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THE UGANDA PROTECTORATE - SECOND PHASE

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THE UGANDA PROTECTORATE - SECOND PHASE

Post by sol_drethedon on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:13 pm

3. The Uganda Protectorate -- Second Phase
The second phase began with the declaration of a British protectorate over Uganda in June 1894. We are told in the official records of the Colonial office that Britain had last decided to 'accept responsibility for Uganda'. But this was a formality, as we have seen. Although there was a long way to go for the British to consolidate their hold, the steps already taken were decisive.

"The Uganda protectorate was at last declared in June 1894. The proclamation of the East Africa Protectorate followed the next year, in July 1895. These events passed almost unnoticed in East Africa where British administration was entering its seventh year."

The creation of formal administrative bodies throughout the country followed. This state structure was necessary if the interests of finance capital were to be assured. The creation of a state structure became a necessity. No colonial economy could be established without it, it was necessary on two grounds, first to protect the interest of the British empire against the monopolies of the other imperialist states, if British capital were to be hegemonic in its colony, secondly, to create and discipline a labor force which would be available to British finance capital for various purposes. The military forces that were used in this were the remnants of the Sudanese armed unit now at the command of the British state. It was later strengthened into the King's African Rifles, and later became the Uganda army at independence. Puppet units under Kakungulu of the Ingleza party in Buganda were also used in the process.

The first steps were again taken in Buganda. Here a British commissioner was appointed to superintend the protectorate. A small civil service was recruited from England to man the bureaucratic machine. The mercenary Sudanese and Swahili forces were brought under the command of four new officers. 50,000 BP were allocated to Uganda by the British treasury, together with a capital sum to be used to build a road from Mombasa to Lake Victoria to facilitate the passage of supplies.

This domination was superimposed on new structures which henceforth were to exercise direct rule in Buganda, while the governor on behalf of the British state was to rule 'indirectly'. The new structures dealt a blow at the autocratic rule of the Kabaka, and introduced the young victorious chiefs as imperialism's main agency, using the Kabaka's image as a cover. This super structural imposition, erected on a class structure of a 'free' petty commodity producing peasantry that was to emerge after 1927 at the economic level, had tremendous ideological repercussions in the period of the national liberation struggles in the 1940s and 1950s, as we shall see.Thus British colonialism claimed legitimacy at one level by its own authority as the 'protecting power', while at another level it claimed it as the authority of the Kabaka of Buganda. Its own ideology was reinforced by traditional ideology but only to serve the interests of finance capital , and any traditional practice and authority inconsistent therewith were to be excluded as 'repugnant to good conscience' of finance capital.

Under the settlement made by Lugard and his successors, the Ingleza party chiefs took the lead. The katikkiro came from this faction in the person of Apolo Kagwa, who had been a commander of their forces. A mulamuzi (judge) from the Fransa faction was also appointed, with a Muwanika (treasurer) from the Ingleza party forming the tri. The Muslims retained minor chieftainships in the buffer zone. Then a Lukiiko or council for determining affairs was established. The Lukiiko was the legislative forum of the new land owners, the chiefs, under the new masters. Under clause 11 of the 1900 Agreement, the lukiiko was to comprise 3 ministers, 20 saza chiefs, 60 notables selected by the Kabaka, and 6 important persons also selected by him, making a total of 89. All these were chiefs and Kabaka's secretaries. After the administrative and legislative structures, the chief's courts were established.

This admnistrative hierarchy, which came to be known as the 'Buganda model', was adopted throughout Uganda. The new authority was so well established in Buganda it could not be shaken even by Mwanga's rebellion in 1897. Although Mwanga got support from Buganda peasants, the rebellion was crushed and Mwanga was banished into exile to the Seychelles islands in 1899, where he languished with his old arch enemy, Kabarega. Kabarega died with the dignity of having opposed British colonialism to the end. Mwanga on the other hand, hjaving played in the hands of British imperialists, was thrown out in disgrace. His infant son Daudi Chwa who succeeded him was just a facade for domination, used by Britain to consolidate its rule.

With Mwanga banished, a new agreement was signed by Britain's regents. Called the Uganda Agreement of 1900, this document confirmed British authority over Buganda, which was declared to be one province of Uganda protectorate. Under the Agreement, tribute (Hut tax) of three rupees had to be collected from the peasants by the chiefs and paid to the British administration. Another tax was introduced to pay the salaries of the new ministers and chiefs. The new system of administration was confirmed by the new Agreement. The Kabaka was to exercise his 'direct rule' with the assistance of the three ministers. The likkiko was formally constituted by the legislature of Buganda, and final court of appeal for a limited number of cases. The Kabaka had to accept the 'advice' of the governor as condition of his recognition as Kabaka by British imperialism.

"So long as the Kabaka, chiefs and people of Uganda (i.e Buganda) shall conform to the laws and regulations instituted for their governance by Her Majesty's Government in the organization and administration of the said Kingdom of Uganda (Buganda), Her Majesty's Government agrees to recognise the Kabaka as the native rule of the Province of Uganda under Her Majesty's Government's protection and overrule"

British authority was clearly stated and established. The Agreement also formally laid out the system of land tenure. Under it, free grant of freehold (mailo) titles to the kabaka, ministers, and a thousand minor chiefs was made and confirmed. These grants were later increased to over four thousand chiefs, with power of each mailo owner to impose a hut tax on the peasantry of two rupees each. This award was confirmation of the British government's appreciation of the services rendered by this clique. The arrangement was  against the traditional land tenure system which vested the rights over land to the clans. The freehold lands amounted to 4,000 square miles. Half of the land (another 4,000 square miles) was retained as Crown land. A proposal by the British rulers to leave the remaining lands to the peasants  as free occupants was opposed by the new landlords, as this would have put the peasants out of their control. Although the British temporarily gave in to this opposition, they later revived the issue and made changes, as we shall see later. The settlement resulted in enforced migration for over two years by peasants who were being removed from the fertile lands to the outlying areas. Thus effective power internally in Buganda passed to this new group of chiefs, who obeyed commands from the British commissioner, and the kabaka's power was no more. Daudi Chwa on reaching majority recounted the loss of power to the new rulers, when he said,

"My present position is so precarious that I am no longer the Direct Ruler of my people. I am beginning to be considered by my own subjects merely as one of the British government's paid servants. This is solely due to the fact that I possess no real power over my people; even the smallest chieftainship is under the control of the provincial Commissioner . . .Any order  given whether by local chiefs or by the lukiiko itself is always looked upon with contempt unless and until it is confirmed by the Provincial commissioner."

The laws to which the Baganda and the rest of the provinces of the new Buganda were to be subjected were to be promulgated later. The arrival of Johnston as the new governor of Uganda in 1900  hastened the process. He put into place the foreign office Order-in-Council of 1902, which became the fundamental law of the Uganda protectorate. Under the Order the borders of the Uganda protectorate were defined and its administrative divisions enumerated. It also empowered the British state to declare from time to time that any area under British protection should form part of Uganda. The commissioner was designated as administrator which later changed to governor, who was authorised to  divide the protectorate into provinces and districts. All rights in crown land were to be vested in him. He was empowered to make laws for the protectorate and to raise  revenue. He was to respect existing native laws and customs so long as they were not repugnant to 'justice and morality'. He was empowered to order that a law of the United Kingdom, India, or any other colony of Britain be applied to Uganda. A high court was established. A commissioner would appoint and dismiss public officers, except those of the high court. Finally, the commissioner was empowered to remove or deport from Uganda persons he considered 'undesirable and dangerous to the peace and order' in Uganda.

The order thus gave the governor the constitutional powers of residing over the colony.Two of his immediate tasks were to delimit the administrative powers throughout the protectorate  and to establish an economy for 'raising revenue'. Having finished with Buganda, he turned to Toro. On 26th June 1900 he made the Toro Agreement, which instituted hut and gun taxes  and created crown land of all uncultivated lands. It confirmed Toro's independence from Bunyoro and freedom from the ambitions of Buganda. As Low has observed:

"The Toro Agreement therefore not only confirmed Toro's independence from Bunyoro but killed the idea, previously entertained by Bekerly and later by Wilson and by certain Ganda, of some form of organic connection between Buganda and her still uncorporated neighbours. Henceforth the kingdom in the west, and indeed following their footsteps the whole of the rest of the protectorate , were to remain quite independent of her. For half a century to come the sole constitutional bonds linking the different kingdoms and districts of Uganda together were to lie in their common subordination to the same protectorate to the same protectorate Government"

The subordination of Kasagama to the overrule of the British imperialists was thus even more thorough, for throughout his rule he had to continually remember this fact. Kabwegyere recalls an incident in 1926 when the omukama of Toro had to submit to a penalty imposed on him to the tune of Shs.1000 fine for making a remark against a local district commissioner which suggested that the latter had done very little for the district. He was made to 'humble' himself to the district commissioner and to acknowledge that the fine was fair. In the future, he said that he would try not to make 'such a mistaken.'

"I will henceforth abide by the orders given by the government of Uganda and shall alweays obey the Government officials  who the Governor may send to administer Toro; I will also be careful  to carry out all orders properly."

Having submitted to an even higher humiliation of being given strokes of the cane, the humbling was made total and there remained no doubt as to who was ruler. Next, the Ankole Agreement was concluded in 1901. Here, with British support, Toro's neighbors who were opposed to the omugabe Kahaya of Ankole were suppressed and their areas brought under Ankole, thus doubling thye original area of this kingdom  and turning the neighboring rulers into subjects of mugabe Kahaya.

In Bunyoro, a guerilla war went on for six more years and British overrule was not established until later. No agreement was signed here until 1933. with Duhaga, Kabarega's son; Kabarega as we have seen was exiled, and died on the day of his return to Uganda. The Buganda agents were appointed as chiefs to implement the 'Buganda model' of administration in all these areas. Councils were established with katikkiros and other ministers; saza and gombolola chiefs were appointed for village administration; courts were set up. Having finished with the kingdom areas  including Busoga, where no further agreement was signed, attention was now turned to  the north and eastern side of the country. Here, Badru Kakungulu's army, at the insistence of the British officials, was the main agent in establishing British colonialism. This was made possible by the imperialists taking advantage of the internal contradictions existing within Ba-Ingleza faction itself which, which reflected the after-effects  of political strife in Buganda.In this way too, British imperialism was introducing new contradictions among the oppressed, by pitting one people against the other in order to weaken them and establish the rule of financial capital. As imperialism began to consolidate itself, it increasingly put itself in the position of the principal contradiction with the people, although acting through agents.

Given a commission by rebels to 'round up rebels and mutineers' Kakungulu, who felt he had been betrayed by his Ba-Ingleza faction, first proceeded north-east and soon brought the Kumam and Teso to heel. Then he proceeded to Budaka and Mbale, where he claimed himself to be 'Kabaka of Bukedi'. It was not difficult with guns to win over people with none. But the intrusion was not wholly that simple. In 1909 the first governor, Bell, dispatched an army unit to Bugisu in the mount Elgon area to deal with the situation there. He wrote:

"I am sending two companies of King's African Rifles to make them realize that they must come into line with the rest of the Protectorate . . . Hardly a year passes without the need of punishing some of these wild tribes for the slaying of unarmed and peaceful traders, and nothing but a show of force will induce them to mend their ways."

Having marauded through an area of 10,000 square miles, Kakungulu now decided to establish his headquarters at a Mbale. But he took his title of 'Kabaka of Bukedi' too seriously, he was dumped. He was made a saza chief of the area, but later to be ordered to move on to Busoga and then to Budaka. By 1907, Mbale district was established with twelve sub districts and the Baganda chiefs, remnants of Kakungulu, who were placed on the British pay-roll as 'agents' were later replaced by the people of the area.

In 1909 the Bakiga were brought under control with the establishment of Kigezi District. In the same year, stations were opened at Kumi, Teso and Palango, Lango. But unlike the kingdom areas(with the exception of Bunyoro) the non-stratified societies offered more trouble to Britain to bring them under the protectorate. Although the rule of Baganda agents worked for a time, friction was often reported. By 1911, a halt to the system was being called. To quote Low again:

"Suddenly however, in 1911, the new Governor, Sir Frederick Jackson, condemned both the agents and the policy which employed them. Between January 1910 andJuly 1911 there had been in Lango, Teso and Bukedi districts, he recounted no less than 109 conflicts between Baganda agents and their followers and the local natives, in which 5 agents and 10 followers had been killed, 6 agents and 11 followers wounded and 174 natives killed and wounded, and 2185 rounds of ammunition expended. His attempt to abolish  the system downright was resisted however, by the Provincial Commissioner, Eastern Province and he himself came to acquiesce in its retention for time. As one official had put it 'To effectively occupy and administer a district whose population consists of untamed savages, such as those in Lango, they must be dealt with in a special way, more especially as their so-called chiefs consist of village headmen, who have little or no control over them' But from 1911 onwards, it was the policy of the Uganda Administration policy too withdraw Ganda agents as soon as it seemed possible."

However widespread as they were, these patriotic first phase anti-colonial struggles were doomed to failure. They were all waged against an irreversible historical trend Kabarega's 'bush war' with Lugard's superior forces numbering 15,000 men, of whom over 14,000 were the Ba-Ingleza mercenaries, was crushed. Beginning with the Lugard ultimatum of 1893 which Kabarega refused to accept, the resultant war went on for six years. As one historian has observed:

"But although the traditional Nyoro state had been reduced to chaos and the population was undergoing great hardships, the elusive Kabarega still held with a few followers north of the Nile. Not until 1899, was he finally captured, after being severely wounded in the final engagement."

Even in Ankole, the mugabe Igara committed suicide rather than submit to humiliation at the hands of British imperialists. In Lango  the resistance described earlierv led to the major anti-colonial Lamogi rebellion of 1912,which encompassed Teso and Acholi. This was a rebellion against enforced disarmament of the people and their recruitment for labor camps. It had in the words of Kiwanuka 'disastrous results for the resisters', for the simple reason, as we pointed out, that the anti-colonial struggle at this stage could not have succeeded against an imperialist power. It had to wait for the contradictions brought about by imperialism itself in the colonial economy.

Acholi had been subjected to Egyptian rule under Baker, Gordon, Emin Pasha and a British expedition in 1901 and 1907, but these did not last. When the British arrived in 1910 to establish a district, therefore, 'It was necessary. . . (this time)  to convince the Acholi that the British had come to stay. After disarming the people of Acholi a Central Native Council at Gulu was set up in 1914, consisting of prominent Acholi to exercise judicial and executive powers. Other councils were set up in Teso in 1916and Lango and Mbale in 1919. A line of chiefs on the basis of the 'Buganda model' was established. Finally, West Nile was brought under administration. This area until 1919 had been administered by 'Belgian' Congo, then by Sudan under Britain. Now in 1912 the lower part was transferred to Uganda in exchange for Barilotuka area to the north-east of Sudan. The new district contained the Alur, Madi, Lugbra and Kwakwa. The Alur had chiefs, and these became agents of administration. In other areas agents were appointed, thus completing the second phase -- the creation of a colonial state.

To match this super structure, a number of laws were enacted  which had to back up the state power. This was accomplished in three Ordinances, whose effect was to give legal definition to the responsibilities and powers of chiefs outside Buganda. The first was the Native Authority Ordinance, which defined the executive responsibilities of the chiefs. It comprised basically a set of administrative regulations with sanctions attached to them. It established the fundamental responsibility of chiefs to maintain the 'law and order', and gave them the necessary authority. It also sanctioned their orders by virtue of native law or custom in force for the time being in the area, of course subject to the repugnance clauses in the Order-in-Council. Thus under the fiction that custom required obedience to chiefs, customary law was turned into an instrument of imperialism to extend its rule. Under the Ordinance people could be ordered to provide labor as porters for safaris of chiefs and other colonial officers, as well as being required to provide them with food. The chiefs could also order the peasants to labor unpaid for over thirty days in the year on local public works, or longer in periods of famine, and up to sixty days as paid labor. The Ordinance further gave the chiefs power to control the manufacture and consumption of intoxicating liquor, and to prevent the pollution of streams, the spread of diseases, the evasion of taxes and the wasteful destruction of trees. Disobedience to chiefs entailed a punishment by fine or imprisonment.

The Second Ordinance -- The Native Courts Ordinance -- defined the jurisdiction of the native courts and provided for the supervision and revision of their judgments and orders by British administrative officers. The third Ordinance -- Native Laws Ordinance -- gave recognition to district councils which had been set up as administrative bodies in many districts. These councils could propose changes in customary law and recommend the punishment of those infringing it. The changes became law on approval by the governor. It is upon this structure that later administrative structures were modeled throughout the country, consolidating the myth of indirect rule

Once the administrative and legal structures were laid throughout the protectorate, attention was focused on the development of central government and 'representative' institutions. The executive council under the chairmanship of the governor, Robert Coryndon, was set up in 1920. It comprised the top colonial echelons -- the chief secretary, the attorney general, the treasurer and the medical officer. In the same year, the legislative council, comprising the executive council and three 'unofficial'
representatives -- two Europeans and two Asians, was set up to accommodate commercial interests

It is important to note that this was not racial representation. It was representative of actual class interests. The colonial office Circular (A) of 1941 stipulated that the 'object
of appointing unofficial members of the Executive Council is to bring government into closer contact with the community as a whole'. In the legislative council they were to represent minority interests which would otherwise not be represented', or to 'secure the services of those whom by reason of their financial or commercial knowledge and experience would be of particular value in the conduct of public business'. It is important also to note that, ;acking pressure from the other classes for representation at this stage, the Ugandan working class and peasantry were excluded. The working class was still very small and distorted, while the peasantry were assumed to be
'represented'  by traditional and other colonial institutions of the 'Buganda model' type. This was the essence of 'indirect rule' through the traditional rulers and sundry chieftainships.

The set up also reflected the undeveloped relations of production in the country. Later, pressure for direct representation by the two classes and the petty bourgeoisie who were emerging in the interstices of the colonial economy, was to increase. But for the time being, the lukiiko in Buganda basically landed interests -- saw no need for such representation and indeed resisted any such suggestion. It was evident that the power they yielded through the colonial state as direct rulers over the peasantry would be threatened by any such direct represntation, as they felt it would increase the governor's interferance in their affairs. Such resistance was to become common feature of this period and even later, at the time of independence. It even took on a populist appearance in Buganda in the period after 1953.

Councils continued to be reconstituted on the same basis with modifications here and there, until 1945. In that year the landed interests were admitted to the council and the Kabaka of Buganda nominated one representative, the katikkiro Kawalya-Kaggwa, who came in after the assassination of Katikkiro Nsibirwa. Using the Dundas reforms as a cover and the strong arm of the colonial government, the first 'native' representation was secured. The other kingdoms were to be represented by the katikkiros of Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole in turn and one secretary general of Busoga, Bugisu, Bukedi, and Teso. The northern chieftainship was not represented at this stage. In too, in time came to be represented, with the continuing modifications.

With this structure the colonial system claimed that it was generally representative of all classes. Using its ideological apparatus, it established itself firmly, at least for the time being. The anti-colonial struggles already began in the 1920s were soon to intensify, and further  structural changes were to be made to meet the situation.But we will examine these later.

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