Busoga kingdom, the Elective Hereditary monarchy in Uganda || Obwa Kyabazinga bwa Busoga

Busoga kingdom is uniquely an elective monarchy among the BaSoga people of Uganda based around Jinja City with its royal capital at Bugembe town. The BaSoga are a bantu speaking tribe and are the third largest ethnic group in Uganda. They were formally organised into chiefdoms until 1918/1919 when the 11 chiefdoms each ruled by their respective chief came together to elect among themselves an overall monarch (Isebantu Kyabazinga) for the Kingdom organisation called Bu-Soga (Land of the Soga). In 1949, The BuSoga Parliament/Lukiiko resolved that the Kyabazinga would be elected from the five lineages of Baise Ngobi (Ababiito) hereditary rulers, who are the 5 sons of Prince Mukama Namutukula of Bunyoro Kingdom. The 5 Chiefs are Zibondo of Bulamogi, Gabula of Bugabula, Ngobi of Kigulu, Tabingwa of Luuka, Nkono of Bukono.

Royal Titles

  • King – Isebantu Kyabazinga (Isebantu means father of the people who unites us)
  • Queen – Inhebantu (means mother of the people)
  • Chief of Bugabula – title is Gabula of Bugabula
  • Chief of Bulamogi – title is Zibondo of Bulamogi
  • Chief of Kigulu – title is Ngobi of Kigulu
  • Chief of Luuka- title is Tabingwa of Luuka
  • Chief of Bukooli – title is Wakooli of Bukooli
  • Chief of Bukono – title is Nkono of Bukono
  • Chief of Butembe – title is Ntembe of Butembe
  • Chief of Bugweri – title is Menha of Bugweri
  • Chief of Busiki – title is Kisiki of Busiki
  • Chief of Bunha – title is Luba of Bunha
  • Chief of Bunhole – title is Nanhumba of Bunhole
  • SSabalangira – Head of clan heads
  • Prime Minister – title is Katukiro

Kings of BuSoga Kingdom

The King (Isebantu Kyabazinga) is elected from the five royal chiefs among the 11 that rule various chiefdoms/clans in the kingdom. After elections, he is then approved by the parliament/Lukiiko. They serve for life upon which they elect another after one passes on

  • 1 Kyabazinga Ezekiel Tenywa Wako – reigned 1939 – 1949 and intially as head of Busoga Lukiiko parliament since 1919
  • 2 Kyabazinga Sir William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope III – reigned 1949 -1955 and 1962 – 1966, also served as first vice president of Uganda
    • 1967โ€“1993 (monarchies abolished by Milton Obote and reinstated in 1993 by Yoweri Museveni)
  • 3 Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki – reigned 1955 – 1962 and again from 1966 – 2008
    • Queen (Inhebantu) Alice Muloki
    • 2008 – 2014 regency by prime minister and eleven royal chief until a successor was named
    • 2008 -2014 – acting Kyabazinga David Wakhooli Muluya
  • 4 Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Gabula Nadiope IV – reigned 2014 –

Kyabazinga Ezekiel Tenywa Wako

He was the Zibondo(chief) of Bulamogi and reigned as the first Kyabazinga from 1939 – 1949 and intially as head of Busoga Lukiiko parliament since 1919. In 1925, he became part of the Kings council that included other kings of Buganda, Tooro, Bunyoro, Ankole. He reigned until 1949 when he retired due to old age. His son Henry Wako Muloki would later become the third Kyabazinga

King (Isebantu Kyabazinga) William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope III

He was born a prince of Gabula whose father was the Chief Yosiya Nadiope of Gabula. He succeeded his father in 1929 as chief after his formal education in the United Kingdom. Later William was elected in 1948 to become Kyabazinga and reigned as 2nd king from 1949 to 1955 and again from 1962 to 1966. During his reign he welcomed Queen Elizabeth when she visited Uganda to commission the Owen Falls Dam in Jinja in 1954. He also served as Uganda’s first vice president after independence while Buganda’s king Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa served as President. He was married to Queen(Inhebantu) Eunia Nadiope. His grandson will later become the 4th King/Kyabazinga. He died in 1970

Photos; Courtesy

King (Isebantu Kyabazinga) Henry Wako Muloki

Henry Wako Muloki was the eldest son of the 1st Kyabazinga Ezekiel Tenywa Wako. He became Kyabazinga in 1955 succeeding the late Sir William Wilberforce Nadiope until 1962 and again in 1966 when President Milton Obote abolished all Traditional institutions and Kingdoms. He regained the title of Kyabazinga on 11th February 1995, after President Museveni restored the traditional kingdoms. He was the oldest surviving traditional ruler in Uganda at the time of his death in 2008 at the age of 87. He was married to Queen (Inhebantu) Alice Muloki (died 2005) since 1956, in which him and King Kabaka Muteesa II of Buganda acted as each others bestman. The couple had eight children together – four sons and four daughters

King (Isebantu Kyabazinga) William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Gabula Nadiope IV

The current HM Isebantu Kyabazinga since 2014 is William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV who is also Gabula of Bugabula chiefdom. He was born in 1988 to Wilson Gabula Nadiope II, onetime minister of tourism in the Ugandan Cabinet, who died in 1991 and Josephine Nadiope who died in 1993. Gabula Nadiope was unanimously elected by the ten Busoga Royal Chiefs who convened at Bugembe on 23 August 2014 for the purpose of electing a new Kyabazinga and later approved by the Busoga Lukiko/Parliament) on 25 September 2014. He was offcially crowned at Bugembe on Saturday, 13 September 2014. He is a degree holder of bachelor of arts in Economics and Master of science in  Business Administration (Management). He is married to Queen(Inhebantu) Jovia Mutesi since 2023.

The King is keen on development issues in Busoga kingdom particularly in Agriculutre, education, sports, culture, trade and business and supports various causes around the kingdom.

Photos ; Flag-John Duncan McMeekin Kingdom page : Twitter

Queen (Inhebantu) Jovia Mutesi

HRH Queen (Inhebantu) Jovia Mutesi is the wife and queen consort to HM King (Isebantu Kyabazinga) William Wilberforce gabula Nadiope IV of BuSoga kingdom, Uganda. They traditionally married in September 2023 and Royal wedding on 18th November 2023


Kingdom Structure and Organisation

Busoga Kingdom is a cultural institution which promotes popular participation and unity among the people of the region through development programs to improve their standard of living. The Kingdom therefore has a structure with the Kyabazinga at the top, 11 chiefs, traditional parliament(Lukiiko) with prime minister, ministries with ministers, deputy ministers etc that run the government business for the betterment of the kingdom


Royal Palaces

  • Igenge palace or Kyabazinga palace located on Igenge hill Bugembe Town Council in Jinja District is the official Kyabazinga Royal Palace  which was built by the Ugandan government for the monarchy. The Kyabazinga Royal Palace is the perfect place to learn about Busoga culture, traditions, and the royal kingdom. Today, tourists are allowed to visit the Kyabazinga and the palace.
  • Budhumbula palace is a royal residence of the Bugabula (Chief) of Gabula chiefdom and thus current King (Kyabazinga) of Busoga Kingdom, Uganda. On its grounds is also the royal farm which is a model for agricultural productvity of various crops and livestock. It is situated 2 kilometres from Kamuli Town along the Jinja-Kamuli highway. At this cultural site, one can find a shrine and the former residence of the former Kyabazinga (King) of Busoga Kingdom-Sir William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope. He passed on in 1976. At the Shrine are also graves of also other members of the Royal family like the former King and Queen (Nadiopeโ€™s mother and father)-Nadiope (father) and Nansikombi (mother). Former Uganda government minister Wilson Nadiope (who died in 1991), and his mother, Yuliya Babirye Nadiope (who died in 2004). The main palace residence is a legacy of the British colonial government, which donated it in 1914.
  • Bugembe palace was built in 1965 under Sir William Wilberforce Nadiope. It was looted by Idi Aminโ€™s troops in the middle of the 1970s.

Kyabazinga Day

Kyabazinga day is celebrated annually on February 11 by the BaSoga as a commemoration of when the 11 Busoga chiefdoms came together in 1939 to form Busoga kingdom and appointed a King or Isebantu Kyabazinga as monarch.


BuSoga Royal Weddings

Click the link – Uganda Royal Weddings

King William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV of BuSoga kingdom married Queen Jovia Mutesi traditionally in September 2023 and in a royal wedding on 18th November 2023


ยฉ The African Royal Families. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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