Kabaka of Buganda

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Kabaka is the title of the king of the Kingdom of Buganda. According to the traditions of the Baganda they are ruled by two kings, one spiritual and the other material.

The spiritual, or supernatural, king is represented by the Royal Drums. These are regalia called Mujaguzo and, as they always exist, the Buganda at any time will always have a king. Mujaguzo, like any other king, has his own palace, officials, servants, and palace guards. The material, human prince has to perform special cultural rites on the Royal Drums before he can be declared king of the Kingdom of Buganda. Upon the birth of a royal prince or princess, the Royal Drums are sounded by drummers specially selected from a specified clan as a means of informing the subjects of the kingdom of the birth of new member of the royal family. The same Royal Drums are sounded upon the death of a reigning king to officially announce the death of the material king. According to Buganda culture, a king does not die but gets lost in the forest. Inside the royal tomb, for example the Kasubi Tombs and the Wamala Tombs, one is shown the entrance of the forest. It is taboo to look beyond the entrance.

Election of kings[edit]

Buganda has no concept equivalent to the Crown Prince. All the princes are equally treated prior to the coronation of a new king following the death of a reigning monarch. However, during the period of a reigning king, a special council has the mandate to study the behavior and characteristics of the young princes. The reigning king, informed by the recommendation of the special council, selects one prince to be his successor. In a secret ceremony, the selected prince is given a special piece of bark cloth by the head of the special verification council. The name of the "king-to-be" is kept secret by the special council until the death of the reigning king. When all the princes and princesses are called to view the body of the late king lying in state, the selected prince lays the special piece of bark cloth over the body of the late king, revealing himself as the successor to the throne.

By tradition, Baganda children take on the clan of their biological fathers. However, princes take on the clan of their biological mothers on becoming a king (Kabaka) This is to ensure that each of the 56 clans of Baganda gets a chance of producing a future king of Buganda, since a reigning king can marry from any of the 56 clans except that of his biological mother.

The first born prince, by tradition called Kiweewa, is not allowed to become king. This was carefully planned to protect him against any attempted assassinations in a bid to fight for the crown. Instead he is given special roles to play in the matters of the royal family and kingdom. Thus, the name of the possible successor to the throne remains secret.

Kings of Buganda[edit]

The following are the known Kings of Buganda, starting from around 1300 AD.[1]

  1. Kato Kintu, early fourteenth century
  2. Chwa I, mid fourteenth century
  3. Kimera, c.1374-c.1404
  4. Ttembo, c.1404-c.1434
  5. Kiggala, c.1434-c.1464 and c.1484-c.1494
  6. Kiyimba, c.1464-c.1484
  7. Kayima, c.1494-c.1524
  8. Nakibinge, c.1524-c.1554 (Followed by a period of Interregnum, c.1554-c.1555)
  9. Mulondo, c.1555-1564
  10. Jemba, c.1564-c.1584
  11. Suuna I, c.1584-c.1614
  12. Sekamaanya, c.1614-c.1634
  13. Kimbugwe, c.1634-c.1644
  14. Kateregga, c.1644-c.1674
  15. Mutebi I, c.1674-c.1680
  16. Juuko, c.1680-c.1690
  17. Kayemba, c.1690-c.1704
  18. Tebandeke, c.1704-c.1724
  19. Ndawula, c.1724-c.1734
  20. Kagulu, c.1734-c.1736
  21. Kikulwe, c.1736-c.1738
  22. Mawanda. c.1738-c.1740
  23. Mwanga I, c.1740-c.1741
  24. Namuggala, c.1741-c.1750
  25. Kyabaggu, c.1750-c.1780
  26. Jjunju, c.1780-c.1797
  27. Semakookiro, c.1797-c.1814
  28. Kamaanya, 1814 - 1832
  29. Suuna II, 1832 - 1856
  30. Muteesa I, 1856 - 1884
  31. Mwanga II, 1884 - 1888 and 1889 - 1897
  32. Kiweewa, 1888 - 1888
  33. Kalema, 1888 - 1889
  34. Daudi Chwa II, 1897 - 1939
  35. Muteesa II, 1939 - 1969 (Followed by a period of Interregnum 1969 - 1993)
  36. Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, 1993 - present.

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