Kabalega of Bunyoro

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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. Unfortunately the British sought to colonize his kingdom, but he resisted.[1]

On 1 January 1894 the British declared war on Bunyoro. For a period of five years Kabalega was able to fend off the British, who had enlisted help from countries including Somalia, Nubia and others.

On 9 April 1899, Kabalega was shot and wounded by the British, who captured him and Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. Kabalega was exiled to the Seychelles for 24 years. His son Kitahimbwa was appointed chief, 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]

Kabalega was the last king of the old and prosperous kingdom. After his fall the kingdom was run by first the British Empire until Uganda's independence in 1962. Chwa Kabalega had great dreams and visions of his kingdom's future, and had recruited help from a group of Europeans to develop the kingdom. The current King Solomon Iguru I was also born on 18 June like Kabalega, has great dreams and visions of prosperity and has recruited help from a group of Europeans.


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]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Unyoro", 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".
  3. ^ Royal Order "The Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II. Kabalega".

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by
Kyebambe IV
Omukama of Bunyoro
Succeeded by