MWANGA didn’t order killing the “Matrys”, The British did it -GNL Zamba
So every June we turn our kabaka Mwanga back to the heartless villain and glorify what we read and didn’t witness. #News #Uganda #History
Let’s consider that the story told by the victors insn’t necessarily the factual account. Christians also have a tendency of ignoring truth when the facts may affect their Sanctimonious Public relations and in this case, the religion of the British that opened doors to colonialism gets a free pass and its origins not questioned. For such a monumental turning point in Uganda’s history, it’s simply too hard to Ignore the possibility of foul play that has been a cover up swept under the Lubugo “rags”. The death of the Uganda Matrys has gone on un examined for so long and as an enthusiastic historian I would like us to look back at our history objectively.
The European powers used tactics of divide and conquer in almost every region they set their eyes on. The British were masters of this craft and employed its devices when ever they found a community knit together. They used confusion and religion to sow seeds of mistrust and in many cases to undermine the pillars that kept African societies together. They exploited clan differences, tribal ties, nose width and class to break up loyalty to kings and Chiefs. They placed the diety of religion above all while their governments eslaved and exploited indegenous resources. I’m stating what you already know and don’t think that protectorates were an exemption. Converts of the faith would blindly become rebels to their own people, follow the teachings that turned priests to authority figures and not question or self examine their unconscious actions for fear of being perceived as lacking faith. Prisoners of piety.
Derogatory terms like “mukafiri” , “musamize” to mention are few were introduced to the local vocabulary so healers became witches and the white priests were glorified as “abatukuvu”, “abatukirivu” literally the definition of white wash before the brain wash that was to follow. In some cases junior monks “pele lugard” and “mapera” are often passed off as saints even today.
The British in the 1800s found a society of Baganda that was a centralized system of governance organized and men became Chiefs out of merit and skill. Foreigners from neighboring tribes were welcome to work on farm “ku pakasa” even children born out of marriage with women from other tribes became Baganda since buganda was a patriarchal society. During the reign of kabaka Mwanga, the Baganda prospered as fishermen with an abundant food basket, Matoke, lumonde, cassava fields, akatandalo nakayu were a must have mandatory requisite for every “mwami” household by village law and enforced by every village chief “mayumba kumi owe sazza “. Cattle kraals,Granaries for beans, maize and ground nuts made Buganda food crops prosper. They built roads that eased trade with the coastal traders and controlled trade routes to salt and iron in Bunyoro. A society of loyal prosperous kings men and clans to identify every man was a hard one to penetrate for the British.
Christianity was a laughable doctrine taught in Latin with only a few converts who were servants families to explorers and missionaries. The missionaries learned that Mwanga was close to many Muslim traders who equipped him with guns and fabrics from India and Zanzibar, Unlike his predecessor Mwanga wasn’t easy to access by the Christian missionaries who he never invited to his palace or entertained in his court.
Mwanga’s relationship with the arab traders threatened the new seed and the Christians wrote to their homelands seeking British foot soldiers to protect the new flock(always a fanatics way in). They befriended Chiefs and the aides of the king to spy on the administration. When Mwanga converted to Islam, they knew it was a matter of time before he kicked them out of his kingdom and so they devised a plan on how to make the people turn on their king. It had to be a cruel act that would Isolate the king from people,transform a beloved king to a feared villain.
At this point it’s not far fetched to state that the missionaries burned their own and blamed it on the King. They picked out young men from influential families of the kings council to kill. It would be hard for a grieving family to side with the accused, Mwanga’s quick temper also didn’t help so it was easy to blame it on him and his right hand chief Mukajanga who was envied by many for he was “the king’s favorite”.
Burning people is not new to Christians, it’s been part of the religion since the Spanish Inquisition to the most recent kibwetere cult.