This unit is about the resistors who didn't tolerate seeing the British take over their territory they had to fought hard.


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  1. Bunyoro resistance was carried out by Omukama Kabalega; his clashed with the British was as a result of the following;
  2. He couldn’t tolerate seeing the British take over the territory he had fought hard to create in the 1870s and 1880s.
  3. He wanted to preserve the glories of the empire of Bunyoro.
  4. He never wanted friendly relations with the British who were Buganda`s friends and yet Buganda was a traditional enemy of Bunyoro.
  5. He had a standing army (the Abarusula) which he had used to strengthen Bunyoro in 1870s and 1880s and he knew that it would be able to repulse the British advancement into his territory.
  6. He believed that he alone had the right to rule over the territory other than foreigners (he was the legitimate ruler of Bunyoro)
  7. He had acquired fire arms which he hoped to use against the imperialists.
  8. He wanted to maintain the integrity and independence of the Kingdom

On the contrary, the British waned to take over Bunyoro because;

  1. They wanted their rivals the French, Beligians to keep out of the Nile Valley.
  2. They wanted to establish British dominance in Uganda and couldnot stand a powerful King like Kabalega.
  • They wanted to stop Bunyoro`s invasion on Buganda and Busoga.


In 1891, Kabalega fought against Lugard`s forces which were advancing. But Lugard was about to expel Kabalega`s garrison from Toro.

In 1892, Kabalega attacked British forts along the Toro Bunyoro border, cutting off supplies and interrupting communication between the British administration in Kampala and troupes in the Forts.

In 1893, when some of the Forts were left unguarded to reduce the company expenses in Uganda, Kabalega got an opportunity to re-invade and re-occupy Toro.

In 1894, in order to establish British control in Western Uganda, a British army was sent under Colville made up of the European officers, 15,000 Baganda and 14,000 Sudanese to invade under the leadership of Semei Kakungulu.

As Colville forces advanced, Kabalega abandoned his capital and withdrew to Budongo forest where he continued his struggle. From Budongo, he crossed to the North across the Nile into the land of the Lngi where he carried out the continuous guerilla war against the British until his capture in 1899.

In 1895, Kabalega re-invaded Toro in an attempt to get arms from the Swahili Arabs in the German East Africa.

In 1896, Bunyoro declared Kabalega defeated and they installed his son Kitahimbwa as the new Omukama. In the same year, he was joined by Mwanga and together they fought against the British in Northern Bunyoro they destroyed a British fort in Hoima but didn’t gain the control of the area.

In 1899, Kabalega and Mwanga were betrayed by some langi chiefs and were captured by Semei Kakingulu and his mercinaries ans were handed over to the British who deported them to Sychelles Island.

Kabalega`s capture and exile marked the end of Bunyoro`s armed resistance against the British.


Bunyoro lost her territory in 1894, Colville got Bunyoro counties including Buyaga, Bugangayizi, Bururi and Mubende and the burial place of the Kings of Bunyoro and these counties were distributed to Buganda and Toro.

There was loss of property during the process of resistance.

Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro


The guerilla war fare and scotched earth policy from 1895 ruined the country and led to economic hardship.

Many people lost their lives during the process of resistance.

Kabalega lost his political power and influence and he was forced to become a refuge at the mercy of the Langi.

Bunyoro was later made a province of the British protectorate but with no favoured position. She was to be ruled by Buganda agents and not her traditional chiefs which was humiliating to them.

Note: the British also suffered from the wars and a lot of money was lost in trying to stop the resistance.



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