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The legal aspects of the 1900 Buganda agreement revisited

Mugambwa, J.T. (1987) The legal aspects of the 1900 Buganda agreement revisited. Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 25-26 . pp. 243-274.

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In 1894 the Kingdom of Buganda, then known as Uganda, was declared a British Protectorate on the basis of a treaty made the previous year with the Kabaka (King) of Buganda. Six years later an Agreement was made between the chiefs of Buganda acting on behalf of the Kabaka (then a minor) and the people of Buganda on one side and Harry Johnston acting on behalf of the Queen of England, on the other. The Agreement was called the 1900 Uganda Agreement (hereafter the Buganda Agreement or the Agreement). This Agreement has been variously described as “Buganda’s Charter of Rights”, “the Magna Carta”, “Buganda’s Constitution”, and so on. It was a landmark in Britain’s relationship with Buganda. It survived for fifty-odd years. Anthony Low aptly observes that of all treaties between Britain and native authorities during the colonial era “few .... have been of such consequence as .... [this] Agreement, few have been so detailed, few have attained such importance in the relationship with the colonial people.” Apart from the Buganda Agreement there were the 1900 Toro Agreement, and the 1901 Ankole Agreement, which the British made with the rulers of those two kingdoms. Although the latter Agreements were important in their own ways they did not achieve the prominence of the Buganda Agreement.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: University of Birmingham School of Law
Copyright: The Author
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