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THE EXTENT OF KITARA EMPIRE UNDER OMUKAMA KABALEGA (Kabalega’s reign series part….1)

“…..Know the Colonies of Greater Kitara Empire and their subsequent Counties and how Kitara was reduced……..the ultimate ancient History of the Kitara Empire ”
 
Now let’s explore the extent of the territory of Kitara during the reign of Kabalega and before the British annexed some parts of it to the neighbors. It was in the Saza of Bugahya that Omukama Kabalega built his capital at a place called Mparo near Hoima. From here the King controlled all the Colonies and sazas from Lake Kyoga to Busoga then to a region called Bunyara (now Bugerere and as far as beyond Lake Edward to the west
THE TERRITORIES OF THE GREAT KITARA EMPIRE-UNDER OMUKAMA KABALEGA
Omukama Kabalegs

Omukama Kabalegs

 
His Majesty the Omukama Kabalega held councils in order to keep his power and the country intact and to settle disputes; he was the ruler of all the clans in the country of Kitara. Kitara was a very big country and had many territories which were populated with people cattle and other rich resources, below are the colonies which were controlled by Omukama Kabalega and this is the ultimate once geographical coverage of Kitara Empire
 
BUSOGA, KAMULI AND BUDYOPE: These were territories of Kitara and were ruled by Prince Igabura the grandson of Omukama Olimi 1 of the great Kitara Empire, During Kabalega’s time when a prince was born in Busoga territory he would be taken to the Omukama’s Palace in Kitara-now Hoima where he was brought up with royal behavioral culture, whenever the ruler of Busoga territory died the prince would leave the Palace in Hoima and come to rule over the territory, During the time of Kabalega Prince Nyaika had been taken to the Palace where he grew up but was expelled and Yosia Nadyope (Nadiope) the father of Kajumbura, was put in his place. Busoga was of great importance because it had many markets where Abakitara could buy goats backcloths and other assortments, Kabalega remained the supreme ruler over this territory and principle judge in settling conflicts when ever they arose
 
LANGO-BUKIDI: There were no chief in Lango society, but rather heads of clans, Lango was ruled by Kabalega and they greatly loved him and they called him Nyangatumu, that is to say the King of Kings, the King would give them wives salt, iron, hoes bangles heads and other assortments, Lango provided good soldiers when ever war broke out,  the clan heads resided in Bukidi and when ever conflicts arose amongst them selves they could come to Kabalega preside over their issues since he was the King of Kings and ruled over them . When the farther of Ibrahim Olum (Olumu) killed the father of David Odore, for example it was Omukama Kabalega who settled this dispute. The whole of Lango belonged to Kitara
 
TESO/KAHWERI- There was a market here where the King Kabalega’s boats as well as other things were sold, market dues were also collected here and proceeds came to Kitara, The chief market master here was a man called Kamukokoma Katenyi. There were other lesser market masters in Teso. Katenyi belonged to the Bahinda Clan, the profits accruing from these markets in Teso formed part of the Kitara State Revenue. Teso had clan heads for whom Kabalega ruled over and acted as an arbitrator in their quarrels and disputes. The people of Teso sent cattle and goats to Kitara as tributes to King Kabalega
 
ACHOLI-GANYI- The major chief (Rwot) who resided at Kitgum was called Owici (Awich). There were also other chiefs. Awich ruled Chwa and Paira (Payira) near the lake (Victoria Nile), his royal regalia spear chair and vessels all these were sent to him by the King of Kitara. When this chief died his successor was appointed by King Kabalega and any such successor must be related to the Babiito of Kitara
 
MADI, ATYAKI, PALANGO, OGWALI, PAIRA, MURUYA, BOKERUMU OYERE, KORI; All these areas were situated south of the Lake (Victoria Nile),their chiefs were, Orugwere, Opete, Koki, Lagonyi. All these chiefs were installed by King Kabalega. Owich (Awich) and his elder brother once had a quarrel and Kabalega was the one who settled their dispute. He found the elder brother guilty, punished him and made Owici Chief
 
ARURU (ALUR-WEST NILE): Here was Chief Oziri a Mubiito who had his capital at Okuru, Oziri was the grand father of chief Jarawori, there were other chiefs Ole and Tukenda who ruled north of Bugungu, other chiefs included Kakora a Mubiito,Aliganyira, Oketa, Huma, Mburukwa, Mulindwa, Kabale, Rutarurwa 11, Mugera Bomera, all these were duly installed by Omukama Kabalega , and furnished them with royal regalia including the drums, spears stools and other things used in administering their areas but under himself as King Kabalega
 
BUKONJO NORTH OF BWAMBA: This territory was ruled by a Mubiito the grandson of Murro, himself also a Mubiito, his name a Mudungu
 
THE 21 COUNTIES OF THE GREAT KITARA EMPIRE-UNDER OMUKAMA KABALEGA
 
Below are the Saza Chiefs, their clans and their villages:
 
1-BUGAHYA COUNTY: This county (Isaza) was ruled by Nyakamatura son of Nyakatura, who built his head quarters at Kihaguzi on the hill called Kabyerya. He was of the Bamoli clan. His totem was Engabi and his saza county stretched from Bugoma near Lake Albert to Kasokwa in Bugondo. He was a native of Kihaguzi in Bugahya and was the Chief of Defense Forces in the Kabalegas Army.
 
2-BUSINDI COUNTY: This was ruled by Bikamba son of Kabale. His capital was at Kibwona in Kibaiko village. He belonged to the Muranzi clan. This county stretched from Kasokwa Ntoma to Nyabuzana and the River Kafo. He was born in Butengesa Rugonjo
 
3-BUGUNGU OR KICWANTE COUNTY: This county was ruled by Mwanga, son of Kagwa, his capital was at Kinyambeho in Bugungu. He was of the Bachwa clan and his totem was Engabi. This county stretched from Lake Albert and Pajao to the hill called Nyabuzana. He was a Mugungu (born in Bugungu)
 
4-CHOPE COUNTY: This was ruled by Kihukya Katongole Rukidi, it stretched from Lake Albert, Pajao on the River Nile to Nyabuzana and separated Chope from Kibanda, Kisongora. His capital was at Panyadoli, he belonged to the Muchwa clan and his totem was Engabi
 
5-KIBANDA CHOPE COUNTY: It was ruled by  Masura son of Materu, his capital was in the village called Koki, the county stretched from the river Titi to Lake Pawiri (Victoria Nile) on the boarder with Kihukya. He was of the Munyonza Clan and his totem was a bird Enyonza He came from Mwenge.
 
6-BURULI COUNTY: This county was taken by Buganda it was ruled by Kadyebe son of Bantama of the Mugonya Clan and his totem was a mushroom. The county was bordered by the river Kafo Lake Kyoga and the river Kitoga and extended to the Bugerere boarder near the county of Kangaho (Current Bulemezi in Buganda) and to the river Serwizi near the Butengesa border, he was from Buruli
 
7-BUNYARA OR BUGERERE COUNTY: The saza chief here was Mutenga son of Ikwambu, his headquarters were at Ibale also called Ntenjeru. The county stretched from the Nile to Busoga and to the Buganda boarder. It also went as far as the current Sekiboobo’s Saza of Kyagwe and onto Lake Kyoga, he was of the Babiito Clan and a grandson of Omukama Olimi 1. He was born in Bunyara his totem was the bushbuck
 
8-RUGONJO/BUTENGESA COUNTY: This county was rule by Mutengesa son of Ololo, his capital was at Kicucu, Rugonjo, the county divided river Rugogo and river Kafo and stretched as far as the current Ssingo and Bulemezi in Buganda, It also stretched to Kikule, Kikonda near the river Mongo in Bugangaizi, He was a Mubiito and a grandson of Omukama Winyi 1. He came from Rugonjo and his totem was a Bushbuck
 
9-BUGANGAIZI COUNTY: This was ruled by Kikukuule the son of Runego, he had his capital at Kasaka Bukumi on the spot where now stands the Catholic mission, he ruled from Wesigire Kigoma to Nyabakazi on the Ssingo border and as far as to Mubebde Hill where Nyakahumakati, King Ndahura’s wife who had guarded the capital of Ndahura lived. This Omugo belonged to the Musazima clan her totem was Entimba Bugangaizi county was also boarded by river Muzizi, Nyakabimba Kyaka, the river Nguse, Buyaga and Kabale Kafo up to Bugahya.  Kikukuule was of the Mwiruntu clan and was a native of Bugangaizi, his totem was the elephant
 
10-BUYAGA COUNTY:  This county was ruled by Rusebe son of Rukirabanyoro a grandson of Omukama Kyebambe 111 Nyamutukura, his capital was at Nkeirwe-Pacwa, it stretched from the rivers Nguse and Muzizi to the south of Lake Albert
 
11-NYAKABIMBA COUNTY: It was ruled by Mugema the son of Zigijja of the Babopi clan, his capital was at Bucubya, his job was to look after the King guard the royal tombs of the Kitara and to be head of the Babiito clan (Okwiri), his county was bordered by Mubende, Kyaka Mwenge and Buyaga. He belonged to the Babopi clan of the lion totem. He was also a native of Nyakabimba. This was a hereditary county from the time of Omukama Ndahura of the Bachwezi dynasty, it was Ndahura who gave it to Mugema grandfather, Rubumbi, the man who had rescued him when  he had been thrown in the river as a child
 
12-KYAKA COUNTY: This county was rule by Ntamara the son of Nyakabwa, his capital was at Kawenyi , his area stretched from Bwiru Katonga to Nkore and Mwenge and Nyakabimba, he belonged to the Banyonza clan , he was from Mwenge, he belonged to the same clan as the Queen Mother (official mother of the King)
 
13- MWENGE COUNTY: This was ruled by Mugarra son of Kabwijamu, his capital was at Bugaki in Mwenge, his boundaries were the river Muzizi, the river Semliki, Bukuku, near Lake Albert and Isingome near Kibale, Mugarra belonged to the Banyonza clan, he was a native of Mwenge and was also a clan relative of the Queen Mother.
 
14-TOORO COUNTY: This was ruled by Ruburwa son of Mirindi, his capital was at Kamengo in Tooro-a place called Kibimba, the county stretched as far as River Semliki, Busongora, Bwamba and Mwenge, Ruburwa was a native of Mwenge and belonged to the Banyonza clan, the queen mother’s clan. He was given Tooro after it had been re conquered
 
15- KITAGWETA (KITAGWENDA) COUNTY: This county was ruled by Bulemu son of Rwigi, his capital was at Kyanyamburara, it stretched from Nkore to Kyaka, he was of the Babiito clan a grandson of Omukama Isansa, he was a native of Kitagweta
 
16-BUSONGORA MAKARA COUNTY:  Situated on the north of River Semliki and the Congo it was ruled by Kagambire the son of Kajura Rujumba, his capital was at Kanamba, he belonged to the Balisa clan and was a native of Kibanda in Chope
 
17-BUSONGORA MUNUKA COUNTY: Situated on the south it was ruled by Rukara the son of Rwamagigi, his capital was at Katwe near the salt mines of the Lake Katwe where King Kabalega boats were stationed, Rukara was a native of Busindi-Masindi and belonged to the Baranzi clan
 
18-RWAMBA COUNTY: This was ruled by Rukara the son of Itegeiraha, his capital was at Biranga, he belonged to the Bachwa clan of the bushbuck totem and was a native of Kibanda in Chope, it was in his palace that Yosia W Karukara was born in 1887
 
19- MBOGA COUNTY: Situated to the north of Tooro near the Belgian Congo border-now DRC, this county was ruled by Ireeta son of Byangombe, he belonged to the Basaigi clan, his capital was at Kayera in Butuku, He originally came from Nkore and had been captured during the time of Kabalega’s wars against Kabigumire (Kabalega’s rival brother). Ireeta was second in importance after Rwabudongo (amongst Kabalega’s Generals). He was the General of the Ekirwana division of the Abarusura and the sub sections of the army under his command were , the Ekiporopyo, Ekikweya, Ekibangya and Ekikube and others. Ireeta was given the charge of guarding the Congo Bulega border and Mboga. The defense of Mboga was divided between to him and Rwabudongo so that each defended half of it  . Ireeta was usually sent out to lead many wars and expeditions because he was a very brave man. He was the man encountered by Kabaka Mwanga 11 when he fled from Buganda to Kitara. Ireeta had been sent to Biso by the King to meet Mwanga 11 and  he actually died in 1906
 
20- BUZIMBA COUNTY: This county was ruled by Nduru son of Nyakairu. He was of the Balisa clan, his capital was at Kanyamburara, This country became part of Nkore from 1900
 
21-BUHWEJU COUNTY: This county was ruled Ndibalema son of Balisa , it was taken by Nkore in 1900, it used to be hereditary because it belonged to the people of the clan of the Queen Mother of the Omukama Winyi Rubagiramasega
 
All these counties belonged to Kitara and besides these wee areas outside the Kingdom which were her territories. These included Bulega in Congo, Ganyi (Acholi) Bukidi (Lango) all these were part of Kitara and were ruled by Omukama Kabalega
 
HOW KITARA EMPIRE WAS REDUCED
 
1-      Five Counties- The first mentioned that is Bugahya, Busindi Bugungu, Chope and Buruli were the only ones that Kitara retained. Bugahya was divided into two counties so that the number of the counties was raised to six. This was all that was left to the Empire of Kitara which now came to be known as Bunyoro Kitara Kingdon sincerely speaking  now inclusive of Buyaga and Bugangaizi that is more sub division
 
2-      Six Counties: Namely Buruli, Bugerere (Bunyara), Rugonjo, Bugangaizi and Buyaga were given to Buganda in 1900 but later a referendum under Obote’s government was held and people of Buyaga and Bugangaizi chose to return to Bunyoro
 
3-      Seven Counties: Namely Nyakabimba, Kyaka, Mwenge, Tooro Kitagweta (Kitagwenda), Busongora-the entire one, and Bwamba later became the Kingdom of Tooro which was restored by Captain Lurgard on 14th August 1891 when he restored Daudi Kasagama Kyebambe as Omukama of Tooro. Omukama Kabalega was still alive at this time and still King and was living at his capital of Kinogozi,
 
4-      Two counties: Namely Busongora Makara, north of River Semliki near the Congo and Mboga were taken by the Belgian Congo (1908) Besides these two, Bulega was also given to the Belgian Congo 1908
 
5-      Two Counties: Buzimba and Buhweju were given to Nkore, That was how Kitara lost its territories
Lost Bunyoro counties to Buganda

Lost Bunyoro counties to Buganda

 
The Runyoro (Rukitara) not Runyakitara Language is something to be proud of and important in the areas from Bunyara (Bugerere) to Kiziba and Rwanda, the Banyarwanda and Banyankore used to speak the Runyoro language. It is spoken in certain areas in the Congo up to date and today and up to south of Lake Tanganyika
 
In our latest edition we shall bring you how Bunyoro Covered Rwanda, Kenya and Tanganyika

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