Luganda is romantic,easy to understand and bantu unifying factor

Dear Ugandans,

The central purpose of this debate is to discover and fulfill an African identity. That is why I find it disappointing that in this 21st century a man can sit on a chair and start typing sentences requesting English or Swahilli to be our national languages. What is national in these languages honestly?

I must stress that Swahilli cannot become our national language because it has nothing to do with national. Swahilli is already constitutionally our second official language. I’m therefore looking at Luganda as the favourable to become our national language for a variety of reasons:

Luganda was the first local language to produce a dictionary, I believe. This was because even the colonialists realised the need to promote it for easy communication throughout the country. I think this dictionary was compiled by John D. Murphy in 1972. However, already the missionaries had produced books serving the same purpose after swahilli was refused by Kabaka Chwa in Buganda . I must mention that the man, Father Kiggundu, who helped in compiling this dictionary, was killed by either Amin or Obote’s people. Kiggundu was the editor of Munno newspaper.

Luganda is so romantic among the local languages in Uganda such that I have had women saying that they love it compared to other Uganda languages. It is an equivalent of the French in Europe. In football; it’s an equivalent of the Brazil sambara. In addition, it is extremely and nicely expressive, comparatively easy, and harmonious to pronounce; and easier in its grammar than any of the languages in Uganda. It also possesses virtually the whole of the nineteen concord-prefixes.

I can also gladly say that gandalisation of words is a good thing because it shows that Luganda and Baganda change with the dynamics of the society. For instance, we did not have scissors in Buganda before the Arabs came. When they came, baganda adopted the Arabic word makassi for makansi. This was done to suit the Baganda natives dealing with Arabs in trade. There are so many words like this, for instance, kofia, a cap (a word, I believe, of Turkish origin), became enkofira, a hat. The basoga call it emfwakire.

This case is not only limited to Luganda and baganda. It happened in other places in Africa as well. For instance, the Arabs found a certain group of people residing in Zanzibar called Wahadimu. Their real name is actually unknown but they were called this in use being a Swahili adaptation of the Arabic. Most of the Wahadimu now speak Swahili, though with a peculiar accent.

Luganda is also so much interlinked to other Bantu languages in Africa . Why should we not swallow a bottle and just promote one of our Bantu languages instead of going for a foreign language as the national language. There are so many luganda words similar to those of the Ndebele in Zimbabwe . The luganda has also got so many words similar with the Bahima. The bahima language is closely allied to Luganda and Lunyoro, a large number of the words being practically the same, but the construction differs, and the Bahima accentuate their words in a very marked manner. The usual salutation, on meeting, is Oreirige; goodbye, Osibege. On seeing a person for the second time in one day, the salutation is Osiberege.Osiberege is not that much different from osibyotya by baganda. Bahima call wooden seats (ckitebe1),Baskets (ekibo),ropes (omugwa),(enanga and entongoU) and a drum (engalabi) have all got the same names as Luganda. So Baganda can be a starting base of uniting bantu speakers before the other groups.

Prof Apolo Nsibambi(former PM) wrote a good piece about the costs of so many languages in Uganda and it gives an insight of why we need to bury out tribal prides and promote the dominant local language in the country.. He wrote that when Uganda achieved independence, Radio Uganda was broadcasting in English, Luganda, Runyoro/Rutoro, Ateso and Lwo. In March 1967, when President Obote delivered his opening speech before a Seminar on Mass Media and Linguistic Communication in East Africa , he announced that another tenlanguages on the radio had been added. By September 1969, other languages had been introduced on the programme by Radio Uganda to make a total of eighteen. These were English, Luganda, Lusoga, Lunyole/Lusamia/Lugwe, Dhopadhola, Lumasaba, Sebei, Runyoro/Rutoro, Runyankore/Rukiga, Lwo, Ateso, Karomojong, Madi, Kakwa, Lugbara, Alur, Kuman and Hindustani.

Yet the President had pointed out in 1967 that all the fourteen languages then being broadcast were not in every case necessary. He had, however, added ‘ I am in government and I have to take the political feelings of the people into account in formulating policies.

Now I was just looking for this last statement. Obote was thinking like some Ugandans now who have allowed their bad feelings for Buganda to get in the way of their support to Luganda as the national language. Do you know how much money Obote costed Uganda by allowing almost 18 languages to create a stampede at Radio Uganda ?

Mr. Msibambi supplemented this point of tribal emotions and feelings by giving us an example of the Kakwa. When the Kakwa were requesting that their language be used on Radio Uganda , one of their major submissions was that they felt discriminated against whenever they had to listen to programmes in Lugbara.

You should not worry about the politicians because they make policies depending on how they benefit from the situations. So this debate about the national language is not concluded at all. Because the politicians don’t want to offend the non-baganda voting bloc, which is becoming larger every year, the trick is to play both sides, giving non-baganda what they want (making swahilli the second official language of the Uganda) while not losing the Baganda vote. They do that by trying to justify Swahilli as our language by using many ruses, hoping that one of them resonates with as many Ugandans as they can, such as:
1) Swahilli is spoken by many tribes in East Africa
2) Swahilli is the language that can unite different tribes in Uganda
3) How can Uganda be ashamed to adopt other languages?

Please let us not beef up this issue of a national language into Baganda arrogance and lose sight of what is best for the country. The truth is that you’re free to speak whatever you want, but the big problem is when you have 52 people speaking 52 different languages in one room you have a major organizational problem. This is why I think a national language like Luganda is necessary, because it is at least spoken by several tribes in the country. It is unfair that indigenous African languages in Africa do not enjoy the status of national language because Africa has got a lot of tribes. We need to go around around this problem by agreeing to at least one language.

Declaring Luganda as our national language will be a good thing for the country in the long term. Requiring immigrants to Uganda to be able to speak and write Luganda will be a needed requirement. The national language is the language in which commerce is conducted, the language used in public education, the language embraced by government. To have a foreign language(such as Swahilli) as one’s national language carries a very deep message of the lack of self-determination and one’s liberties.

USA has got more languages than all of Uganda combined but they managed to agree that English becomes their national language. In 2006 the USA voted in favour of English as the national language despite having Spanish and other languages being spoken in the country. Actually, they didn’t exactly use the words “national language.” Instead, they chose to call it a “common and unifying language.” Whatever way they called it, it was a good start. If you want to come to the United States and be a part of the culture, you should have to learn English.

For too long, Ugandans have coddled people who expect to come in the country from all directions and continue speaking whatever language where they came from. This needs to stop as soon as we get our national language. In fact, before you are granted Uganda citizenship, you should be given a simple Luganda language test. If you cannot demonstrate your ability to speak the native language, you’re out. Go home, learn Luganda and then apply again, as simple as.

People from other tribes that dress in a kiganda way and speak luganda on their weddings are promoting nationhood indirectly. Nationhood usually involves some combination of a national language, diet, dress, religion, physical appearance, etc. If somebody’s Swedish, the safe bet is that he’s a blond Lutheran who’s eaten lutefisk, and if he’s Italian, I’d guess he’s Catholic, brunette, and eats pasta. If he is British, he should somehow like the traditional fish and chips. You don’t have to be only a Muganda to speak the Luganda language, eat Baganda food, and wear Baganda fashions.

Nze bwendaba banange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

75 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. semuwemba
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 19:35:16

    There is no difference between Bamasaba and Bagisu. Some people claim that the original father of the Bagisu was a man called Masaba and that is why they insist on being called Bamasaba instead of Bagisu which some think is a derogatory term. Otherwise Bamasaba = Bagisu.

    Now in Bugisu, there are variations in the dialects of Lugisu spoken right
    from the south to the north. It is like the Luganda spoken in Buddu or
    Kooki may not be identical in every respect with that spoken in Mukono. So the accent of the Lugisu from the south is different from that from the north. In Sironko district alone there are about five different dialects of Lugisu: Luwalasi, Luyobo, Lusulani, Luhugu, Lubuya. Only a fluent Lugisu speaker can tell these differences in dialect otherwise we are one people. The division of Mbale district was therefore not about tribe!

  2. dre
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 07:04:46

    You can actually make a case for Luganda without postulating Buganda chauvanism – you may actually win a few . Otherwise nice try. But in the context of east africa– where we are definately headed — swahili wins!

  3. Oba PaAb
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:43:44

    Are you guys living in some dream world or this is typical African lack of intelligence I have been talking about?

    Luganda is NOT Uganda’s “de fecto” national language! Please let us get that through our thick heads! And I think Kateregga will do himself a lot of good by not trying to be clever by a quarter; not even a half!

    There are no benefits in learning luganda by any Ugandan, absolutely NO benefits! Beside, luganda is only spoken in Buganda basically. That the Basoga and other Bantu tribes who live conjugally with Baganda speak luganda is not any different from an Alur speaking Alur language in Acholi and people understand him/her very well, or vis-à-vis!

    Olara was in Lango the other day addressing the population in Luo/Acholi language, and everyone understood what he was telling them. This is the same as a politician from Buganda going to Busoga and addressing people in luganda; Basoga will understand him/her. So this nonsense by Kateregga that Mu7, whenever he goes to Busoga, addresses people in that area in luganda is bullshit; it does not tell us anything.

    Luganda, just like any other local languages in Uganda is not beneficial, like I said, to the rest of Ugandans save Baganda; not even to the wider East African populations! Luganda is only beneficial to the Baganda and their immediate neighbors who understand and speaks the language. That’s it! In the same breath, Luo is not beneficial to the rest of Ugandans save for those who speak luo. The same applies to any other local language you can think of, in that country, that people speaks.

    The only languages of benefits to Ugandans are the following:

    1) English

    English by virtue of it being our official language and being spoken in offices, schools, &c. And since English is widely spoken globally, its benefits are huge. So basically we cannot do away with the language.

    2) Kiswahili

    Kiswahili has grown to be a widely spoken language in East Africa. It is a national language for Kenyans and Tanzanians; yet it is spoken in a few other Eastern Africa countries like Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo, especially Eastern DR Congo. So by virtue of the populations that speak the language alone, in Eastern Africa, is huge. Therefore, Kiswahili is the only national language that we as Ugandans can adopt; we cannot adopt any other language. Luganda is out of the picture, because we cannot let our children learn a “national” language that is not even beneficial to them. Luganda, like any other local languages in Uganda is merely a language for culture and tradition preservation. Nothing more nothing less! Now who, in his/her right mind would want to abandon his/her local dialect – something that preserves his/her culture and tradition – for luganda? Who? I wouldn’t and I am sure the entire luo speakers would not because both languages serve the same purpose. Since luganda is only good for cultural and traditional preservation, then why should a Lugbrara adopt it? No use!

    So, what should be done in terms of developing national language?

    In my view, and this I believe will be the way forward, the following must be done:

    a) We already have English as our official language. Lets leave it as such.

    b) I have mentioned this before, I will repeat it again. We must adopt Kiswahili as our national language. This means, in every school, starting from primary, Kiswahili language lessons must be introduced, and it has to be a compulsory subject so that kids will have to learn the language from primary to University level. By doing so, the language will be automatically spoken by almost everyone such that, a Munyankole who happen to go on a business trip to Karamoja will have no problem communicating with the locals. The same will be true for a Karamojong who goes to say, Bunyoro, on and on. Besides, doing businesses accross the borders, to Kenya, TZ, Burundi, Rwanda and DRC will also ad values.

    However, besides these languages, there should be a third language taught in school. And this third language must be the local language of the population in which a school is located. This means in Bunyoro for example, there will be the following languages taught in schools: English, Kiswahili and then Lunyoro. In Lango, there will English, Kiswahili and Lango language. In Buganda, there will be English, Kiswahili and Luganda. In Busoga, there will be English, Kiswahili and Lusoga. In Ankole, there will be English, Kiswahili and Lunyankole. On and on.

    Luganda is merely a language for preserving culture and tradition, just like any other local languages in the country. It cannot be Uganda national language. Besides, outside Uganda, no one speaks the language. I was indeed stunned when I read Jabendo lying that Ugandans in the Diaspora identify with luganda as their national language. Since when? As a matter of fact I don’t, and I know many Ugandans who do not identify with luganda as their national language. Even worse, most people from East Africa, including the DR Congo, I meet, only ask me if I speak Kiswahili. I have met so many people form Eastern DR Congo for example, who ask me if I speak Kiswahili – because they do speaks Kiswahili. I have never come across any body from East Africa, including the DR Congo, who asked me whether I speak luganda; none! Its like no body knows that a language called luganda even exists.

    Therefore, we must look at the benefits of a language first before anything else. Kiswahili has got huge benefits because it is widely spoken. So, that is the only language we can adopt as our national language. Nothing else. The rest must be quarantine within their geographically spoken areas. Period.


  4. ahmed katerega
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:45:04

    Luganda is the fefacto national language. Even when President is touring Busoga and Eastern Uganda other than Teso, he uses Luganda without an interpreter. The late Prime Minister Dr. Samson Kisekka used to address rallies in Luganda in eastern and western Uganda.
    So it is the dominant language among southern, central, western and eastern Bantu.

    i n an interview with me in 1994, the then mnister of state for presidency veteran journalist Kintu Musoke asked me whether there was any legislation that matoke be the national food, or kanzu and gomesi national dress. In the actual fact, he wasthe view that, Luganda was the national language but not by legislation.

  5. Leonard Chama
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:45:44

    Children from zero to six can learn and master upto four languages, so the experts tell us. That is why a state like Israel, which is consumed by security consciousness, ensures that their babies learn Arabic (the enemy’s language), Hebrew (their own) and in pre school pick English and another (French etc..). Uganda can also ensure all kids learn English, Swahili, their mother’s language and a fourth. But I am a coward to state which the forth is though if had the courage I would say Luganda.

  6. john Rubin
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:46:34

    Firstly, I wish to commend Rahim Jabendo for the lengthy and yet sincere observation about the languages in question.
    Although, I tend to agree with Ahmed Kateregga that ”Luganda is the defacto national language”, some people may not even comprehend the logic of having a national language, or what it is that makes a language, National.
    ”Language”, is more than the words spoken. Add the feeling or the psychology that accompanies the words, then you have an understanding, thus the sense of brotherhood. The ”National Language” can not be wished for, but worked for. Even the United Republic of Tanzania which is proud to say that ”Kiswahili is the National Language”, the government had to work hard to achieve it. It was not easy, as it almost caused bloodshed. Some politicians and military officers tried to overthrow the government when they felt that poverty had bitten them so harshly. Others claimed that the government had killed education by the suspension of the English language which was done to give a chance for Kiswahili to spread.
    Uganda does not need to suspend the English language to enable any local language to spread. In my opinion, Uganda has three languages that are widely spoken, namely; English, Luganda and Swahili, of course not necessarily in that order. English being a European or a colonial language, may not be suitable for Uganda’s national language. Swahili may be suitable as it does not belong to any particular tribe or ethnicity, but Luganda may be the most suitable as it occupies the most central position in the nation, Uganda.
    However, I also understand that the naming of a particular language as the ”National Language” may cause friction among Ugandans. By this observation, I wish that the government should encourage the learning of these three very important languages, as each one has a major role to play in the unity of Uganda, East Africa and beyond.
    BJ. Rubin.

  7. abbey Semuwemba
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:47:01

    What you have written below is not different from a situation where a parent has got three beautiful sons, and there is one that is more outstanding than the others, but still fail to name a heir simply because he does not want to ’cause friction among’ them. Honestly, if you agree,like most of us, that ”’Luganda is the defacto national language”, then why would it be heard to make it officially our national language? Why is it so important to keep all the three ‘sons’ happy as if you are going to live forever. Why not leave your house in order, with some form of formal arrangment, instead of dying without a heir( omusika)? Just think about it!

    The main way we identify each other as Ugandans here in the UK is when someone speaks to you in Luganda, and i think it should be encouraged. There is no harm in it at all. It is just a language that happened to belong to Baganda, promoted mainly by colonialism, but it’s now spoken by majority of Ugandans. Let us teach it to our children regardless of the parent’s tribe. Hope Bwana George Okello is reading this!

  8. Okiya, Richard Peter (R.P.)
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:48:21

    May I remind Jonny come lately Rubin that, Luo is also widely spoken, in
    West Nile (Alur, Jonam), Northern (Acholi Lango), Eastern (Japs, Kumam)
    and Western Uganda (the Chope).

  9. john Rubin
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:48:51

    I understand your point when you ask why we should not make it known or official that ”Luganda is the National Language of Uganda”.
    I made the same proposal here at the UAH some time ago, but was challenged by Musisi Bosco, among others. The ”friction among Ugandans”, was actually what bothered some members of the UAH. Others sighted the ”Superiority complex” among the Baganda that would make it impossible for the non-Baganda to accept Luganda as the National Language.
    Having learned from the challenges I encountered and the fact that we cannot pretend not to know that Luganda is the most widely spoken language in the entire Uganda, I think that it is too early to make the announcement. Let us wait until the North and the wider East has learned and able to speak the language. If even George Okello tries to learn it, he will speak it sooner than he may think and once at it, he will appreciate the ability of the language to unify our nation, Uganda faster and more peacefully than ever anticipated.
    BJ. Rubin.

  10. john Rubin
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:49:21

    What is important is to have a local language with which Ugandans can communicate without an interpreter. In fact, the time will come when we shall all be able to communicate locally with one language. With this thought, let us let nature take its course. Mr. Kintu Musoke said the same thing, but with different words.

  11. George O. Pacu-Otto
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:50:25

    My late father never wanted us to speak Luganda or any other language except Lango and English. He was very specific on this. In a sense, you can see this in my excellence in the English language. I do not believe that Luganda should be a national language of Uganda. I don’t speak a single sentence of it. My children(Nigerian and Filipino) do not speak it and have no intention to even learn it although my younger daughter has Luganda speaking children in her class, but she will never learn Luganda.

    On the question of packing up and leaving, in fact we have done that already. We dont live in Buganda. My children live in London and Manila, Philippines, or Lagos, Nigeria. So I don’t understand what you mean when you say we should pack up. I did that a long time ago, forced out by your favourite son Yoweri Museveni.

    I have no hatred against Luganda, all I am saying is my own children will never speak it in their life-times. It is the same as Russian that I failed to learn when I studied there in the 1980s. So nobody should foist Luganda or even swahili as a national language on Ugandans. It is English that is the national language and then other regional and local languages, including luganda that people are free to speak. My own children want to learn Lango (Lwo) but not luganda. My youngest Filipino daughter who has been sick wants to come to Uganda after her exams but to learn the Lango language, not luganda.

    I hope I make myself clear here.

    George O. Pacu-Otto

  12. ahmed katerega
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:51:18

    Opa, Luganda is widely spoken in all Bantu areas not in Busoga only. l encourage northerners to learn Luganda and Southerners to learn Luo. l agree with you that for regional integration we should encourage the spread of Kiswahili, and as far as international languages, we should not consider English alone but also other international languages like French, Arabic, Russian, Chinese etc….Good weekend.

  13. George O. Pacu-Otto
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:52:14

    Okay Abbey,

    Do you have study groups where children can study luganda? Here in London? My own just speak English and the latest one who has been sick but is joining us speaks only tagalog and english(very well). I feel embarrassed by my children because they have tried to learn their fathers ‘s languange but they have never succeeded.The eldest one went to Uganda on her own all she came back with is “kop ango, iriyo maber, obanga konyi”. I am now trying to put little Angel ( my daughter ) in a reputable school in Lira so she can learn the language. Somebody emailed a list of good schools in Lira where she can study. Again it is going to be difficult for her as mixed race child as has been in the Philippines. But she is only 14 years old so I think she will cope in Lira for 6 months and learn lango. I want to cut her off from English and Tagalog completely and I am sure she wil learn Lango. My Nigerian contingent speak their mother’s language, although not fluently, that is because the mother takes them there twice a year wheras I have never been allowed to go back to Uganda. The Philippines is really now the only country I call home.


  14. ahmed katerega
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:53:45

    BJ , government policy is using a local mother tongue as a medium of instruction in lower primary, as a way of romoting a local language, teaching English and Kiswahili through out primary, using English as a medium of instruction in upper primary, English is copmpulsiry at O level, but Kiswahili, Luganda , Arabic, French, German are popular languages at O and A levels, almost all those and Runyakitara and Luo are taught at Makerere and other universities.
    The official language is English, the second official language is Kiswahili. There is no national language but the state is olbiged to promote local languages.

  15. john Rubin
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:54:16

    Promoting the local languages is very important and identifying and promoting one Ugandan language for common use is even more important. It improves the sense of unity among all the people of Uganda.
    Let us see what Tanzania has achieved by having a common language. Do I have to spell it out? Patriotism in Tanzania is second to none in the whole of Africa and perhaps in the world. Democracy may not be at its best, but the issues are tacled as Tanzanians. Thanks to the common language, Kiswahili that brings the people together. That is what we need to see in the future of Uganda.
    How would you feel if an Acholi had a conversation with you in Luganda? You would feel the words in addition to hearing them. It would be the same feeling for an Acholi having a conversation with you in the Acholi language. That is the magic of language.
    Ahmed, the government policy as you have stated, is very good and hopefully, sooner than later a ”National Language” will be clearly identifiable.
    BJ. Rubin.

  16. john Rubin
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 19:55:15

    Even in Kagera of Tanzania you will find some people who often mix English with their Kihaya. You hear one saying, ”Wanyeta stupid infront of my wife?” Of course trying to show that he is more educated, therefore different from the others, but Kiswahili does the magic. Although the Bahaya tend to show off in their language mixed with English, as explained above, they have a high measure of patriotism when it comes to matters of national concern. Again, thanks to the National Language, Kiswahili which brings all the people together.
    We must not be pessimistic about the future of Uganda.
    BJ. Rubin.

  17. obargot
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:24:09

    Johnny Rubin,

    Let me make it very clear and in no uncertain terms, that promotion of a national language MUST take into account the following:

    1) The economic or trade value of the language;
    2) The Scientific value of the language; &
    3) The Technological value of the language.

    In all the three important factors above, luganda as a language does not feature anywhere; not even any of the other Uganda local languages beside luganda. Why then would a country’s resources be wasted on promoting basically a language fit for local market as Kikubbo? Are you telling us that Uganda children should be forced to learn luganda as “national” language so they can operate in places like Kikubbo? If so then you have huge problems ahead of you let alone your cry for a dictator; you can get that one too if you call for it.

    So, the futility of promoting luganda as a national language is everywhere glaring. And I do not thing Ugandans have time and resources to waste on such dead-end enterprise. None of Uganda’s many languages is fit to be promoted as a national language. Because all of them do not possess the economic value; the scientific value, and the technological value necessary to propel the country forward. Hence, luganda cannot be Uganda’s national language. In fact, none of the local languages can be.

    The world has moved Mr. Johnny Rubin. We are no longer in the 70s when you were still a boxer with the then Amin’s army. What are determining the future of the world today are Science, technology, and economic advance. Therefore, unless what a country embarks on has an economy value, or a technological value, or scientific value, resources should not be wasted on any such useless stuff as promoting luganda language to become Uganda’s national language. Once promoted then what?

    I have offered you the best way to promote luganda: Teach it in Buganda schools. That way, you keep Baganda cultural and traditional values burning for years and years to come. Unfortunately that solution is for everyone else who cares about his or her culture and tradition.

    You may misconstrue my view on this topic as someone who hates luganda. If you do, that would be your own problem. I do not hate luganda language; and I am sure you very well are aware that I am not into tribal hatred. The solution I have proffered says it all. But if you read and keeps failing to grasp the core points in it, then I cannot help you. But what I know is, you are not going to push such nonsense down anybody’s throat. Period. Each and every local language shall have to be promoted within the geographic locality in which it is spoken. So, luganda will be promoted in Buganda without any reservation. The same goes for the rest of the local languages.

    When it comes to the question of national language however, I have narrowed down to Kiswahili. Kiswahili is fit for a few important reasons. It is widely spoken in the region; it is gaining global reach; and it is now being incorporated within the realm of technology. For those who think that Kiswahili is the language of the Zanzibaris like yourself, I will just say one thing: Good luck! However, keep it in the back of your mind that you are never going to fight and defeat Kiswahili in your lifetime or even in the next one to come. So, Kiswahili is the proper national language for Uganda.

    As far as naming the country, Uganda, Uganda, I do not think there is any fuss about that. What is in a name? To me we can call Uganda anything; we can even call it Buganda. Would it make any difference? Not at all! So, naming the country Uganda has no intrinsic value to it. It does not promote Buganda, but if in your brain you think and believe the name of the country promote Buganda then that is your own belief; you are entitled to it.

    Finally, lets get this very clear and out of the way. We as a people can no longer plunge head-on into foolish venture. If something does not add value to the country there is no point absolutely wasting resources for it. Period. Kiswahili is not a Zanzibari language; Kiswahili is an African language. It is spoken in Kenya and TZ. Therefore, I believe making it Uganda’s national language would be the right thing to do. As a matter of fact, we could even make Lingala our national language. What would be wrong with that? The population of the DR Congo alone is about 60 million people. That is a huge number of people that in terms of trade will eventually in the very near future become very vital in our lives. But that is a topic for another day.

    Otherwise, to be blunt, luganda is not an option for Uganda national language. As simple as that!


  18. john Rubin
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:24:42

    I have seen your objection to Luganda being the National Language, but also surprised that you even seem to hate the idea that ”Luganda is the defacto language of Uganda”.
    I suspect that you could have also opposed the idea of naming the country, ”Uganda”. I have met some Ugandans who also oppose the idea of Luganda being the National Language. However, moments later, being told that there is a proposal to change the name of Uganda, the same individuals oppose the idea in the strongest terms possible. Now, if the objection is because of what would be seen as a promotion of the Baganda over the rest of us all, what then do we think about the country being called ”Uganda”?
    I have explained the benefits of having a common language in Uganda, spoken to all without an interpreter and the idea seems to be well received, until ”Luganda” is mentioned.
    In Tanzania where today all the citizens are pleased to have a common language, the idea to introduce it would have failed if President Julius K. Nyerere (RIP) had asked for the citizens’ opinion. There was a belief that some large tribes of Tanzania, namely; Wachaga, Wahaya, Wanyakyusa, among others would have strongly objected to the introduction of Kiswahili as the National Language. As in Uganda where some would feel that the Baganda are being promoted by the elevation of their language to the national status, and so would some Tanzanians feel that Kiswahili as their National Language, would be an elevation of the Zanzibaris over the rest of the country.
    Some time ago while discussing with some of my European friends about the problems of Africa and why the continent has remained behind in terms of development, one of them blamed Africa’s quest for democracy. He said that ”Africa needs dictators with progressive minds”. I then remembered how President Julius K. Nyerere (RIP) was said to be a ”ruthless dictator”, but today after appreciating what he strived for, namely; The Unity of the people and the United Republic of Tanzania, he is now called, ”Baba wa Taifa” (Father of the Nation).
    BJ. Rubin.

  19. Edriss Kironde
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:26:18

    I think if Luganda were to be a national language, it would be murdered and loss of identity. Some Luganda words are said without opening your mouth. Many non Baganda would say how would that be possible. One can say yes in Luganda or no without noding his or her head but sounds without opening ones mouth. Different ways of “Kuwuuna” would mean different things in Luganda like “umh” or “ummmhhmm” The shorter version would mean yes and and the long one does not always mean no but could also mean one is wondering. It is is also used in Luganda greetings. We only need an official language or about four or five and not a national language.
    We can translate in Swahili, Luganda, English, Luo or Itesot for communication purposes

  20. Semitego Richard
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 11:14:49


    I am always fascinated by your articles. I support your argument: LUGANDA SHOULD BECOME A NATIONAL LANGUAGE. Let Swahili and English be taught in schools as second languages.

    Why do I support Luganda to become a national language? All my school time in Uganda I was a footballer and I played in every school team for all schools went to. That gave me a chance to travel almost every corner of Uganda -apart from Western where football was not really popular by then.

    With my football journeys, I spent two months in Eastern Uganda and played football with almost every school in East. Schools like Bukeddi College Kachonga, Manjasi High School, Bukedeya, Jinja College, Soroti, Kumi, Tororo etc. In Northen Uganda, I stayed there for a month. In Central which school I missed I don’t know.

    I also went to Kenya, Bungoma Western Province and stayed there for a month played with schools like Salvation Army etc.

    Why I mentioned those places and others which I left out, because the list is too long. They all speak Luganda and when you visit those places with your Luganda you can not go without food.

    Every town in Uganda speaks Luganda and on every Ugandan boarder people there they speak Luganda. What more can I say about Luganda being the most popular and well spoken language in Uganda. Boader to boader, town to town and city to city. For example, Busia, Maraba, Guru, Soroti, Tororo, Mbale, Mbalala, Kasese, Masindi not to mention Kampala they all communicate in Luganda.

    However, having said Luganda is the most spoken language in Uganda to make it a national language every one in Uganda should be consulted. Baganda inclusive, because some Buganda they do not want Luganda to become national language and their argument: They will loose “PRIVACY” e.g. English people have got no privacy with their language in face of the
    world, unless when they whisper to each other.

    Thanks for the debate.
    Richard Semitego

  21. mathew kabanda
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 17:38:27

    Hi Rubin and other contributors

    I don’t know what the expression ” national language” means; but what
    I know is that we should keep quiet about Luganda becoming a national
    language in Uganda. We should let people make their own preferences
    in personal and mass media-communication.

    However as a guide to what am after ,look at the following indicators:

    1. The most popular language for pop-music & drama in the country is luganda.

    2. The best trendy “introduction ceremonies” especially for middle
    class couples borrow heavily from ganda culture traditions.

    3. Ugandans in the diaspora widely use luganda as a cultural
    identity indicator for a Ugandan.

    4. Multi-nationals based in Uganda find using luganda most
    cost-effective for their mass communication commercials and other

    5. Top politicians & officials usually use luganda to drive a point
    home even when they are using English for the main delivery. President
    Museveni is notoriously known for this.

    6. In Ugandan Embassies abroad luganda is used most of all local languages

    7. Inter-marriages between baganda girls with other tribes is well in
    overdrive gear; especially with northern Uganda men.

    8. To crown every thing Bukedde TV, a government institution , which
    is received throught
    Uganda, is using Ki-nigeria films with luganda translations! Even in
    I await a genuine counter-weight indicator offer for another local
    language usage. Within ten years from now the usage of luganda is
    going to be accelerated as kampala is the god-given hub of commercial,
    educational and governmental undertakings plus the East African
    Community in Uganda.

    Please give some deep thought to the above observations and draw your
    own conclusions.

    M. Kabanda

  22. john Rubin
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 17:42:46

    I appreciate your sincerity in the response to my e-mail. Reading your response, I felt that due to your strong objection to Luganda as the National Language of Uganda, you even failed to understand that the statements you attributed to me, was a mistake. I noticed that you even lost your temper, but tried hard to maintain a friendly response.
    Oba, you and I, including many other Ugandans want peace and of course development in our country. We, as Ugandans have also tried many policies hoping that we would achieve peace, the basis of which development would be planned and hopefully succeed. We are still trying to find a solution.
    In my previous e-mail I gave an example of Tanzania which is much bigger and has more tribes than Uganda, but has managed to sustain peace and has a sense of patriotism that is second to none in Africa. Giving Tanzania as an example, I stated that the common language they have, made it possibe and therefore, Uganda can also achieve peace if we emulate Tanzania. I also made it clear that the common language was not achieved easily. I mentioned some of the large tribes of Tanzania that could have objected to the idea of Kiswahili being the National Language and how it was achieved.
    I wrote about some of my European friends and what they thought was the cause for Africa’s failure to develop and what they thought Africa needs. You wrote, ”you have huge problems ahead of you let alone your cry for a dictator……” Is that how you understood what I wrote? You went on, ”……what I know is, you are not going to push such nonsense down anybody’s throat”.
    As I was trying to ask myself why you misunderstood the fact that I was simply reporting what other people said, I was surprised to see another one of your statements, ”For those who think that Kiswahili is the language of the Zanzibaris like yourself….” Now, this one, ”……but if in your brain you think and believe the name of the country promote Buganda then that is your own belief; you are entitled to it”.
    Oba, I am honestly shocked that you chose to attribute all the statements from other people to me. If your statements can be viewed as ”friendly”, you even made a more ”friendly” conclusion by the following statement, ”Finally, lets get this very clear and out of the way, we as a people can no longer plunge head-on into foolish venture”.
    Oba, in case you have not noticed, once anger and misunderstanding is involved in a debate, the would be contributors to the debate, simply abandon the subject. No matter how important the subject could be, the people simply say to themselves, ”Let nature take its course”.
    BJ. Rubin.

  23. Oba PaAb
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:36:12

    Johnny Rubin,

    I don’t know about you, the rest of what you wrote below notwithstanding.
    But all I know is, TZ does not have as a “national language”, one of those from the big or large tribes’ languages. Or maybe I am missing something?

    So, until you know exactly what you are talking about, I think it might be better to let it pass.

    I know you are waiting to make the announcement. I just hope you are not going to wait invain!

    “Having learned from the challenges I encountered and the fact that we cannot pretend not to know that Luganda is the most widely spoken language in the entire Uganda, I think that it is too early to make the announcement. Let us wait until the North and the wider East has learned and able to speak the language. “[Johnny Rubin]


  24. OCAYA pOcure
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:37:17

    Amoti RUBINO and fellow UAH folks,
    I think in Uganda, when we need a National Language we must take KISWAHILLI and none of the native languages!
    This is just my free thinking, but not hatred to Luganda. Because, though my children’s mother come from RUKUNGIRI my children Luo – Acoli language but not Lukiga! YES, my children frequent ACOLILAND, RUKUNGIRI, and BUGANDA in Entebbe on their ways back to Europe.
    In Entebbe they use both Luo – Acoli language and English. Sad as it is, they can’t talk in Lukiga language even when they are in RUKUNGIRI.

    OCAYA pOcure

    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:38:22


    I hope you paid dowry otherwise I will get the next flight to duly demand it!

  26. OCAYA pOcure
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:39:07

    Muko BARIGYE,
    Take it, my father was a very strong Catholic man. The old man before going to our ancester way back in 1975 told me not to stay with this NyaKigezi lady. Those days I was working in Arusha at the Works Divison of the EAC. This lady was married dry and my father went to KIGEZI with several of his brothers for that strong relationship building!
    So please do not worry becuase we CHOLIS are same seed with KIGAS. My father hate the issue of CHOLIS seed getting lost in Switzerland of western Uganda!

    OCAYA pOcure

  27. Jonny Rubin
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:45:54

    Dear friend Ocaya,
    You have made a very good point, in fact debating like this would encourage others to also make their reasons of choice known.
    I don’t have objection to Kiswahili for a national language if some people did not associate it with violence. I speak Kiswahili well and my children and most of my family members speak it as well. However, my choice of Luganda is simply a suggestion and not a matter of forcing people to agree with me, as some people may imply. Afterall, the government has the final word, but more importantly, whatever language the people will desire will spread naturally, although that will take a long time. We may also be surprised that, that language may be neither Luganda nor Kiswahili.
    Thanks for your idea.
    BJ. Rubin.

  28. Ocaya Mike pOcure
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 21:47:32

    Amoti Rubino,
    I think if there were a government, which had some commonsense. When they make the Constitution and when they know there exists some contentious issues it would be good if they put such issue on the Referendum. I think it could clears away what disturbs people’s minds!

    Wod paco OpaA and Muko BARIGYE,
    Might be becuase of some age. But, I meant to say my late father stated that he did not want me to stay with NyaKigezi lady for FREE without being married! That is why the dry marriage took place. This means true relationships between two young people those good days!

    OCAYA pOcure

    OCAYA pOcure

  29. Owor Kipenji
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 20:59:35

    Your narrative about the issue of a national language for Uganda is worth critiquing.
    There has been a substantial amount of mention of Luganda being best suited as a national
    language mainly based on the similar anecdotes that the late Abu Kakyama Mayanja had while
    serving as Education minister in the Amin government.
    Usually we are too often ready to jump the gun and come to conclusions without giving it much
    Uganda has existed for all the years that most of us know.Are the issues that we feel are against us
    a result of a lack of a national language? And secondly how would we define such a language?
    Many times we hop into bandwagons without understanding what it is all about.
    If despite all the differences et problems we have had,we have soldiered on,why now should that be the quintessential need to be addressed?
    The claim that luganda is widely spoken is not steeped on empirical data.What is true is that indeed
    luganda is spoken in some regions outside Buganda,notably the East up to Mbale.Beyond Mbale,it will be hard luck to find many of the indegenes of the region communicating in Luganda.
    I also know that it is a difficult sale to find the indegenes of Bunyoro and Toro or Ankole and the greater Kigezi communicating in Luganda.So what does that mean?
    That let everybody speak the language they are comfortable with in based on where they are.
    English can be used for all other purposes.
    The issue of Government encouraging use of indigenous languages in local locations is just political
    gimmickery.If you do not invest in people who are to do so,how does one expect that to be fulfilled?
    It is akin to the decree Amin gave on Swahili being a national language and it remained a white elephant.
    There was no efforts taken to come up with teachers and a syllabus that would be used in the process and so it became a stillbirth.
    So,seriously,we need to invest first in the processes that will help bring about whatever outcome we desire.
    As for luganda it would need training many teachers and then getting them a syllabus to follow not teaching people the street luganda that happens to be what people regard as the most spoken language.
    Most of these desires unfortunately can only be correctly done within the ambit of a federal government.
    So,for those wanting local languages to be taught in schools,think about federalism as the best way to achieve your dreams otherwise we shall always invest in Defense and security at the centre.

  30. richard gudoi
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 22:29:07

    Yes I read this with interest to note that some one just makes a comment to please the readership and may be confuse those who would like to deeply research on the bamasaba cultre and their origins.
    I canot therefore leave this to go un challenged.
    The bamasaba people first and foremost are one origin. Secondly our origin was from far north east of africa or beyond but my folks tell me we once lived in the mountains of abysinia. More so we used to graze our cattle far south the turkana lands up to great lakes region and we settled on mount elgon, our other folks came to the present day Buganda. clans like the ndiga clan, enkima clan, mpologoma clan ,correct me where I go wrong. The people of sese islands which was a craddle of the mamba clan was later much occupied by the bagisu who where haunted by their bamasa spirits to go back home and they went on renegade kunyolalingi e ssingo ,neck twisting fighter hence the banyoli people of kenya and uganda. the rusinga island people speak lumasaba, also the bamasaba people continued south wards and kept settling in DRC, down to south africa among the khotsa and others. Now the issue about the bagisu is that those from the north were largely forced to abandon their language and speak luganda. the baganda imperialists wanted to make eastern uganda sepak luganda which is at present day identifed in bibilical teaching in lunanda language, can u imagine! So our history was going to be distored by baganda who fronted everytwhere as masters. Thanks to the modernity that we now have to engage in reviing our history and language. Yes the bagand even as they were exercising the all inclusinve and abosrption policy they still remained challenged by the banyoro of bugangaizi, buwekula, etc, in KABALE THE BANAKIGEZI DEFEATED THEM , THE ADVANCE GROUP REMAINED IN ANKOLE, NAMELY KABERYEBERYE IS LOUD AND CLEAR, THE BATAGWENDA IS ANOTHER GROUP. The baganda hegmony was to continue to distort and absorp into their ranks other tribes or cimmunites like the bakooki are banyoro just find even the name of the dry lake kinja mpra nworwora! Imagine the banakasongora, the banyoli, bankenyi are but other communites who the bagand think these comuunities are baganda. Tome baganda as a tribe are very few even in number. the majority are other absorbed tribes absorbed in buganda. Therefore the bagisu from the north were to folow suite and become kiganda speakers which changed our dielect. I hope that his will put some clarity on some issue people dont know and may be the baganda historians or linguistic researchers would want to know. The original bamasaba or baisu practiced judaism and we have clear living testimonies to this, It is not that semei kangulu starte judaism but he found our fore fathers already practicing it snce it was areligion of our own floks and i have claer testimony to this. So baganda in the name of kakungulu as proud as any muganda would be at the time wanted everything best and peaceful to belong to or initiated by a muganda which is proved wrong. Whatever is best and good was a the origin of buganda which was wrong. so understadn this shitory verywell and rewrite books. It is well among our folks that if there is a big tomato and succulent would be from buganda, if one had bad manners is not kinganda maners, if the dog or chickenn is small is not kiganda, kiganda things were associated with the best which was wrong hence the imposition of kiganda language to be spoken by other communities was kiganda policy of absorptiion. Todate are many communites in buganda that would love to initiate and or revive their cultures to the shame of buganda culture. The bakooki maintain their culutre and profess in kinyoro. etc. God Bless our unity Uganda as a Nation. N o more tribes but one Uganda we all Love!

  31. Jay Bee
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 16:47:37

    This article has a good meaning and is of good intentions but the one who advertised it does not know Uganda in detail. It seemed to me that his theory is just based on reading books and travelling within Buganda territory.
    I wish to advise that the Swahili language will neutralize the tribal deference’s in Uganda and also link us to other Eastern Africa territories of whom were are trading with. Ugandan are finding it easy to integrate overseas because of English. Swahili will unite Uganda to other contries and make a strong East Africa
    Buganda is one of the tribes of Uganda and wonder why other tribes would be cheated by favouring Luganda !!! Everyone loves his own language. If it was not so then the whole world would speak English.

  32. NYAR from Sweden
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 13:13:32

    I once said elsewhere that all those proud of belonging to “Koki” and proud of being Baganda, but despise the Luo , a word poorly pronounced by Baganda (as usual…), should live with the pain of knowing that KOKI = KOCHI/KOCH/KOC , one of the Luo clans. I was ridiculed by none other than our Dr. Kayondo, Edirisi Kironde, among others. I still stand by my words.

    I also asked why the Balangira (Buganda’s royal family) are the only ones who don’t pride themselves of belonging to any of Buganda’s clans, and said it is because they are Luo by origin and have preferred not to join any of those Ganda clans. Edirisi Kironde and Dr. Kayondo were among those who poured lots of insults, instead of trying to discuss it. All knowledgeable Baganda know that the same spear used in the burial of Kabaka of Bunyoro/Bunyoro-Kitara is the same that was used for burying Buganda’s kings.

    When the Luos conquered Bunyoro, the leader told his brother to stay there while he continues to search for more fertile land……When he reached today’s Buganda, he found yet another very fertile land. He decided he would settle for it and leave the Bunyoro one for his brother. So, he sent his servants with a message to his brother in Bunyoro (King of Bunyoro-Kitara) with this message : “INI BED KI MERI, ANI ATYE KIMERA” When people heard the word KIMERA, they thought the kings name was KIMERE – hence Kabaka Kimera. Remember also – the name OYO, which is the name of the current king is OYO (which is a name given to a male child who is delivered on the way/under travel..) The word YO = road.

    ****When King of Bunyoro died, they had to send for the spear to be collected from his brother’s kingdom in Buganda – and this is not something you can simply sweep away….*****

    I also asked and/or challenged anybody to tell us if the word CHWA/CWA/CUA was a bantu work. Remember one of the Buganda king’s name was Kabaka Chwa. All I got was instults.

    I also asked and/or challenged anybody to tell us if it is not true that the people of IGANGA in Busoga (in Luo I GANGA) are not real Basoga. These people belong to one of Luo’s largest clans called RAMOGI – in Luo it is called ju/jaRAMOGI. This is the same clan as Oginga Odinga’s…….. This why the “Basoga” från Iganga area are called by BALAMOGI and/or BA LAMOGI. In my life time, I got only one Munyankole lady married to a Mulamogi (Ja Ramogi) who said what I was saying med sense to her for the first time – that her mother-in-law always told her that they (the Balamogi) are not real Basoga………

    Once again, I still stand by my words…………

    Anybody who read African history – a book written by (was it by Abort(?) should check for the part which talks about the Luo movement in search of fertile land. Does it still surprise you why all Luo tribes are found in areas that are very arable/fertile………..?

    These facts are out there for anybody who care to open the box and see what is inside it, despite some selfish people having collected some books and destroyed……..


  33. Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 13:18:22

    Nyar, it is true Abengabi, who are related to Kabaka Kimera, orginated from Bunyoro and were Luo. It is the same with Abenkoma and Abenseenene. So my inlaws were originally Luo and there is no doubt about that. It is also true the the ruling dynasities of Bunyoro, Buganda, Tooro, Kiziba, Busoga principalities, Bugwere (Walusansas) were Luo. The remnants of Bwecwezi were Bahinda of Ankole, and those of Karagwe, Rwanda, Burundi and Batsiesie of Balugya kingdom of Wanga in Kenya.

    l think nationalism and hot and cold wars between the twin nation states of Buganda and Bunyoro led people to conceal their background otherwise clans in the great lakes region cut across.

    The gap between the Luo and Bantu came after 1966 crisis when Obote not only abolished kingdoms but also treated kingdom areas as conquered and his government and army were seen as an occupation force. The situation remained so until NRM /NRA victory in 1986. But even then some Baganda ultra monarchists/federaists like Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu (he said so in C.A. in 1994) see Buganda as under occupation until it secedes or its federal status is restored.
    The council of institutions of traditional/cultural leaders can redeem the situation.
    But the most important is restoration of at least a quazi federal form of government in Uganda and realisation of an East Africa Federation.

    Hewry Ford Mirima one time he said l was a Mubiito of Kooki and now Bwera.
    My wife is of ngabi clan from Kooki so l know something about Bakooki.
    The Bakooki are proud of their being Baganda, this cuts across
    political elites like Maria lubega Mutagamba, tycoons like Gordon
    Wavamunno, and ordinary people.

    Bannabwera have been integrated so much in Buganda, whereby if some
    are called Bannabwera, they hear it as an insult or they think that
    the one calling them so is sectarian. With an exception of the
    pastoralist sub group from Bamooli who, due to the past nomadism, cut
    across the entire cattle corridor from Bugerere through Mawogola to
    Ankole, even the ruling Bamooli or Abengabi Emmmooli have been
    integrated in Buganda. l remember some time back Chief Muntu, whom,
    had been baptised “Ssabamoori” led his officials to Bulange Mmengo
    demanding for restoration of his role as head of the Abengabi Emmmooli
    clan and traditional leader of Bwera now Mawogola.

    As for Byuweekula, we all students of history. Buweekula was conquered
    by Kabaka Kayima, the father of Kabaka Muteesa l and is not among the
    counties that were conquered during Anglo-Baganda alliance. What is
    true is that at the time the British came, Omukama Kableega had
    managed to reclaim some of the conquered areas like Buweekula, North
    Singo (Kiboga-Kyankwanzi) , North Bulemeezi (Ng’oma), Buluuli, North
    Bugerere (Baale) but his forces were repulsed.

    Some of the counties like Butambala and Gomba, were originally
    Buganda, conquered by Bunyoro when Kabaka Nakibinge was killed, and
    Baganda run to Lake Victoria. When they were reclaimed by Buganda by
    Kabaka Kateregga, Bunyoro could not recognise that they had originally
    been Buganda.

    Counties like Buddu, Bwera and Kooki had been conquered much earlier
    and there is no body crying to go back to Bunyoro except a few
    opportunistic politicisns.

    In my case, l am neither a munnabwera (although my family has been in
    Bwera since 1900 and my grand fathers married Bannabwera wives
    excluding my grand mothers),nor a Mukooki (Bakooki are my in laws). l
    am a Munnabuddu, where my ancestor, Prince Kateregga is a discendent
    of Kabaka Kimera, who migrated from Kibulala in Singo. Prince
    Kateregga of Bukakkata existed before even Kabaka Kateregga, the 17th
    of post Kintu kings of Buganda. Kibulala is one of the coronation
    centres for the Kabaka of Buganda, and our nnaalinnya is Princess
    Kigga, daughter of Sir Edward Muteesa and sister to Kabaka Ronald
    Muwenda Mutebi ll.

    What is common is that with an exception of Bahinda of Nkore, all the
    ruling dynasities in Uganda are of Luo Babiito origins who came here
    during Luo invasion of East Africa from the Sudan.

  34. yowaana nyamutale
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 13:22:46

    Let me repeat it for the one millionth time, Banyoro do not hate
    Baganda. Indeed we have many things in common. We have inter-married
    extensively. My father married a Muganda beauty, a grand daughter of a
    Muganda occupation commander, Yozefu Lwasamayinja.

    Today our families are still very strong friends and we visit each
    other very frequently. I personally produced children from a Muganda
    girl. Our daughter is now working as a Registered Nurse in the USA.

    The present Katiikiro of Bunyoro-Kitara, Rev. Kasozi is a product of a
    Muganda mother. He is married to a Muganda wife. The list is endless.

    Is that hatred of Baganda? No.

    Our disagreement with Buganda is that British colonialists donated
    stolen land to Buganda. And this happens to be the most dear land to
    Bunyoro-Kitara because it containes a lot of our ancestrol sites.

    Mubende Hill, at the Nyakahuma site, is where our coronation rites
    used to take place. Today the site is in foreign land in Buganda.

    But, the most important reason is that the indigenous people in those
    Lost Counties are Banyoro who have refused to become Baganda. That is
    why Baruuli, Banyala, Bakooki, are yearning to speak their mother
    tongue, Runyoro-Rutooro.

    These people want to be allowed to make their own decesion as to
    where they would like to belong. And Buganda is forcefully denying
    them the opportunity.

    Buganda is sitting on Bunyoro land, yet the Uganda Government put it
    in the Uganda Constitution in 1995 that the Land Fund must be used to
    lure Baganda absentee land lords to surrenderr those illegally
    acquired land titles. The 1995 Constitution clearly calls upon Baganda
    to surender these title deeds and be paid funds from that Fund.

    But Baganda are refusing.

    Hence, until this dispute is settled, Banyoro will continue demanding
    for the return of the Lost counties. However, we make this demand in
    a friendly language. This channel has enabled the Baruuli, Banyala, to
    achieve their independence, and establishing their cultural leaders,
    the Isaabaruuli and Isaabanyala, without shedding blood like it was in
    the case of Buyaga and Bugangaizi where a bloody war was fought before
    the two counties were rescued.

    Therefore, Banyoro do not hate Baganda. We only need to recover our
    Lost counties.

    Henry Ford Miirima

  35. KILUTS
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 13:25:38

    we know how you are paid to keep this hatred live so that u divide and someone elase are talking abiout nonsese.nations conquerred others during are saying you can take back those thing is that you always talk about Buganda.why not claim ankole areas,tooro areas or evn areas in lango and nebbi which were under Bunyoro kitARA?
    THIS IS NONSENSEa and I assure you,you are wasiting time and better look something else to do.alot of Uganda land was transfered to kenya by colonialists,some went to congo and we gained some from others,what do u want to do now?

    You go to USA,many states were bought and aquired ,do you think it will ever happen to go back?Loussian was boought from the King Loius of spain.ALaska was bought from Russia and many others were either conqueerred or bought.what will never happen is changing bounderies either in Buganda or elsewhere .YOU should rather concetrate on oil which u will never even befefit are living in the past in the 21st century.Even UK will never give up FALKlands.Mzeei Mirima ,you are doing a diservice to your kingdom

  36. Ssalongo Ssennoga
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 13:26:42

    The dominant language in Buluuli and Bugerere counties is
    Luganda, which is not an issue anyway, but there is a more persistent
    use of languages from eastern Uganda than your alleged Lunyoro. There
    is Lukenye, Nuances of Lukedi/Lulamoogi, Lugisu and plenty of Lusoga
    in these two areas than you are likely to encounter Lunyoro.

    Please endeavour to check your facts before you go on to spread the hatred.


  37. Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 17:36:41

    to borrow from an interview l had with Rt. Hon. Kintu Musoke in 1994, there is no need for legislation to make Luganda national language, kanzu and gomesi, national dress, matooke national food. the moment you mention it, you get petty jealousy resistance. You just ignore it. As we go regional Kiswahili will be our regional language as English, and to an extent French, shall the official languagee But Luganda shall remain in the lead in Uganda, side by side with Runyakitara, Luo, Iteso and Lugbara.

  38. Abudul Semakula
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 17:37:31

    Members you cannot legislate a national language.The national language evolves according to the local conditions obtaining in a particular area.

    For Uganda despite all the petty jealousies surrounding this issue ,luganda has evolved as the national language because it is the most widely spoken language in the country.

    No amount of bogus legislation from whatever junta is sitting in Kla can change that.The South African apartheid regime tried to legislate Afrikaans as a national language.The opposition to this move included the Soweto riots in 1976 and the attempt failed miserably.

    The Banyakitara can try imposing Runyakitara as a national language but it is going to fail miserably because the Banyakitara make up less than ten percent of Uganda’s population and M7 regime is on its last legs.

  39. Henry Ford Miirima
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 17:39:06

    Owekitiinisa Ahamedi Kateregga,

    I wonder why you do not want to give out correct history and facts on
    matters of Buruuli, Bwera, Bunyala, Kooki, Buheekura, etc.

    Get this very clear. Baruuli, Bakooki, and Banyala leadership on many
    times have given orders to their own people to be proud of their
    mother tongue by speaking it in their homes, public places, etc. The
    Kaamuswaga officially, and publicly, told his cabinet to make sure
    Lukooki is taught in schools. Buruuli leadership went as far as
    officially banning the speaking of Luganda in Buruuli.

    By the way, Ahamed Katerega, if you care to research, go to the files
    where you keep past copies of your newspaper, BUKEDDE, two years ago,
    reported that the Kaamuswaga ordered his Government to make sure
    Lukooki is taught in schools.

    The Kaamuswaga also just last year issued a direcrive to Baakooki to
    speak Lukooki everywhere.

    The Baruuli, Banyala, Bakooki have orthographies and grammer documents
    of their languages.

    Agreed that Ruruuli, Runyala, Rukooki, are distict from
    Runyoro-Rutooro. But these languages are closer to Runyoro-Rutooro
    than to Luganda.

    Indeed, wnen Banyoro/Baruuli/Banyala/Bakooki meet they speak without
    interpreters as opposed to Baganda who do not undersrtand a word in
    Ruruuli, Runyala, and Lukooki.

    Owekitiinisa Kateregga you are a Mubiito from Bwera you should be
    proud of your ancestral roots from Omucwezi Kyomya and Lady Nyatworo
    the Luo woman.

    People like Booby Musoke and Richard Mukasa are saying Luganda is the
    language spoken in the Lost Counties. Agreed, Luganda is spoken there
    but who does not know the history of this develoment. Baganda colonial
    chiefs are responsible for this cultural colonisation.

    Let me remind you. Baganda colonial occupation rulers in the lost
    counties forced people to speak Luganda, and to even adopt Kiganda
    names, and to adopt Kiganda clans. That is what is referred to as
    cultural colonisation. It has persisted up to today. That is why you
    find Banyoro calling themselves Kiganda names like Nyombi, Mukasa,
    Lubega, etec.

    In addition to that Baganda occupation rulers launched a campaign to
    downgrade other languages and upgrade Luganda. That was a
    psychological warfare on Banyoro’s minds.

    The strategy worked because people, human nature, are easily deceived.

    Hence, Kateregga, you can launch an investigation and visit the
    innermost villages in Kooki, Buruuli, etc, there people do not know
    one word in Luganda.

    So, this saying that Luganda is spoken in Buruuli, etc, is deceptive.
    You might recall an incident when Brigadier Kasirye Gwanga was
    chairman of Mubende District when he shouted and reprimanded Banyoro
    who could not sing Kityibwa kya Buganda. They did not Luganda. Neither
    could they sing Buganda anthem, but Kasirye Gwanga shouted at them for
    not speaking and singing Luganda.

    Over to yu Kateregga.

    Henry Ford Miirima
    Press Secretary of the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara

  40. Moses Nekyon
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:38:13

    Ndugu Kateregga:

    There is a lot that mystifies me with this issue of national language.

    1) Its true that Luganda among all native languages in Uganda is more widely spoken. The question then is what is the origin of the resistance against its becoming the national language?

    2) Many of the leading candidates for national office speak workable Luganda especially seen during campaigns but not a single one of them advocates for it. In fact the majority of them prefer Swahili as the national language.

    3) Are there historical inhibitions that we can/could ignore in making this very important decision?


  41. George O. Pacu-Otto
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:39:32

    My friends,

    Luganda will never be a national language of Uganda. Many Ugandan
    people oppose it on so many grounds, above all because it was a
    language that was used to spread colonialism, in fact just as they
    oppose Swahili. My late father spoke fluent luganda, but he never
    allowed any of us his children to speak luganda. You would get a
    kiboko if you spoke even a single word of luganda. That is how strict
    he was he was. So for me who studied and worked in Buganda for almost
    9 years of my life, it is little wonder that I can not make even a
    simple sentence in luganda. I can struggle with swahili, I can
    understand it a little bit, but with luganda it is a complete blank.
    It is a language that is totally mentally blocked from my intellectual
    conciousness. I have learnt Asian, spanish and french languages,
    which are even more difficult to learn, but that is because I had a
    high interest in learning them, but I have had absolutely no interest
    in learning luganda.

    Same like my children, although I am not proud they don’t speak
    African languages, I want them to learn them, but like my late father,
    I don’t want any of my children to speak luganda. This is a personal
    decision and many people will accuse me of being a chauvinist, and
    they may well be right to do so. I prefer my children to speak their
    mother tongues that they can be confident in, complemented by English,
    French, Mandarin etc, but I totally object to my children speaking
    luganda, in fact they will never speak it in their life time.

    My 16 year old daughter is a school prefect, she goes to a catholic
    school. One day, she came back home and said, “you know daddy, those
    two Ugandan girls who speak a “funny” language, the “Miss” was having
    a go at them and I really felt sad” . The two girls are sisters who
    speak luganda at school most of the times and are ridiculed by other

    People who want to speak luganda, let them do so, but luganda should
    never be imposed as a “national language” because it will cause more
    chaos and even bitterness in the country.

    George O. Pacu-Otto

    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:41:20

    george, a national language should not be imposed. It will evolve. l hear that the likes of Eriya Kategaya, Amama Mbabazi, did not want to speak Luganda. While Kategaya has declined to do so during press conferences, Amama Mbabazi has tried.
    Likewise, l can try Runyakitara. But if l work in westertn Uganda, l have to speak it.
    If l was working in the north l would have learnt my clan’s original language, Luo.
    If l work in Kenya or Tanzania, l have to learn Kiswahili. If in Rwanda and Burundi , l have to learn Kinyarwanda/Kirundi.
    There is no language l hate, even English, the colonial language. l am just using it.

    Luganda’s problem is that Baganda chiefs acted as colonial agents in the rest of the country. But the same Baganda also acted as evangelists not only in Uganda but also in western Kenya and eastern DR Congo, noth west Tanzania, and Rwanda.

  43. kiluts
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:43:03

    calm down. a national language evolves itself . whether you want o speak it or not. it is not important but the audience you live in will force you.the whites too learned swahili etc.. i cant even waste time on this. Luganda in now in sudan . IN arua it is widely spoken.In kigali too .so, people `s sentiments should be respected and the language should not be imposed it will evolve .eastern Uganda , it is widely spoken and for sure ,people in tororo use Luganda bibles.

    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:43:41

    I’m not a ‘Muganda’ but it would be okay with me if we made Luganda our National Language. Besides other reasons already expressed, the name of our country itself is “Uganda” which is just another way of saying “Buganda”. If in they speak “Rwandese” in Rwanda, “Chinese” in China, “Japanese” in Japan, and “English” in England, what should we speak in Uganda? In Kenya they refer to all Ugandans as “Waganda”!

    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:45:13


  46. Moses Ocen Nekyon
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 15:46:57

    Ndugu Kateregga:

    Based on your assertions then Swahili would have experienced the same problems in Kenya and Tanzania.

    The use of Swahili was introduced in East Africa by the colonialist as a language of administration especially in the coercive Forces.

    Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Jomo Kenyatta, appreciated its nation building properties and made it a language of instruction in schools.

    Let us deal with the reality. English as a national and official language had to be imposed for it to become effective.

    The idea that a language has to evolve in order for it to become a national language is fantasy at best.

    Swahili in Tanzania and Kenya had to be imposed. Especially in Tanzania where Mwalimu Nyerere quickly appreciated it as an asset in nation building.

    Government workers and members of the armed forces once in work place or uniform, are strictly forbidden from talking their mother tongues.

    I do not know what the penalty is/was for doing so although I suspect dismissal was it.

    So let us deal with this issue realistically.In sheer numbers in the whole of East Africa, there are more Swahili speakers than Luganda ones.

    So your yardstick will not fly.


  47. Taff Rashid.
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 02:11:48

    I read all the different suggestions and arguments/discussions and this i did with uganda very close to my heart.As i am of asian origin,had to leave in the 1972 exodus so i am totally unbaised in my opinion.I think what ever the national language it needs to be read, spoken and written for it to of any use globally.To unite the people of uganda, swahili could be taught in school and be mandatory till at least senior 4 at school.This would allow as is at present for parents to teach their mother tongues to their children so as not to lose their traditional backgrounds and tribal languages.Bearing in mind not all children will attend school unless the government allows for free educations and that also to the most remote parts of the country.English can still be used as it has in the past;ugandans will not lose their identities nor traditions if parents took the pain to teach their children of these and also spoke a language of their own choice at home.As we move forward globally, years will go by and the people of uganda will harmonise.They will have the benefits of being educated in at least two languages and also be literate enough to write their own tribal language in the same alphabet,which is crucial.It may take a generation but hopefully a united nation will emerge a lot stronger which is what is really the issue.In the meantime English can stay as the language of global communication;if any other tribal language flourishes all over in the meantime it would only mean that the educated wil be l multi-lingual not only spoken but written as well.I love uganda though i have been away since 1972 and now an independent uganda moving foward in unity is my heart-felt wish for a country i have always and still love dearly.And i have just begun to learn rutoro and also luganda on the internet.I do speak a few words of each and a little bit of swahili so no harm there .LONG LIVE UGANDA IN PEACE….aloo………….PS I DO NO WISH TO ENTER A DEBATE .Thank you.

  48. prossy
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 19:33:30

    If. Luganda is scrabbed of the syallabus what next. Since the ideal of reducing the sugjects to seven. What other lauguage will be taught in uganda.

  49. semuwemba
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 12:39:43

    Very good suggestion. I think the Luganda language is very good if it is not seen as a language of the Baganda. I watched interviews of the Uganda Cranses before they faced Zambia and all the boys spoke perfect Luganda! Amazing! I remember when Hon Mao annoyed Prez Museveni by saying he speaks better Luganda than him, its seems being accused of speaking bad Luganda cannot be taken kindly by a sitting Ugandan president! But my big question, Dear Abbey and the rest is: How can Ganda culture spread when it has been mostly abandoned by the ethnic/genetic Baganda? I have over the last seven years bee trying to ‘develop’ in the villages of Buikwe, and the biggest obstacle are the Baganda people there who act so unlike a Muganda should. They hate work, they are disloyal, they are drunk, they steal, steal and steal. So, who will champion the Ganda culture which, if I remember, was based on courage, hard work, loyalty?

    Joachim Buwembo

    Jun 09, 2013 @ 03:52:55

    I am seriously YAWNINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG… about these endless white elephant projects! I mean, how many Chinese are forced (by the Chinese Communist Party) to speak English in order to be able to trade with Americans, English and the rest of the English-speaking world? ZERO!!!!! Germany, for instance, trades pretty much profitably well with France (and conversely!) – both members of the European Union -, without having the recourse to a ‘common’ (European) language to do business. Frankly speaking, this manner of forcing an East African “common language” onto Ugandans “in order for them to be able to do business in East Africa” is, to me, simply the usual suspect zero-some politics.

    Jun 09, 2013 @ 03:56:35

    He’s simply trying to close the stable door after the horse has already bolted. For several decades now since pre-colonial days to date, Luganda has turned into the country’s lingua franca (i.e. trade or business language/working language/bridge language/vehicular language) and has thus become a unifying language to so many Ugandans (and non-Ugandans alike) from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds. And with its obvious lingua franca status within and beyond Uganda borders, Luganda needs neither a salesman nor a supporter. And, gladly, that’s the whole truth about it

    The Sapir-Whorfian Hypothesis, a linguistic/language theory matter-of-factly, talks about language relativism and how some languages naturally gain popularity over others over a period of time. Languages become popular over others not out forceful imposition but rather out of unavoidable necessity for them to be applied by a cross-section of a people living far and wide. Therefore, to expect that Swahili will be spoken by and/or be imposed onto an unwilling lot of Ugandans is to simply put the cart before the horse. It simply won’t work! Yes, probably Swahili could be an official language, just like English is, for Uganda but will NEVER EVER achieve a practical applicability as the national language for Uganda. As a matter of fact, the pending question of a national language for Uganda will naturally and progressively sort itself out.

    1) The European Union, one of the world’s most robust economic blocks, has no common language amongst members of the Union. In spite of this fact, member states of the union, including individual citizens of these states within the union, have never found any limitation in doing business with one another. They are comfortable using their own ‘native tongues’ while doing business with one another. So, lesson no. 1 is that my grandmother, for example, does not need Swahili for her to be able to do business with another Ugandan living far beyond her regional boundaries.
    2) The Chinese are literally walking allover Africa in search of new business opportunities and/or consolidating old ones. The same folks are also doing briskly business with Europe, the Americas Interestingly, however, whereas Chinese could be the world’s most spoken language in the world with an estimated number of native speakers being ca. 1.5 billion, the American, European or African business folks doing business with the Chinese do not, surprisingly, use and/or need Chinese to do business with them. Rather, the medium of communication between the Chinese and the rest of the world while doing business is English. Reason? Because English is the international lingua franca. So, lesson no.2 is: It’s not about how many people speak a particular language that necessarily determines the lingua franca status of a language but rather it’s the NECESSITY with which folks find in using a particular language to do business.
    3) The fact of Luganda being the country’s lingua franca is real. The fact that Swahili has on the other hand miserably failed to make a natural impression onto a whole bunch of Ugandans for a very long period of time is also real. The Colonial government fumbled with the idea of the Swahilinizing Ugandans but it hopelessly floundered. Same with all the subsequent post-colonial Uganda governments. To be frank with you Ocen, I strongly believe that this ‘Swahilinization’ project is nothing else but an expression of sentimental politics by our politicians. Period! Having a common language, Swahili or otherwise, cannot and will not put food on the table of many struggling Ugandans the majority of whom live of subsistent agriculture.

    Jun 09, 2013 @ 04:00:51

    Ndugu Alvin;
    The sad fact is this;
    1) Yes every country in the EU has been protective over their languages. But those are their national languages not tribal ones. Even then most of their international trade is conducted in English. Germans killed out most of their small ethnic dialects by emphasizing German.
    2) Some of the best speakers of English are Scandinavians. Some even speak it better than the English who still held onto Cockney which drives me nuts. I do not think that is just a coincidence.
    3) Your Grandmother’s, bless her heart; business outreach may not go beyond her Village or wherever she resides. Those are just tough facts my brother.
    4) One of my best friends used to be an ardent opponent of Swahili. His view was tinted by the Ugandan/Tanzanian War. He had no kind words for the ‘Wakombozi’ and their ilk. Any suggestion of Swahili as a national language was strongly rebuffed.
    But with life the truth is stranger than fiction. He is very successful in the IT field and has moved up the ranks. Guess what he has been promoted to Regional Manager of IT covering Kenya, TZ, Rwanda and Burundi. The fellow is cursing himself for not having picked up Swahili as a language earlier. He has enrolled for classes at the University of Dar where there a great number of Ugandans doing the same.
    I wish I was making this stuff up.

    We forget that China’s national language is Chinese. The simple reason is that it’s full of people who call themselves Chinese.
    Uganda is made up of only 17% Baganda. Now we are being told it’s okay to force Luganda on the rest of us but it is not okay to force Swahili?
    Strange people called Ugandans!

    As I previously stated; any businessman worth his Salt now thinks East Africa and Way beyond Uganda.
    Let us look at the other side of the coin. The attempt to make Luganda the Lingua Franca of Uganda started before Independence. Why has it taken so long?
    You folks stubbornly refuse to observe some obvious facts:
    1) Most advocates for Luganda are Baganda while the biggest Champions for Swahili are non Baganda in Uganda. Take a poll here and you will see.
    2) Wait a minute UAH already did. I wish Abbey could publish the results.
    3) When the 5 countries that make up the EA community, were discussing which language should be adopted or re adopted as the regional language, I am sorry to say Luganda never came up.
    4) The irony of all this is that probably the best speakers of Swahili are the Baganda. Back in the day many of the Swahili news readers were from the Central Region.
    Stubborn facts are just that, stubborn.


  53. frank mujabi
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:41:55

    Rwanda’s unofficial second language: Luganda (2009)−

    You no longer hear so much Kirundi or Congolese Lingala or even Swahili spoken on the streets of the country’s major towns. A decade and a half after the end of mass exile for many Rwandans, Kinyarwanda is the preferred mode of communication – with Luganda a close second! And with every passing year it seems as if speakers of the language in this country only increase.
    We could find no sociologist to explain the reason behind the language’s
    growing popularity, so we sent our reporter Sam Ruburika into the streets of Kigali to try to come up with some anecdotal answers to the question.
    No question about it, Luganda is a very popular language in and around Kigali, if not in Nyagatare where I was only the other day! Walk into any bar or restaurant and you are likely to hear a conversation like this: “owange, emirimu munnaku zinno si mingi oba tuyiiye kki? That is some Rwandan telling another of the hard economic times he is experiencing. Or, “enkya nkera kwatta baasi ya kumi neemu.” This is another Rwandan informing his girlfriend he will be on a very early bus to some destination.
    The interesting thing is that these people are likely to be fluent in their own language, Kinyarwanda, but prefer to communicate in Luganda. Also, this is likely not to be just a case of people who were born in Uganda growing up with the language. The speakers could as well be Rwandans who never lived anywhere near Uganda but for some reason decided to learn that country’s lingua franca.
    There are certain areas of Kigali such as Gatsata, Nyabugogo and Giporoso that are well-known as Luganda speaking enclaves.
    Immediately after the Genocide these places had an influx of Luganda speakers, Rwandans who either went to Uganda fleeing earlier pogroms and ethnic cleansing campaigns in the early sixties or those born in exile. But Ugandans looking for opportunity in the shell shocked country came in many numbers as well, contributing to disseminating Luganda in the country.
    In the invading army, the RPF, the situation was even more pronounced. Almost all the fighting men and women, from the topmost commanders to the lowliest private, they all spoke Luganda. President Kagame himself knows the language.
    So naturally those fighting men and women who joined the armed struggle from Burundi, the then Zaire, Tanzania and other countries soon became fluent Luganda speakers themselves.
    Sounding sexy
    Why have so many Rwandans decided to learn Luganda? The first obvious reason is the perception that the most influential people in the government speak the language, so if you want opportunity you better be able to have a serviceable knowledge of it. It doesn’t matter whether or not there is substance to this perception, it still is there.
    But many others have no such considerations. Jean Paul Gashugi for instance is a lowly worker in a car repair workshop (garage). But he has a command of Luganda, having learnt it in the workshop.
    “Understanding the language helped me to learn mechanics because my instructors at the garage spoke Luganda,” Gashugi says.
    Others say they learnt Luganda just for the pleasure of it. “My neighbors spoke it and I just liked the language because to me it sounded sexy so as time went on I began speaking the language fluently,” one Alphonse Kayitare remarks.
    Commerce also has a role in gaining the language ever newer speakers in Rwanda. Right after the war, almost 90 percent of the imported goods Rwandans consumed either were from Uganda or imported through the country. For businessmen to be able to communicate in Uganda they were forced to learn Luganda.
    “When I moved into business after the war, I always took
    a translator to Uganda to help me purchase goods,” Yves Muvunyi, a Kigali trader says.
    Currently many Rwandan traders are involved in cross border trade between the two countries. The continuous movement has necessitated learning of Luganda by Rwandans as it is the trader’s language in Uganda.
    A taste for the language
    But Luganda’s growth in the country has more reasons. Food for instance. There are numerous restaurants in Kigali that are well known for their Ugandan dishes such as umunyigi, (steamed mashed bananas), Katogo (banana fingers cooked with beef or beans) and many other dishes.
    When these restaurants began opening shop Ugandans living in Rwanda and Rwandans with a Ugandan origin were their main clients. However the trend has changed as other Rwandans develop a taste for Ugandan food. And with that a taste for Luganda.
    “Whoever enters this restaurant, they are influenced by their friends to try the language and after a few months they can speak a few words well,” Grace Nantongo a restaurant proprietor in Kigali says.
    Entertainment has also contributed to Luganda’s popularity among Rwandans. For example, Ugandan music appeals to many Rwandans. This is especially evident with the song requests on popular radio shows such as Ekikesa and Muna U.

    Ugandan artists like Jose Chameleon and Juliana Kanyomozi are household names.
    “I was tired of nagging people to translate Chameleon’s lyrics for me and so I decided to learn Luganda with the help of my friends,” says Solange Iribagiza a teenager of Gikondo.
    Luganda is spoken in some offices as one of the languages between employees or while they are chatting on their mobile phones. “Luganda is the easiest language that I feel comfortable discussing in, and talking with friends. In fact I really enjoy speaking the language with my workmates,” says Joyce Mutamba, an employee with Rwanda Motors.
    ‘Native’ speakers
    Some Rwandan party goers prefer to spend their weekends in Kampala due to the night life which they deem a better choice compared to Kigali. Once there they communicate in Luganda, or try to learn it.
    On any given weekend in Kampala’s popular night spots, it is not surprising to find throngs of Rwandans who have crossed over. This has also contributed to more Luganda speakers in the country as they share their experiences with friends and relatives. “I learnt Luganda through hanging out with Luganda-speaking friends,” one Rose Kabatesi told this writer.
    Some Rwandans cross over to Uganda for visiting purposes and to prove stories that they were told by their counterparts who have been there before. “I have been to Uganda twice but before I went I had got some Luganda lessons from my friends who lived there.”
    But one of the biggest reasons Luganda is likely to be around for a long time is that many Rwandan parents take their children to Ugandan schools. They feel these schools will give the offspring a better grounding in English which has rapidly replaced French as the language of the offices and official business.
    The children obviously will mix with Ugandan children, and they will learn to speak Luganda like natives—as many already do.

  54. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:43:52


    Can anyone of you please show me what part of the constitution requires the national language to be indigenous? Most constitutions around the world do not have those requirements.

    This language, Swahili we fighting over is not even Indigenous to Kenya or Tanzania where it is widely used. Swahili’s birthplace is the Comoros Islands. It was introduced as a language of instruction and administration by the Germans.

    If Swahili is made up of more than 85% Bantu words and pronunciations how could it be deemed foreign? Please let us choose our words carefully.

    The languages spoken in the EU are national and not native languages.

    Your right; the Baganda do not have to take up Swahili but that should not prevent the rest of us from adopting Swahili.


  55. Alvin Sserunkuuma-Ssekabembe
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:45:14


    1) Where is that school found in Uganda? If it should be the Jr. School at Kisubi I know acronym, then I might have to probe a little deeper. Were you spanked because of not speaking Luganda or were you spanked because of speaking a vernacular, Luganda or otherwise, which actually used to be a pretty typical exercise in many schools around the country? During my grade-year school experience in Ugandan schools, we used to be spanked for speaking ‘vernacular’ (Luganda, on school compound. Emphasis was on the acquisition of English language competence by all means. Now, I am wondering whether Savio (@ Kisubi??) could really have sanctioned you for not speaking Luganda! Hmmm! Strange!

    2) FYI, not all Germans speak Hochdeutsch (Standard German). That’s what I used to think before I had my first-hand experience with Germany. There are still lots of dialects being used by a diversity of German folks in the different German states of which a whole bunch of Germans are pretty much proud. And BTW, not all Germans speak and/or understand Hochdeutsch! However, that does not hinder their business transaction, when and wherever it’s carries out. The same applies to other European states, including the UK, with their respective diversity of dialects.

    3) Yes, most of the European folks, with the amazing exception of a majority of nationals, feel pretty much proud of speaking a smattering of English. But guess what? The Germans, for instance, would feel pretty more “elevated” in status if they spoke English with a foreigner in public. They attach a social status to German speakers of the English language, particularly of North American English accents. Nonetheless, the Federal Republic of Germany has neither dedicated special funds for Germans to learn English nor encouraged its nationals to do. Necessity has however encouraged some Germans to learn English, French, Spanish or even Arabic!!

    4) Well, the fact that Baganda could be one of the best (?) speakers of Swahili would not surprise me. After all, Swahili is basically a Bantu Language. Nonetheless, it would surprise anyone, not least the British colonial government, that a people whose own native language probably lends a good amount of vocabulary to Swahili would be pretty much averse to speak this very language! I would also be surprised that if the Baganda have for long been hesitant to adopt Swahili as a “national??” language, why the rest of other nationalities in Uganda would follow suit??

    5) I am really wondering whether your friend who got a job as an IT expert in TZ got it owing to his language competence in Swahili? From the narrative, I believe your friend got that job because of his favorably competent skills in his trade over other candidates. So, the knowledge of Swahili alone could definitely not be the compelling evidence for many Ugandans to rush to learn Swahili to go get jobs in Kenya or TZ. Otherwise, there would not be jobless graduates in TZ and Kenya with their leverage of Swahili competence over Ugandans!

    6) While I also agree with you that Luganda – or any other language for that matter – should not be forced down the throats of Ugandans, Swahili cannot be the national language for Uganda. That’s would indeed be a most ridiculous idea! A national language naturally evolves from within and NOT from without! I will repeat: There’s no need to build more white elephant projects in Uganda with the Ugandan taxpayers’ monies being spent on this swahilinization project. A truly national language will naturally evolve for Uganda. And I would really careless whether this turns out to be Luo, Gishu, Soga, Ganda, Nkore … language as long as it’s truly evolving from one of the /several Ugandan language(s).

  56. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:46:03


    There is only one school called St Mary’s Savio in Uganda located at Kasubi. And yes non Baganda kids were canned for failing the subject. My friend who told me about it comes from Kigaland because he was constant victim. That was until his Mother threatened the teacher with Taekwondo Kigali style that the canning stopped.

    2) Your right that Germans in the principality States still maintain there local dialects which is how I view the likes of Luganda. I am not advocating the killing of native languages. What I am saying is that the conduct of national and official business should be done with English and Swahili as stipulated by our constitution. If You want to speak Luganda in your private compounds, clans and during Bika football games, you will not hear a word from me. National business is national business.

    3) In Russia and most of the Baltic states, the language of business is Russian. You want to know why? Because it was imposed by the man known as the Red Czar, Joseph Dzughazvili Stalin. The funny thing is that he was not even Russian but from the tiny state of Georgia.

    4) How do you think English was picked up by Scandinavians and Germans? It was taught as a compulsory subject. So this business of evolving is how fairy tales are made.


  57. Alvin Sserunkuuma-Ssekabembe
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:47:16


    1) The narrative seems to be changing every time you make a new posting on the subject. First, the narrative was “Now we are being told it’s okay to force Luganda on [to] the rest of us…”, then next it became “I could narrate stories of kids getting canned for refusing to learn Luganda in Savio” and then finally the narrative nosedived to “And yes non Baganda kids were canned for failing the subject.” My cross examination of the three statements, and most particularly the two statements viz. I could narrate stories of kids getting canned for refusing to learn Luganda in Savio”// “And yes non Baganda kids were canned for failing the subject.” reveals that there is an incontrovertible proof of the fact that you are being untruthful with or rather subjective of the submissions you are advancing against Luganda. But suffice to say that this discussion is evidently on the open table over which the rest of contributors on the subject can make their own judgment on who is objective (or subjective) on the matter under discussion. My last parting shot on this one would only be to wonder aloud why anyone would be so much dying, literally, to impose “The language, [which] is not even indigenous to Kenya or Tanzania where it is widely used… [but whose] …birthplace is the Comoros Islands…[after having been]…introduced as a language of instruction and administration by the Germans.” Strange, or is it not?

    2) I am glad though that you now mention that you do not support the killing of our beautiful Ugandan/African indigenous languages. Anybody who advocates for the Swahilinization of Ugandans would only have to regret the enormous damage Swahili has majorly inflicted onto not only the indigenous languages of the Tanzanian folks but also to their cultural heritage. In contrast to Germans, I would possibly have to inform you that more than 80% of Hochdeutsch [=Standard German) is originally Prussian whose speakers were the dominant sub-ethnic group in Germany! Apropos, I have keenly read the 1995 Uganda Constitution and as amended in 2005 but I have not seen anywhere it being written to the effect that Swahili is/will be the national language of Uganda. Mention of it is only in reference to it being the 2nd official Uganda”. Thus Chapter Two (Article 6 1-2) of the 1995 Constitution and as amended in 2005 talk of the official languages being (1) English (2) Swahili. However, there is Art. 3 which says that “…any other language may be used as medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law”. So whereas there was evident attempts to smuggle back Swahili into the constitution as a national language, the framers of the 1995 constitution were prudent enough to know how unsustainable it was for them to impose a foreign as a “national language” onto Ugandans! BTW, at the beginning of this, I travelled across Eastern Uganda going through major towns of Busoga, Mbale, Teso, Katakwi, etc and guess what I found and heard on ground? The fols were listening in to Luganda songs/songs sung in Luganda, watching movies of Lugnada translations in Bibanda, Bukedde’s Agataliiko Nfuufu, etc. In the guest house I spent a night in Teso Town, my hosts spoke politely to me in flawless Luganda. The story is not much different from the last time (ca. 10 years ago) when I touched base with major towns in Western Uganda. BTW, could anyone help explain to me why always President Museveni speaks in Luganda and NOT Swahili during all his inaugural speeches and other ‘national’ occasions?? So Ocen, you see that Luganda is definitely not only spoken “… in [our] private compounds, clans and during Bika football games …” but almost everywhere beyond the borders of Buganda.

    3) “In Russia and most of the Baltic states, the language of business is Russian.” Oh, you bet my dear brother. You could only have forgotten to remember that Russia within the Baltics, and just like Buganda, was the pivotal center around which politics, economics and culture of that part of the world revolved. It was only natural that its influence could be spread far and wide to the rest of the republic. And that’s not the exception but the norm in many parts of the world for the most dominant component of the nation-state to spread its influences to the rest of the entity/-ies.

    3) “How do you think English was picked up by Scandinavians and Germans? It was taught as a compulsory subject” Well, I won’t speak so much for the Scandinavians because that’s to me not so much of a familiar territory. I would prefer to speak about a country which is my 2nd home after Uganda. The claim that Germans have once been forced to learn English in school “…as a compulsory subject” is rather a careless one because there’s no empirical evidence for this claim, Ocen. But suffice to know that just like we were given options in Ugandan high schools to learn either French or German, the same goes for many other countries including but not limited to Germany. At my high school, I personally elected to learn German instead of French. I later took on French in later years while in Europe after having realized the necessity of it in the place I used to work. But I can’t tell anyone sane that I was forced to learn German or French. It could be the case in Scandinavia (or may be not) but certainly not in Germany. That’s why I earlier on informed you that many Germans do not speak German but would make every effort to be associated with the language on account of its assumed (if only real!) social status in the world. After all, English is the unofficial lingua franca/business language of the world. So please kindly stop your half-truths about Luganda, Swahili and the rest of it!

  58. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:47:59


    You guys, your hair seems to be on fire today!

    Go and check any ethnic breakdown of the different groupings that make up Uganda and you will see the same number or there abouts. The CIA says the same.

    If you want to see conspiracy in how low that number is according to you, please be my guest.

    My quest is to have Swahili taught in schools and become the de facto national language.

    Now if my brothers Frank and Bobby do not want to speak it, of what consequence is that to me in losing my sleep?

    As to building of the Tutsi Empire, why use Swahili and not Kinyarwanda as the language De Jure?


  59. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:49:19


    It is kind of sad when you try to disown the source of the questions I was trying to answer.

    You asked for proof of Luganda being imposed which I duly provided and you claimed that you would check on it. Now where does the issue of a changing narrative come into play?

    I stand by my facts in regards to the origins of Swahili which I have researched extensively on.
    Ask any Tanzanian about Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s greatest achievement and they will tell you the making of Swahili as a tool of nation building.

    It’s kind of funny how you a non Tanzanian is complaining about the destruction of native Tanzanian cultures while they are not.

    Your right that has come at the expense of native languages but it’s greatest victim is Tribalism. I sometimes laugh when I see my brother Frank Mujabi and the likes, complaining about M7 and his tribal tendencies while at the same time promoting Buganda’s Supremacy.

    “Swahili trying to be smuggled into the constitution” is the kind of careless statement one shakes their head to. Your trying to create the impression that Swahili is some kind contraband that requires such an action for it to take root.

    Where in my submission did I ever state that it is the national language. What stated is that I want it to become the national language. In fact if it’s enshrined as a 2nd Official language, that is even more assertive than it being a national language.

    It is true that if you went to Eastern Uganda you will find a lot people who speak fluent Luganda. But here is another interesting tid bit; around the boarder area with Kenya, many of the tribes there speak good Swahili. In parts of Buganda. There people who speak Kinyarwanda, Lunyoro and Kinyala. How do you account for that?

    As to the application of Russian relative to Luganda. The resistance to Luganda as national language has historical and political overtones that one cannot ignore.

    The speaking of Luganda was imposed on tribes that had been subjugated by the British. By using the Saza Chiefs as agents of the language it was only a matter of time for its spreading.

    So this business of evolving a language has fantasy written all over it that does not conform with reality.


  60. Moses Kizza Musaazi
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:49:59

    Dear Ocen,
    Why don’t you first analyze the Kiswahili uptake in Uganda since Idi Amin declared it the, yes THE, National AND Official language in Uganda over 35 years ago? Are you trying to hide your Ugandan identity? Choose another Ugandan language and I shall support you. English is an international language, Kiswahili is a regional language for God’s sake!
    Best Regards, Moses Musaazi

  61. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:50:27


    When did Swahili stop being an International language? If my memory serves me correctly One can address the UN General Assembly with it.

    What gives you the convoluted idea that I am trying to hide my Ugandan identity?

    Why not apply the same standard I’m judgement to English?

    You guys are amazing.


  62. mulindwa edward
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:51:08

    Because I was tired to eat from a Taliban restaurant on Dundas street in Toronto. What is your next question sir?

    Where is Abbey Ssemuwemba when one needs one? Geez !!!

    ON the 49th

  63. matovu
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 11:43:25

    Luganda is not at all romantic as l gat new Things l know in English but they are not in luganda. For instance what do we call orgasms?

  64. luwaga michael
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 17:10:30

    I have travelled to various towns in Uganda but you will always find people communicating in luganda. Even those who cant speak it when you speak they will know you are speaking luganda. Go to Moroto, Gulu, Arua etc. Luganda is easy to learn so i call upon every one to embrace the language. The president himself on national events in Kololo speaks luganda. And by the way whether you admit or not Buganda is the heart of Uganda. Luganda is taught in London and was used in the census. How comes the Europeans see the treasure that belongs to you but you cant see it!!! On the point of swahili ugandans know it as a language of thieves, and soldiers so we dont want it. English is perfect but its a foreign language still, so luganda takes the first position. Luwaga Michael.

  65. Yak Kirimwengo
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:08:08

    LUGANDA(NOT SWAHILI) SHOULD BE OUR NATIONAL LANGUAGE:During the 18th century, Sweden was lagging behind many western European countries. Its economy was small, its labour force was semi-skilled, Its level of science and technology was far behind, Its language, -Swedes, was incapable of articulating advanced knowledge and skills in science and technology. They were using English language as a medium of instruction in secondary and postsecondary institutions. Towards the end of the 18th century, Sweden embarked on a project that laid a foundation for the modernization of Swedes language. The project was fully funded by the govt. They got a break through, with a systematic Terminology elaboration and development of Swedes. They embarked on translating almost all major study books into their language. Within 20 years, Sweden was elevated to developed country status. Other example are found in East Asian countries like Malasia, Korea, Singapole etc.

    Quoting Dr. Kibuuka Kiingi : “A society that uses a foreign language as its main medium of scientifico-technological education can hardly advance scientifico-technologically”

    What National Language(s) should Uganda govt develop?

    Mandatory Requirements:

    1. The language is spoken by many ( economical) as 1st language in the country

    2. The language has potential to expand and develop, to be used by the masses to acquire skills and modern knowledge, essential for developing a country.

    3. The language is currently used nationwide and or regional wide for transacting formal and informal businesses among people.

    Swahili in Uganda

    Swahili does not meet #1 & 2 above.

    As for # 3, it meets the “regional wide” part but not nationwide in Uganda.

    – How many Swahili newspapers are being sold in Uganda?

    – How many Offices, Immigration centres/ port of entry, Commercial stores, Training Institutions etc uses Swahili in Uganda?

    – How many Ugandans can read or write or understand Swahili at the level being spoken/written/read on Swahili TV news or Taifa Mpya in Kenya or Tanzania? Answer: Less than 5,000 Ugandans.

    What about Swahili’s potential ( #2 above)?

    Modernization of Swahili has received vast amount of funding in the last 40 years by the governments of Tanzania, Kenya, and Universities all over the world. Many have obtained Phds, many of them foreigners. Search for “Kamusi” project in Google, you will see. Unfortunately, those PHDs are in fields that are not linked to Science and Technology elaboration and modernization. They have not reached that level required for development as per DR. Kibuuka’s ( and many others) quotation above. Most of those researchers do not have advanced knowledge of science and technology, they are limited in science terminology research.

    As additional requirements to be granted a Dr. of letters, Dr. Kibuuka was asked to do a research on Swahili- why Swahili has failed modernization in science and technology. Some of the reasons include :

    – Swahili’s grammar is mixed between Bantu and Arabic, whose structures are different, therefore do not meet the systematic elaboration rules.

    Who is Dr. Kibuuka Kiingi?

    He’s a Senior Lecturer at KIU and MUK. He obtained his PHD in German Linguistics in University of Born. He obtained his Dr. of letters at Kenyatta University. His studies involved modernization of Luganda and Bantu languages in Science and Technology. It is the 1st DR. of Lit to be awarded at Kenyatta University and in East & Central Africa. That was in early 1990’s. I’m not sure how many have DR. Of Letters ( obtained through examinations) awarded by Makerere University. May be 1 or 2. The rest are honorary DR. of Letters.

    If you are aware of any other DR. of letter ( not honorary) awarded by any East African University, please let us know. We need to recognise them.

    The case for Luganda.

    Luganda meets requirements 1 & 2, plus half of 3- nationwide. It has not reached the regional level, however it has penetrated many regional countries like Rwanda and Juba.

    For more information on the modernisation and terminology elaboration of Luganda, visit the Researchers’ website at: under “ UPDATES”


    Uganda govt should recognize at least 3 major Uganda languages as National languages, thereby attract national funding in research & development. These should be 1) Luganda 2) Runyakitara 3) Luo. Over years, one or two will emerge by natural forces as the sole national language.

    Yak Kirimwengo

  66. Rev. Jessica Nakawombe
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:12:15

    Exactly. Thanks.
    To many Ugandans especially Baganda, Swahili will remain a language of thugs, bandits and dishonest people and murderers.

    Yet in Kenya and Tanzania it is much different.

    But who cares! We are different in every way.

    USSR imposed the Russian language on all those countries they subjugated and opressed. After its fall. These countries have resorted back to their native languages and even purged out Russian implications.

    Even the Scots and Welsh have demanded for their languages apart from English, and their demands have been met. Welsh and Scot is being reintroduced at a fast rate in Wales and Scotland.

    I remember Banyarwanda in the GSU General Service Unit of Obote I, and others in Obote II. They spoke Swahili and posed as Ugandans and went about terrorising us, Ugandans in Buganda who didn’t speak Swahili.

    Truth is bitter. Let truth be told. We experienced it firsthand.

    Rev. Jessica

  67. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:14:14


    Are you really serious when you say no country can develop or is stunted as a result of using a foreign language?

    One can look at most of the American innovators like Einstein to the creators of Yahoo to name a few of whom language was not an impediment or a barrier to their talent.

    Please tell me what scientific discovery has been realized in Africa as a result of Luganda or any other African language being the main medium.

    Scientists succeed in spite of the odds against them.


  68. Yak Kirimwengo
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:15:16


    You have described Swahiri Dynamic , the ability to to grow as a language. Many scholars and lingusits have described Swahili having limitations to grow= “not dynamic” enough to embrace science and technology at theorectical and working levels. This is a contrast with Luganda. Luganda’s dynamism or expandability is vast and has been demonstrated in lots of research some of which have made Kenyatta and Makerere University excel as centres of research & development.

    Swahili’s problem comes from the fact that its Grammar structure is a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, two different languages. Its grammer is almost 70% Bantu, 25% Arabic. Its nouns are almost 60% Arabic, 50% Bantu. Thats a problem if youre to develop a language to embrace science.

    Think of the mathematical numbering in Luganda vs. Swahili. The 1st 1-5 are Bantu and 6-10 Arabic in Swahili: excuse (my spellings)
    moja ( arabic?), mbiri tatu, ine, tanu ( bantu)——-sita, saba, nane, tisa ( arabic) kumi.
    Luganda: emu, biri, satu, nya, tano, mukaaga, musanvu, munaana, mwenda, kumi.

    Swahili’s mixture renders it inexpandable, less dynamic in numbering. Continuing to higher figures, its a dissaster for Shahili, and classical for Luganda.
    If Luganda research had government funding like Swahili, we would have seen Universities and technical colleges teaching scince and technology in Luganda.

    Luganda researchers, using theri own resources, have made great contributions in Linguistic theories, thus making solid foundation for Scientific Luganda. Examples:
    1. Formalized Domainal Role Theory;
    2. Situatodomainal Theory
    3. also check on the ” Sample Style Manual for English- Luganda- English Dictionary definers and Luganda Terminological Modernizers” at: under “UPDATE”

    On the practical point of view, during Amin’s rule, there used to be more “Taifa Leo” newspapers bought than present day in Uganda. Just check with street vendors in Kla, Jinja, Mbarara, Masaka, Gulu, Tororo, Mbale.
    – The sale of Bukedde, Eddoboozi, Kamunye to private individuals are far more than English newspapers combined. Most English Newspapers are bought by corporations and govt depts for Ugandans to read= isnt that subisdies?

    To conclude,

    There is no developed country in this world with developed technology, that uses a foreign language as its only medium of communicating science and technology etc knowledge. By the fact that we re using English, we’re handcapped in innovation. If we are to add on Swahili, we will be doomed to extinction in innovations.

    So, let those whose first language are indeginous in Uganda, retain their rights to learn and acquire knowledge in their 1st language so long as its benefial and practical. No body should impose language rules where he’s not native.

    South Africa has more than 5 National/ official languages. Switzerland has more thaan 4 . Why not Uganda?

    During the recent African Queen conference at Munyonyo, Museveni was pictured with a big book ” Enkuluze y’Oluganda eye Makerere”. He was also promoting his “Kalondoozi or Katondoozi, his Runyankole dictionary. These are African Queens, from all corners of Africa. Why wasnt he holding & distributing ” Tuki” dictionary? Was he looking for votes in Buganda? He used state funds, “his funds” to fund & purchase Katondoozi, later on to claim its his research, my foot!!!! when did mu7 go on a field research in Ankole? How many of you were contacted by him? Soon he will get a Phd for his Runyankole dictionary work!!

    check the real research work on under ” UPDATES”. Those Ugandans at MUK & KIU are Great, bravooooo!!!


  69. moses Nekyon Ocen
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:16:34


    Very easy answer my friend; Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Austrslia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Canada

    Do you need more examples.


  70. Yak Kirimwengo
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 07:17:35


    I’m disappointed, I thought I was discussing/ arguing with a man of…….

    Among the countries you have mentioned below, what language do the majority citizens ( the masses) speak? Are those languages scientifically undeveloped or developed?

  71. Luwaga Michael
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 03:46:00

    so much gre

  72. Lakwo Obel p'Oballim
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 12:15:56

    Why is that the Ganda people are so arrogant and do not want to embrace Kiswahili as the national language of Uganda? Kiswahili is a language that would unite us as Africans and also as East Africans. I think for the very same reason the the Baganda do not want to embrace Kiswahili as the national language, the same policy must also apply to their language, Luganda. They are acting on tribalism and putting themselves first before the rest of the Ugandans. Now if the great LUO language is to be fairly treated and considered, it is actually more decent to make it the national language of Uganda since so much of the governmental agenda is already so much Bantu orientated. The Luo language is widely spoken in various dialects in Uganda (Acholi, Alur, Jopadhola, Lango, Kuman, Jonam, and Chope), Kenya ( JoLuo), Tanzania(JoLuo), Ethopia (Luo Anuak), South Sudan ( Luo Jur Chol, Collo/Shilluk, Pari, Thuri, and Anuak), DRC (Alur), Chad (Maban), and Nigeria (Igbo-not clearly identified). The LUO LANGUAGE is the most natively spoken mother tongue language in Uganda, believe it or not. It is a language spoken as a mother tongue of the Acholi, Lango, Alur, Adhola, Kumam, Jonam, and Chope people. Look at the significance, soon the seven Luo tribes will grow to a very high number. Luganda may be widely spoken but it is a second language to other people. Now why not promote Luo which is such a diverse and widely spread international African language? Why should we also give the Nilotic people the voice, credit, and equality as national men and women of Uganda? A language being romantic have nothing to do with its potential and great significance and ability. Luganda does not stand a chance in term of diversity to the Luo language which could actually be used as the lingua franca in the whole East Africa along side Kiswahili and English. Deal with it Muganda.

  73. Lakwo Obel p'Oballim
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 23:30:57

    You are such an ignorant Uganda I have ever heard speak. You babble total nonsense. You saw the seed of segregation and undermine the rest of the Ugandan people when you say,”So Baganda can be a starting base of uniting Bantu speakers before the other groups.” What are you try to say when you exclude the Nilotic people? Are they not Ugandans? We have to look at what will unite the whole nation and not what will benefit only a certain group of people. Luo beats Luganda in term of diversity and international status. In Uganda alone, Acholi, Langi, Alur, Jopadhola, Jonam, Kumam, and Chope all speake Luo making Luo the largest mother tongue singly spoken in Uganda. Luo is also spoken as the second or third language of the neighboring tribes such as Karimojong, Ateso, Madi, Lugbara, Kakwa, etc. Not to mention that Luo is spoken in Kenya (3,000,000) and Tanzania, Ethipia, Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria(unidentified).

  74. Margaret Nowanda
    Jul 26, 2015 @ 00:45:26

    In my opinion, children in Uganda should learn Luganda, Kishwahili, English and French. Since French is spoken by MILLIONS of Africans, it should be promoted. That’s what I want for my own children personnaly.

    Thank you.

  75. Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 11:45:47

    Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba, but do you realize it becomes a huge problem when people demand outside of Buganda that ordinary Ugandans who don’t know Luganda should speak in Luganda?

    Let me give you an example. For more than 15 years, I have lived mostly in Chicago, where we have a multi-ethnic Ugandan community. Many of the members of this Ugandan community are not Baganda and do not speak Luganda at all. The insistence by the Baganda that everyone at Ugandan functions speak Luganda or shut up or put up has alienated too many non Baganda, including those who speak Luganda.

    My very first appearance at a Ugandan event in Chicago almost turned me off completely. I was with several other Ugandans from West Nile who have never lived in Buganda at all. So, unlike me, who can at least manage greetings and a few other survival phrases in Luganda, those brothers and sisters do not speak Luganda at all. So, when we couldn’t oblige the pressure around us to speak Luganda, we were confronted by a group of ladies who I will politely refer to as an adhoc citizenship verification committee. After a 15-minute conversation with us in English, they came out with a verdict: they found our Ugandanness wanting on account of our inability to speak Luganda and our non-Ugandan accents! As if there is such a thing as a single Ugandan accent when we speak English! Not surpisingly, my fellow West Nilers have never been to another Ugandan event in Chicago. It took me a long time to recover from that encounter. And I must confess, I have not been as engaged as I would be, if Baganda were not pushing their language down our throats.

    I think it is important and commonsensical that everyone should learn to speak the predominant language of the area where they live or work: that in Kampala being Luganda. But let advocates of Luganda as a national language not push the envelope. I assure you, it will backfire spectacularly when the effort is perceived as ethnic chauvinism.

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Uganda at heart

Semuwemba is a Ugandan residing in the UK

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"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~


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