Abwooli Rujumba Omurungi W’ Abasambu, sometime mid- last year, whereas me and you soundly slept and snored, as if sleeping and snoring we would know, and while sleeping and snoring, we loathed and craved for what the sleeping and snoring do, the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Fredrick Muwenda Mutebi II (May all his royal appellations be extolled and proclaimed skyhigh) fathered a son, whom in his exceedingly immense and matchless wisdom, named after his grandfather Ssekabaka Ssemakookiro. Buganda thus has a new (crown) prince! Obuganda Buladde!
Why he named the young prince as he did, for Richard is his name, we may never fathom. But Abwooli, didn’t the old sage of our village Eriabu Irabahake son of Aminon Jack sternly warn us together as we were seated beneath the other old bark tree against questioning and attempting interpretations at the deeds and ways of Kings before he descended, just like his forefathers before him, to the land where men gait not with legs but their backs as the boats on the Mwitanzige?
The mother, Rujumba, the mother is grandchild of Mugalula- clan head of the Nsenene (Grasshopper) Clan sitting at Ggomba and according to the customs, rites and traditions evolved and founded by these people- spanning well over four solid centuries of unbroken practice, a King belongs to the mother’s clan. Thus in case he assumes the throne of Buganda Nnamulondo, which he most possibly shall, Prince Richard Semakokiro will be deemed by the same traditions as belonging to the Nsenene Clan.
Just as the foundations of the Nsenene clan are steeped in deep controversy and contest, too is the birth of the Prince Ssemakookiro. It is told by legend that Buyonga’s daughter Wannyana was exceptionally beautiful and this earned her a privilege to mingle with royals of different kingdoms. She was a descendant of the Batoro of Mugamba hill, Busongora in Toro. Her father Buyonga was son of Kiroboozi who the same legend insists was the grandfather of the Nsenene Clan.
It is said, but some contest this account, that the king of Bunyoro Winyi one time while on state duties saw Wannyana in Kisozi and admired her so much. He married her and took her to Kiburara. This is how she came to meet the Muganda prince, Kalemeera who had been banished in Bunyoro by his own father, Kabaka Chwa Nabakka. Kalemeera and Wannyana had a secret love affair and later a son called Kimera who later assumed his grandfather’s throne in Buganda as Kabaka was begotten.
Meanwhile it is claimed and disputed in equal measure- depending on which side of the narrative one finds himself glued upon, that King Winyi’s wife Muhumuza, whom he left in Kisozi, Ggomba, the ancestral home of Wannyana and then part of the vast Bunyoro- Kitara territory, to manage and govern it, got involved with Buyonga in a love affair and actually had a son with him known as Mugalula. This is the fabled Mugalula alluded to earlier-, Clan head of the Nsenene and Grandfather of Prince Ssemakookiro whose prospects of ascending the Ganda throne are as dizzying as the controversy surrounding his birth.
This birth, which must ordinarily be cause for rapturous festivities, deity- thanking and beer gulping in the whole of greater Buganda, it has come to my urgent attention and concern, has in the alternative, and rather ironically, afforded some folks that cruise and navigate upon most of the social media seas the choice of following a rather perilous and pirate- strewn path of so liberally taking it upon themselves to denigrate and desecrate the Great Lion’s name- Kabaka Muwenda- Mutebi II of Buganda!
So much has this been the case and so much has the debate in fact bordered on the hot and the obscene that even some ultra- Ganda loyalists who, when circumstances so demanded, and in the most animating poetry, used to so heroically proclaim in praise and boast, thus: Alik-kanyugira Omuliro Ndigugaaya. Alik-kabya amaziga, Ndimukaabya Musaayi, have been lured to participate in the summary public execution of their King! Some have in fact gone as far as arrogating themselves the exclusive privilege, privilege we indeed shall call it, of spitefully debasing and making comedy of his Majesty’s character, reason, judgment and person.
Rujumba, I most vehemently disagree with them and their blinding ignorance that guides them to so condescendingly presuppose, as they do, for several reasons: Foremost, these rather impolite friends of mine cite Christianity, but most particularly the Anglican brand of it, as the basis upon which they stand in spiteful, ignorant and biased judgment of the person, character, reason and stature of the King, Hail he!.
These faithfuls claim that since Kabaka is Anglican, he is by of right expected to heed to the all- important Anglican virtue of Monogamy just as he is bound to worship but one Lord and God under the promptings of the doctrine of Monotheism- one upon which the whole Christianity belief rests. Thus, they reason, that since the Kabaka wed, under the grandiose glare of the cameras of journalists and the eyes of subjects, Maama Nnabagereka Lady Sylvia Nagginda Luswata at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe in 1999, siring a child as he has out of the hypothetical christian wedlock is as illegal as, supposedly, Prince Ssemakookiro himself!
Abwooli, this cannot at any moment be allowed to stand either by history or reason the same way the wheels of time and history, crushing and turning as they did, destroyed the lonely decision of an English judge in the East Afrikan case of Rex v. Amkeyo, and lo!, as Jesus said,’ Forgive them for they do not know what they say!’
Lest they mislead and attempt to be ‘more catholic than the pope’ or ‘more anglican than the Archbishop of Cantebury’, these faithfuls should fast be guided about the very foundations of the Anglican church that they incumbently cite for a major a pedestal upon which they fly hot and unkindly rhetoric of desecration and denigration to the person, reason and judgment of King Mutebi.
The year was 1534 when as a result of the most dire need to provide a male heir to the English throne, as is in these circumstances to the Buganda throne, the Church of England or the Anglican or Protestant faith as we know it today and as is being used to revile Kabaka Mutebi and Prince Ssemakookiro, was born. It was King Henry VIII that caused the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church and thus the papal authority at Rome.
Because he believed a daughter, Mary and of whom he was in fact most fond, would be unable to consolidate the Tudor Dynasty, King Harry, as those who knew him intimately called him, sought to, during the lifetime of Catherine of Aregon, his legally wedded wife or Queen, look elsewhere for an heir.
Thus in 1525, as Henry grew more impatient, he became enamoured of a charismatic young woman in the Queen’s entourage, Anne Boleyn. Anne at first resisted his attempts to seduce her, and refused to become his mistress, as her sister Mary Boleyn had. This refusal made Henry even more attracted, and he pursued her relentlessly. Eventually, Anne consented only on grounds that Harry makes her acknowledged queen. It soon became the King’s absorbing desire to annul his marriage to Catherine.
Thus Harry appealed directly to the Holy See or Pope Clement VII, through his secretary, William Knight suing for annulment. The grounds were that the bull of Pope Julius II- granting him permission to marry his brother’s wife Catherine, was obtained by false pretences, because -Catherine’s brief marriage to the sickly Arthur had been consummated.
Henry further petitioned, in the event that the desperately sought annulment is granted, a dispensation to marry again, any woman even in the first degree of affinity, whether the affinity was contracted by lawful or unlawful connection. However, this the Church at Rome, rigid and conservative as it usually is, did not accede to the grant of this request. Henry became even more dangerously impatient with Catherine’s inability to extend the male bloodline of the House of Tudor, as, which I shall not allow anyone to force me to say publically- not even at any price, could most possibly have been King Mutebi’s impatience with Maama Nabagereka Lady Sylvia Nagginda Luswata.
Though Henry never formally and instantly repudiated the doctrines of the Catholic Church as they stood, and am telling you currently stand, when he was denied his most desired wish viz his marriage to Lady Anne, he declared himself supreme head of the church in England in 1534. This, combined with subsequent actions, eventually provided expert midwifery services and attention to the historic birth of a splinter church, that Of England sometimes identified as Anglican or Protestant. Protestant because it was the lone child of Protest, Rebellion and/or Disobedience and Insubordination!
Given these indisputably accurate and well- documented historical facts, and with the greatest possible respect and deference to the emotions of those of the Maama Nabagereka loyalists tenanted on this high spiritual edifice, spitting, spreading and spilling most disparaging and unworthy sedition against the Kabaka’s person as they do, for the birth of Prince Richard Ssemakookiro (Blessed be he) of the Nsenene Clan outside the matrimonial wedlock with the astoundingly comely and gentle Queen, it ultimately follows they, like the Neandertathals of antiquity, and recalling Rubashov, have no more moral authority and right to so allege as they do than the latter ‘legislating for the Ape man’.
Secondly, Rujumba, it is also incumbent upon those that wish to find the golden gates of heaven specially opened for them in reward for the truth they told, upheld and sought while on earth to closely peer at the maternal parentage of King Mutebi himself, Oggundeggunde ayi Beene, Nyanja Temanyiirwa. Records faultlessly show that the skin of King was born on 13th April 1955 at Mulago hospital to Ssekabaka Muteesa II and Sarah Kisosonkole of the Nkima clan (In Bunyoro- Tooro, we call them Abahinda).
It should be noted that Ssekabaka H. E Sir Fredrick Edward Muteesa, who features prominently in the immediate post- independence politics of Uganda, being the First President as he was, was an avowed Anglican whose grandfather is credited by historians and prelates alike for having invited the bright torch of this most civilized faith, of civilized peoples, to shine and demistify the barbarism and darkness of the native peoples, Ugandans they were later to become.
Ssekabaka Sir Edward Muteesa II, father to Mutebi, was officially married to Nabagereka Lady Damalie Kisosonkole who passed on recently (May God grant her Queit Rest). However, it was not Queen Damalie that begot the current King but rather her Sister Sarah Kisosonkole! Thus, Abwooli, if we were to siphon, which we shall not, this wrong thesis so wildly propagated by the chief desecrators of the Great Lion’s mighty image, then the latter would be, in classic 17th century countryside and legal English parlance, ‘illegitimate’, ‘sired out of wedlock’, ‘bastard’ and not deserving to ascend to the great Nnamulondo of the ages as is the handsome Prince Ssemakookiro of the Nsenene.
Now, Abwooli, none of the most virulent and acidic critics of the circumstances preceding the birth of Prince Ssemakookiro and the subsequent name- labeling of Magulunnyondo (May he live long), is on record as ever having disputed Muwenda- Mutebi’s claim to kingship simply because he was mothered by Sarah and not Damalie, her Queen- Auntie! I can see them go silent. Hold them Abwooli, let them not run…. Where are they? Abwooli, have you seen the path the Kabaka’s desecrators have taken? But they have been here just moments back…Baleke, let them be son of my mother, for the proverb Agoba Musajjamunne may be unilaterally invoked with the attendant consequences.
Further, I have again heard pockets of the same folks allege that they ‘no longer reserve any semblance of respect for the Kabaka’ because apparently ‘atuswazzizza’ (he has beshamed us) ‘okwegadanga n‘Akazaana akataasoma’ (by swapping privates with an unschooled or unlettered consort or servant), nti era Mutebi owed everything to Maama Nabagereka because ‘she abandoned a prospectively very bright corporate career in the U.S’ to come to Uganda and marry ‘Mutebi’ (yes! They even have the effrontery to call him by his name!), only for him, ‘as are all men’ to be so ungrateful as to openly and unapologetiaclly cheat on and disgrace her. Moreover, with Akataasoma!
I find this line of thought, first as a humanist, secondly as Afrikan and finally as adherent well initiated in the ceremonies of human equality- ugly, unappealing, repulsive and repelling. Abwooli, with the greatest possible respect the comely Queen, she is no better a woman than the other kazzaana (maid- servant) akataasoma- . the one they (the ungrateful disecrators), had they had the liberty to, would also understand as stinking.
This analysis is most regrettable and heart- tearing. Just as this country’s most distinguished musician of all time- Prince Paulo Job Kafeero put it in the epic song Esaawa y’okuzaawa, men are born naked and crying, they are buried naked and crying (…Ensi Bwetujiyingirira mubiwoobe, mwetujinnyukira mu biwoobe).
The song touches upon the theme of death and not so markedly the theme of equality. But we shall currently borrow his thesis to substantiate a vital equality point viz just as all men are born naked and crying with none born robed, we are all thus equal and equally deserving of all life’s opportunities and giftings. So just as Maama Nnabagereka can have the choice of putting herself at the emotional and physical avail of a King, so does Akazaana Akataasoma Rose Nansikombi.
Finally, there are these moralists that claim that the Kabaka being (or expected to be the paragon of good character and virtues), even be it as it was in the search of an heir agreeable to custom, or be whatever as it may, ought not to have condescended so low as to procreate outside his marriage moreover going as far, they authoritatively assert and insist, snatching another man’s woman(muk’omusajja) to achieve the purpose.
I also strongly feel and think that this charge cannot, guided by reason and commonsense, be sustained.
My own opinion, Abwooli, is that procreation is the greatest form and highest expression of morality for it helps preserve a race. There can never be any morality in a vacuum. For it to exist, there must be a people to express it and give it perspective. Thus where such a people are absent, partly because of some warped and corrosive social or religious constraints, a morality is doomed and such word as it is- ‘morality’ and the practice thereof, ceases to exist.
For those reasons, I most warmly congratulate the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Fredrick Muwenda Mutebi II, upon expanding the house of Kato- Kimera; the Bazzukulu ba Mugalula ab’Nseenene for owning a future King and Omuzaana Rose Nansikombi for making these my most honest congratulatory remarks useful and meaningful. Oggundendeggunde ayi Ssabasajja: Magulunnyondo; Beene; Chuucu; Muzzukulu w’Muteesa, Sebuufu bwango; Nyanja Temanyiirya.
I must add, Abwooli, that Prince Ssemakookiro looks as serene and delightful as a Rose, Rose being Nansikombi’s name and Nansikombi being the name of Rose!
Kanve wano tebankuba eccupa omanyi bakambwe….