The Kingdom of Buganda was situated in the Central region of today Uganda. By 1750 Buganda had a centralized system of government under the King. Before 1750, the Bataka had a lot of political influence and they enjoyed a position almost similar to that of Kabaka. After 175O, the Kabaka assumed a position of political importance far superior to the ranks of the Bataka. The Kabaka’s position was hereditary but it was not confined to any one clan because the king would take the clan of his mother.
The other persons who occupied positions of political and social importance were the Prime Minister known as the Katikkiro, the Mugema, the royal sister known as Nalinya, the Queen mother known as Namasole and the Naval and Army commanders referred to as Gabunga and Mujasi respectively.
The kingdom was divided into administrative units known as Amasaza (counties) which were further sub-divided into Amagombolola (sub-counties), and these were sub-divided into parishes called Emiruka which were subdivided into sub-parishes. The smallest unit was known as Bukungu which was more or less a village unit. All the chiefs at all levels were appointed by the Kabaka and they were directly responsible to him. Chieftainship was accorded on clan basis but only to men of merit and distinguished service.
Origin of Buganda
The Buganda region was known as Muwaawa before the 12th century and it is believed that the Baganda came from Abyssinia through the rift valley and the mountains of Elgon.The Baganda were organized into clans that had a common ancestry and constituted the most important unit in Buganda. The leader of the clan was a chief and ruled a section of the territory.
There were five original clans referred to as Banansangwa ( indigenous clans ) namely Ffumbe, Lugave, Nonge, Njaza and Nyonyi. These went on expanding to 52 clans by 1966. The clans were ruled over by the Bataka and leadership passed on to whoever proved his might in the battle field. There used to be more than one leader in the same area. There were some powerful leaders who established themselves for some periods of time before Kintu’s arrival and they included Sseguku, Buwumpya, Bukokoma, Bukulu, Bandi, Beene, Ggulu, Kyebagaba, Muyizzi, Bukuku, Bukadde-Magezi, Nakirembeka, Tonda, Maganda, Mukama, and Bemba. Bemba was the acknowledged leader at the time of Kintu’s arrival
The leader of the Kingdom is called the Kabaka ( the King) and the living King is called the Kabaka while the deceased king is referred to as the Ssekabaka. Sovereignty of leadership has always belonged to the male child from the Royal family. Elder son of the King in Buganda does not become king but takes on the title of Kiweewa and there are functions carried out to crown the Kiweewa. The heir to the throne is always under the guardianship of the Kasujju. The Kasujju is also responsible for helping the Kiweewa carry out his duties. There is always a senior prince in the kingdom called the Sabalangira. Princes and Princesses take up their mother’s clans and totems. The Queen and the Queen mother are permitted to hold their courts and a certain measure of administrative powers is conferred on them by the Kiganda custom. Princes in the direct linage of succession are called prince of the drum because their father is on the throne and has the royal drum (mujaguzo). Possession of this drum has always been regarded as possession of power, office and authority. Apart from the royal drum (mujaguzo), there are also other drums for each chieftainship and clan.