Omukama Kabalega declared National Hero

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KAMPALA OMUKAMA (King) Kabalega of Bunyoro was yesterday declared a national hero by President Yoweri Museveni and honoured with a three-gun salute for his nine-year resistance against the British colonialists.

Museveni and other dignitaries at the Heroes Day celebrations, who included the chief Justice Benjamin Odoki, laid a wreath on Kabalega’s grave in the mausoleum at Mparo Hill, the burial for the Bunyoro royalty.

Omukama-Cwa II Kabalega

Museveni said Kabalega’s heroic resistance against colonialism was broken by disunity among Africans after the colonialists pitted them against each other.

The British employed a divide and rule strategy which saw Africans fight Kabalega who was trying to fight colonial expansionism, he explained. The NRM fought its war in the footsteps of Kabalega and Mwanga, he added, that is why they named two of their units after them.

Museveni praised Kabalega, calling him far-sighted because he rejected the offer by Sir Samuel Baker to transfer his kingdom to be under Khediv Ismail of Egypt.

In his address, Museveni emphasized the that it takes heroes to create impact in society.

Prior to this, in 1972, President Idi Amin of Uganda had in honor of Omukama Kabalega renamed Murchison Falls to Kabalega Falls in recognition of his bravery and heroism in defending his people against imperialistic tendencies. Kabalega Falls is a great touristic site famously known for having the most powerful waterfall in the world, where the longest river in the world; River Nile squeezes through a 7-meter gap and then drops down 45 meters to create a thunderous sound and form.

Original story by Barbara Kaija and Anne Mugisa @New Vision.

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