Tension between Buganda Kingdom and the County of Kooki is steadily growing to escalation levels after the latter unveiled an arch announcing that it was now an independent entity and Uganda’s newest kingdom.
Said to have been an autonomous kingdom of its own, Kooki’s former king Kamuswaga Hezekiah Ndawula signed an agreement putting his entity under Mengo in 1896. Kooki would then be granted a special status higher than the other 17 counties that make up Buganda.
Kamuswaga Ndawula’s decision was informed by the need to protect Kooki from attacks and invasions by stronger kingdoms. In his mind the Kamuswaga of 1896 thought it wise to become a chiefdom with semi-autonomy but survive invasions.
But the current chief, Kamuswaga Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II, has in recent years been pushing the kingdom to secession from Mengo, with the Kooki Lukiiko or Parliament announcing that the Buganda Kingdom Anthem (Ekitiibwa kya Buganda) would no longer be sung in Kooki’s institutions and at events with effect from 2016. Kamuswaga Kabumbuli II also banned the use of Luganda as the official language, opting for English as the Kooki Parliament’s official language.
Over the years, Kamuswaga Kabumbuli II’s group has worked on the Kooki flag and anthem. These were already in existence by the time of the unveiling of a metallic arch separating Kooki from Buganda.
Situated near Kisoma Swamp, the metallic arch is located nearly a kilometer away from Lwanda Trading Center on the Kyotera-Rakai Road.
The arch has words in both English and Lukooki. The Lukooki inscription reads: ‘Obukama Bwa Kooki Nibukutangilila’ as well as its English Translation: “Welcome to Kooki Kingdom.”
Kingdom Information Minister Stanley Ndawula has been quoted as saying that a roadside market will be established near the arch.
Ndawula also revealed that the ‘kingdom’ will establish signposts at all its borders such as the County of Kabula, the defunct Kingdom of Nkore (Ankole) and the Republic of Tanzania.
It should be remembered that a few months ago, Kooki loyalists blocked the Masaza Cup football matches that were supposed to be played in Kamuswaga’s territory.
Buganda and its leader Kabaka Mutebi have recently accused the Museveni government state and government of plotting to steal the kingdom’s land and make other tribes hate Mengo. (Read Story Here).
You can read about the times Buganda Kingdom has planned to break away from Uganda but it ended in tears HERE.