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Ankole Kingdom

Ankole kingdom was one of the four big traditional kingdoms in Uganda at the time of independence covering the present districts of Mbarara, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Kiruhura, Ibanda and Isingiro in western Uganda.

The Ankole kingdom is said to have been created way back in 1500 century by the Bachwezi. The kingdoms including Ankole Kingdom were abolished in 1967 by President Apollo Militon Obote government and were restored by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government in 1993 but the people of Ankole refused to restore their Kingdom. This was mainly attributed to the rigid traditional structure of the former Ankole Kingdom that divided the people who had traditionally lived together and depended on each other.

Administration the Kingdom
The Kingdom had a centralized administration system headed by the King (Omugabe) assisted by local chiefs and a Prime Minister (Enganzi). The Abagabe came from the royal Bahinda clan.

Size of the kingdom
The kingdom covered areas of most of the areas currently occupied by Ankole people. King Nyabugaro (Ntare I)  faced invasion from Bunyoro as the King Olimi 1 from Bunyoro claimed that as heirs of the Bachwezi, they were overlords of the Ankole Kingdom. Omukama Olimi I drove the Omugabe into exile and plundered the Country. In the 18th and 19th centuries Ankole kingdom benefited from the decline of Bunyoro and the break-up of Mpororo Kingdom and extended its rule North and West.

At one time, the king of Ankole was recognised by the neighbouring Kingdoms of Buhweju, Igara, Kitagwenda, Bwera and Buzimba recognize Mugabe as their overlord.

By the time of the signing the 1901 agreement, Ankole Kingdom included 11 administrative units under different chiefs which included the following;

  • Buchunku (Mitooma)
  • Matsiko (Nyabushozi)
  • Rutasharara (Isingiro)
  • Ruhara (Rwampara)
  • Nduru (Buzimba)
  • Enganzi Mbaguta (Ngarama, Sheema, Kashaari)
  • Mukotani (Igara)
  • Rubarema (Buhweju)
  • Kaihura (Bunyaruguru)

Ankole kingdom also lost some areas like Kabula, which is presently under Buganda kingdom.

Ankole Kingdom was ruled by 23 kings and some were buried in Nkokonjeru (Ankole Royal Tombs)

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