Kabalega of Bunyoro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chwa II Kabalega (18 June 1853 – 6 April 1923), was the ruler or Omukama of Bunyoro in Uganda from 1870 to 1899.

When he was crowned king, he set out to develop his new kingdom via trade and especially the Kibiro Saltworks.

He resisted the British attempts to colonize his kingdom.[1] On 1 January 1894, the British declared war on Bunyoro. At the height of the British offensive on his Kingdom, Kabalega went into hiding in Acholi under the protection of Chief Awich Abok of Payira. It's from there that he consistently led his rebellion dubbed Nyangire that proved a thorn on the colonial skin. For five years, Kabalega was able to fend off the British, who had enlisted help from other countries including Somalia and Nubia. On 9 April 1899, Kabalega was shot by the British, who captured him and Mwanga II of Buganda. Kabalega was exiled to the Seychelles for 24 years. His son Kitahimbwa was appointed king but had little power as the kingdom was administered nearly directly by the colonial authority.[1]

In 1923, Kabalega was given permission to return to Bunyoro but died in Jinja on 6 April 1923, shortly before reaching the borders of the kingdom.[2]


In 1972, President Idi Amin renamed Murchison Falls, located within Murchison Falls National Park, Kabalega Falls after the Omukama.

On 8 June 2009, Kabalega was declared a national hero of Uganda by President Museveni.[3]

In 2010,[4] the Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega was founded in honour of Kabalega by the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara[5]


  1. ^ a b Wikisource Johnston, Harry (1911). "Unyoro" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 782., Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  2. ^ Press Release from the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, "Commemoration of the 100th year since the capture of Omukama Cwa II Kabalega" http://www.royal-order-omukama-kabalega.org/resources/Omukama+Kabalega.pdf
  3. ^ Royal Order "The Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II. Kabalega".
  4. ^ Royal Order "The Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II. Kabalega".
  5. ^ About Titles of Ugandan Traditional Rulers, Royalty, Chiefs, Nobility and Chivalry

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by
Kyebambe IV
Omukama of Bunyoro
Succeeded by