How Musaijamukuru Hill sustained Kabaleega’s military might for Bunyoro 

Musaijamukuru Hill south eastern view. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

As Lake Albert Rift Valley remains the lowest part of Bunyoro’s beautiful terrain, Musaijamukuru Hill is the highest point above sea level.

The militarily strategic point of Omukama Kabaleega who is known in global books of history, Musaijamukuru Hill is named from a Runyoro/Rutooro phrase ‘Musaija mukuru’ for ‘Old man’ reflecting its elevation and value.

Its importance to Bunyoro went beyond security to social-cultural and economic activities which it serves to date, according to Dr Yolamu Ndoleriire Nsamba.

Dr Nsamba is the former Principal Private Secretary to the king of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

The history-making hill is located about 15km south east of Hoima city in Buhimba sub-county, present day Kikuube district. It is at an elevation of 1,215 metres above sea level, according to

Kigulya Hill in Masindi that hosts Uganda’s artillery barracks is another important hill in the kingdom.

“It was a detective and combatant base used by Omukama Kabaleega Cwa II as a vantage against British enemy attacks,” narrates Dr Nsamba.

In an exclusive interview with Kazi-njema News, Dr Nsamba further narrated that Musaijamukuru Hill was a strong fortress that the Royal Highness Omukama Kabaleega Cwa II and his predecessors used to detect any attempted foreign military invasion that wanted to put the kingdom’s military capability to test and subdue it.

He said Omukama Kabaleega’s warriors would ascend Musaijamukuru Hill to roll boulders and hurl stones from the top of the hill down, hitting and killing the advancing British forces.

“The king used it in their military land reconnaissance. Abarusuura (royal soldiers) could be commanded to climb the hill to detect any enemy attack movements and covers. It could help the Banyoro troopers to know where the enemy was hiding and also attack them,” the former PPS told this online news portal.

The presence of caves in Musaijamukuru Hill, provided a good military hideout as Banyoro soldiers monitored the enemies afar off from atop, taking position prior to the enemies’ action and also escaping any enemy capture of prisoners of war.

This hill was a great obstacle that at the outset enabled Banyoro fighters to repress the British colonial soldiers’ military expedition manouvres to attack Bunyoro since Banyoro warriors used it as a strong spy base to deflect any foreign enemy infiltration into the kingdom to wage war against the anti-colonialists. 

Dr Yolamu Ndoleriire Nsamba, former Principal Private Secretary to the Omukama talking to Kazi-njema News in Hoima City. (Image: Kazi-njema News).

“When the British soldier, Col Henry Colville came with many soldiers, he wanted to enter Bunyoro through Baranywa. But they were resisted by the Banyoro because Baranywa was well garrisoned and Banyoro soldiers monitored all the enemy movements well and he was stopped and humiliated by the strong Banyoro army forcing him and his soldiers to flee the heavy battle that nauseated them,” Dr Nsamba continued.

On being repulsed, the British reorganised and equipped themselves with sophisticated armaments, well prepared for war, entered Bunyoro through Butema in the current Buhanika sub-county, Hoima district, passed through River Kaborogota (Kafu) and attacked the Omukama’s palace at Mparo in the current East Division, Hoima city. 

However, Banyoro soldiers used Musaijamukuru Hill as a strong spy base and drove the blood-thirsty British colonialists and imperialists back in sheer military humiliation.

“The enemy was determined to fight back the Banyoro. But the Banyoro warriors used the hill to counter-attack the enemy and chased them away in an absolutely crushing defeat as Musaijamukuru Hill remained a thorn in the flesh of the colonial military,” Dr Nsamba said.

Upon realising that Musaijamukuru Hill was a repulsive base against colonialists, a British soldier, Capt Braxton successfully ascended Musaijamukuru Hill amidst heavy boulder missiles from Banyoro soldiers and massacred them, using modern armaments of the time.

Aside from military affairs, for today and history, Musaijamukuru Hill is used by fishermen and transporters on Lake Albert as a compass for direction navigation to locate landing sites of intent especially when trips are disorganised by emergence high waves and storms.

“By sighting Musaijamukuru Hill, you determine how far you can move in a given direction to reach your landing site,” Mr Baranaba Bagadira Kakura of Wanseko landing site in Kigoya sub-county, Buliisa district told Kazi-njema News.

Until of recent, Musaijamukuru has been one of the most reliable hills that harbour grasshoppers during their season along with Ngobye Hill in Hoima district.


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