A small, previously relatively unknown polity in south-central Uganda, the Kooki chieftainship, quietly declared independence a couple weeks ago, the culmination of long-simmering conflict with its larger neighbor—or, depending on whom you ask, overarching entity—the Buganda Kingdom. The Kooki prime minister, Hajji Idi Ahmed Kiwanuka, announced his small nation’s independence from Buganda in a July 27th letter to the Baganda prime minister, Charles Peter Mayiga.
|Uganda’s kingdoms, of which Buganda is the largest and most powerful.|
(The Rwenzururu live between Toro and the Congolese border.)
|Rakai District, homeland of the Kooki, is in the south of the Buganda Kingdom.|
“Irrespective of individual and/or institutional perspective,” Kiwanuka’s letter last month read, “Kooki, by all laws governing the Republic of Uganda, is a lawful cultural institution with a hereditary leader, governance structures, with due protocol and indeed independence.” But the letter pledges “co-existence” with other institutions.
|Hajji Idi Ahmed Kiwanuka, the Kooki prime minister,|
at the site of the soon-to-be-built palace of the Kooki monarch
|The royal Kamuswaga of the Kooki nation denying,|
in a November 2014 press conference, that his people were rat-eaters.
|An official portrait of the Kooki monarch|
|Uganda’s Kooki are no relation to the Jewish-identified Kuki people of eastern India.|
|Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II with his consort, H.R.H. Omugo Rebecca Talituuka|