championed causes which took careof chiefly interests
and of chiefly institutions. The temporary rift which occurred
betweenY. B. A. A. and the lower chiefs on the one hand and the
upper chiefs on the other arose out of a feeling on the part of
the Y. B. A. A. and lower chiefs that the upper chiefs had sold

out to the colonial authorities. The Y. B. A. A. petitioned for
Mailoland on the Buganda model, agitated against the abolition
of Busulu (tax rebate) and were against the increasing bureaucra-
tization of chiefs within the formal colonial structures.
Besides the chiefly origins of the Y. B. A. A. leaders and
the content of interests they articulated, there was quite a lot
of consultation between the Y. B. A. A. and the chiefs in the formal
colonial structures over many issues, who usually sought the
opinion of Y. B. A.A. leaders on some colonial policies. 16
In arguing that the Y. B. A. A. was a "chiefly" party, we are
not suggesting that they took care only of chiefly interests.
They also took careof interests which coUldbe broadly identified
as Busoga interests. They were opposed to an East African
federation which would probably have resulted in the establi-
shment of settler hegemony over indigeneous peoples; they were
concerned about the alienation of land in the Jinja area for
plantation purposes; they demanded that Basoga be allowed to
participate in economic activities such as cotton ginning, the
timber trade; public transport and retail trade which were the
monopoly of Asians. 17


The Association was not organised in the way African
independence political parties were, with some semblance of
bureaucratic structure from top to bottom with full time officials.
Nor did they have a comprehensive programme of action. Twenty
years after its foundation, colonial administrators were so
puzzled about the organisation, composition of membership and
the objectives of the Y. B. A.A. that Dr. Soulsby, the Deputy
Chief Secretary commented:

"It has always been impossible to obtain precise information
about this Association. So far as is known, it has no
written constitution, articles of association, or statement
of objects; accounts are never presented, membership is
ill-defined; office-bearers constantly change; everything
is typically African, fluid and unregulated. Nevertheless
the surprising thing is that the association has continued
to function for many years -"_
While the Y. B. A. A. infused a senseof political awareness
among chiefly groups, kept political issues alive, and at times,
keptcolonial authoritieson their toes, it was not a viable orga-
nisation capable of transforming its functions to meet the
challenges of changing times. This weakness can be attributed
toapaucity of funds, lack of a programme which could mean all
things to all men, the absence of a mouthpiece in the form of a
newspaper and the absence of a thoroughly dispossessed rural
or urban proletariat.
To gain more credibility among its members an organisation
must have the means to do things. Although supported by chiefs,
attempts by the Y. B. A. A. to raise funds were not very success-
ful. Colonial officials were happily aware of this fact. 1Nor
did the leadership penetrate the colonial population to raise
funds. The leadership was based in Jinja where Wycliffe
Mutekanga lived and in Iganga, the home area of Ernest Wandira
and Zefania Munaba.
TheY. B. A. A. did not have a programme of action. It
was only when there were political issues that they were
galvanized into activity to mobilize the rural chiefly elements.
One of the main reasons for the success of independence
parties lay in the fact that for many of these parties their plat-
forms positively meant different things to different groups.2
The Y. B. A. A. on the other hand did not attract mass support

from different social strata of colonial society, but mainly drew
within its ranks Bisoko, Mitala, Miruka and, mainly behind the
scenes, gombolola and saza chiefs, and the educated chiefly
groups. Unlike its counterparts in Buganda and Kenya, the
Y. B. A.. did not have a newspaper to popularise its causes.
It is true the membership would have been limited, but a news-
paper would have served to put across the political message more
forcefully. As long ago as 1928, the Kikuyu Central Association
had Mwigwithania as its mouthpiece and in Buganda there were
Luganda newspapers which carried the Bataka message. The
Basoga generally did not feel the effects of colonial rule to the
same extent as Africans in Kenya, Central Africa or South
Africa. The Carter recommendations which would have alienated
about 80% of Busoga and therefore rendered thousands landless
were not put into effect. The chiefly groups who provided the
backbone of the Y. B. A. A. were not thoroughly dispossessed.
The Mitala and Bisoko chiefs retained their units; the chiefs in
the formal colonial structures still had some meaningful stake
in thecolonial system. Thus while the chiefly groups petitioned
for allocation of Mailoland, restoration of tax rebate and free
labour, the loss of these privileges did not fundamentally threaten
their meansof livelihood. TheY. B. A.A. could not instigate the
peasantry into revolt on free labour, mailoland and tax rebate
issues. Theycouldnot have revolted to recover their serfdom!
By the 1930s there were two distinguishable groups within
the leadership of the Y. B. A. A. There were the comparatively
older men who had at one time been in the colonial structures
and the young men who had been uncomfortable in the colonial
structures and had had to leave. With one exception, the older
men had been employed in the colonial establishment. Omwami

Ernest Wandira had been a gombolola chief in Kigulu county
where he is reported to have been always in conflict with Yekonia
Zirabamuzaale the Saza chief there. Zefania Munaba had been
a mission teacher in the C.M.S1 he did not get on well with the
missionaries and left. Abuneri Bukyabubi had been a Saza
Katikiro but was later sent to prison on charges of alleged
adultery.21 Gideoni Mayengo had been a gombolola chief but
was dismissed for his excessive mistreatment of peasants and
continual conflict with administrators;2 Gideoni Obodha had
been Saza chief of'Kigulu until his dismissal in 1922,
Among the young leaders were Amosi Kaduyu and Azalia
MutekangaNviri. For their time, these two men were possibly
the best educated Basoga. On their return from school, like the
educated elite of their time, they entered the colonial administra-
tion, but they were forced to leave. A career outline of these
two men is quite revealing.
AzaliaMutekanga is son ofDaudi Mutekanga, former regent
in Bugabula. His father sent him to Kamuli High School after
which, with the encouragement of Reverend Brewer, he sent
him to Trent College, England together with William Kajumbula
Nadiope23 In 1929 he returned and started teaching at the
C.M.S. School in Kamuli. The headmaster of Kamuli "found
him teaching boys bad habits, telling them not to obey their
classmasters and also the headmaster himself."24 He was
expelled. He joined the colonial administration as a clerk/
interpreter intheD. Cs office, Jinja. He was dismissed from
there. He was instrumental, as we have seen, in the formation
of theBataka wing of the Y. B. A. A. In 1939 Mutekanga volunte-
ered for war service. 25
Wilfred Amosi Kaduyu is son of ex-chief Musa Kaduyu,

former President of the Young Basoga Association. He was
educatedat Busoga College, Mwiri, King's College, Buddo and
MakerereCollege. Even while at school, Amosi was quite early
Involved in the activities of the Young Basoga. As a schoolboy,
he sometimes served the Association as its unpaid scribe.26
He joined the administration as clerk/interpreter but soon left
to become "honourary" Secretary of the Young Basoga before
Mutekanga formed the Bataka wing. He rejoined the administra-
tionbut later was allegedly involved in some financial fraud for
which he was sent to prison.27
Combination of the old and young, then, in the Association
served it well. The older men who had served in the administra-
tion were a useful link between tradition and modernity. Men
like Ernest Wandira and Zefania Munaba were semi-literate and
so it was not for their literacy and linguistic skills that the
Association found them useful. For their age and respect for
tradition, they attracted the hard core of the traditionalists -the
Bisoko and Mitala chiefs. The young men, Amosi Kaduyu and
AzaliaMutekanga, were the "brains". And they also understood
the whiteman's world and interpreted it to the older men. They
advised and wrote petitions though they always told administra-
tors they were no more than "honorary" secretaries who did
whatever they did at the bidding of their elders.


The gulf that emerged between the Y. B. A. A. and the lower
chiefs (Bisoko and Mitala chiefs) on the one hand and the higher
chiefs (gombolola, saza chiefs and the President, Busoga
Lukiiko) on the other during the years 1935 1938 could be
attributed to the increasing bureaucratization of the higher

chiefs and the material and life-style gap between the lower and
higher chiefs.
Bureaucratization of chiefs in the formal colonial stru-
ctures was effected by the abolition of free labour, tax rebate
and Obwesengeze, and by the introduction of a salaries scheme
and imposition of bureaucratic norms, all of which rendered
chiefs dependent on the colonial administration for their material
livelihood. While the higher chiefs were basically sympathetic
to the Y. B. A. A. they could only do so up to a point where
their careers in the colonial administration were not threatened.
In supporting the Y. B. A. A., the Bisoko and Mitala chiefs did
not have much to lose materially.
TheY. B. A.A. leaders, the Bisoko and Mitala chiefs who
had all along regarded the gombolola, saza chiefs and the
President of the Busoga Lukiiko as their natural leaders, after
seeing their increasing dependency on the colonial administra-
tion, got the feeling that they were "government chiefs" and not
prepared to take care of the interests of the "chiefs" and people.
The chiefs' failure to get Mailoland, their loss of free labour
and Busulu (tax rebate) were blamed on the higher chiefs, espe-
cially the saza chiefs. TheY. B. A.A. and the lower chiefs were
highly suspicious of the higher chiefs' close contacts with the
colonial authorities.
The cleavage between the higher and lower chiefs was also
produced by the higher chiefs' material wealth and life-styles.
Before the abolition of tax rebate, the Bisoko and Mitala chiefs
had been relatively well off. With their refusal of salaries,
they found that they could only depend on cash crops for their
livelihoods. In contrast, although Miruka, Gombolola, Saza
chiefs and the President Busoga Lukiiko had lost much by the

abolitionofsome privileges, they were more affluent than their
compatriots at the lower levels. They were better educated
generally and could afford to send their sons to school. Their
values and life-styles were different from those of the lower
chiefs. Some of the higher chiefs could afford to buy cars and
even build "iron" houses. Certainly this way of life generated
a certain amount of resentment among the lower chiefs.
Consequently, the lower level chiefs and the Y. B. A. A.
got a feeling that Busoga was dictated to by the colonial autho-
rities through the higher chiefs. Before 1938, the Y. B. A. A.
leaders, the Bisoko and Mitala chiefs were not members of the
Busoga Lukiiko which was made up of Miruka, Gombolola and
Saza chiefs.
At the height of the Mailoland controversy in 1935, the
Y. B. A. A. accused theSaza chiefs of treachery, suspecting that
they had worked out a private deal with the colonial authorities
to have a limited number of Mailos allocated to them. They felt
thatSaza chiefs and the President had not been vigorous enough
in protesting against the abolition of tax rebate and other personal
emoluments. They argued that the higher chiefs had betrayed
themand Busoga tribal customs. They singled out for attack all
theSazachiefs and the President and announced they would take
them to the District Commissioner's Court!29 and called for a
Bakopi's Lukiiko.30
It is significant that the members of the Y. B. A. A. in
spite of its chiefly composition, were calling themselves Bakopi
and were petitioning for a Bakopi's Lukiiko. They presumably
believed that making demands in the name of the Bakopi would
legitimize them since the colonial administration posed as the
"protectors" of theBakopi. It is possible they actually regarded

themselves as Bakopi since they were an "out" group not within
the Busoga Lukiiko. But after 1938, when membership of the
Busoga Lukiiko was broadened to include Mitala Bisoko and
Y. B. A. A. members all chiefly groups united against measures
aimed at undermining chiefly power further. It is clear the
presence of the Y. B. A. A. did not mean that the Bakopi were
represented in the Lukiiko.
By 1936 such was thefloodof petitions to the colonial autho-
rities that the administration resorted to the tactics of intimidation
and accommodation of leaders of the Y. B.A. A. They tried to
re-accommodate Mutekanga by calling on him to take up a job at
the D.C.'s office. However, he turned this down at the last
moment;31 an officer invited him to tea but he refused on the
grounds that it did not pay him in his work to be seen with
Europeans. 3 They appealed to his father, Daudi Mutekanga
toprevail upon his son to "stop making a fool of himself. "33 As
for the others, Ernest Wandira, Zefania Munaba and Amosi
Kaduyu, they threatened them with imprisonment.4 But the
general behaviour of the Y. B. A. A. leaders was disarming as
they did not resort to violence but pledged loyalty to the British
The problem administrators at headquarters face is the
possibility of a gap between what field officers write in reports
and what is actually happening. Officers want to report what
they think their superiors would like to hear or to give information
that will not reflect badly on their performance. Entebbe
suspected that the officers in Jinja were out of touch with the
real issues. Governor Mitchell decided to go to Jinja to find out
exactly what was happening. After meeting and listening to
petitions at a large Baraza at Bugembe, Mitchell observed:

"The people who appeared comprised the old and the young,
relatives of chiefs, ordinary peasants; educated men and
infact I suppose a fairly genuine representative section of
the tribe taken at random anywhere. They were orderly
and intelligent but felt quite evidently strongly and sincerely
about matters they had come to discuss: Here there was
noordinary half-asleep baraza whipped up by two or three
malcontents but a group of two or three hundred who un-
doubtedly felt very strongly about matters under discus-
Governor Mitchell discovered that the Gombolola, Saza
Chiefs and the President of the Busoga Lukiiko "are very largely
in sympathy with what was said (I suspect they may not at least
have discouraged the people concerned and perhaps even en-
couraged. "37 Whilehe saw the administrative functionality of
the Bisoko and Mitala Chiefs at the grass roots administration,
he also saw the need for recognizing them as traditional leaders
short of legalizing their demands for free labour and Busulu (tax
rebate).38 He recognized that there was a gulf between the
Bisoko and Mitala chiefs and the higher chiefs but failed to
attribute this to the increasing bureaucratization of the latter.
He supported the idea of a Bakopi's Lukiiko which he felt to be
"inherent in and essential to any normal Bantu tribe and is inci-
dentally a very wholesome and valuable feature. "39 He also
wanted to strengthen native administration and leave the central
administration "as its adviser, inspector and guide."40 The
Chief Secretary Rankin agreed with him.4
Mitchell gave instructions to his Chief Secretary to send
administrators to Busoga who would infuse "new energies" into
theadministration.2 Temple-Perkins replaced Bruton as Acting
Provincial Commissioner while Noel replaced Elliot as District
Commissioner. Their terms of reference were to get to the bottom

of discontent in Busoga.
Acting Provincial Commissioner Temple-Perkins, imme-
diately on his arrival in Jinja, toured Busoga extensively, county
by county, with the objective of gaining "some idea of the under-
lying reasons for the present discontent in some quarters in
Busoga. "44 He discovered that the main body of support for the
agitation were the Mitala and Bisoko chiefs many of whom "posed
as Bakopi ready to pay Busulu.45 He advised that since the
agitation for Busulu did not have a popular base among the pea-
santry, the administration could take a stand against it.46 He
advised the incorporation of discontended elements by the creation
of a hierarchy of councils from Miruka, Gombolola, Saza to
theDistrictCouncil in which "minor chiefs, plus peasants, elders
and young aspirants would be represented. "47 The councils would
be indirectly elected.
Entebbe accepted Temple-Perkins' recommendations. They
went further towards some role differentiation. The post of
Omuwanika (Treasurer) was created. The President of the Busoga
Lukiiko became Kyabazinga of Busoga whose role was that of the
chief liaison officer between the Central Government and the
Native Administration, head of the tribe and Chairman of the
Busoga Lukiiko.
On the surface of it, it appeared that these reforms would
put an end to discontent in Busoga. By transferring Saza chiefs
to their clan areas, introduction of a hierarchy of councils and
changing the title of President of the Busoga Lukiiko to that of
Kyabazinga, the colonial authorities thought that they had success-
fully solved the political and administrative problems in Busoga.
But they had not in fact resolved the conflict between "democracy"
and colonial authoritarianism. The hierarchy of councils up to the

Busoga Lukiiko were purely consultative. Colonial authorities
made it clear where power lay.


During the atter part of the 1I30s and early 1940s colonial
policies were highly characterized by contradictions. We have
seen how, in an effort to smother discontent in the District, a
"Bakopi's" Lukiiko and other councils down to Miruka were set
up; Saza chiefs were transferred to their clan areas and the post
of Kyabazinga was created. But then, contrary to these conce-
ssions, the colonial authorities inaugurated policies which vere
aimed at undercutting the social bases of chiefly power.
In 1939, Governor Mitchell, heecdng the advice of his officers
inthefield, authorized the amalgamation of counties, gombololas
and miruka in Teso, Mbale, Bukedi and, later, Busoga. In
Bu.soga they implemented the measures with a vengeance. Hither-
tc. Saza chiefs had borne their traditional titles but they now
came to be known simply as "heads of counties. The District
Commissioner directly appointed pnd dismissed chiefs without
prior consultation with the Busoga Lukiiko.49 As of 1944, the
results of the amalgamations were:

Chieftainship 1924 1930 1936 1938 1944 Target
Sazas 7 8 8 9 6 4
Gombololas 65 68 66 66 48 40
Mirukas ? 389 420 420 295 20050
As aresultof these amalgamations, quite a number of chiefs lost
their chieftainships in Busoga. In all 18 gombolola and 125 miruka
chiefs appear to have done so.
How can we explain this sudden change of policy? The
ideological explanation given by the colonial officials was that

the interests of the Mukopi dictated policy and to improve his lot
they had to appeal to the Bakopi over the heads of chiefs. Some
colonial officials dismissed the Y. B. A. A. as no more than a
mouthpieceofthe ruling clans. 52 The economic reason given by
thecolonial authorities was that the old administrative set up was
expensive, claiming that 35% of Native revenue was paid to chiefs
in the form of salaries, mainly to Gombolola and Saza chiefs53
Amalgamation, would reduce expenditure on the civi: service and
enable them to raise salary scales of the Miruka chiefs.
The colonial authorities went about their "mission" tact-
lessly. They were very bureaucratic in their attitudes. The
personalities of the Provincial and District Commissioners who
took over the district at the beginning of the crisis worsened
matters. Provincial Commissioner Dauncey Tongue was a lawyer
by profession. Like many lawyers, he was formalistic and more
concerned with legalistic justice than local sentiments. He was
not prepared to come to terms with the Y. B. A. A. which he con-
sidered an obstacle to his "mission. In turn he earned intense
unpopularity among the Y. B. A.A. and the chiefly groups in
general. The District Commissioner C. W. Switzer had similar
character traits. He was the young man of whom the Governor,
in his search for an administrator better suited for Busoga, had
said: "There is a very intelligent young man with anthropological
training and irritating manner in Kigezi he might well be sent
to Busoga". One can only assume that Entebbe had sent these
men to Jinja because they considered their personalities well
suited for implementing the policies they had inaugurated!
To get an idea of the intensity and extensiveness of the
reaction against amalgamation and other administrative measures

let us examine how far the chiefly groups and people were negati-
vely affected by them. With the new administrative arrangements,
insecurity and suspicion of the colonial administration pervaded
all the chiefly groups and the peasantry in general. In effect,
for some chiefly groups, amalgamation meant that a clan whose
members had been the traditional rulers of their area would come
under a Saza chief from "outside". Thus, in Bulamogi-Busiki
county, the Basiki Chiefly clan found themselves under a Mulamogi
Saza chief (Z. Nabeta); the chiefly clan of Bukooli in Bugweri-
Bukooli county found themselves under Yekonia Zirabamuzaale
(from Bugweri).
The Mitala and Bisoko chiefs feared for their future under
the new administrative arrangements. They strongly suspected
the Muzungu was conspiring to abolish their Bisoko and Mitala
fcr which they had fought so much to the extent of refusing to be
paidsalaries. If Sazas, Gombolola and Miruka could be amalga-
mated, then their turn would come next. There were, of
course, the Gombolola and Miruka chiefs who had lost their
positions through amalgamation. These filled and strengthened
the ranks of opinion leaders against the administrative measures
in the rural areas!
There were the educated youths many of whom were members
of chiefly groups. They saw in amalgamations an end to their
careers. Where chiefly positions were not available to these
youths, they were absorbed as clerks at different administrative
levels. Amalgamation meant loss of patronage for the retired
chiefs; and to the youths, it meant loss of jobs. The latter loss
was shattering in a society where one of the most important
avenues for upward mobility was a clerical job. The youths were

also concerned about traditional values. They believed in the
institution ofchieftainship. They saw in the increasing bureau-
cratization of chiefs an undermining of Busoga traditional values.
Although, ideologically, it was in the name of the Mukopi
that these measures were taken, the Mukopi appears not to have
been positively impressed by the changes. The Musoga Mukopi,
traditionally and sentimentally attached to his chief, found himself
far removed from him. If and when he wanted to consult him, go
to court, or pay his tax, he was faced with a longer journey.
n reality, amalgamation meant that an impersonal regional bure-
aucracy replaced local paternalism.
TheY. B. A. A. backed by theSaza, Gombolola, Bisoko and
Mitala chiefs, the educated youths and ex-chiefs, agitated against
amalgamations, the abolitionof chiefs' traditional titles and even
petitioned for the restoration ofBusulu and Mailoland. They also
protested against the election of Bakopi to the councils.57 The
colonial administrators were awareof the fact that the petitioners
had the active support of the chiefs in the colonial hierarchy. 58
The colonial authorities' reactions to these agitations can be
divided into two phases. During the first phase, the administra-
tors in the field, backed by Entebbe, were determined to imple-
ment the new administrative measures. In the second phase, the
new Governor, Charles Dundas, and his lieutenants in Entebbe
were prepared to exercise caution. The latter approach, how-
ever, led to a misunderstanding between the Provincial Commi-
ssioner Dauncey Tongue on the one hand and Governor Dundas
with his lieutenants on the other.
Imbued with their missionary zeal for administrative reform
and, at first backed by Entebbe, Tongue and his officers readily

dismissed the Young Basoga and Abatakas' petitions as no more
than "the work of a few malcontents. Tongue advised "a firm
and uncompromising stand" against the petitions. He and his
underlings posed as the custodians of the peasants' interests as
they were "fully satisfied that 80% of the population are either
indifferent or actually in favour of our present policy. 59
Entebbe continued to be inundated with petitions from
Busoga. They went further, sending similar petitions to the
Secretary of State for theColonies and BritishM. P. s. 6Finding
things had gone so far, Dundas suspected his field officers might
be out of touch with affairs in Busoga. On the advice of his
officers Dundas began soft-pedal l ing on the Busoga Question. The
step towards a reconsideration of policy had been initiated by
Dr. H. G. Soulsby, himself an old hand in Busoga affairs. In
his search for the social strength of the Y. B. A. A. agitations,
Dr. Soulsby concluded that they were up against a social movement
which was firmly rooted among a traditionally ruling group, the
Bisoko andMitalachiefs, fully backed by articulate elements within
the Y. B. A. A. 61
Dr. Soulsby therefore urged moderation and consultation
with the agitators. Governor Dundas acted accordingly. He
called for a halt to further amalgamation of administrative units
and a return to the pre- 1939 administrative boundaries. Dundas
wrote a long memorandum to the Colonial Secretary, explaining
the Busoga controversy. It was not his intention to give sweeping
concessions to the chiefs and chiefly groups. Busulu and Mailo-
land were out of the question. 6He was for differentiation between
colonial administrative and clan-head roles to ensure the two
didn't conflict with the performance of colonial duties. He would

give clan-heads powers in matters pertaining to marriage, and
inheritence.64 TheColonialSecretary, Colonel Stanley, agreed
with him.
The immediate resultof Governor Dundas' "go slow" policy
was a showdown between Tongue and the Governor. 6The dif-
ferences between the Governor and Tongue were essentially over
tactics but Tongue regarded Dundas' soft-pedalling as a betrayal
of the Busoga peasantry to the chiefly groups. Before Dundas
left Uganda, he ordered Tongue to be relieved of his duties but
advised him to seek audience with his successor, Sir John Hathorn
Hall. 6 After the interview with Tongue, Hall minuted to his
Chief Secretary: "I mentioned the matter to Mr. Tongue and I
explained that I regarded myself as committed by my predecessor's
promise. "69
In the 1949 Local Government reforms, the Busoga Lukiiko
was more radically broadened to include a large number of non-
chiefly groups. Although the chiefs and chiefly groups set the
pace for discussing issues in the Busoga Lukiiko, they were
numerically not in a strong enough position to raise the issues of
Busulu and Mailoland which had been one of the concerns of
Y. B. A. A. The major issues came to be the nature of Busoga's
relations vis a vis the Protectorate Government and Busoga's
constitutional position in an independent Uganda. The Protecto-
rate Government's final refusal to give meaningful concessions
(Busulu and Mailoland) to chiefs and chiefly groups seriously
undermined Y. B. A. A. Is raison detre. The Bataka wing lingered
on under the leadership of Ernest Wandira and Zefania Munaba.
The die-hard Bataka joined the Bataka Mwoyo Gwa Busoga, a
party whose main aim was to prevent Will iam Nadiope's assumption
of Kyabazingaship in 1962.


1. District Commissioner's Archives, Jinja. Minute Paper No. 1/21a;
Association Young Basoga. Musa Kaduyu and Others. Letter to the
District Commissioner, dated 27 Jan., 1922.
2. Ibid. See names of members appended.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid. See Provincial Commissioner Guy Eden's letter to the Chief
Secretary, dated 25.3. 1922.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Interview with Azalia Mutekanga.
9. Interview with Y. K. Lubogo.
9. Interview with Amosi Kaduyu.
10. Interview with Y. K. Luoogo Benjamin Menya (ex-chief and one of the
founder members).
11. Hansen, Emmanuel. Political Leadership in Busoga, M.A. Thesis,
University of East Africa, 1968. Page 65-66.
12. Apter, David. The Political Kingdom in Uganda (1961) pp. 141-143.
13. Ibid.
14. District Commissioner Childs-Clarke described Musa Kaduyu as "one
of thediehards of the ruling class"; see U. G. A. E. Uganda Government
Archives, Entebbe S.M. P. 2280 Vol. II, Minute 255.
15. For some of these details, I am indebted to Abaami Yosiya Tibyasa,
Erisa Mukwatandeku and Benjamin Menya.
16. Interview with Amosi Kaduyu.
17. For correspondence on many of these issues, see District Commis-
sioner's Archives, Jinja; Minute Paper M/16/NA-Native Associations
18. U.G.A.E. S.M. P. 2280 Vol. 11. Dr. Soulsby's minute, dated 20.7.44,
to the Chief Secretary.
19. District Commissioner's Archives, Jinja, Busoga District Annual
Report 1935.
20. On the nationalist strategy of working out a comprehensive programme
appealing to many different social forces, see Mboya, T. Freedom and
after; Andre Deutsch, 1963 pp. 61-62.

21. These biographical data were provided by Abaami Y.K. Lubogo, A. W.
Kisambira, and B. Munaba (Z. Munaba's son and Ex-M. P.) Also see
U. G. A. E. 2280 Vol. II, E. Wako's letter to the District Commissioner,
dated August 1939.
22. DistrictCommissioner's Archives, Jinja. S.M. P. Chiefs, 1930-1934.
See the "Personal Record of Gideoni Mayengo".
23. U.G.A.E. S.M.P. 6215 Vol.1. Education of Chiefs' Sons. See
Provincial Commissioner's letter to the Chief Secretary, dated
13.3. 1924; the Reverend Brewer's letter to Provincial Commissioner
Eden, dated 17 Feb. 1924; and Mutekanga's letter to the P.C. letter
dated 18 March, 1924.
24. U.G.A.E. S.M.P. 2280. Vol.11, Wako's letter to the D.C.,
dated August, 1939.
25. Azal iaMutekanga entered the Local Administration when he was elected
Secretary-General. He had earlier campaigned hard to see William
Nadiope elected Kyabazinga. He is now living obscurely as a small
26. Interview with Amosi Kaduyu.
27. U.G.A.E. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. 11, Wako's letter to the D.C. dated
August 1939.
28. Bwesengeze were free estates which Basoga chiefs petitioned for.
From these they hoped to draw free labour and money.
29. DistrictCommissioner''s Archives, Jinja. Minute Paper No. M/16/NA;
undated letter by Y. B. A. A. to the D. C.
30. Ibid. Azalia Mutekanga et al's letter to the P.C., dated July 1935.
31. U.G.A.E. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. II Provincial Commissioner's letter to
the Chief Secretary, dated 15 Nov. 1935, D.C. quoted.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid.
34. Interview with Amosi Kaduyu.
35. Downs, A. Inside Bureaucracy, Little Brown, 1967 p. 369.
36. U.G. A.E. S. M.P. 2280 Vol. I. Governor's Minute No. 129.
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid.
40. Ibid.

41. Ibid. C. Rankilh's Minute, dated 14 April 1937 to the Governor.
42. Ibid. Governor's Minute No.210.
43. Ibid.
44. Temple-Perkins' Report, Busoga Native Administration, dated
5 August 1937.
45. Ibid.
46. Ibid.
47. Ibid.
48. U. G. A. E. S. M. P. 2280 Vol. II See Tongue's memorandum, dated
21 November 1944.
49. Interview with Omwami Y. K. Lubogo.
50. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. II; D. Tongue's memorandum, dated 21 November

51. The writer has been told that the early 1940s were "years of dismissals
and retirements. Interview with Y. K. Lubogo.
52. This was Tongue's thesis throughout the controversy.
53. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. II; Tongue's memorandum dated 21 November 1944.
54. Ibid.
55. U.G. A.E. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. II. Governor's Minute No. 210.
56. Interview with Kosamu Muwumba, Y. K. Lubogo and Benjamin Menya.
57. U.G. A. E. S.M.P. 2280 Vol. II; Y.B.A.A. letter to the Governor,
dated 15 October 1942.
+ See D. J. K. Nabeta's letter to the Uganda Herald, 10 April 1943.
53. Ibid. See Noel's letter to the Provincial Commissioner, dated
13 October 1942.
59. Ibid. Tongue's letter to the Chief Secretary, dated 13 October 1942.
60. Ibid. Y.B.A.A.'s telegram to the Colonial Secretary, No. 199.
61. Ibid. Dr. Soulsby to the Chief Secretary, Minute dated 20 July 1944.
62. Ibid. Governor's Minute to the Chief Secretary, dated 20 Sept. 1944.
63. Ibid. Governor Dundas memorandum to Colonial Secretary, Colonel
Oliver Stanley, dated 20 Sept. 1944.
64. Ibid.
65. Ibid. Colonel Oliver Stanley's letter to Governor Dundas, dated
21 October 1944.


66. Ibid. See Tongue's memorandum to the Chief Secretary, dated
21 November 1944; and the Governor's Minute to the Chief Secretary
dated 24 November 1944.
67. Ibid. Tongue's memorandum, 21 November 1944.
68. Ibid. Governor Dundas' Minute to the Chief Secretary, dated
24 November 1944.
69. Ibid. Sir John Hathorn Hall's Minute, dated 9 January 1945, to the
Chief Secretary.


This paper seeks to examine the reasons why the Central
Government decided to take over the administration of schools in
1964 and the factors which complicated the realisation of its
declared policy. The major political actors were the Central
Government, theCatholic, Protestant and Muslim Missions which
were also known as the Voluntary Agencies, and the Kabaka's
Government, a federal Kingdom which until 1967 had been
given constitutional authority to administer primary education,
senior education and teacher training colleges.2


Primary and some post-primary education was under the
firm grip of the Catholic Mission, the Protestant Mission and the
UgandaMuslim Educational Association.3 The Catholic Mission
was the most organised of the three denominations. These
Agencies owned, administered and managed the schools on a
denominational basis. Government control only entailed inspect-
ing and providing grants to some of the schools. At the national
level, each Agency had an Educational Secretary General station-
ed at the respective denominational headquarters. He adminis-
tered all educational institutions of his denomination including
secondary schools, teacher training colleges and technical
schools. He was aided in this enormous task by Education
Secretaries who were in charge of junior schools and then at
the district level, by a school supervisor, two assistant school
supervisors, clerks, a cashier and an accountant.
The main Government official in the educational system
was theChief Education Officer. His main duties were to super-

*A. R. Nslbambi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science.

vise all schools and was for this reason known also as the Chief
Inspector ofschools. He passed grants to the Education Secre-
tary General in respect of post-primary institutions. He was
aided by four Provincial Education Officers in each of the pro-
vinces who passed grants to Education Secretaries in respect
of Junior Secondary Schools. These were in turn aided by the
District Education Officers who also passed grants to school
This lack of sufficient control of the Educational system
by Government was increasingly seen as likely to hamper the
orderly development of education and the country at large.
Accordingly, aCommission of Inquiry was constituted in 1963 to
investigate the educational system and recommend ways of impro-
ving it. This (Castle) Commission recommended among other
things the growth of inter-denominational schools and thereby
enable the government to acquire sufficient control of the system.
The recommendations were put into effect in 1964.

Education was and still is a major resource which can
be utilised to capture the minds of the people. Education can,
for example, be used to de-traditionalise society and to establish
and entrench new rules of determining political legitimacy. In
a transitional society such as Uganda where the grip of the
traditional norms upon the educated people has been significantly
eroded by the socio-economic values of western education, the
schools are major agents of socialisation for those that pass
through them. Primary education assumes greater importance
because it provides not only a sound foundation for secondary
and higher education, but also, the only formal education for
the great mass of the people.
The curriculum is arranged in such a way that it has a
socio-political message for the students. The special esteem

and trust which the teacher enjoys especially in rural areas,
enhances the importance of schools as decisive socializing agents
in Uganda. In their East African study, Dawson and Prewitt
found that eightoutof ten students could always or almost always
trust their teachers. Quite often people look up to the public
school teacher as a repository of knowledge and civilisation.
And thus the teacher's impact on children during their formative
years, is crucial. In this way schools, especially boarding
schools, have ample opportunities of making their impact on the
child. The actual experiences in schools are fraught with signi-
ficant consequences. For example, "an integrated football team,
... may be a far more potent teacher of racial tolerance than
four chapters in a civics book. "
Clearly then, the Central Government, eager to become the
major source of power, sought ways of minimizing mission control
on education. The Government's determination to exclude the
Missions was also influenced by a number of other factors. There
was, for instance, the belief that some Missions were supporting
theopposition party, DP. One Member of Parliament from Acholi
North, expressed frankly the guarded political concern of the
Government when he said,
You will find some Missionaries going out giving Baptism
to other people and saying, 'Mr. Sejaryo you are Sejaryo,
aChristian and you are a member of the Democratic Party.
This concern must be appreciated in the light of the fact that in
Uganda, religion and politics have been significantly intermingled
The second major reason for taking over Mission schools
was that a number of schools were suspected of perpetuating
foreign ideologies and interests. This was seen as a measure
which could undermine Uganda's independence. The Minister of
Education, expressed this view when in his defence of the new
policy he said,

We must have our full share of Uhuru (Independence) and be
fully and really free at last, otherwise we encourage neoco-
lonialism through the agency of the Church. 10

Under the old system, there was a lot of duplication of
educational facilities. A concrete case to illustrate the absurd
rate at which Inspectors of Schools were duplicated must be
cited. Iganga, which is twenty four miles from Jinja, has three
primary denominational schools which are, Iganga Boys and Girls
School for Roman Catholics, Iganga Boys and Girls School for
theChurchof Uganda, and Bukoyo Primary School for Muslims.
Accordingly, there were three school Supervisors representing
the three religions who were stationed at Jinja and each one of
them would commute to Iganga, by-pass the two schools which
are near each other, inspect the school of his denomination and
comeback toJinja. These Inspectors were paid with tax payer's
money. Education Secretaries for Junior Secondary Schools
would do the same thing. Sometimes one denomination was poorly
staffed as a result of which the respective schools would receive
poor inspection and teaching. Furthermore, standardisation of
the educational system could not be easily achieved.
The significant financial contribution of the Government to-
wards education which was increasing every year, was yet a
fourth reason which gave it a legitimate case to increase its
control over the educational system. For example, as Table 1
below indicates, the recurrent expenditure figures on education
were quite substantial. Education took either the second or the
third position in the recurrent expenditure figures. Hence it
was thought legitimate to subject it to sufficient control from the
Central Government.


MINISTRY. 1962/63 1963/64 1964/65 1965/66
Internal Affairs 2,873,756 3,533,930 5,023,900 3,866,510
Education 2,832,030 2,375,120 3,068,210 3,265,570
Administrations 2,785,582 2,475,400 2,757,280 3,465,760
(Source: Ministry of Education and Economic Development)


We must now direct our attention to the formal administrative
changes which were implemented in 1964. The posts of Education
Secretaries General, Education Secretaries and school super-
visors were abolished. The office of the Provincial Education
Officer was re-designated Regional Inspector of Schools. There
are now four Regional Inspectors of Primary Schools, one for
each of the Northern, Eastern, Western and Buganda Regions.
These changes were relatively easy to implement because the
Government simply withdrew the money which was paid to the
incumbents of the abolished posts. Nevertheless the Missions,
especially the Roman Catholic one, continued to control the
schools even afterforegoingGovernment financial support.
Another important financial change was the abolition of the
arrangement under which Missions used to retain 10 per cent of
the school fees. Henceforth, Headmasters were expected to pay
the fees into an account that would be administered by the
Education Officer of a given area. This change was defied by
many headmasters who continued to send the fees to the Missions.
This was especially the case in Masaka District. The Uganda
Teachers Association nevertheless welcomed the proposed change

because the new system enabled it to pin down one employer, the
Government. 11 The pressure for improving teachers' Terms of
Service, was henceforth to be solely exerted on the Government.


The Roman Catholic Church put up the most persistent resis-
tance to the new policy because of its doctrinal convictions which
appeared to conflict with the new policy. Furthermore, the
Roman Catholic Church stood to lose most by the changes. The
Muslims and the Protestants do not appear to have taken any
overt doctrinal position against the changes. The doctrinal posi-
tion of the Roman Catholic Church was based on the Encyclical
letter of Pope Pius XI which said,
Education is first and supereminently the function of the
Church, and this by a two fold supernatural title which God
has conferred upon her alone and which therefore transcends
in authority and validity any title of the natural order. 12
The Church also used St. Thomas Aquina's views to argue that
since it is the responsibility of parents to look after their children
until they reach the age of reason, the State should allow them
to educate their children in the schools of their own choice.
This argument was also contained in the Pope's Encyclical Canon
Law 1113, which urges parents to provide their children with
sound religious, moral, physical and secular education. The law
was inferred to endorse the right of the parents to choose where
to educate their children.
We should note that as far as 1962 the Catholic Bishops of
Uganda had asserted:
The Catholie citizens of Uganda want Catholic Schools for
Catholic children with Catholic teachers. 14
Dr. Kiwanuka, the late Roman Archbishop of Rubaga, had
expressed similar views in Uganda. 1 Some catholic local
newspapers contained extracts from the Encyclical letter the
major source of the doctrinal position of the Roman Catholic

Church in Uganda. Mixed schools were rejected because they
were suspected of being a source of 'infecting children with
irreligion. 16 Secular schools were also rejected as being
'subversive of the whole foundation of Christian education. 17
While the doctrinal position influenced the Roman Catholic
Church to resist the changes, it must be noted that this mission
stood to lose most by the changes. Out of a total of 2648 Primary
Schools inUganda, the Roman Catholic Church controlled 1168,
as compared to the Church of Uganda with 1081 and the Muslim
association with 184. 18Thefigures in table 2 are impressive but
do not indicate the full loss which was to be incurred by the
Catholic Church. Compared to the other denominations, the
Catholics had invested heavily into putting up impressive school
buildings. Furthermore, in most missions education, religion
and the provision of medical services were linked together.
These are indeed treasured resources in Uganda and so when
the Roman Catholic Church proved to be an effective provider
of the three resources, its capacity to control its followers was
greatly increased.
On March 6, 1964, Kiwanuka and Co. Advocates, filed a
civil case in the High Court of Uganda for plaintiffs Rev. Emmanuel
Nsubuga for the Registered Trustees of Masaka Diocese against
the Buganda Government. 1 It must be noted that the Rev. E.
Nsubuga is the Rome- Catholic Archbishop of Rubaga. The basic
facts about the case were as follows: Acting in their official
capacities, Divisional Education Officers between February 21,
1964 and March 4, 1964, withdrew grants from the plaintiff's
schools and removed all the teachers who were teaching in
plaintiffs' schools to other schools. The Divisional EducaticN
Officers wereof Mawokota, Mityana, Bulemezi, Bululi and Masaka
In short, grants were withdrawn from schools which defied the
new administrative educational system. Also teachers were

removed from those schools by Divisional Educational Officers
who were empowered by the Buganda Government to do so.
The first plaintiff (Rev. E. Nsubuga) was the owner of
fourteen grant-aided schools and the second plaintiff was the
owner of four grant-aided schools. The plaintiffs argued that
since the Divisional Education Officers withdrew grants and
transferred teachers from the plaintiff's schools in the course
of their duties and since the officers were employees of the
Buganda Government, the Buganda Government was therefore
liable for the costs of the Divisional Education Officers. The
plaintiffs further contended that in law the defendant had no right
to interfere with the teaching staff in the plaintiff's schools and
remove them from the schools in which they were teaching and
that the action occasioned great damage to the plaintiffs. The
plaintiffs further argued that the withdrawal of grants from their
schools was arbitrary and illegally done and caused substantial
loss to them. The court was asked to:
(a) declare the defendant's act as illegal and order the resto-
ration of grants and teachers to the plaintiffs' schools;
(b) award damages assessed by the Court to the plaintiffs for
the defendant's unlawful interference with the teaching
staff in the plaintiffs' schools.
The defendant's (the Kabaka's Government) stand was that
it was under no legal obligations to pay grants in aid for plaintiffs
schools and was entitled to withdraw these grants at its discretion,
which it did after March 9, 1964, on failure to comply with its
instructions regarding payment of school fees into a special
On March 7, 1964, the plaintiffs sought for an application
for a temporary injunction preventing the defendant from with-
drawing grants from the plaintiffs' schools and also preventing
the defendant from taking away teachers from the plaintiffs'
schools pending the final determination of the suit. Justice Fuad

dismissed the application0 with costs to the respondent. The
Central Government felt that it had to join Kabaka's Government
in court because the implications of any judgement given in the
case would be significant to the Central Government since it had
the ultimate responsibility of looking after education throughout
While these legal tangles were going on, the Kabaka's
Government was exposed to a lot of political and religious pres-
sure. The basic differences between the Kabaka's Government
and the Central Government were exploited in the full glare of
public discussions. For example, it was pointed out that whereas
theCentral Government was half-hearted about implementing the
new educational system, it was trying to erode the political
cohesion of the Kingdom of Buganda by encouraging the Kabaka's
Government to plunge fully into an issue which was extremely
delicate and explosive. By so doing, it was pointed out, the
Central Government was creating a chaotic situation in Buganda
which would enable it to interfere into the affairs of Buganda
ostensibly to ensure the observance of peace, but in reality to
erode the political power of Buganda. Some of these arguments
sounded plausible because the Central Government had, for
example, not passed the necessary legislation to enable it to
implement a number of aspects concerning the new policy. It is
in this light that the Controller and Auditor General of Uganda,
who was known to be an impartial man, made the following obser-
Schools and Colleges with reference to paragraph 90 of
my last report, the rules for the management and control
of primary schools have now been promulgated, but the legal
position generally continues to be obscure. Boards of
Governors and Managers have not been incorporated; land
and buildings continue to belong to school-owners, including
Government, who are no longer in administrative control of
schools, and trustees have not been appointed to hold other
assets; some institutions continue to b staffed by Civil
Servants. 21

Eventually, the Kabaka's Government decided to settle the
case outside the HighCourt. But this move infuriated the Central
Government. The Acting Minister of Education and the Chief
Education Officer in the Kabaka's Government, both Roman
Catholics, were suspected of having sold out the entire education
policy to their fellow Roman Catholics. The Chief Education
Officer who had been seconded to the Kabaka's Government by
the Central Government, was de-seconded and posted to Mbale,
outside Buganda. He was also removed from the administrative
sector which was still handling many delicate issues concerning
the new policy, to the Inspectorate. These measures were meant
to express the Central Government's displeasure concerning the
Ideal' of the Kabaka's Government. On June 17, 1964, the case
was withdrawn from the High Court of Uganda. The Kabaka's
Government agreed to restore grants retrospectively to plaintiffs'
schools and to pay them travelling allowance for the purpose of
such re-transfer.22
What were the consequences of this case? First, by this
time, many Protestants and Moslems had ceased resisting the
newpolicy vigorously. The Verona andMill Hill Roman Catholics
were equally soft-spoken about the issue. It was the White
Fathers who put up tough resistance. It could be argued that
since the White Fathers had Ugandanised the Church earlier and
moreextensively than the other Roman Catholic sects had done,
they were in a stronger position to bargain with their fellow
Ugandans. Since the Central Government was led by what was
assumed to be essentially a Protestant establishment despite the
fact that many politicians were regarded as nominal Christians,
it was assumed by some Ugandans that the new policy would be
implemented in such a way that Roman Catholics and the Demo-
cratic Party would be victimised. And so there is a narrow
sense in which there was a religious strugglebetween Roman

Catholics and Protestants. In this narrow sense, the winning
of the case was a religious victory for the Roman Catholics.
Second, it was a political blow to the new policy of the
Central Government, which felt that it was 'betrayed' for poli-
tical reasons by the Kabaka's Government. It should be noted
that when the Kabaka's Government resolved the case, it asserted
its right to resolve its problems autonomously. By resolving
the issue in a manner which placated the Roman Catholics, the
Kabaka's Government was' availing itself of the support of one
of the most powerful religious groups, whose support would be
crucially needed in resolving future and outstanding disagree-
ments and legal tangles between the Central Government and the
Kabaka's Government. This issue also demonstrated that despite
the political marriage between Buganda and the governing party
(UPC), the basic differences between the Kabaka's Government
and the Central Government were beginning to emerge in public.
From this time onwards the Central Government's policy
was resisted morevigorously in Buganda. Major cases involving
resistance can be cited: Mr. George Senabulya and Mr. Charles
Mukasa, both Protestants were posted to Cathol ic primary schools
in Mubende District. The parents of the children in the two
schools physically obstructed the Headmasters and prevented
them from performing their duties. The Headmasters stayed at
their homes while the Government continued to pay them their
salaries for four months. Eventually both headmasters were
posted to Church of Uganda schools. And so the integration of
schools having been openly defied, the Government gave in.
The Diocesan Secretary's main strength in resisting the
new system of administering the school fees was that they had
won the case in the High Court which entitled them to continue
with theold system. The 'winning of the case' in the High Court
was a recurrent theme which caused a lot of satisfaction to many

people in Uganda. And yet, as we have already noted, the case
was actually withdrawn from the High Court under the terms which
were dictated by the plaintiffs. It is only in this sense that the
plaintiffs won the case. Technically, however, the case was
not judged in the Court, and therefore, the victory was over-
stated partly because of lack of accurate and detailed information,
and partly for political reasons. Those believing that the case
had been won included the President of the powerful Parents
Association of Masaka, which vehemently opposed the new system
of administeringschools.23 This Association was started in 1954
and is affiliated to the Uganda Catholic Parents Association. It
boasts of forty thousand active members who come from the
twenty six Parishes which constituted the Masaka Diocese. It
is important to note that some of the arguments of this Association
were persuasive and powerful. For example, it attacked the
Government's policy of scrapping religious names from established
schools on the ground that this practice wiped away history,
and that the practice in effect disregarded recognizing the
wonderful work which was done by Missionaries after whom some
of these schools were named, For example, St. Ursula's Primary
School had just been re-named Kalungu Girl's School.

How did other areas of Uganda react to the new policy? In
general, overt resistance to the implementation of the policy was
neither sustained nor widespread. We must, however, record
some isolated but important empirical cases which affected tWe
realisation of the new policy. In Bunyoro, resistance ws
isolated. Buildings of the Kabalega in-service centre were
reclaimed by the Protestant Church of Uganda. The Church
asserted its right to be the sole owner of the buildings, and it
demonstrated clearly that the administration of schools could not
be sharply separated from the ownership of property despite the

Central Government's claims when it was disengaging Voluntary
Agencies from the administration of schools. The counties of
Buyaga and Bugangaizzi which.are dominated by Roman Catholics
were also pockets of resistance. 24 For example, the Headmaster
of the Catholic Mugalike Primary School continued to take his
fees to the Catholic Father Manager who was in charge of the
MugalikeParish. After the District Education Officer had given
the Headmaster several warnings, the Headmaster was demoted
to the rank of a teacher and transferred to another school.
Lessons of this nature stamped out resistance to the new policy
in Bunyoro district.
InAcholi district, leaders of the Catholic Church attempted
to withdraw Holy Rosary School from the implementers of
thenewpolicy, When the District Commissioner of Acholi inter-
vened, the Bishop of the area showed a high degree of
co-operation.25 One Protestant school was, however, burnt
down in East Acholi by people who were not identified. When
the district council resolved that the burnt down school was to
be rebuilt by the public including all denominations, Catholics
objected to the proposal which was nevertheless eventually imple-
mented. The Catholic religious leaders of the Secondary Modern
School at Kalongo (East Acholi) withdrew their buildings from
the services of the Government and turned them into a private
senior secondary school. The buildings of St. Joseph Junior
Secondary School at Gulu (Acholi) which was grant-aided by the
Government, were also withdrawn from the ambi.t of the Central
Government, and the entire institution is now wholly dedicated
to the religious purpose of training Catechists.
In Ankole district, the Catholic Bishop argued that some
class rooms of Ibanda Catholic School were built from the
resources of his Church and he therefore declared that the
school could not continue using them before getting his consent

which he had withdrawn because of the new pol icy. The Education
Committee of the area and the Education Officer argued that these
rooms were an integral part of the educational system and that
withdrawing the rooms would constitute sabotaging the new policy.
Eventually the issue was settled amicably. The co-operation of
theCatholic Bishop of Ankole was commended. It w-s further
pointed out that Catholics freely handed over to the Government
their private Nyamitanga Rural Trade School. The Catholic
Bishop frankly pointed out that the donors of money to this school
were also eager to ensure that it be recognized by the Government.
It should be noted that there is a sense in which the co-operation
of the Protestants was taken for granted. This was because the
Ankole Government was led by a Protestant, and therefore there
was a tendency to see real or imagined coincidence of interests
between the Ankole Government and the Central Government of
Uganda which was also led by a Protestant. Indeed, one heard
some unguarded Protestants in Ankule and in other partsof
Uganda saying, 'let us support our Central Government which
is led by our fellow Protestant.'
In West Nile, one Church of Uganda School was burnt down
at Yivu, and all denominations instructed to help towards recon-
structing a new building to replace the one burnt down. This
move incensed the religious sensibilities of the non-Protestant
denominations which felt that they were being forced to assist a
rival religious denomination. It must be noted that despite the
fact that there were few open and blatant violations of the new
educational policy in West Nile, many parents continued to send
their children to schools of their denomination. The solid work
of, for example, the Catholic Church and its great influence
could not be eroded overnight. The impact of important papers
and documents such as Lobo Mewa. Leadership and Divini Illius
Magistri, whose religious doctrine was imbibed wholesale, conti-
nued to make it very difficult for the new policy to penetrate the

historically entrenched denominational system of education.
Indeed, while Lodonga Teacher Training College in Aringa county
did not resist the new policy per se, its staff remained 100 per
cent Catholic, and over 80 per cent of its students remained
Catholic. AruaTeacher TrainingCollege likewise did not resist
the policy but 100 per cent of its staff and 80 per cent of its
students remained Protestants. Nyai School in Koboko county
remained staffed and attended predominantly by Muslims.
In Lango district, the Secretary General of the all Lango
Parents Assembly wrote to the Minister of Education on January
15, 1964, saying,
On behalf of Lango Parents Assembly, I convey the
heartfelt gratitude for the take-over of all schools in our
beloved Uganda. The parents in Lango have accepted with
double hands, this major change in the administration
of schools. The takeover has sealed off the end of the cheating
which has been going on since the coming of the Missionaries
into our Uganda. 27
If one is guided only by 'visible' politics and documents, it is
very easy to fall into the trap of concluding that Lango district
willingly agreed to adopt the new educational policy of the Central
Government which was ledby their fellow tribesman, Mr. Obote.
However, the new policy was resisted in a number of places.
For example, when the EducationCommittee of Lango amalgamated
two neighboring schools in order to facilitate religious inte-
grationandminimise duplication of facilities, one of the schools
was burnt down because of religious intolerance. The religious
denominations had so penetrated people's minds that in a number
of cases, political and ethnic considerations werenotalways
powerful enough to make these people violate the stand of their
religious leaders over the new policy.
In Toro district, the issues were interwoven with the politics
of secession. They are intricate and lengthy, but for the purpose
of our discussion, they need only be sketched. The Baamba and

Bakonjo endorsed the new policy. They saw it as a move to end
the prevailing situation whereby they were discriminated against
economically, administratively, educationally, socially and poli-
tical ly by the Batoro. 28 Mr. Yeremiya, S. Kawamara who claimed
to be the leader of Baamba and Bakonjo, wrote to the Minister
of Education on January 6, 1964, congratulating the Central
Government on the decision to take over the administration of
schools from Voluntary Agencies. He added,
This policy is very helpful not only to parents but also to
the State because the children will grow up as full entities
of the State with less feeling that they belong to denomina-
tional institutions. When the Government has taken over full
responsibility or when we have achieved our separate
district, then any teacher from Uganda will be welcome
except a Mutoro. 29
It is clear that the Baamba and Bakonjo hoped that the Central
Government would use the new educational policy to tackle effecti-
vely their grievances. As events unfolded themselves, however,
Baamba and Bakonjo realized that they had to some extent over-
simplified a more complex problem. Their demand for a separate
district is still strong, although it was somewhat dulled by the
abolition of the Kingdoms in 1967. The institution of Kingship
was a sharp reminder to the Baamba and Bakonjo of the hegemony
of Batoro.
Religion and politics are inextricably linked in Kigezi dis-
trict.30 The reasons for this phenomenon are outside the scope
of this paper. The Uganda Peoples Congress, was identified with
the Protestant cause while the Democratic Party (DP)
was identified with Roman Catholics. Since the UPC was in
power when the new educational policy was adopted, many Roman
Catholic Headmasters suspected that if they complied with the
new policy and gave their fees to the District Education Officers,
they would be used to build Protestant schools. Hence religious
distrust, rivalry and a background of intensive mixing of politics

with religion hampered the implementation of the new Vducationa
policy. At least seventeen Roman Catholic Headmasters were
declared guilty of having bought school equipment with school
fees instead of sending them to the District Education Officer.
They included the Heads of Mutolere, Kagera, Soko, Wanzu and
Gusengu Catholic Primary Schools. The Headmasters argued
that they had been confused by two conflicting circulars. The
first one sent by the District Education Officer is said to have
instructed al I Headmasters to deposit their fees into the District
Education Officer's account. The second circular which is
claimed to have been sent lby the Assistant District Education
Officer on behalf of the District Education Officer, is said to
haveallowed Headmasters to use part of the school fees to buy
books and equipment for their schools, provided they kept receipts
and invoices for the things they bought. The Acting District
Education Officer acted swiftly and firmly and argued that the
Headmasters in question had misappropriated school funds and

that they had violated the new policy. They were accordingly
ordered to reimburse the Government in cash from their personal
funds. This incident facilitated the process of breaking down
the resistance, at least, as far as paying fees into the Education
Officer's Account was concerned.


We must now direct our attention to the po.- -revolution
changes. In 1966, Obote confronted Buganda and he L..t-d force
to crush Buganda's autonomy and hegemony.31 The removal of
Buganda's special position meant that the Missions were deprived
of a significant a ly in their strugglefor maintaining control over
the schools. The Central Government took over' the responsibi-
lity of paying primary teac! ers their salaries in 1968 and the
syllabus for primary schools was centralised. Above all, the
Education Actof 1970 of 1970vested a lot of power in the Central

Minister of Education and the Chief Education Officer and the
formal representation of the Missions on Management Committees
and Boards of Governors was formally ended, although some
priests came back on these Committees as representatives of
The major points which were adopted and implemented for
Primary Schools included the introduction of the decision to
providemuch of the basic education at the primary level, intro-
duction of one syllabus for all Primary Schools in Uganda, and
last but not least, the reduction of the primary education
duration from eig -t to seven years. The system of automatic
promotion undei which students would cease repeating classes,
was also put into effect. The languages of instruction were
limited to Akarimojong, Ateso, Lugbara, Lwo, Runyankole/
Rukiga, Luganda and Runyoro/Rutoro. 32 The Castle Report had
argued, "in the absence of an acceptable common African language
itseems to us that English must occupy this position in Uganda.
S..33 A national Primary Curriculum Committee was created in
1970. An Inspector of Primary Schools is now stationed in
each district whereas in the past, Inspectors used to come from
theProvincial Headquarters. The Inspector looks at the curri-
culum, methods of teaching, administrative abilities of teachers
etc., and he sends reports to the District Education Officer.
The Education (Management Committees) Amendment Rules
were also issued by the Minister of Education. 3These set up
revised Management Committees for a school or for groups of
schools which share reasonable geographical proximity. The
functions of the Management Committee include administering the
funds of the school in accordance with instructions laid down by
the Permanent Secretary, and appealing to the Minister of
Education against the posting or transfer of a teacher to or from
a school although the decision of theMinister on such appeal shall

be final. The composition of the Management Committees was such
that the Government was given ample opportunities to control the
schools. For example, appointment of any member of a Management
Committee had to be approved by the Chief Education Officer. 36
Any school Management Committee was to-consist of (a) four
members appointed by the education committee of the area in which
theschool is situated and one of the members had to be appointed
a Chairman. Since the Government controlled district councils,
it made sure that dependable members were appointed by the
Education Committees to the Management Committees. This was
particularly easy to achieve in Buganda where all Councillors were
nominated by the Government. (b) Two members were to be elected
by the parents of the school; and (c) three members were to be
appointed by theChief Education Officer. The posting of officers
was entirely taken over by the area Education Officer under the
direction of the Chief Education Officer.
The new Educational policy was endorsed in 1970 by an Act
of Parliament. Under its provisions the Minister of Education
was given powers:
to appoint education committees to be responsible for the
administrationof any educational services; and to constitute
or dismiss a Board of Governors for any public school or
groupof schools and to appoint to it such numbers of members
as he thinks fit.
This provision ended the formal representation of the Voluntary
Agencies which were normally the Foundation Bodies. It will be
noted that under the Board of Governors (Self-Governing Schools)
Rules of 1962, self-governing secondary schools were administered
with the assistance of the Board of Governors. Section 3 of the
Rules provided that a Board of Governors had to consist of (a)
a Chairman appointed by the Foundation Body with the approval
of theMinister of Education, (b) eight nominated members approved
by theMinister, who were elected by the Chairman and nominated
members, and a Secretary appointed by the Board. In practice,

the Bishops tended to be the Chairmen of these Boards of
Governors. These Boards played a significant role in assisting
the Headmasters to administer schools and to look after the funds
of theschools. The Act destroyed the formal arrangements which
used to enable Voluntary Agencies to dominate the running of
schools. Other powers of the Minister must be cited. He may
at his 'absolute discretion'
direct the opening or closure of a school37 prescribe fees
which a private school may charge;38 and establish an
Appeals Tribunal, members of which he shall appoint.39
Finally, the Minister may, by Statutory Instrument, make regu-
lations for all or any of the following matters:40
(a) Prescribing and defining various categories of schools.
(b) Defining the functions of any class of schools established
under this Act.
(c) Prescribing the conditions governing the award of grants.
(d) Providing for the management and control of private schools
of any description or category.
(e) Prescribing courses of instruction and examinations.
(f) Prescribing examinations for teachers and the conditions
governing any examination held under the authority of the
Chief Education Officer.
(g) Prescribing the fees payable at any school etc.
The Education Act also gave ample powers to the Chief
Education Officer who was in turn subject to the control of the
Minister of Education. He was given power to direct all education
officers, including the Inspectors. Furthermore he was charged
with the responsibility of:
(1)Maintaining, in such a form as he might think fit, a register
of teachers entitled to be registered. 41
(2) Approving application for registration by a teacher or re-
fusing to do so. 42
(3) Removing from the register of teachers the name of any
teacher who was, for example, found guilty of misconduct. 43

(4) Issuing to any person a statement of eligibility entitling
the holder to have his name entered on the roll of licensed
teachers notwithstanding that such person has not comple-
ted successful ly a course of training as a teacher or has
not attended such a course. 44
(5) Approving people to establish private schools. 45
(6) Adopting a system to distinguish primary schools from
other schools. 46
(7) The registration of private schools he may at his dis-
cretion cancel at any time. 47
Controls on the Minister of Education and the Chief Education
Officer against abuse of power were either minimal or absent.
By 1970, political control of schools had reached such a dangerous
peak that many headmasters who were interviewed48 felt insecure
and frustrated. There is also evidence to suggest that there was
a tendency to central ise the administration before making adequate
arrangements for the new move. For example, when the
Government assumed responsibility for the payment of primary
teachers' salaries from January 1, 1968, there was an absence
of voted financial provision and adequate administrative machinery
In therMinistry ofEducation. Consequently, salaries for January
and February 1968 were metby the Ministry of Regional Adminis-
trations as a charge on the block grant item. Reimbursement
was subsequently made. 4The Auditor General also pointed out
that a lot of administrative details remained hazy. For example,
he said,
I remain unawareof progress made towards determining res-
ponsibility for maintenance of Government-founded primary
schools. 50
Although it was the declared aim of the Central Government
to secularise education as much as possible by minimisingthe
Influence of religious bodies, the list of people who sat on the
reconstituted committees suggests that the Government was care-
ful to ensure parity of religious representation on the Commit-

tees. For example, in Madi and Masaka districts, where Roman
Catholicism was the most dominant religion, over ninety eight per
cent of the representatives of the parents on the committees were
Roman Catholics. The situation was also true in areas which
were predominantly dominated by Protestants, such as Buloba
in West Buganda.

In this paper we have examined a number of reasons which
prompted theCentral Government to take over the administration
of schools from the Missions. It has been suggested that prior
to the revolution of 1966, the Government's policy was openly
defied and that after the revolution, the Government attained a
higher measure of success in implementing its policy.
It must however, be noted that the Government remained
imprisoned by the educational system which was constructed by
the Missions. The educational system remained essentially
elitist,51 and religious values retained a respected place
within it although Government had officially declared thatScri-
pture should no longer rank as a compulsory subject in schools.
Vocational training in crucial areas such as agriculture, com-
merce and mechanical maintenance continued to play a secondary
role in the system. The Missions had done their work in such a
devoted manner that although their formal representation on the
school governing bodies had been stopped, some parents continu-
ed to nominate Priests, Bishops and other religious people to
represent them on these bodies. Furthermore, many of the
Government officials had been nursed and trained'by the Missions.
Consequently, some of the officials were reluctant to implement
the new policy rigorously. The remaining major task of the
Government was to exert adequate control over the values of the
educational system. This is a more elusive and complex task
which will take generations of steady and devoted work to


1. This is a revised version of the paper which was presented at the
USSC Conference, Makerere, December 14-17, 1971.
2. See Section 14 of the Uganda Independence Order In Council to the
1962 Uganda Constitution.
3. CF. S. M. E. Lugumba and J. C. Ssekamwa, A History of Education
in East Africa (1900 1973). (Kampala: Kampala Bookshop, 1973).
4. This view gives more emphasis to schools than other writers suggest.
See, for example, Almond G.A. and Powell, B.G. Jr. (eds.)
(Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach, (Boston: Little
Brown and Company, 1966), p.67.
5. For more information on this point, The Report of the Uganda Education
Commission (The Castle Report) Entebbe, 1963), pp. 9 22.
6. R.E. Dawson and K. Prewitt, Political Socialisation (Boston: Little
Brown and Company, 1969), p. 159.
7. Ibid.
8. SeeD. Koff and G. V. Dermuhll, "Political Socialisation in Kenya and
Tanzania", The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 5, no. 1,
1967, p. 21.
9. Proceedingsof theUqandaNationalAssembly. Vol. 13, June 25, 1963,
pp. 461 468.
10. SeeProceedqinqsof the Uganda National Assembly, \/ol. 22, December
16, 1963, pp. 537 558. It should be noted that 'Church' and 'Mission'
were used synonymously because their interests tended to be identical.
Furthermore, there were many cases in which priests served both in
the Mission and in the Church as well.
11. The General Secretary of the Uganda Teachers Association (UTA) whom
I interviewed confirmed this interpretation.
12. TheChristian Education of Youth, Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI.
Divini Illius Maqstri, 1929. (London: Catholic Truth Society), p. 11
13. For a good discussion of this issue see D. W. Robinson, "The Church,
Schools and Religious Liberty", African Ecclesiastical Review, Vol.
VIII, no. 1, January 1965. Consult also J. Mckenna, "Why Catholic
Schoolss, African Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. X, no. 3, July 1968
and Divini Illius Maqistri, p. 13.
14. "Shaping our National Destiny" ,a Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops
of Uqanda on the occasion of the attainment of Independence by Uganda.
October 9, 1962, Supplement to Leadership, a magazine for Catholic
Actionists and Lady Apostles in Uganda.
15. S6e his Pastoral Letter, November 1961, (It is available in Makerere
Main Library, Kampala.)
16. Divini Illius Magistri, pp. 37 38.
17. Ibid. p. 37.

18. Source: The Republic of Uganda, Education Statistics, October 1967,
(Ministry of Education), Section A, Primary Schools.
19. Rev. E. Nsubuga and Rev. B. Mubiru v. Buganda Government, High
Court Civil Case No. 142 of 1964, March 6, 1964.
20. The Registered Trustees of Rubaga Archdiocese and the Registered
Trustees of Masaka Diocese v. The Buganda Government, High Court
Civil CaseNo. 142, March7, 1964, before the Honourable Justice Fuad.
21. The Public Accounts of the Government of Uganda for the year ended
June30. 1964, together with the Report thereon by the Controller and
Auditor General. (Entebbe: G.P.), p. 10, paragraph 83.
22. The Registered Trustees of Rubaga Archdiocese and the Registered
Trustees of Maraka Diocese v. The Buganda Government, Mengo,
before the HonourableMr. Justice Bennett, The High Court of Uganda,
Kampala, Civil Case No. 142, of 1964, 17. 6.64.
23. The Association built Christ the King Senior Four schools, Villa
Maria Senior Secondary School, Bwamba Senior Secondary School,
24. This was confirmed by a former Assistant Education Officer of Bunyoro
district and several teachers and students of this area who were inter-
25. This case is reported in the open files of the archives of the
Ministry of Education.
26. Interview with the District Education Officer of Ankole District.
27. Source: Archives of the Ministry of Education. His name was Matthew
28. For details, see N.. Kasfir, Cultural Sub-Nationalism in Uganda, in
V. Olorunsola (ed.) The Politics of Cultural Sub-Nationalism in Africa.
New York, 1972. See also Report of the Commission of Inquiry into
the recent disturbances amongst Baamba/Bakonjo peoples of Toro,
by Dr. Sembeguya, 1962. J.S. Matte, a former student at Makerere
who is aMukonjo, wrote some good papers on the subject which have not
been published. He asserts that Bakonjo should in fact be properly
called Bakonzo. He, inter alia. claims that in 1960s, out of 127
development loans, Baamba/Bakonzo only received 7 and yet they were
40% of the total population of the Toro District.
29. Archives of the Ministry of Education.
30. Some explanations can be found from the following sources: Rothchild,
D. andRogin, M. "Uganda", in G. Carter, (ed.), National Unity and
Regionalism in Eight African States. New York, 1966, p.381. Also
the Balokole movement founded by Mr. Semyoni Nsibambi in 1922 as
part of the Protestant Church, which became widespread in Kigezi,
intensified the rivalry between Catholics and Protestants. SeePatricia
St. John, Breath of Life, (London: The Norfolk Press, 1971).

31. For more information on the revolution of 1966-7 see A. R. Nsibambi,
"The rise and fall of Federalism in Uganda", East Africa Journal.
December 1966 and Young Crawf ,rd, "The Obote Revolution", Africa
Report, Vol. II, No. 6, June 1966.
32. The Castle Report, op. cit. p. 10, paragraph 26.
33. Ibid. p. 14, paragraph 33. For mor4!.' information on this theme, see
the author's article, "Language Policy in Uganda: An Investigation
into Costs and Politics", African Affairs. Vol. 70, No. 278, January
1971, pp. 62-72.
34. A National Curriculum Development Centre was started in 1973. For
details see "The Inaugural Uganda National Curriculum Conference
Report" Kampala: Sapoba Bookshop Press Ltd. 1975, and "The
Structureof Uganda's Education System: A report on the Proceedings
and Recommendations of The Paraa Curriculum Conference held 3-6
September, 1974", Kampala: Consolidated Printers Ltd. 1975.
35. See Statutory Instrument 1969 No. 244, The Education Management
Committees (Amendment) Rules 1969.
36. See The Education Management Committees (Amendment) Act Rules,
1969, 1(4).
37. The Education Act 1970, Article 34 (2)
38. 35 (2)
39. 38 (i) and (ii)
40. 42.
41. The Education Act 1970, Article 9.
42. 11 (2) and 12
43. 13
44. "i 15
45. 22
46. '" 24 (2)
47. 25 and 26.
48. These included existing and former Headmasters of Mwiri College,
BulobaPrimarySchool, Kigezi High School, Bweranyangi Girls' High
School, MengoSenior Secondary School and Kisubi Senior Secondary
School. Other Headmasters who disliked the existing Government
Controls, preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons.
49. See the Public Accounts of the Government of Uganda for the year
ended June 30. 1968. by the Auditor-General. (Entebbe: Government
Printer), paragraph 235.
50. Ibid. paragraph 247.
51. CF James Katorobo, "Education and Training In The Uganda Adminis-
trative System", unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, M. T. August 1975.


A. B. K. KAsozI


The acceptance of Islam in Uganda, after its arrival in
the area during the reign of Suna in the period 1840-1854 to
the death of Mbogo in 1921, can be phased into four distinct
stages. Firstly, during the reignof Mutesa I (1854-1884) Islam
was helped by a centralised native authority to penetrate into
the regions under the suzereignty and influence of this autho-
rity. Secondly, the breakdown of this authority in the reign
of Mutesals son Mwanga by weakening the ties of social bonds
and cohens ion freed the subjects of this region from traditional
beliefs and thus enabled them to accept foreign religions. One
of thereligions received in the area was Islam. Thirdly, out-
side Buganda in.the period 1897-1910 Islam carried mainly by
BagandaMuslim refugees met with hard social resistance from
thepeopleof theseareas. This was because, unlike Buganda,
thesocial bondsandties in these regions were still strong and
Intact. And lastly, in the colonial period as from 1910 onwards
Islam adopted the tactic of individual conversion to beguile the
hostile imperial masters.
In this paper, the word process implies a continuous social
phenomena which may still be going on even today. Islamisation
implies notonly the movement of Islam from outside to a virgin
society thatmay be converted to Islam but also the penetration
of this religion into the minds, philosophy and lives of the
Individuals of a particular society. It should be remembered
that in Uganda, the Muslim are but a small minority of no more
than 15% out of a population of about ten million people. It
should also be remembered that Uganda Islam has not reached

a stage where it is fully and entirely integrated into the social
structures and lives of the Muslims. It does not influence every
aspect of the lives of the Muslims such as is the case in the
Magharib, Egypt, the East African Coast or the Western Sudan.


The presence of a centralised polity in the main part of
Uganda gave Islam a gigantic initial start in this country. Not
only did this authority act as an umbrella protecting the early
preachers of Islam but it also gave them the means to spread
the message of Islam. State authority, power and resources
were put at the disposal of Islam in its long way to the minds
of the people.
Islam was first brought into Uganda to Buganda by traders
from the East African Coast in the last ten years of Kabaka
Suna's reign (i.e. 1840-1854).2 The King or Kabaka, ruled
over a central ised state and al I powers be they social, political,
economic or religious were concentrated into his throne. For-
merly, the Kabakals authority could be moderated by other
social centres of power such as mediums of the gods, the heri-
ditary aristocracy and the Queen Mother. But by themid
nineteenth century, It.... the king had acquired completeadmini-
strative control over Buganda". This became especially so
as Buganda expanded in territory and wealth. The Kabaka got
more positions to reward favourites and power to punish his
opponents. As a result, everyone in Buganda worked to please
theKabaka. Further, the palace of the Kabaka was the centre
of activity in the land. The most important chiefs were expected
tobearound the palace and, in theory, help to advice the king
but, in practise, to administer unto his pride. Future leaders
and servants of the state also used the court as a training

ground. They were recruited as youths to go to the court and
learn how to serve the Kabaka, the political systems of the
land, the social and traditional set up of the country. Musi-
cians, craftsmen, jesters and all men of talent in every field
in the country were attracted to the court to serve and be
noticed by the Kabaka. Through him, they could rise or fall
in social status.
Such a political institution with all powers centralised
into one man gave the occupant of Buganda throne the power
to make his kingdom sneeze if he had caught a cold. If he
adopted a fashion, all his people followed suit. If he became
sympathetic to a doctrine be it foreign or indigenous, most of
the important chiefs around him did so. Thus when Mutesa I
decided to "read" Islam in the late 18601s he told his chiefs
about it. His chiefs with one voice replied that;
"You, Sir, are more intelligent than we in under-
standing difficult things like these. If you like and
love them, so shall we; let us therefore become Muslims
because you are there to teach us and inform us about
God". 4
The chiefs had no alternative, anyway, for to displease the
Kabaka could result in political and in many cases physical
It was thiscentralised authority with complete ppwer over
the subjects that helped the penetration of Islam into Ganda
Society and later its being accepted by Baganda in the years
1854 to 1884. As already pointed out Mutesa, for commercial
and political reasons, adopted or at least it appeared that he
favoured Islam. Having done so, he used royal power to
Islamise his state. In 1869 or aroun- that time, he ordered
that all his subjects must embrace Islam.5 He followed this

up by.enforcing the observance of Islamic rites, customs and
traditions. Thus he decreed that all his subjects must observe
the fast in the month of Ramadhan. 6The five prayers had to
be observed by all subjects in the land. He, as an example
to all others, built a mosque in the central compound of his
palace to be used both for daily and Friday prayers. He created
a Ministry of the Mosque with an important chief at its head to
supervise the affairs of the Mosque. He forbid his subjects
toeatmeat not butchered according to Islamic law. He ruled
that the traditional way of greetings was to be replaced by
Aslaam alaikum (peace be unto you); the way coastal traders
used to greet one another. 10 He prohibited the possession of
dogs although the Baganda were very fond of hunting with them.
Theclimax of Islamic influence came when Mutesa ordered the
execution of those "refusing to embrace the religion ordered
by the king". So amazed about Islam was Mutesa that he
began to organise "missionary" expeditions to his neighbours
to inform them about Islam. One of these expeditions was sent to
his rival kingdom of Bunyoro to try and make the king of that
land, Kabarega, a Muslim. 12
It is true thatmany people became Muslims for convenience
rather than from conviction. In fact many apostatised as soon
astheking changed his mind or situations changed. But Islam
gained two major advantages out of this royal favour. Firstly,
her message was popularised amongst all people, the elites
and the masses. Since in Buganda, the Kabaka's hand reached
almostall corners, it is reasonable to assume that all subjects
heard about Islam and hearing of a religion is a preliminary
stage to conversion. Secondly, a number of people who had
become Muslims at the order of the king loved and remained in

their new found religion. This group included a number of
important chiefs who were very close to the king such as
Tebukozza, a favouriteofMutesa; Bbira, a brother of Katikiro
Mukasa; Matembe Balaga, son of Mukwenda Ndoga; Kapalaga
who became head of the Ekitonqole Ekijaasi (Department of
worriors) in the otherthrow of Mwanga; Muguluma who later
became Katikiro (Prime Minister) and many others. Since in
Buganda many people joined religions on the principle of "I
follow what my leader does", the example of the chiefs was
taken by many of their subordinates in becoming Muslims. In
this was a section of Buganda society was Islamised to the
extent that by 1888 when the rebellion against Mwanga, son of
Mutesa I was organised by the converts to foreign religions,
theMuslims were "the largest and militarily the most formidable
group". This Islamic achievement was mainly due to the
patronisation it received from the central powerful indigenous


While the central authority of Buganda was the big stick
that pushed Islam into Buganda, it was the breakdown of this
very authority and traditional attitudes that helped Islam (and
Christianity) penetrate the individual minds of the various
peoples of Buganda society. The breakdown of the central
authority occurred in 1888 when Mwanga II, son of Mutesa I
was overthrown and something resembling a constitutional mo-
narchy was instituted. It was a culmination of a gradual process
that had started long before the coming of foreign religions
involving a gradual weakening of the traditional beliefs of the
Baganda and thus making their minds open to absorption of ideas

o;.her than their own. The central authority had gradually
ursurped the powers of the religious establishment, of the
social establishment and also had concentrated the economic
resources of the country under its control. As a result, the
Baganda gradually began to. root their wellbeing on royalty.
When this power collapsed, they were left in a state of psycho-
logical chaos. This state of affairs helped the penetration. into
their minds of foreign ideas.
Let us trace how this came about in the purely religious,
social, economic and political sectors of society.
(a) The Religious Sector
Islam (and other foreign religions) were greatly helped in
their penetration of Ganda society by the weakening and eventual
breakdown of traditional religions. These religions were
weakened by the Buganda monarchy that ursurped most of their
power and also their failure to cope up with their raison d'L-tre
as religions.
Like any other people, the Baganda had a religious system
centering on the almighty with a set of symbols, rituals and
establishments. The religious establishment was a power to
contend with in the land. But gradually, the monarchy began
to undermine their power by ursurping it. Kabaka Juuko (1514-
1644) tried to arrest a traditional doctor but the intervention
of the gods left the Kabaka vanquished. Likewise Kabaka
Tebandeke lost his struggle against the mediums of the gods
and ended up by becoming one of them. 1But from the reign
of Kabaka Ndaula (1670-5), there was a gradual strengthening
of the Kabakats powers at the expense of the religions and
religious establishment of the land. Whenever there was a
clash, the Kabaka seemed to come out as victor. Kabaka Ndaula

refused to be a medium. Kabaka Kyabagu (1704-34) executed
the mediums who were complaining against him. Mutesa the
first was even more sceptical of the traditional religions and
their establishments. Cases are recalled whereby he not only
ursurped their powers such as taking their estates but also
where he publically humiliated them. 1Gradually, the tra-
ditional religions came to be under the supervision of the
Kabaka to the extent that by the nineteenth century ".... the
national shrines of the major gods were large scale affairs and
their activities centred upon the Kabaka and theCentral Govern-
ment". And as John Roscoe added,
"The worship of the national gods were under the
immediate control of the kitg; their first and principle
duty was the protection of the king and state.... He
would if one vexed him, send and loot his temple and
estate". 19
As a result, people's loyalty to the traditional religions and
establishment weakened and was transferred to the monarchy.
Besides the monarchy, the traditional religions were fur-
ther discredited and therefore weakened in the eyes of the
people by their failure to do what they stood for, and later to
cope with the changes that took place in society after the influx
ofstrangers. The traditional doctors who were often mediums
failed to compete against European chemical medicines; their
prophesies failed to materialise and above all they failed to
explain the mysteries of the universe in the context of the new
changes. As man always needs a religion or some sort of
organised explanation of the world around him, the Baganda
had to change to a new religion (or religions) when theirs failed
its duty.

(b) The Social Sector
In the social sphere, the powers of the clans and clan
heads were formerly strong. The hold of tradition and customs
on the people was also strong. But over the course of time
that we are dealing with, the power that was due to the clanheads
(and therefore to the clans) was gradually undermined by the
kings. Secondly, the Kabakas, especially Suna and Mutesa,
by violating and abolishing a number of customs weakened the
confidence the people had in the latter to the advantage of the
Many writers areof theviewthatat the beginning, Buganda
was organised on clan institutions with each clan leader master
ofhisown until, Kintu the legendary first Kabaka of Buganda,
united them into one political entity. 20 They thus played not only
asocial but also a political role. Kagwa records that long ago
the Kabaka was just one amongst the many clanheads of th.e
country. Kiwanuka is of the view that the Bataka were a united
power groupand that if they played their cards well, they could
rebuff the king.21
But for over the two or so centuries before the coming of
Islam, the power of the Kabaka gradually moved from a position
of "primus inter-pares" among heads of patrilineal descent
groups to that of a despotic monarchy to the disadvantage of the
clanheads. This began in the reign of Mutebi (in the mid-C 17th)
and culminated in the reign of Suna. By that time, the clan-
heads could not greatly influence the election of kings and the
Kabaka appointed virtual ly all officers of the state except Kasujju
of Busujju, Katambala of Butambala, Kitunzi of Gomba, the
Kimbugwe and a few minor officers. The Kabaka, in his role
asSsabataka i. e. (chief clanhead) became also the father of the

clans. As Apter has written, "..... when the clan system
began to suffer from conflict produced by the client chieftain-
ship, authority shifted to the hierachical type. Traditional
religion declined. Social atomism increased."22 The effect of
this shift on the minds of the people was to cause a shift of
loyalty away from the clanheads to the king. A Muganda could
change his loyalty to the clan and hide under the umbrella of
another but never his loyalty towards the Kabaka.
Thebreakageof customs that were well rooted in society,
in most cases, at the insitigation and initiative of the Kabaka
tended to weaken social bonds and thus confuse people. Thus
Kagulu executed the Mugema against the appeals of the tradi-
tional establishment, Kyabagu dismissed a Mugema, Suna and
his son Mutesa "reunited" the jawbones of dead Kabakas to their
respective skulls, Mutesa I ordered a change of the royal burial
system and prohibited the "worship" of his spirit.3 Mutesa
also abolished the custom whereby the Kabaka ate alone in
Thus the transference of the power that was due to the
clans to the monarchy and the disrespect of traditional customs
weakened the horizontal bonds of society to the advantage of the
vertical whose emphasis was on the monarchy. When this trans-
formed monarchy collapsed in 1888, chaos set in the minds of
the people. This situation was rescued or exploited by the
teachings of foreign religions.

(d) The Economic Sector
The change in the economic structure of society also affect-
ed the minds of the people. Land which was the source of
wealthy, was originally kept in trustee for the people by clan-
heads. But as the Kabaka assumed more powers especially

after acquiring through conquest, new territories such as Buddu
in the reign of Jjunju, he became the chief land broker in the
country. Increasingly, the peasants came to look upon him and
his lieutenants if they wanted land instead of the clanheads.
On top of that the Kabaka began to have control over other items
of wealth such as livestock, barkcloth, beads, iron implements,
etc. Formerly, the clanheads and other traditional elites might
have competed with him in possession of these items. But when
Buganda began to undertake a series of raids against her neigh-
bours, the king became by far the richest man in the land. Thus
the traditional heriditary el ite were weakened by the concentra-
tion of wealth in the hands of the Kabaka. This also caused a
shift in loyalty.

(d) The Political Sector
The purely political sector of society, as the reader must
have already discerned, underwent a change. Formerly, as I
have already said, the Kabaka was first amongst equals. But
he gradually assumed more powers especially in the 18th and
19th Centuries. The reasons for this eventuality are many but
five important ones can be identified. Firstly, the declining
powers of the religious establishment increased the Kabaka's
authority in society. Secondly, the territorial expansion of the
kingdom created new administrative posts that the king utilised
far extra influence. Thirdly, the increased number of raids
against neighboring states brought for the Kabaka more riches
as a result of which got more clients. Fourthly, the change in
the traditional economy whereby the Kabaka and not the heridi-
tary elite controlled the distribution of land gave him more
powers. And lastly, the impact of external trade especially
with theEast African coast made the Kabaka not only the richest

man in the interlucustrine area but also the chief African mer-
chant. This increased his power tremendously.

The Breakdown
By the time foreign religions came into Buganda (1844 on),
the Kabaka was the symbol of social, political, economic and
to some extent, religious power. For the Baganda, he was in
the words of Welbourn "the symbol of ultimate concern. He
had the power of life and death over his subjects and none que-
stioned this. He could and often did, tamper with the religion
of the land. He could-execute the mediums like Kabaka Kyabagu
did and loot the god's temples like Mutesa I did. This was
indeed a great socio-political change in Ganda society. Since
religion and society are so much interlinked, any change in the
social life of a community means e change in religious life.
Consequently the Baganda's beliefs became centred on the
Kabaka in the sense that he was their "ultimate concern. He
became not only a mighty king but a sacral monarchy.
Any change or reversal to such a power as the monarchy
had acquired would cause great psychological problems and
increase thechaos intheminds of the masses which the Kabakas
had set in motion by their successful attacks on the traditional
establishment. To them, the king had become "ultimate. The
collapse of this last peg, the Kabakaship with the aura it had
acquired when Suna and Mutesa reigned, broke their known
order of existence and ushered in a period of psychological
chaos which was very fertile to the reception of foreign reli-
gions. This event, the overthrow of Mwanga in 1888, more than
any other freed the minds of the people from traditional beliefs
and gave them a psychological shock to his listerners. Thirdly,
when Mutesa I accepted to listen to Islam and also allowed his

subjects to be converted to foreign religions, he was also
accepting the notion that "there was someone else" greater than
the Kabaka although to the Baganda the Kabaka had become the
ultimate concern. Fourthly, Mutesals failure to choose a single
religion allowed many of his subjects the freedom to choose,
without asking him any religion they wanted. This of course
meant that already their supreme loyalty was being transferred
to their religion from the Kabaka. And lastly, the undiplomatic
manner in which Mwanga handled the affairs of the state further
weakened the position of the monarchy. The throne ceased to
be the "ultimate concern" of the Baganda and at the lake when
Mwanga ordered his subjects to board the canoe's, some were
brave enough to shout rudely at him.
The ordinary person who used to venerate, respect and
look at the Kabaka as the supreme object in the nation ever
since the latter destroyed other centres of power realized that,
the Kabaka in turn, could be overthrown by an oliganchy of
converts armed with foreign ideas. What were these ideas?
Where was their power? How could one get to the centre of
these new forces? What was their secret that did not only give
them material superiority but also the ability to temper with the
central institution of the land that had dealt so heavily with the
gods, the mediums and the clans heads? Obviously not many
could answer these questions. But that foreign beliefs were
taken as the forces behind these changes cannot be doubted.
Furthermore foreign religions came as a comforting alternative
explanation of the order of things, of the universe etc. They
exploited the vacuum vacated by the exit of traditional belief.
Two religions, Islam and Christianity competed for con-
verts. For various reasons, Christianity won the day. But

for those who joined Islam, (as well as those of Christianity)
thecollapse of the central authority had freed their minds from
traditional bondage. As a result, people joined Islam out of
their own wi l and were eager as individuals to learn about their
own will and were eager as individuals to learn about their new
members of a tribe whose king had directed so.


The third phase of Islamisation in Uganda involved the
carryingof this religior, from Buganda, the central area, to the
restof thecountry. It was carried mainly by Baganda refugees
of the religious wars, Baganda "sub-imperialists" and other
African agents of the British colonial government. This process
began around 1893. But the road of Islam in areas outside
Buganda was rough due to the resistance to Islam offered by
African customs and social set up.
It is true that Arab and Swahili traders had visited areas
outside Buganda in Uganda and might have taught Islam there
before 1890.24 But the first major group of Muslims to take
Islam to the rest of Uganda were Baganda Muslim refugees of
thereligious wars, who after their defeat found that they could
not live well amongst their victors, theChristians. Thereligious
wars in Buganda started in 1888 when Mwanga and the traditional
diehards tried to maroon the converts for foreign religions to
an island in Lake Victoria. The Muslims, the Anglican Pro-
testants and the Roman Catholics knew of the plan, forestalled
thekingand overthrew him. Kiwewa who was put on the throne
favoured the Muslims who soon expelled the Christians after a
fierce battle. The Muslims soon deposed Kiwewa and installed
Kalema. However, the Christians came back with Mwanga and
retook Buganda in 1890. From then up to 1893, intermittent

battles between Muslims and Christians were fought till the
Muslims were decisively defeated at Bulwanyi in 1893. From
then on, Muslims became a second class citizen group in Uganda.
Because the "the Buganda was in theory Christian and it was
impossible to have status without a Christian name", many
Muslims left Buganda for other areas.
In Ankole, a large group of Muslim refugees led by Kauzi
and Abdul Affendi was allowed to settle in Bukanga. In Busoga,
a large group of Muslim refugees led by Ali Lwanga settled in
Bulamogi and other parts of Busoga. In Bukedi, Ibrahim
Mulogo with a number of Baganda refugees settled there and
taught Islam. In Bunyoro, especially at Kijungute where the
Muslims together with their Kabaka Kalema had encamped,
Baganda were the first largest group to make any impact in that
kingdom. In Toro, the leaders of the Baganda refugee contingent
wereAmiriMbuga, Abdalla Gantungo and Aziz Abdalla.27 They
are still well remembered in Toro, especially at Bukware where
the main mosque is located.
Baganda "sub-imperialists" who ruled various parts of
Ugandaon behalf of the British helped, in the popularisation of
Islam. The Baganda were recruited on the assumption that
they knew more about orderly government than the tribes that
surrounded them. It is true the majui ity were Christians but
a good number of them were Muslims as official lists indicate.29
As agents and chiefs in the areas where they went, they popu-
larised their religion through official influence. The largest
group of Baganda Muslim agents were subordinates of Semei
Kakungulu, the Muganda general. In Kigezi Abdalla Namunye
and Silimani Ntangamalalo ruled countries on behalf of the
British. InAnkole, Kauii, Abdul Affendi, Abdul Aziz Bulwadda