Uganda, the pearl of Africa and source of river Nile is a country in east Africa. It is a democratic republic headed by a President and government. According to the 1995 constitution, Uganda recognize the following tribes:
- Acholi 2. Alur 3.Baamba 4. Babukusu 5. Babwisi 6.Bafumbira 7.Baganda 8.Bagisu 9.Bagungu 10.Bagwe 11.Bagwere 12.Bahehe 13. Bahororo 14.Bakenyi 15.Bakiga 16.Bakonzo 17.Banyabindi 18.Banyankore 19.Banyara 20.Banyarwanda 21.Banyole 22.Banyoro 23.Baruli 24.Basamia 25.Basoga 26.Basongora 27.Batagwenda 28.Batoro 29.Batuku 30. Batwa 31.Chope 32.Dodoth 33.Ethur Ik (Teuso) 34.Iteso 35.Jie 36.Jonam 37.Jopadhola 38.Kakwa 39.Karimojong 40.Kebu (Okebu) 41.Kuku 42.Kumam 43.Langi 44.Lendu 45.Lugbara 46.Madi 47.Mening 48.Mvuba 49.Napore 50.Nubi 51.Nyangia 52.Pokot 53.Sabiny(Sebei) 54.So(Tepeth) 55.Vonoma
Some of these tribes or ethnic groups have had a monarchical leadership since precolonial while others have been newly created as symbols of cultural unity and heritage. The government of Uganda recognize them as traditional cultural institutions in its constitution and they have considerable unseen power among their people despite being restricted in a modern nation. Below are various tribal monarchies of Uganda (subnational kingdoms)
Kabaka of Buganda kingdom
Buganda kingdom is the most prominent kingdom in Uganda. It is home to the Baganda people who are also the largest ethnic group in Uganda. The monarch or King is called Kabaka and chairs the traditional parliament called lukiiko. Uniquely, the parliament has its own financial budget which it uses in developing the Kingdom investments and developments and operates like a modern government. Nnabagereka is the title for the Queen, Namasole for the Queen Mother, Omulangira for prince, Omumbejja for Princess and Katikiro for prime minister. The official residence of the Kabaka is Mengo Palace (Lubiri). Kabaka Mutebi II Ronald Muwenda is the current reigning King of Buganda since 1993.
Kingdom website link – https://www.buganda.or.ug/
Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom
Bunyoro kitara kingdom is a traditional kingdom of the BaNyoro people of Uganda. It was once the greatest Bunyoro kitara empire in East Africa that covered Uganda and some parts of Tanzania. It is headed by a King called Omukama in local language, Omugo is the title for Queen. It also has a traditional parliament and a financial budget. The official residence of the King (Omukama) is Kyabazinga royal palace, Hoima. The current Omukama since 1994 is Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I
Kingdom website link – http://www.bunyoro-kitara.org/
Omukama of Tooro Kingdom
Tooro kingdom is the traditional monarchy of the BaTooro people of Uganda. This kingdom is headed by a king called Omukama, Queen is Omugo, princess royal is Batebe, prince is Omubiito, princess is Omubiitokati, queen mother is Namasole and Omuhikirwa is the prime minister. It was formed in 1822 by a prince from the Bunyoro kitara kingdom dynasty and is considered today an independent kingdom. It is quite a popular kingdom having produced the youngest king of the world in 1995, King Oyo Rukidi IV and the most prominent woman in Uganda, Princess royal Elizabeth Bagaaya Akiiki. The official residence of the King is Kyabazinga Tooro royal palace at Fort Portal. The current Omukama since 1995 is Oyo Nyimba Rukidi IV.
Kingdom website link – https://kingoyo.africa/
Kyabazinga of Busoga Kingdom
Busoga kingdom is uniquely an elective monarchy among the BaSoga people of Uganda. It was formed in 1918/1919 by 11 chiefdoms ruled by their respective chiefs who elect among themselves an overall monarch for the Kingdom organisation. The King is called Isebantu Kyabazinga whose seat is elective for life and rotational between the chiefs of the 11 chiefdoms. His official residence is the Igenge royal palace at Jinja town. The current Kyabazinga since 2014 is William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV who is also Gabula of Bugabula chiefdom. The 11 chiefs are Gabula of Bugabula, Menha of Bugweri, Wakholi of Bukholi, Nkono of Bukono, Zibondo of Bulamogi, Nanhumba of Bunhole, Luba of Bunya, Kisiki of Busiki, Ntembe of Butembe, Ngobi of Kigulu and Tabingwa of Luuka
Omugabe of Ankole kingdom
Ankole/Nkore kingdom is the traditional kingdom of the Ankole people or BaNyakole that has existed since 1479. Due to the various wrangles for the throne by royal clans, the government of Uganda has not restored it since 1967 unlike others, however the dynasty continues unofficially. The kingdom is headed by a King whose title is Omugabe. The current Omugabe is Charles Rwebishengye who succeded his late father John Patrick Barigye Ntare VI in 2011.
Omusinga of Rwenzururu Kingdom
Rwenzururu kingdom (Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu) is a newly formed kingdom of the Konjo and Amba people after secession from the rule Tooro Kingdom. They had wanted a separate reign since 1950s and self declared their kingdom in 1962. In 2008 the Ugandan government allowed them to have a traditional kingdom called Rwenzururu like the other tribes. The kingdom is headed by a King called Omusinga who maintains his capital and palace at Kasese. The current Omusinga is Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema ngoma 1 who inherited the title aged 13 but stayed in USA hiding his title for 25 years due to the tensions with Ugandan government. He returned and was officially crowned in 2009.
Photos; Weaponizingarchitecture/wikipedia, Felix Basiime,
Omukama of BuSongora kingdom
Busongora Chwezi Kingdom is the traditional monarchy of the Songora or Chwezi (baCwezi) or baHuma people of Uganda. Sources inicate it was in existence since 1025 but was abolished by colonials. The baSongora revived it in 2012. It is headed by a King called Omukama. It`s current Omukama is Ndahura II Imara Kashagama
Photos; Youtube &
Kingdom website link – http://www.busongora-chwezi.org/home
Kamuswaga of Kooki
Kooki kingdom (obwakamuswaga)(now considered a chiefdom) is a traditional monarchy that was formed in 1690s to 1700s by a prince of bwohe after he broke away from bunyoro kitara kingdom. Kooki remained largely autonomus until in 1896 when it was incorporated into buganda protectorate by british colonial administration. In 2015 it announced back its independence from Buganda kingdom after years of being under the shadow of Buganda. Buganda kingdom however don’t recognise this move and maintains an official for kooki affairs. this has resulted in tensions between the two monarchies. The monarch of Kooki is known as Kamuswaga. The current Kamuswaga since 2004 is Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II
Kingdom website : https://www.obwakamuswaga.org/
Rwot of Acholi
Acholi are a nilotic group found in northern Uganda and South Susan. They have had a monarchical governance sytem since precolonial through a king (chief) and a council of elders. Their monarch (King or sometimes called paramount chief ) is called Rwot. The current reignig Rwot since 1999 is David Onen Achana II
Photos: Twitter, Flag Photo; Jean-Marc Merklin
Ubimu of Alur
Alur are a nilotic group living in western Uganda and neighbouring DRC. They are organised in a monarchy called Ker Alur / Kingdom of Alur. Their monarch (King) is called Ubimu who maintains his royal palace at Kaal Atyak Winam. He oversees 63 chiefs/rwoth. A prince is called Worwoth while a princess is called Nyarwoth. The current Ubimu since 2000 (crowned 2010) is Philip Olarker Rauni III
Flag photo ;Valentin Poposki
Kingdom page : https://twitter.com/KerAlurKingdom
Won Nyaci of Lango
The Lango people are a nilotic group found in Uganda. Their monarch (sometimes called Paramount chief) is called Won Nyaci in local language. The current Won Nyaci since 2005 is Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii. However there is a faction of the royal council that have installed another Won Nyaci leaving the monarchy in power wrangles.
Photos : Courtsey
Emorimor of Iteso
Teso or Iteso are a nilotic group found in both eastern Uganda and Western Kenya. They are organised into a cultural institution called Iteso Cultural Union with its headquarters at Soroti. Their elective monarch is called Emorimor. The late Emorimor Papa Augustine Osuban Lemukol was crowned in 2000 and died in 2022. Paul Sande Emolot from Ikuruk clan is the new King since 2022
Isabaruuli of BaRuuli
Baruuli are a bantu speaking people in Uganda. They are organized into 120 clans and have a overall monarch called Isabaaruli. The current Isabaruuli since 2004 is Constantine Mwatyansozi Mwogezi Butamanya
Kingdom/chiefdom website – https://www.buruuli.org/
Ssabanyala of Banyala
Banyala (formerly called Bagele) are a bantu ethnic group related closely with the baruuli. for many years they were under Bunyoro and Buganda kigdoms.. they were organized into clans headed by a omugabe. In recent times since 1980s, they have formed their own cultural institution/monarchy ruled by a monarch called Ssabanyala. The current Ssabanyala since 2008 is Retired Major Baker Kimeze Mpagi Byarufu II
Kwar Adhola of jopAdhola
Adhola or joPadhola are nilotic group currently living in Tororo district. They constitute over 52 clans and their land is called Padhola hence japadhola. They have a cultural institution called Tieng Adhola Cultural Institution which is headed by a monarch called Kwar Adhola who is elected by consensus by an electoral college of the 52 registered clans. The traditional prime minister is called Jago The current Kwar Adhola is Moses Stephen Owor since 1999.
Kingdom website : https://www.tiengadhola.com/
Rwoth Jakom of Jonam
The Jonam are a nilotic tribe in North-western Uganda on the banks of Albert Nile, north-west of Murchison Falls National Park. It’s from their settlement along River Nile that they got the name “Jonam”; Jo – means many/many people, and Nam – means River/lake (River Nile in their case). The Jonam are led by a monarch called Rwoth. The current Rwoth Jakom is Charles Ombidi Kwonga, Jakom Kaal Ker Kwaro Jonam since 2022.
Thebizi of Kebu Yuu
Kebu people are anilotic group living in north west Uganda near the border with DRC Congo and west of the nile. They have a traditional culutrual institution called Ke’bu Rigangi whichis led by a monarch called Thebizi. The current Thebizi since 2008 is Ephraim Waringu Kebbi
Omudhingya of Bwamba
Bwamba is a conglomeration of Bamba, Babwisi and Bavonama etnic groups that formed their own cultural institution – Obudhingya bwa Bwamba breaking away from Rwenzururu in 2010. Its monarch is called Omudhingya or Enjoghu (elephant) ya Bwamba. The current Omudhingiya is Martin Ayongi Kamya, a former ugandan army man whose coronation was attended by the president Yoweri Museveni.
Umukuka of BaMasaaba
Bamasaaba or Bagisu are bantu ethnic group found in Uganda and neigbouring Kenya. In 2011 they formed their own cultural institution -Inzu Ya Masaaba led by a monarch called Umukuka who reigns in both countres. Since the death of the late Umukuka II in 2020, the succession for the throne has been in battles between two groups
Kingdom website ; http://inzuyamasaaba.org/
Umukhungu of Bukusu
Bukusu of Buduuda district who were part of Bamasaaba declared their own sovereignty in 2011. They formed their own cultural institution headed by a monarch called Umukhungu Bukusu whose royal capital is Lukaangu palace. The current Umukhungu Bukusu since 2012 is Joseph Washitwaya Kanyanya
Ikumbania of Bugwere
BaGwere or Gwere are a bantu ethnic group organised into 86 clans. In 2004, the 86 clan heads formed the cultureral institution caaled Obwa Ikumbaania bwa Bugwere and a constitution. They elected their first monarch or King who is called Ikumbania. The late Ikumbania Dr. John Chrysostom Wayabire died in 2021 leaving the throne with six contenders for election by the royal council. His son Geoffrey Wayabire is the new Ikumbania.
Photos : Geofrey Wayabire
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