The Buganda kingdom is set to commemorate 55 years since the military forces of Milton Obote forcefully raided the Kabaka’s palace on May 25, 1966.
In an event that will be held today, according to the communications’ minister, there will be a national prayer that will be held at Rubaga cathedral [at 1pm] and this will be in commemoration of what certainly happened to the kingdom on that fateful day.
According to the Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga, the palace was under a blasphemous event that caused a lot of ridicule and a great set back and reduction in the development of the kingdom, the peak being the fleeing of the Kabaka Mutesa II to exile where he later died [in Britain], in 1969.
Tension began in 1964 when Obote’s government signed off the two contested counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi to Bunyoro Kingdom through a referendum vote which Buganda lost, a thing that annoyed Buganda Kingdom.
Ironically, Mutesa II formed an alliance with Grace Stuart Ibingira, who was then Secretary General Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), hoping to engulf on the internal forces of change that were looking forward to impitch Obote, to revenge for what had earlier happened to Buganda.
The two [Mutesa and Ibingira] later formed an alliance with Daudi Ochieng who was one of the Kabaka Yeka (KY) representatives in parliament and a close friend to the Kabaka, who would later plot to oust Obote through the parliament.
On February 4, 1964, as precedent , Ochieng introduced a motion in the national assembly which sought the probing of Colonel Idi Amin who was the Deputy Commander Of Uganda Army and other government officials for fraudulently receiving large sums of money and gold from Congo.
This was later known to be the “Gold Scandal” but actually targeting Obote since it was alleged that Amin had received money on behalf of Obote. The motion was tabled, discussed and passed without any halt from the former ally Mutesa.
Little known to the Kabaka and now then allies, Obote had the support of the General Service Unit (GSU) which was a highly meticulous and efficient intelligence machine.
He therefore consolidated his base within the army which was under the effective command of Amin who rose to the position of Army Chief Of Staff, being in full control of the army at the expense of Shaban Opolot who had connived with the likes of Ibingira and Kabaka Mutesa.
The Army Chief of Staff would later, on May 24, 1966, on orders of Obote, storm the Kabaka’s palace at Mengo leading to what came to be known as the “Mengo Crisis” and marked a period of total darkness with in the Buganda Kingdom.
The former ally, Obote, however, didn’t stop at that. He again on February 24, 1966, suspended the Independence Constitution, terminating the post of president which happened to belong to the Kabaka, thus losing the already disgruntled powers to the central government.
His justification was that Mutesa wanted to over throw the Constitution and elect government by unconstitutional means and unprecedentedly approving a new Constitution that came to be known as the “pigeon hole.”
With all the judicial powers handled to Obote and his government, there was no room for Mutesa and his allies this worsened the already worse relationship between the two forces culminating into more and more fracas thus Mutesa made a volition to leave state house Entebbe back to his palace in Mengo.
He, Mutesa, however in a riposte ordered that Obote together with his Central government resettle their government outside the boundaries of the Buganda soil, a resolution that gained a lot of support from the Buganda ministers.
This however could not save the situation as earlier attempts to rally support from the United Nations through the secretary general for military support had also fallen apart.
The kingdom was later on restored by the ruling president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in 1993.