When gangsters made Ugandan civilization

Ignatius Musaazi and Kiwanuka (3R) stir up Ugandans to demand self-rule from Britain in Kampala in the mid-1950s. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • When the white man arrived he found peaceful, calm, prosperous, gentle people living in harmony and tranquility, tilling verdant ground, tending fat, happy cows, singing each morning as they went to work and singing each evening as they returned.

The hunter’s history of Africa will say that the people native to this land were savage, ignorant, primitive mud-scrabblers who badly needed some anglicisation to raise them from the low animal life they suffered to the lofty elevation of “civilisation”.

The official documents give this as the main motive for creation of colonies and protectorates. White Man’s Burden is what Kipling called it: the moral obligation to tame the black savage, to make the black man something better, better meaning “more white-like.”

The lion’s history that some of us may have heard says that this was unnecessary. When the white man arrived he found peaceful, calm, prosperous, gentle people living in harmony and tranquility, tilling verdant ground, tending fat, happy cows, singing each morning as they went to work and singing each evening as they returned.

All this presided over by wise, kindly, generous kings who loved their people as their people loved them, until the white serpent came along and stank up the party by introducing his caucasian evil into our paradise.

The flea collects different glimpses and jigsaws them together to create a different, if more jagged picture. There are pieces missing, and it’s not likely to be a perfect record, but it makes more sense.

Especially if you consider the following as facts. And anything with a flea’s worth of thought should consider these as facts: Humans are just people and no matter where they come from, people can be depended on to do the exact same people crap. We are all just human.

Civilisation can be a beast

Civilisation, if we learn anything from the creation of Uganda out of the primitive lands by the enlightened European powers, is a name that can be applied to many different beasts: pretty ones, ugly ones, benevolent ones and wicked ones. It can mean the progress a society makes to improve the way its constituents live, perhaps through technology, learning, or developing a culture that favours intellect and compassion over base instincts.

But it can also mean finding more sophisticated ways to bring out these base instincts. Human tendencies like greed, violence, the hatred that stems from fear and the pride that feeds on power, these are often amplified and enabled by civilisation, and, in the end, civilisation is just a thin veneer over the same wild brute – a slick, fragile covering. Just a skin, regardless of its colour.

In the creation of Uganda, the term civilisation was used prolifically in the second sense, where forks and knives were brought in to replace eating with fingers and okuwuuta supu. Queen’s English was introduced to replace native gibberish. Trousers were shipped in to replace loincloths. But in the process of imposing this civilisation, many truly savage acts would occur unabated. Even encouraged.

We'll come back to this: how the intent to civilise led to the creation of Uganda in a minute, but first, a separate subheading...

Uganda BC, Before Civilisation

What John Speke discovered at the source of the Nile were a lot of people. They were called the Baganda and were organised in a sophisticated, large and powerful kingdom, and he noted in his travel diaries that they were quite unlike the “savages” he had had to survive on the way up.

There is a legend told to me by elderly Baganda concerning Speke’s first meeting with the Kabaka of Buganda Kabaka Muteesa.

This fellow John Speke enters the court to meet the king. He is from a land where things like snow sometimes cover the ground and therefore his culture has developed boots, unlike Ganda culture where life is sunlit and temperate and so, if anything, sandals are all that is needed, even though one could comfortably live barefoot.

When John entered the court, his boots caused suspicion. “Are those hooves?” I imagine he was asked. Keen to distinguish himself from donkeys, he removed the boots to indicate that they were just footwear. This didn’t help, relays the Jjajja as she tells the story. Because of his socks, Kabaka Muteesa and courtiers concluded that the muzungu didn’t have toes. He wasn’t a hooved man, he had paws.

This would have been a funny, harmless anecdote except for the premise that lingered underneath, that this was not just a humorous misunderstanding. It was proof that Muteesa was primitive. Civilization includes socks. Ignorance of such garments? That was permittivity.

John himself has a story he tells of a time in the court of the Kabaka. John apparently hung around a lot and often visited Muteesa.

One day it was with a rifle, a different kind from what Mutesa was used to seeing from the arms his kingdom bought from Arab-Swahili traders.

This was a Whitworth rifle.

“What does it do?” Mutesa asked. A demonstration was called for.

Luckily there happened to be a cow wandering through the royal courtyard. Not so luckily for the cow, a shot from the Whitworth was sent through it, felled it, and its carcass was presented as evidence of how badass this gun was.

Mutesa was either not satisfied, or too satisfied, according to John’s diary, because he wanted to see more.

Mutesa called a page – a young boy – gave him the gun and told him to go try it on a human target to see if this Whitworth’s fatalities are merely cow-specific or applied generally to other flesh and blood.

The kid returned, Speke wrote, to gleefully report that the Whitworth was indeed as effective at murdering humans as it was at slaughtering cattle and he had ascertained that just now, right outside, by efficiently killing a man with it. Just now. Just like that. He had gone outside, found a fellow, and shot him in cold blood. Yeah. It was awesome, he apparently thought.

Speke was horrified, and wrote about it in his journal. Here is his journal entry about usage of his Whitworth (Translated into modern English)

“Me? I'm still well shocked, you get me? Like why they have to dead that geezer? Just like that? There weren’t any reason, you get me? The guvnor, he's already seen what the Whitworth can do. Basic’ly, if a slug can go through a cow it can definitely go through a fella, innit?

I can tell you, I am well pissed off right now. I can't be wasting ammo like this, can I? Shooting geezers just to see if they die? Like what did Kabaka expect? That some geezers is thicker than cows? Wasting my ammo like that. He's a maniac, I tell you. “

No. Actually, what happened was this is what Speke wrote.

“...the little urchin returned to announce his success, with a look of glee such as one would see in the face of a boy who had robbed a bird's nest, caught a trout, or done any other boyish trick. There appeared no curiosity to know, what individual human being the urchin had deprived of life.”

Back to the question of civilization. The casual murder John wrote about was indisputably a horrific act but was it primitive?

Or was it civilised, having been perpetrated using a high-tech gun?

Bringers of weeping

Many other Baganda were murdered by Mutesa. Speke called him a "monster” and “a murderous maniac". The Baganda, providing a convenient alliteration to scribes like me, called him “Mukabya”. It means “the Tearwringer” or “The Bringer of Weeping”.

Even prevailing Ganda legend, antelope history, has Mukabya down as a king with the body count of a Hollywood movie. His executions, human sacrifices and casual Whitworth experimentations brought tears flowing so profusely they might have sourced another Nile altogether.

Mutesa's victims died from spears, arrows, axes, machetes and the probably less-sophisticated guns Mutesa had purchased from Arab Swahili traders.

Death by iron blade is probably not as civilised, and so he can be called a savage but, in the century after Mutesa's savagery, Hitler would slaughter millions, Stalin would murder millions more. Yet more millions would fall under the Ottoman Empire’s ethnic cleansing, and Mutesa was just a lifetime away from the slaughters the Belgians would wreck in the Congo and the Germans in Namibia. Let us stop counting before we reach Srebenica and just sum it up and say civilization does not forbid mass murder. If Mutesa was not civilised, who was?

Who's the boss?

John Speke’s visits to Uganda opened up a habit of regular trips from Britain. Not just adventurers this time, but also Christian missionaries who sought to convert the Kabaka and his people to Christ and, of course, to introduce their civilisation.

The British missionaries were eager and keen, but so were the French missionaries who also came to Buganda for the same reason. As much as the Arab missionaries who were there to spread Islam.

Since the French were Catholics and the British Protestants, we did not have a two-way rivalry of Christians vs Muslims, or Whites vs Arabs. We had three bickering factions, and Mutesa apparently enjoyed it immensely. He often called the missionaries to his court to hold theological debates before him.

Or rather, to fight and quarrel for his amusement.

The British missionary Alexander Mackay wrote in his journal about the ways Mutesa would summon the French to preach, then call him and his Protestant crew to the court and then ask them why the Frenchmen told him different things, tasking MacKay to explain what’s up. Then he would bring in the Muslims to join the fray. Mackay found it infuriating. The Kabaka found it entertaining.

So, up in the area one day to be called Uganda, a gaggle of heat-stricken, shaggy, sunburnt, frazzled, desperate and put-upon Brits and Frenchmen spent their time being bullied by the megalomaniac king. They were earnest and keen to convert him to worship God through their faction’s practices and bickered and fought over his favour.

But this was the extent of British involvement in the area at the time. The Empire had little interest in Africa beyond that. Very little interest in the way of “exploiting our abundant natural resources.” Their concern was more focused on the coastlines where the trade with what they wanted was much more convenient.

Exploitation is a tasty and tempting answer to the question of Why Uganda Is, but in the late 1800s, diving into Uganda for natural resources was kind of like doing this to exploit Mugasha’s milk: Taking a trip all the way to Mugasha’s farm, stealing Mugasha’s bull, then crossing over to the pen where Mugasha keeps his cows with recently-abducted bull in tow, setting a sexy mood, having the beasts copulate and then, when the cow is in calf, milking it and carrying the bucket back to your house with you. This exploitation can get you milk, but it’s easier to just visit a supermarket and buy a pint of the stuff. Mugasha regularly sells his produce to the company that processes and packages it and stocks it in supermarkets.

So, just as slave buyers rarely ventured inland, and preferred to stay on the beach and buy the slaves the African slave raiders had brought them, Europe’s nations kept their attention on Indian Ocean shores where they bought what goods they liked from inland.

They bought a lot of ivory and decimated the elephant population inland.

But not slaves though. It had become a stern and unbendable moral tenet of British government that slavery and the slave trade was evil and had to be stopped.

Their focus was Mombasa, Lamu, Zanzibar, Dar Es Salaam and such. There was talk of “spheres of interest”, as vague diplomatic banter referring to parts of Africa’s inland that whichever European nation had booked, but it was mostly nominal. 


This is what one Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury or the Prime Minister of Britain, or just Lord Salisbury said:

“When I left the foreign office in 1880, nobody thought about Africa. When I returned to it in 1885 the nations of Europe were almost quarrelling with each other as to the various portions of Africa they could obtain.”

It started with Otto Von Bismark.

Otto Von Bismark, the First Chancellor of The German Empire, is seen here with the full, unabated sternness of his purpose. And that of his moustache.

This is not the photograph of a man who ate ice cream or petted kittens, it is the photo of a man who ate steak for breakfast and would have personally punched a horse to death if that sort of thing was not beneath the office of Chancellor, who was too busy taking over ze vorld.

He looks like a man who had a syringe plunging triple-distilled testosterone into his spinal column every minute of every day. Look at that machismo, resolve, utter, absolute conviction that his way is unassailably right.

He does not ask for directions. If he gets lost and ends up in Köln instead of München, it is because someone moved München while he was on the way.

What an intimidating visage. He is not even here to read this but I still don’t dare make a joke about his moustache looking like a kebab that died over his mouth.

It’s him, he started it. He started it with a kind of turf war for trading rights, by hustling local chiefs into signing with Germans and not British trading companies.

The terms colony and protectorate

Colony is less ambiguous. It’s as straightforward as “This land was your land, now this land is my land.” Simple as a gun to your head.

Protection, however, is much sneakier, much more dubious. More like a gun stuck into the small of your back in a dark alley.

Protection can be as simple as a condom. If you are going to sleep with someone whose reputation includes gaps and questions and unticked boxes, then this is a direct solution.

Or protection can be as simple as getting an askari to sit at your gate to guard against thieves. He is probably going to be asleep all night and will be the first person chloroformed-- yes, they chloroform the fools even though they are already asleep-- and even if he wasn’t, that single arrow he has with his bow won’t do any good.

His sense of aim is bogus even when he is sober, which he is not; he drinks before he goes to sleep at the gate. But he gives you a sense that you have done something to protect yourself. That counts for something, even if that something is a mere fraction.

Protection can also mean what we see in gangster-run ghettos such as those depicted in Peaky Blinders, another British TV show that illustrates the fine points of historical reality better than academic fact does.

What happens is that the agent of a criminal organisation which has the capacity to destroy your business, either through robbery or burglary or arson, or whatever the gangster wants, pays you a visit. He politely suggests that, in your current location, you are liable to be robbed, or have your business burned down, or worse. He suggests you make an agreement whereby you pay a sum of money to the gangsters and, in exchange, they protect you from these acts.

In essence, you pay them not to rob you. They are protecting you from themselves. It may be the Peaky Blinders, the Mafia, the Yakuza or whatever your local ghetto gang is called (It’s obviously going on in your city, too. History repeats itself so rapidly sometimes that it virtually stutters. Organised crime is a regular part of urban life. Even if it is just paying the school bully to leave you alone.)

In addition to paying to protect yourself from being robbed by your protectors, the protectors have fought and won battles with other gangs and established turfs. If you pay the gang that runs your turf, you will not be attacked by rival gangs who, in their turn, give parallel systems of protection to adjacent neighbourhoods.

Britain and Germany were massive gangsters in Africa in the 19th century.

They started at the coast when Otto’s agent, one Carl Peters carried a bundle of papers in his briefcase and set about visiting inland chiefdoms. In the name of his gang, he had them sign trade treaties.

Or so they thought. It was in print that didn't have to be small because the chiefs didn't read German anyway, and that is why they didn’t know that they were actually signing their territory away.

The Germans, French, Belgians, British and others carried on this sort of business along the coast for a few years, deciding among themselves who would offer protection to which part, until Otto escalated the game. With Carl’s treaties, Otto snatched up claims to a huge swathe of South West Africa no one had cared about prior and declared it his colony overnight. (That, in part, was Why Namibia Is.)

Now the game went into higher league, and everyone else needed to escalate their own sphere of interest before Germany could take it. A hectic rush of hustling, grabbing, scrabbling and snatching for parts of the continent ensued. The word that stuck was Scramble. Scramble for Africa.

Martin Meredith, in his book Fortunes of Africa, says: “All were driven in part by a sense of national prestige. Empire building abroad marked their status as a great power and gained popular support.”

We have been schooled to believe that it was about the greed to exploit the natural resources and raw wealth with which Africa teemed, but Mr Meredith’s explanation seems more plausible. It was politics. 

We have seen this procedure, this appeal to patriotism, work in our time, too. Take Donald Trump boldly dissing Mexico and Canada and China even when it doesn’t really offer any real economic gain, but to his supporters it makes him, as a leader, look ballsy and leaves his fans impressed by his cojones, as they call them in America.

"If you can’t get them to appreciate your brain, unzip your trousers" is, apparently, a political tactic that is centuries old. Thus are the masses manipulated and fooled. Patriotism tied to empire and conquest. Making Britain, or Germany, or France or whoever “Great Again”.

But this was not the official explanation. The Prime Minister or the King of England was not going to say he was letting his government scramble for all those barren and empty parts of Turkana because, “We is all about making British Empire the baddest, innit? We gotta show that we badder than ‘em Krauts and Frogs, know what I mean?”

The official reason was laid out at the Berlin Conference, a soiree Otto held in 1884 where the heads of European governments gathered with their felt tip markers and squiggled random lines acriss and across the map of Africa to define their gang turfs.

The Berlin Conference. A completely inaccurate transcript

Britain: Point of inquiry, Herr chairman chancellor, but who was in charge of catering? Everything tastes of cheese.

Italians: Don’t look at me while you ask that. Why is he looking at me while he asks that? Herr chairman, point of objection to his implication that we cook everything with cheese. That's racist.

France: It’s 1884 and we are a gathering of powerful white men.  Is racism even a conceivable thing?

Portugal: Racism is a very subtle and intricate phenomenon, you will find.

France: Or not. We are elderly, powerful white males. Really unlikely that we will ever learn.

Britain: Italians eat so much cheese, I bet they shake their cows to death, right, then let them decompose a bit, then milk them after that so that cheese comes out of the udders.

Italy: Now, I’m not offended by the racism. I am offended by how torturously laboured that insult was. Next time just call us idiots and leave it at that.

Portugal: Point of order. Did we come all the way from Lisbon to discuss cooking?

France:Everything is about food when it comes down to it. We French know this. That is why we have famous French philosophers. Portugal doesn’t have any famous philosophers. Portugal doesn’t have any famous anything.

Otto: Nations, come to order please. We are here to discuss Africa.

England:What for? We have already had the industrial revolution. We don’t need slaves that much. Tell you the truth, I’ve never been a big fan of slavery. You have all these people working up a sweat all day, and you don’t pay them so they can’t buy deodorant.

Spain:Africa? Interesting place. They have wild horses with stripes, and hairless monkeys which look like people, only a different colour.

Italy:My fellow there said those are not monkeys, they are more like… well, not exactly people, kind of like proto-people, like what could become people with a little bit of guidance. Like Sub-humans.

France:I've heard they have natural resources we can exploit.

Denmark: Yeah, but we would have to first colonise them, educate and train a workforce, build factories and mining and plantation facilities, then establish transport infrastructure…  Do we have time for all that?

Belgium: Slaves! Forced labour! Cut their hands off if they don’t work fast enough! Heh heh.

Otto:Leo, have some more cheese. And shut up. So here’s the thing. Let’s take Africa.

Denmark: You are just saying that because you want to shore up public support with a gesture of strength like empire building in a bid to look strong to your supporters.

Britain:Yeah, but who doesn’t?

Otto:Look, I just claimed a little bit of the southern part of Africa, and Britain here went and salted his britches, Italy his pantaloons, French his knickerbockers and the rest of you your various undergarments. So I thought, hey, we can handle this like gentlemen, or we can keep on with this gangster.

Britain:Yeah! You can’t just go around Africa claiming bits of it like… like you own the place?

Otto:Oh really? I can't, can't I? Because I think I just did. See that bit? That shape I just scribbled on the map? I just claimed that. That’s my colony now. Deutschland Uber Alles!

Britain:Gimme that pen! Two can play at that game. This bit I just scribbled is now mine! Hah! God Save The King!

France:Two? Three can play. This scribble is mine. Vive La France, toi britannique fils de hamster!

Portugal:I brought my own pen. This is mine!

Belgium: Slaves! Cut off their hands! Mine!

Otto (Looking at the map with all the lines across it):Man we’ve really cut up Africa. So what do we do now?

Britain: Well, we go home and tell all the simpleton ancestors of Trump supporters there that we have got them some territory in Africa. Then their knee-jerk patriotism reflex will kick in and we will gain more popularity as government leaders. After that, we’ll figure out what to do with the land somehow.

Belgium: Slaves! Chop off their hands! Heh heh.

Otto:When is someone going to invent pills to deal with people like Leo?

Back to, if not non-fiction, less-fictional account

Otto gave these words at the conference:

The Imperial Government has been guided by the conviction that all the governments invited here share the desire to associate the natives of Africa with civilisation, by opening up the interior to commerce, by furnishing the natives with the means of instruction, by encouraging missions and enterprises so that useful knowledge may be disseminated, and by paving the way to the suppression of slavery.

In other words, he said,

Anyone asks, jussay we is “civilisin’” them, you get me?

I don’t know modern German so I translated it to my take on what Modern English is. I have listened to a lot of UK Grime and London Roadman talk and it has led me to believe that this is what Modern English is.

There is also a little cheeky bit of me that wants revenge for the minstrel shows from Europe in the old days, when British comics would make fun of Africans by having us speak broken English. The broken English was a signaller of primitivity; Civilisation spoke queen's English, mbu.

Between the lines of Otto’s statement it’s clearly legible that this enterprise wasn’t about trade. It was not about exploitation. It was good old-fashioned racism. They believed they were better than us and could use that as a reason: that it was the goodness of their hearts that led them to do the generous thing and civilise us. Whitey gets Brownie points for civilising Blackies.

But it would turn out that their civilisation drive wasn’t about making the life of people better, or improving the state of society. Not in this case at least. In the case of the Berlin Boys, it was Europeanisation. Forks and leather boots and hair conditioner in bottles must replace matooke leaves, sandals and ghee.

Civilisation could improve life. Modern medicine, machinery and technology could help societies, but Berlin did not divorce that aspect of civilisation from button-down shirts, wine glasses and speaking English with the correct pronouns, so the brutality, bigotry, thieving and tyranny, so many of the lowest, basest, lowest human impulses that remain intact in civilised society, were in fact amplified, if not facilitated and even justified, in Berlin.

 Manifest destiny is one name of the doctrine, which was also called the White Man’s burden, and it was wrought on a continental scale. 

And they didn’t even want us as slaves any more, which somehow makes it even worse.

Badman ting dis

In 1885, after Otto's man Carl had secured treaties with chiefs on the East African Coast. The Sultan of Zanzibar, Sultan Bagrash, sent a complaint to Otto, saying that these treaties caused blockages on routes that his own traders were using.

Otto responded with a dramatic, decisive gesture that was easier to read than the bogus treaties Carl had used.

Otto sent three German warships and had them anchor within firing distance of Sultan Bagrash’s palace.

It was not long after this classic gangster move that Sultan Bagrash signed a treaty to shut up and cede significant amounts of his territory to Germany. A.k.a. A treaty of protection.

Meanwhile in Buganda

King Mwanga

Kabaka Muwanga had to excuse himself to the royal lavatory, so to speak, upon hearing the news.

Muwanga was Mutesa’s kid and heir. He had taken over the throne at age 18 and was lousy at it. He quickly found himself losing control of his people – the chiefs in the outlying areas pretty much chose to become autonomous local warlords and didn’t care about defying the ban on trading guns with Arab Swahili, now that Mutesa, who enforced it, was dead.

Muwanga didn’t even have control over the whites. Their factional fighting was so intensified that he was actually deposed for a few months, by the court’s Muslim faction, before being reinstated by Christians again.

Plus there were a few other things like cholera and typhoid breakouts and a drought that would compromise even the staunchest patriot’s conviction that whoever was in charge was taking care of things.

Muwanga tried to regain his power the best way he knew how, by doing things his dad’s way: he killed people. Killed Muslims, famously killed Christians, he even killed British missionaries. But while he fought to bring his kingdom back under his control, the British “Civilisation” was encroaching fast.

Spheres of interest had become private companies. The British East Africa Company (BEAC) and the German East Africa Company (GEAC) were clustering around Lake Nyanza seeking to claim turf.

This is how confused it was: Carl Peters signs Muwanga to GEAC one day, but back in Europe, unbeknownst to him, Germany and Britain were busy agreeing that Buganda would go to Britain and the Tanganyikan side of the lake would go to Germany, so Carl and Mwanga’s treaty was as void as all his others should have been, for example, the 12 treaties he made with Tanganyika chiefs who could not read or understand the content and with their inked thumbs, had signed away control of large amounts of territory.

Bring out the big guns

Let’s introduce two decisive British things. One is Frederick Lugard.

This is the ultimate gangster look. This is the gentleman gangster. This is the expression of a man from the mafia who has come to patiently explain that your options are “Either play ball or, wish you had played ball. We wouldn’t want option two to come into play, would we? We are both reasonable adults, so let’s not waste each other’s time. Here’s how it’s going to go. You are going to sign, pay and – no, don’t look at the gun, look at me. I’m the one who is talking to you. You don’t want to talk to the gun. You definitely don't want the gun to talk to you. Look at me. Now, I was saying…”

If you ever decide to become an extortionist, remember to emulate Frederick Lugard’s facial expression from this portrait.

The second thing was the Maxim gun.

This was one of the first real machine guns ever brought into war. It was capable of firing 600 rounds a minute, which sounds scarier if you think of it as six hundred dudes shooting at you in the same minute, then continuing to shoot at you in the next minute, and so on until all that is left of you is dead.

It was used a lot by colonial powers during the Scramble for Africa, and coloniser William Mackinnon wrote that, "merely exhibiting" the gun was likely to "prove a great peace-preserver".

British poets like one Hilaire Belloc waxed thus on the weapon:

Whatever happens, we have got

The Maxim gun, and they have not.

All that is missing is the modern English suffix, “You get me?”

So, Buganda, which was now supposed to be BEAC sphere/property, was in chaos. The king was murdering missionaries, signing treaties with Arabs and Germans and generally not acting like property was supposed to act by not doing what he was told.

What follows is a quote that I am not even going to play with by pretending to translate it into mbu Modern English: what follows is the actual quote from Lugard’s journal.

Lugard sailed to Mombasa, then him and 300 heavily and very civilisedly-armed men, armed, most notably, with a Maxim gun, wrote in his diary that he had not “... come to trifle and fool” with Muwanga. He trudged to Buganda, marched in, climbed up to the top of Kampala Hill overlooking Mwanga’s palace, pointed the Maxim at him and then, presented Mwanga with what they called a treaty of friendship.


This is what else Lugard wrote about the signing.

“He did it with bad grace, just dashing the pen at the paper and making a blot, but I made him go at it again and on the second copy he behaved himself and made a proper cross.”

This must remind you of the time you were robbed at knifepoint of your phone, wallet and shoes, and the robber seemed incensed by how ungrateful you were that he had so kindly relieved you of the burden of paying daily social media tax that he made you hand it over again, with a smile and a kiss this time.

What Muwanga had signed handed over administrative control of Buganda to the BEAC. The company took command of the army; the court had to get permission from the company in dealing with state matters; slave trading was prohibited; and missionaries were not supposed to be executed.

Then they set about making this a Uganda. With Buganda as their base, the BEAC set about conquering neighbouring kingdoms of Toro, Ankole and Bunyoro and later, bringing the northern territories into their fold. This, they called The Protectorate of Uganda.

And as we were to say in the Republic of Uganda that we are now, “katandika butandisi.”

Part III, the final part of the series of “Why is Uganda?” will run next Wednesday, April 7th.