The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has lauded Omukama (King) Cwa II Kabaleega of Bunyoro Kitara Empire for his heroic role in fighting against British colonialism in Uganda.
Speaking at a function to mark 98 years since the demise of Omukama Kabaleega today (Tuesday), Lt Gen Pecos Kutesa, the Head of the UPDF Chieftaincy of Doctrine, said Omukama Kabaleega played a key role by making a remarkable and protracted resistance against colonial rule keeping Uganda eminent in the books of world history.
The UPDF officer said as a way of keeping history memorable, the army plans to establish a museum that will profile Kabaleega and other personalities who made significant contributions to the country.
Speaking at the same function held at Mparo Royal Tombs premises in East Division, Hoima City, the Omuhikirwa (Prime Minister) of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Andrew Byakutaaga, challenged leaders to emulate Omukama Kabaleega who stood against the British colonialists to protect his empire.
Mr Byakutaaga underscored the genius determination Omukama Kabaleega exhibited when he fought against oppression, torture and bad governance in his empire.
Delivering his lecture about Omukama Kabaleega, the Omutalindwa (Speaker) of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Parliament, Isaac Kalembe, said the fallen king had a vibrant foreign expansionist policy when he conquered Mboga in the current day Democratic Republic of Congo and some parts of Tanzania with intent to cause solidarity among his subjects.
The Hoima district woman Member of Parliament, Harriet Busiinge, who attended the ceremony appreciated Omukama Kabaleega’s legacy from which one should borrow a leaf for development.
The UPDF Chief of Staff of Land Forces, Maj Gen Eric Leopold Kyanda; legislators from Bunyoro region, district chairpersons and other dignitaries attended the function.
Omukama Kabaleega was born on June 18, 1853 and died on April 6, 1921. He was laid to rest at Mparo Royal Tombs in Hoima city.
Kabaleega ruled Bunyoro from 1870 to 1899.
When he was crowned king, Omukama Kabaleega set out to develop his new empire via trade especially the Kibiro salt works in Kigorobya sub-county, Hoima district.
He defeated the British and Ottomans who sought to colonise his empire.
On January 1, 1894, the British declared war on Bunyoro. At the height of the British offensive on his empire, Kabaleega hid in Acholi under the protection of Chief Awich Abok of Payira. It is from there that he consistently led his rebellion dubbed Nyangire that proved a thorn on the colonial skin.
Different speakers have described Omukama Cwa II Kabaleega as a true Pan-Africanist.