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History of Busoga

In 16th century , Prince Mukama Namutukula from the Royal family of Bunyoro as part of Bunyoro’s expansionist policy travelled eastwards across Lake Kyoga with his wife Nawudo, a handful of servants, arms and a dog, and landed at Lyingo, in the present day Kamuli District. Prince Mukama loved hunting and he also engaged himself in blacksmithing, making hoes, iron utensils and spears. Prince Mukama and wife Nawudo bore several children of whom only five boys survived.

On his return to Bunyoro, Prince Mukama allocated areas in Busoga within his influence to his sons as overseers. The first-born Wakoli was given to oversee the area called Bukooli, Zibondo was to administer Bulamogi, Ngobi was given Kigulu, Tabingwa was to oversee Luuka, while the youngest son Kitimbo was to settle in Bugabula. These areas later became major administrative and cultural centres of authority in Busoga. With time passing without the expected return of their father, the five sons of Prince Mukama regarded themselves as the legitimate rulers over their respective areas by virtue of their family origin background. They continued to preside over their respective dominions employing governing methods and cultural rituals like those from Bunyoro-Kitara. This state of affairs in Busoga’s political and cultural arrangement continued till the late 19th century when the colonialists persuaded the rulers of Busoga into some form of federation. This federation resulted into a regional Busoga council called Busoga Lukiiko.

Before 1906, Busoga did not have a central all-powerful figurehead (King or Queen) and was organized in semi-autonomous chiefdoms initially under the sovereignty of Bunyoro and later Buganda.
By the end of the 19th Century, there were fifteen virtually independent principalities. During the 19th century, Buganda influence very greatly increased over the southern Busoga principalities. The northern principalities still had a connection with Bunyoro and indeed their language contained Runyoro words.

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