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Kabaka Mutesa's Capital And Palace Atop, At Rubaga in Buganda, Present Day Uganda

Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira was Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda, from 1856 until 1884. He was the thirtieth (30th) Kabaka of Buganda. He was born at the Batandabezaala Palace, at Mulago in 1837. He was the son of Kabaka Ssuuna II Kalema Kasinjo, Kabaka of Buganda, who reigned between 1832 and 1856. His mother was Abakyala Muganzirwazza, the Namasole, one of the 148 recorded wives of his father. He ascended the throne upon the death of his father in October 1856. He was crowned at Nabulagala. He established his capital, first on Banda Hill. Later he abandoned that palace and established his capital at Kasubi, Nabulagala.

 

Arab and Muslim traders from Zanzibar had been visiting Buganda since the 1840s to trade firearms, gunpowder, salt, and cloth in exchange for ivory and slaves. During Kabaka Muteesa I's reign, these contacts continued.

At the same time, contact was made with European visitors for the first time in 1862 when John Speke and James Augustus Grant arrived. Their positive accounts attracted more visitors and Henry Morton Stanley arrived in 1875.[4]:151

The Roman Catholics arrived in 1879, in the person of Simon Lourdel Monpel, popularly known as Pere Mapeera and Brother Amans, of the White Fathers.

All three visitor groups were made to believe that Kabaka Muteesa I preferred their religion over the others. They thus wrote favorable reviews back home to their respective governments, encouraging trade and friendly relations. As a result, Buganda, and Uganda were not colonized but were offered status of a protectorate. The manner in which Muteesa I handled these three sets of visitors with competing interests is credited with the development that is enjoyed in the region today. He is credited as the most important of the kings of Buganda because of his vision and diplomatic skills.

 

 

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