The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi is a proud King right now. As proud as any Father would be.
In the late afternoon of Tuesday the Kingdom’s Prime Minister JB Walusimbi expressed his pleasure at announcing that the King and the Kingdom had gotten a baby boy. The PM said that the King’s young son had been named Ssemakokiro Richard with an unnamed woman. Thats not all. The baby boy was born last year, in July.
Here is the official announcement made on the official Buganda website.
Things to note here:
1. The announcement was made on a website and not on radio or with the sounding of drums. This is significant because I believe it’s designed to show that the old kingdom is now a modern entity.
2. The Statement is extra brief. Typical of celebrity announcements. The Kabaka is Uganda’s number one celebrity and is especially revered in Buganda.
3. The Prime Minister and not the Kabaka makes the announcement. This is designed to show authority and class. The Kabaka doesn’t sound his own drum.
4. The baby having born in July last year, is about SIX months now. That this could happen for this long without a leakage is credit to the Kingdom and those around the Kabaka. Even the nosy security agencies and their millions of spies had no idea. This ultimately will show a kingdom in firm control of its affairs. Not even Museveni’s boys had a clue about what was going on with the Kabaka’s private life.
Things to worry about:
The Kingdom PR machine is definitely positioning the kingdom as a modern entity but its treatment of women is still appalling. I know many people will be silent on this issue, fearful of angering their Baganda friends. But this needs to be said. The kingdom might be now modern but its treatment of women is still as old, as old-fashioned and as terrible and abhorring and as despicable as during the days of stone age.
Now don’t tell me about culture when you are using the internet to make an announcement so important to the future of the Kingdom. The Kingdom needs to go with the times but currently they have no regard for the mother of the young Prince, she gets no recognition other than that she comes from the Nsenene clan. She has no face, no name. She’s just an object of desire for the King. and that makes my stomach turn.
Then what about the Kabaka’s wife. The Kabaka and the Nnabagereka were married in church and later hosted the whole kingdom to a massive party. The Nnabagereka has not been pregnant. She has a daughter who is a swimming champion. It’s clear that this young prince is born out-of-wedlock. I have been told that in Buganda the Kabaka is the Culture and the Law and the culture and the law is the Kabaka in Buganda. No one questines his authority, no one puts the King to any judgement. I am probably overstepping the line here. In this era of moralism, of women emancipation, of political correctness, of HIV/AIDS and sexual networks, people will ask questions about the moral uprightness of the Kabaka.
You can say that in Baganda culture the Kabaka cannot be accused of philandering and that all women belong to him, but that’s ancient and has no place in a modern kingdom that takes pride at running a website it uses to make announcements. The Kabaka is national institution and the Kabaka is a role model for kids across Buganda and across the country. What message is he sending to the young ones? That you can have a married wife, leave her at home and go sleeping around and having kids with other women?
The Baganda and the Kingdom will put up all kinds of defenses and justifications. They are definitely delighted about their Prince. They can chest thump all they want but this is a scandal that will tarnish the image of the Kabaka. You cannot have a wife and treat her like rubbish. Where does the Nnabagereka fit in in all this one guy asked on twitter? She might keep her cool and not make noise but she has people who look up to her. She is a role model for so many young girls. She’s beautiful, stylish and runs a ballet school teaching young girls to express themselves through dance. She cannot keep quiet and be the traditional wife who covers her eyes and plugs her ears to the philandering of her husband. How will she now show her face in public if she keeps silent about this. Will she expect the other women who look up to her to hide away in shame too? She must say something. The Nnabagereka cannot simply take this public humiliation. If she does, she will have let down millions of Ugandan women who look up to her, to her grace and honor. She must not disappoint.
This announcement of a baby Prince will damage the institution of the Kabaka in the eyes of so many. In this era where radio stations are inundated with adverts about the sexual network and multiple partners, the Kabaka is the last man who needed to confirm that he too is very active and reckless on the sexual network.
Questions will come up, how many more Princes are out there awaiting their day in the sun or on the website? Did he plan to have the baby or was it an accident a fling gone bad? And then the speculation on who the lady is. Everyone will want to know who the Royal Side Dish is. I can see this filling newspaper front pages till Easter.
But the Kabaka will also take a real battering for the way he has hidden the identity of the mother of his child. The Kindgom of Buganda might have modernized, but the way they have treated the mother of the young prince (I don’t believe she requested not to be outed otherwise the PM would have said so) shows that to the Kabaka and the many who surround him, the advisors and friends, women are nothing but child-bearing machines, with their place right behind the curtains of the bedroom. I don’t think this the message that the Kabaka wants to sent to his subjects otherwise we shall be back to the stone age.
And the modern-day woman of Uganda doesn’t want to be seen as just a child bearing object of pleasure to be hidden in behind palace rooms.
Let face it. What the Kabake did is pure old-fashioned BAD MANNERS. And he cannot be applauded for this.
I will wait to see if the religious leaders have the guts and the firmness to tell it straight that the Kabaka has made a mistake and need to seek forgiveness from his wife and his God.