Why Kabaka Mwanga II Killed 45 people who Converts to Christianity “The Uganda Martyrs”

Kabaka Mwanga II instructed the killing of all the young men who disobeyed him, in order to satisfy the demands of the older chiefs. Twenty two (22) of men, who had converted to Catholicism were burned alive at Namugongo in 1886.

Kabaka Mwanga II

Kabaka Mwanga II succeeded to the throne in 1884. He was concerned at the growing influence of Christianity and the rise of a new class of officials, distinct from the traditional territorial chiefs, who were educated, had a religious orientation, and wished to reform Ganda society.

The reasons behind this persecution are still heavily debated, because even political factors certainly played a part, like Joseph Mukasa whom were belonged to the minor chiefs. Were the victims of particular grudges by their senior’s jealous by saying that, “this up and coming young men would soon be ousting them from power”.

French missionary Priest Lourde described about another things caused this persecution, he said: to consider that the principal cause was that Mwanga’s feeling of being despised by the literate Christians who claimed a superior knowledge of religion. And the next thing of Kabaka Mwanga’s action was the refusal of the pages to meet traditional royal demands of sexual submission, like him a King who by tradition had the power of life and death over his subjects.

He continued saying that; Kabaka (KING) Mwanga was angered because he had many wives and he didn’t want to give up polygamy. When the new religion was demanded that marriage is between one man to one woman and King Mwanga didn’t want to give up to the many wives he had.

Baganda people (citizens of Buganda Kingdom) were starting to disobey the Kabaka Mwanga’s orders and abandoning their duties such as hunting, farming, making traditional bark clothes outfits, attending to the livestock, and taking care of the palace. And they go for learning the new religion, to ignore all those activities makes Kabaka (King) Mwanga to be afraid of losing his kingdom “The Buganda Kingdom” to the new religion.

By: Bertrand Munyazikwiye


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