Bunyoro Kingdom on Thursday celebrated 100 years since the death of Omukama Daudi Cwa II Kabalega of Bunyoro Kitara with a call to cultural institutions to embrace peace and unity.
The call was made by President Museveni in a message read for him by Tom Butiime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities during the celebrations at Buyanja Secondary School in Kibaale. The celebrations were held under the theme “Unity and development”.
Museveni noted that cultural institutions should embrace unity for prosperity and development warning that no development can be ushered in without peace and unity.
Museveni who described the late Omukama Kabalega as a hero, peace-loving and a unifier asked cultural institutions to emulate Kabalega’s legacy.
He says the commemoration is a recognition of the achievements made by the ancestors in the struggle to set up centralized administration for effective leadership.
Kabalega was born on 18th June 1853 to King Kyebambe IV Kamurasi Mirundi Rukanama and Kanyange Nyamutahingurwa Abwooli. He was the 23rd King of the Babiito dynasty.
He became King of Bunyoro in 1869 when he was still 16 years old. Kabalega led a historic revival of the kingdom and registered several victories in reclaiming lost territories, increased food production, cattle keeping, and trade given that Bunyoro was the center of iron smelting at that time, and had the Kibiro Salt Works.
Museveni said that the ancestors in Bunyoro and other Kingdoms used all creative means to promote unity among clans and the same measures should be put in place by the current cultural institutions to unite their subjects.
Museveni asked Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom officials to sensitize their subjects in the selection of profitable enterprises in the four sectors of commercial Agriculture, industries, services, and ICT among others.
Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda in a message read for him by Dr. Hajji Twaha Kaawaase, the Buganda Kingdom First Deputy Premier said that Omukama Kabalega fought tirelessly to defend his people and the Kingdom.
He says Buganda Kingdom still recalls the heroic stand executed by both Kabaka Mwanga and Omukama Kabalega against the imposition of colonial rule.
Kaawaase explained that the bond created by Mwanga and Kabalega should inspire the people of Bunyoro and Buganda to work together.
Andrew Byakutaga, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister said that Omukama Kabalega is remembered for his contribution towards uniting and developing his subjects and above all his resistance against British colonialists.
Byakutaga also said that Kabalega also boosted trade and commerce in the region during his reign, which promoted peaceful co-existence between Bunyoro and other tribes.
Guests celebrating on Thursday
Omukama Kabalega built diplomatic relationships between Bunyoro and other states and expanded the geographical boundaries of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. He promoted both local and international trade in the Kingdom. He was captured in 1899 and exiled to Seychelles Island where he spent 23 years.
While in exile, he continued to resist British colonization, writing letters and petitions to various European leaders and international organizations.
His resistance to European colonization is seen as an important moment in African history and his legacy continues to inspire those fighting for independence and sovereignty in Africa.
Kabalega died on April 6, 1923, at Mpumude in the current Jinja District, Busoga region on his way back home.