Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Legacy of an African Icon: Dani Wadada Nabudere

Dani Wadada Nabudere (15 December 1932 – 9 November 2011)[1] [2] was an accomplished Ugandan academic, Pan-Africanist, lawyer, politician, author, political scientist and development specialist. At the time of his passing he was professor at the Islamic University and executive director of the Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Mbale, Uganda.

His political, intellectual and community work spanned over half a century of public activism. He was an inspiring speaker, indefatigable mobilizer and a prolific writer. Key among his issues of engagement were food security; peace; knowledge heritages; Africa’s contribution to humanizing the world; lifelong learning; cross-border solidarities; international political economy; Pan-Africanism; defence of the commons; cognitive justice, community sites of knowledge, restorative governance, economy and justice.

Professor Nabudere was Minister of Justice in 1979 and Minister of Culture, Community Development and Rehabilitation in 1979–1980 in the UNLF Interim Government of Uganda. He was President of the African Association of Political Science from 1983 to 1985 and Vice-President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) from 1985 to 1988. He was engaged in a collaborative arrangement with the University of South Africa in joint research projects under the umbrella theme of "Reclaiming the Future". He was the founder and principal of the Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute (MPAI), Mbale, Uganda. Over the last ten years of his life, Nabudere was working on setting up grassroots organisations to assist rural communities and raise their voices over issues that concern their lives.

Political Life

The early years [3][4]

Nabudere stepped onto the national political scene in the 1960s. As a student in London in 1961, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the United Kingdom Uganda Students Association (UGASA) together with the Yash Tandon, Ateker Ejalu, Chango Machyo and Edward Rugumayo, who were all later to play a significant role in the history of Uganda. UGASA was engaged in helping to raise the political consciousness of young Ugandans studying or working in the UK and in Europe. One of the main activities of the organisation was to lobby British parliamentarians for Uganda’s independence.
When he returned from the UK in 1964, he quickly began to fall out of favour with the Uganda People’s Congress. The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) was a radical nationalist party. Its then Secretary General, John Kakonge, had broad communist leanings, and had a strong following among the youth wing of the party, among them, Nabudere. At the Gulu Conference of the party in 1964 the left wing was outmanoeuvred by Obote and the party mainstream leadership.
He was also a Marxist socialist when the UPC government at the time was opposed to communism. In 1965 he was expelled from the party together with Kirunda Kivejinja, Bidandi Ssali and Kintu Musoke. However, even after expulsion from the UPC, Nabudere remained a thorn in the flesh of the Obote regime with radical articulations and pro-people stances. Around the same time, Nabudere and Omongin had just formed the first Maoist Party in Uganda. During this period Nabudere had also played a critical role in the unification talks between Zanzibar and Tanganyika.
When Obote abolished political parties and declared a one-party state in 1969, Nabudere fell victim of his continued party activism. Nabudere had earlier in 1963 formed a Mbale-based activists’ group called the Uganda Vietnam Solidarity Committee to campaign against American imperialism and aggression in Vietnam.

Service under Amin [5] [6]

In September 1965, Nabudere was accused by a member of the Uganda Parliament of organising a “communist plot” to overthrow the government. In December 1969, following an attempt on Obote`s life at a UPC congress Nabudere (among others) was arrested and placed in detention under the Emergency Laws. He was released in late November 1970. When Idi Amin took over power in January 1971, a number of Ugandans on the left decided to work with the Amin government (Nabudere was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the East African Railways), but they were soon disillusioned, and beginning with Rugumayo a number of them resigned from government in 1972.
Nabudere was appointed by Idi Amin in 1971 as the East Africa Railways and Harbours chairman based in Nairobi, but in 1974 protesting Amin’s brutality he resigned and moved to Tanzania where he became one of the plotters for Idi Amin’s down-fall.

The 'Gang of Four' [7] [8]


There were at least three politically and pedagogically significant debates at the University of Dar es Salaam in the late 1960s and the decade of the 1970s. The first was about Tanzania, the direction it was going and how it might show the way for the rest of Africa towards the ultimate goal of socialism. It was mainly a debate among the Tanzanian radicals, sometimes joined in by others from outside Tanzania such as Walter Rodney and Nabudere. The second was a debate mainly among the African members of the teaching staff of the University, in particular in the Faculty of Social Sciences, on how the prevailing pedagogy of their disciplines might be challenged and changed to reflect the African context and conditions.[9]
The third was a debate among primarily the Ugandans on “the Hill” [Makerere University] and those living in exile in East Africa, occasionally joined by others even outside East Africa. It was partly inspired by Nabudere’s book Imperialism and Revolution in Uganda (1980) and its critique by Mamdani, Bhagat and Hirji. Later these discussions were reproduced as a book called The Dar es Salaam Debate on Class, State and Imperialism (1982), which was edited by Yash Tandon, with a foreword by Mohammad Babu, the well-known Marxist revolutionary from Zanzibar. The ‘Debate’ had intellectual, pedagogical and also political and strategic value for Uganda but also Africa and the third world. The key analyses and messages argued by Nabudere in the ‘Debate’ remain valid to this day. The significance of this debate, latent when it was taking place, became clear in the early months of 1979, as those same very issues took on a practical political salience after Amin’s invasion of Tanzania in December 1978. Tanzania repulsed the invasion but then Nyerere faced a dilemma. Should he proceed to Kampala, with his army thus effectively becoming an “occupation force”, or should he try to forge a united Ugandan political front to take over the reins of government? He opted for the latter. But to forge unity of contending forces from Uganda proved a nightmare.[10]
In his recount of the period of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), the political organisation around which Ugandan exiles united to topple Amin, Prof. Edward Rugumayo, who became chairman of UNLF’s ruling council, says Nabudere played a central part in the formation of the liberation group. When the UNLF was established and a ruling body for it formed known as the National Consultative Council (NCC), Nabudere was elected chairman of its political and diplomatic committee. He became a key leader in the NCC, alongside Edward Rugumayo, Yash Tandon and Omony Ojok. [11]
The first administration of the UNLF government under President Lule lasted only six months. In September 1979 he was ousted from power by a vote of no confidence moved in the transitional parliament, the NCC. He was, in other words, democratically removed, and replaced by President Binaisa. It was the Binaisa administration that was then removed from power by the Military Commission of the UNLF led by Obote and Museveni, and backed by Tanzania.

The 1980s and post-NRM era [12] [13] [14]

The Muwanga-led coup that overthrew Binaisa in 1980 found Nabudere in exile, as it did the other three members of the 'gang of four'.
In 1982 Nabudere moved to Helsingør in Denmark, teaching at a Volk High School. This was one of his most productive years as a scholar. He wrote the over 300-page manuscript called 'The Rise and Fall of Money Capital', which was published in 1990 under an organisation called Africa in Transition, an organization founded by brothers Yash Tandon and Vikash Tandon. It is probably the most comprehensive analysis of money since the early writings, among others, of Marx, Engels, Hilferding, Rosa Luxemburg, and Keynes, all of whom came under Nabudere’s cutting edge analysis. Nabudere carried out a meticulous historical analysis of the rise of money as money (as distinct from its evolution as capital), and made the prediction that money will eventually overcome capital and then meet its own demise as an instrument of credit. This is what in fact happened in the first decade of the 21st century, what came to be known in our own times as “financialisation of capital”. Nabudere had already anticipated this during his period of research and writing in Helsingør. This book is one of the most outstanding, and relatively unknown, original contributions of Nabudere to Marxist economics. Later, a summary of the book was published by Fahamu, titled, The Crash of International Finance-Capital and Its Implications for the Third World (2009), to which Yash Tandon wrote a foreword. [15]
Nabudere lived in exile until 1993 when President Museveni invited him back to the country to be part of the Constituent Assembly (CA). [16]
Kintu Nyago says it needs to be noted that even as he was a persistent critic of the NRM, Museveni’s enlightened leadership, which promotes democratic pluralism fully accommodated Nabudere. Upon Nabudere’s return he became a very outspoken critic of Museveni. Over the course of the CA, Nabudere many times led members of the Assembly on walkouts when they disagreed with the other CA members. He also teamed up with Aggrey Awori to form the National Caucus for Democracy (NCD), a CA based pressure group. [17]

The 2000s - The Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan University: [18]

Nabudere founded the Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute (MPAI) in Mbale, Uganda, the objective of which was to create a depository of knowledge on African science, philosophy, medicine and other indigenous African knowledge. MPAI was later to evolve as a university, of which he was the first Chancellor-Designate.[19]

Academic career

Nabudere obtained the degree of LLB (London) in 1963 and was admitted as a barrister at law, Lincolns Inn, London, in the same year.

Academic and other Occupations

  1. Advocate, High Court, Uganda (1963-1970);
  2. Chairman, Board of Directors, East African Railways Corporation, East African Community, Nairobi (1971–73);
  3. Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; (1974–76);
  4. Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, (1976–79);
  5. Minister of Culture, Community Development and Rehabilitation, Uganda Government, (1979-1980);
  6. Visiting Associate Professor, University of Zimbabwe (1985);
  7. Visiting Scholar, Africa Study Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands ;
  8. Executive Director, Afrika Study Centre, Mbale ( from 1993 until his demise);
  9. Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Social Sciences, Islamic University in Uganda, Mbale (1998- 2005);
  10. Executive Director/Principal, Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Mbale, Uganda (2005-2010).
  11. Chancellor, Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan University, Mbale, Uganda

Academic Administrative Experience

  1. Chairman, Higher Degrees Committee, Faculty of Law, University of Dar es Salaam 1976-79;
  2. Member, Post Graduate Committee of Senate, University of Dar es Salaam 1977-79;
  3. Founder and Director, Afrika Study Centre, Mbale, Uganda
  4. Founder Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Mbale, Uganda
  5. Founder Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan University, Mbale, Uganda
  6. Supervised three PhD students in Law at the University of Dar es salaam and University of South Africa (UNISA),
  7. Supervision of students registered by Centre for African Renaissance Studies 2008-2011 at UNISA

Professional Positions Held

  1. Member, Uganda Law Society (1963-1971);
  2. President, African Association of Political Science (1983-1985);
  3. Vice-President, International Political Science Association (1985–88);
  4. Member, Global Security and Cooperation Program, Social Science Research Council-SSRC, New York 2001-2003.



  1. The Political Economy of Imperialism, 1976, Tanzania Publishing House and Zed Press, London;
  2. Essays on the theory and practice of Imperialism, 1979, Onyx Press, London;
  3. Imperialism in East Africa, 1980, Zed Press, London (in two volumes);
  4. Imperialism and Revolution in Uganda, 1980, Onyx Press, London;
  5. The Crash of International Finance Capital and its implications for the Third World, SAPES Trust, 1989, Harare, Zimbabwe;
  6. Democracy and the One-Party State in Africa, Institut Für Afrika Kunde, Hamburg, Germany, 1989; Co-edited with P. Meynes;
  7. The Rise and Fall if Money Capital, 1990, Afrika in Trust, Harare/London;
  8. Uganda Referendum 2000: Winners and Losers, Monitor Publications, Kampala;
  9. Globalisation and the Post-Colonial African State, AAPS, Harare, 2000, Zimbabwe, Editor.
  10. Pan-Africanism and Integration in Africa, 2002, SAPES Publications, Harare, Zimbabwe, co-edited with Ibbo Mandaza;
  11. Afrika in the New Millennium: Towards a Post-Traditional Renaissance, forth coming, now with the University of South Africa Press, Pretoria, South Africa.-not yet printed
  12. Globalization, Pastoralism and Transformation in Eastern Africa, MS with UNISA Press, Pretoria.
  13. The Global Capitalist Crisis and the Way Forward for Africa, Kampala, 2009.
  14. The Crash of International Finance Capital and its implications for the Third World, Republished by Ufahamu, London, 2009.
  15. Afrikology, Philosophy and Wholeness: An Epistemology, Africa Institute of South Africa, PRETORIA, February 2011.
  16. Archie Mafeje: Scholar, Activist and Thinker, Kampala, June 2011.

Monographs and Other Papers

  1. The IMF-World Bank’s Stabilisation and Structural Adjustment Policies and the Uganda Economy: 1981-1989; Research Reports No. 39/1990, African Studies Centre, Leiden/The Netherlands.
  2. The Impact of East-West Rapprochement on Africa, Seminar Paper Series No. 1, SAPES Trust, Harare, 1996;
  3. African Social Science Reflections: Part 2: Law, the Social Sciences and the Crisis of Relevance: A Personal Account, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Regional Office, East and the Horn of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 2001;
  4. The Epistemological and Methodological Foundations for an All-inclusive Research Paradigm in Search for Global Knowledge. 2002. Occasional Paper Volume 6 Number 1, African Association of Political Science, Pretoria, South Africa;
  5. Africa’s First World War, Occasional Paper Series, Volume 8 Number 1, 2004. Association of African Political Science, Pretoria, South Africa;
  6. The Political Economy of Conflict and War in the Great Lakes Region, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, 2004 Monograph Series;
  7. Conflict over mineral wealth: Understanding the Second Invasion of the DRC in Naidoo, S [2003]: The War Economy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, IGD Occasional Paper No. 37, September 2003, pp. 40–66;
  8. Non-formal Education in Uganda: Its Relation to Development in Education and Social Progress: Special Events at the World Summit for Social Development held at Copenhagen, published by the Association of Danish Folk High Schools, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1995
  9. Restoring Freedom and Dignity into Families and Grassroots Communities in Africa, MPAI, Mbale, 2009.

Chapters in Books

  1. Imperialism, State, Class and Race (A Critique of Issa Shivji’s: Class Struggle in Tanzania-chapter 8 in Tandon, Y [1982]: University of Dar es Salaam Debate on Class. State and Imperialism, Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  2. A Caricature of Marxism–Leninism (A Reply to Karim Hirji-chapter 11 in Tandon, Y [1982]: University of Dar es Salaam Debate on Class. State and Imperialism, Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  3. A Reply to Mamdani and Bhagat-chapter 13 in Tandon, Y [1982]: University of Dar es Salaam Debate on Class. State and Imperialism, Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  4. ECHO Interview with Nabudere chapter 14 in Tandon, Y [1982]: University of Dar es Salaam Debate on Class. State and Imperialism, Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  5. Is Imperialism Progressive?-chapter 29 in Tandon, Y [1982]: University of Dar es Salaam Debate on Class. State and Imperialism, Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  6. Transnational and Regional Integration in East Africa, chapter 3 in
  7. Shaw, T. M & Tandon, Y [1985]: Regional Development at the International Level, Volume II, University Press of America, Lanham, New York and London;
  8. External and Internal Factors in Uganda’s Continuing Crisis-chapter
  9. In Hansen, H. B & Twaddle, M [1988]: Uganda Today: Between
  10. Decay and Development, James Curry, London, Ohio University
  11. Press, Athena & Heinemann Kenya, Nairobi;
  12. The One-Party State in Africa: Its Assumed Philosophical Roots
  13. Chapter One in Meynes, P & Nabudere, D. W [1989]: Democracy
  14. and the One-Party State in Africa, Institut Für Afrika Kunde,
  15. Hamburg, Germany, 1989;
  16. Africa’s Development Experience under the Lome Conventions:
  17. Results and Prospects-chapter 10 in Anyang’ Nyong’o, P [1992]: 30 Years of Independence in Africa: The Lost Decade? Academy Science Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya;
  18. Class, Race, and Ethnicity in Adult Education in Africa-chapter in Wangoola, P & Youngman, F [1996]: Towards Transformative Political Economy of Adult Education: Theoretical and Practical Challenges, LEPS Press, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill.
  19. Towards an African Renaissance: Reclaiming the Pan-African
  20. Heritage in Angula, N & Bankie, B. F [2000]: The African Origin of Civilisation and the Destiny of Africa, Gamsberg Macmillan, Windhoek, Namibia;
  21. When Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Citizenship Converge in Korsgaard, O; Walters, S & Anderson, R [2001]: Learning for Democratic Citizenship, Danish University of Education, The University of Western Cape & The Association for World Education, Copenhagen, Denmark;
  22. The African State and Conflict in Africa-chapter 2 in Heinrich Böll Foundation [1999]: Networking with a View to Promoting Peace: Towards Sustainable Peace-Civil Society Dialogue Forum for the Horn of Africa, Nairobi, 15–17 December 1999;
  23. Uganda’s Role in the War in the DRC and its Implications for Peace and Security in the Great Lakes Region, chapter in Heinrich Böll Foundation [2000]: Networking with a View to Promoting Peace: Towards Sustainable Peace-Civil Society Dialogue Forum for the Horn of Africa, Nairobi, 10–13 December 2000;
  24. Globalisation, the African Post-Colonial State, Post-Traditionalism, and the New World Order, Chapter One in Nabudere, D. W (editor) [2000]: Globalisation and the Post-Colonial African State, AAPS, Harare, 2000, Zimbabwe,
  25. African Unity in Historical Perspective, chapter 1 in Maloka, E [2001]: A United States of Africa, Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa;
  26. The African Renaissance and Globalisation: New Perspectives on African Unity and Integration, Chapter Three in Mandaza, I & Nabudere, D. W [2002]: Pan-Africanism and Integration in Africa, 2002, SAPES Publications, Harare, Zimbabwe;
  27. Regional Integration Experience: The Case of East African Community-chapter 8 in Hartzenberg, T, Ncube, P & Tekere, M [2002]: Trade Relations in the 21st Century: Focus on the Southern African Development Community, SAPES Trust, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  28. NEPAD: Historical Background and Its Prospects-chapter 2 in Anyang’ Nyong’o; Ghirmazion, A & Lamba, D [2002]: The New Partnership for Africa-NEPAD-A New Path? Heinrich Böll Foundation, Regional Office, Eastern and Horn of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya;
  29. The African Union-(AU), New Partnership for African Development-(NEPAD), the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa-(CSSDCA) and the Future of Africa-chapter 3 in Prah, K. K & Teka, T [2003]: Chasing Futures: Africa in the 21st Century-Problems and Prospects, Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) and the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), Book Series No. 33.
  30. How New Information Technologies Can be Used to Advance Learning in Pastoral Communities-chapter 15 in Varis, T; Utsumi, T & Klemm, W [2003]: Global Peace Through The Global University System, Global University System and Research Centre for Vocational Education, Hämeenlinna, Finland.
  31. The East African community And The New Partnership for Africa’s Development-NEPAD: Are there Prospects for Synergy? Paper written for a conference on the East African Community Project to be held at Naivasha, Kenya on 26–28 August 2004 organised by the Institute for Global Dialogue, Johannesburg, South Africa to be included in a book edited by Ajulu, R & La Pere, G [2005]: The East African Community and the NEPAD, Pretoria.

Other Book Chapters

[under publication by the time of his demise]

  1. Julius Kambaragwe Nyerere (1922–99) in Simon, D [2005]: Fifty Key Thinkers on Development, Routledge, London.
  2. Development Theory, Knowledge Production and Emancipatory Practice, Chapter in Vishnu Padayachee, ed., [2005]: The Development Decade? Economic and Social Change in South Africa, 1994-2004; Human Sciences Research Council Press, Cape Town;
  3. Research, Conflict and Knowledge Production, Chapter in Charles Hale [2005]: Activist Anthropology (?);
  4. The Bush Doctrine and Democracy in Africa, Chapter in Bunting III, Josiah [2006]: Exporting Democracy, New York;
  5. Human Rights, Adult Learning and Peace-Building through Grassroots Collaboration: Six Case Studies, Chapter in Makau, Mutua [2006]: Human Rights Experience in East Africa, New York.
  6. The Role of Intellectuals in Regional Integration in the IGAD Region, MS to be published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya.

Online Publications

  1. African international relations after the events of September 11, Paper written for the Social Science Research Council, New York, 2003;
  2. African forms of democracy versus Universal Democracy; Paper written for the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 2003;
  3. Democratic elections and governance in East Africa, 2003;
  4. Epistemological and Methodological Issues in Education and Development, Paper written for Regional Research Workshop on Graduate Training and Research: Millennium Tools for Regional Development, at the Makerere University Senate House, Conference Hall on 29–30 July 2004.
  5. The historical and structural impediments to the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s development-NEPAD; Paper written for a book edited by Venter, D & Neuland, E [2005]: NEPAD and the African Renaissance, Richard Havenga & Associates, Johannesburg.
  6. Imperialism, Knowledge production and its use in Africa, Paper written for a conference on “Empire and Dissent” by the Social Science Research Council, Paris, July 2004 and published in the GSC Quarterly 14 (Winter) 2005;
  7. Racism, Pan-Africanism and Resistance; Paper written for the CASAS/NGO Forum Panel at the World Conference Against Racism, Xenophobia, and Other forms of Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, 29–31 August 2001.
  8. Religion, power, Ethnicity and conflicts in Uganda and Sudan; Paper written for a Conference on Religion and Conflict organised by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, 2003;
  9. The Role of the United States in the global system after September 11; Paper written for the Social Science Research Council, New York, 2003;
  10. Towards a New Model of Production- A paper written as a response to the New Partnership for African Development-NEPAD, 2002;

Unpublished Academic Papers

  1. The Lords Resistance Movement/Army and the War in Uganda, January 2005.
  2. The Uganda Economy: 1979-1989, Harare, 1979 (Unpublished MS);
  3. The Political Economy of Social Imperialism, Copenhagen, 1992 (Unpublished MS).Afrikology, Philosophy and Wholeness, MPAU, Mbale, 2010.
  4. Hermeneutics, Transdisciplinarity and Afrikology, MPAU, Mbale, 2010.

Research Activity (since 1995)

  1. Traditional Techniques of Conflict Resolution (1998-2000) leading to an international conference organized by Afrika Study Centre, local collaborators and UNESCO Country Office in Uganda;
  2. The Transformation of Conflict and Violence in Agro-pastoral Communities in North-Eastern Uganda funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, New York (2000-2002), which led to the formation by pastoral women of the Mandela African Peoples’ College now based in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and New Sudan;
  3. Field Building Research on security and cooperation in East Africa (2002-3), research funded jointly by the Social Science Research Council-SSRC, New York and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, New York;
  4. The Hidden War-The Forgotten People (2003), research carried out on behalf of the Human Rights and Peace Centre-HURIPEC, of the Faculty of Law, Makerere University and the Liu Institute, British Columbia, Canada;
  5. The Lords Resistance Army and the War in Northern Uganda (2004), research carried out for a book chapter for Social Science Research Council, Washington, USA;
  6. Historical Memory and Reconciliation in Uganda, (2004-2005) research carried out for the Historical Memory Commission, now under way and coordinated by the Centre for Basic Research, Kampala;
  7. Reclaiming the Future: A Two-pronged research activity with the themes: Locating African Sites of Knowledge and Wisdom; and Towards a New Agenda for the 21st Century and Africa’s Role in it being Joint and Collaborative Research Project of the Marcus-Garvey Pan-African Institute and the Department of Philosophy and Political Science, Pretoria, South Africa.
  8. Three-Year Research Programme under the Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute (2005-8) on developing a new epistemology “Afrikology” for research into African knowledge and wisdom;
  9. Chairing: research Working Group of African Scholars and Practitioners on Building Institutional Effectiveness in Africa: A study of institutions in Kenya, Ghana and Senegal in conjunction with the implementation of the Africa Commission Report, 2005.
  10. People to People Reconciliation Process in Uganda for the Historical Memory Reconciliation Council, 2003-2006.
  11. Food Security and Indigenous Food Crops in collaboration with DENIVA, Kampala, Uganda, 2005-2006.
  12. Restorative Justice and its Relation to International Humanitarian Law, MPAI, 2006-2008.

Academic Linkages and Collaborations

  1. Senior Fellow, UNISA DST/NRF Chair in Development Education, University of South Africa, PRETORIA 2008 until his demise.
  2. Professor Extraordinary, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa, PRETORIA 2010-2013.

Selected writings


External links

Friday, 9 August 2013

A History of the Gonyi Clan of Buyobo Bugisu

Kuundu of Mount Elgon had three sons; Womutwa, Siboolo and Gonyi.
Our ancestor Gonyi, one of Kuundu’s sons was a very wealthy man and greatly respected. He was tall, strong and dark-skinned. He was a humorous and kind man and was well-liked by many people. The name for the mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda was a mispronunciation of his name by the European colonisers, from ‘El Gonyi’. When the colonisers inquired from the locals the name of the mountain, they were told it was the ‘Mountain of Gonyi’.
As the families and animals of Kuundu’s children grew and multiplied, they descended onto the lower slopes of the mountain in search of land for expansion. They settled in an area called Butandiga, on one of the ridges of Mt Elgon. Butandiga is now a sub-county in the present Budadiri county of Sironko district in Eastern Uganda. Gonyi’s land in Mbaya, Butandiga sub-county was eventually sold off by the children of his brothers in 1993.

Gonyi was a blacksmith, in the tradition of his forebears. He used to burn a special type of stone to extract iron ore for making tools like hoes, knives, spears, arrows and others. He was a skilful craftsman who gained both fame and recognition for his work. Gonyi traded in Butandiga and beyond with his craft. He exchanged metal tools for animals, such as cows, goats and sheep. Knowledge of his work spread to the Buyobo plains where he used to travel to sell metal implements.

In Buyobo, he met and made friends with an elder, Mzee Nangoye.   Nangoye had emigrated from Bufumbo area of Bungokho in what was previously Mbale district in Eastern Uganda to Buyobo. Gonyi had to travel back and forth between Butandika, his home area and Buyobo to supply tools to his customers. Sometimes, Gonyi would be invited to spend the night at Mzee Nangoye’s home if it was raining, or too dark to travel.

One day, Mzee Nangoye requested Gonyi to live with him as he was getting quite old. He promised to give Gonyi his youngest wife, Namakambo, if he accepted. Namakambo was a young girl given in marriage to Nangoye because he was very rich. She was born in Bugitimwa, from the present day sub-county of Bumasifwa, Budadiri, in Sironko district.

Gonyi returned to Butandiga to consult with his brothers and relatives on this important issue. Some of his brothers and relatives paid a visit to Nangoye’s home and after further discussions agreed for Gonyi to join Nangoye. Gonyi soon returned to Buyobo and settled with Namakambo. Some of Gonyi’s brothers also immigrated from Butandiga to Gamatui Sipi in the current district of Kapchorwa.

Gonyi and Namakambo had three children; Nabudere, Dindi and Sodo. Nabudere had a sole daughter whose offspring can be traced at Bugwagi, Bukimali, Buyobo in the home of the late Wododa. The only living male in the lineage of Nabudere is Woniala Wododa living at Bukimali on Budadiri-Mbale road.

Gonyi and Namakambo’s second son Dindi had one boy Kibombi. Kibombi and Mugide had three sons; Erukana Madasi Magombe, Wanyama Tomasi, Muwambo Jude, and one daughter, Kevina Namakambo.

The third son of Gonyi called Sodo had several children. His first wife, Nabude, from the clan of Banabandy of Bugwagi, bore very many children and only one, Muboji, the mother to Nasusi, survived the war of Gamatui. The rest of the children were killed at Gamatui Sipi with Sodo. The second and youngest wife to Sodo was called Wanyenze Maliza a daughter of Banakwasi, Bulumolo, Buyobo who produced one daughter, Nambafu, and the second son, Muduli Wonadoya Anderea, followed by his brothers, Wogidoso Daniel (Wodyemira) and Gimei Sodo.

When Sodo’s brothers Nabudere and Dindi died, he felt very lonely and decided to follow his cousin brothers who had left Butandiga and had settled at Gamatui, Sipi in present day Kapchorwa district. When his relatives and neighbours heard of this, they tried to discourage him from doing so. However, Sodo insisted and one morning asked his family to pack and prepare to leave for Gamatui Sipi. By this time, Sodo’s first wife Nabude had died. He left with his second wife Wanyenze, the children and the animals.
Sodo, like Gonyi his father before him was a blacksmith, and was also quite wealthy. Sodo with his family ascended and travelled towards Gamatui Sipi. When they reached an area called Kamoko, they rested at a friend’s home whose name was Matui Mungusho. Sodo informed Matui of his plans to join his cousin brothers at Gamatui Sipi. When Matui heard this, he informed him that the people at Gamatui Sipi were hostile to new settlers and instead discouraged him from taking his family and the children any further.
Sodo did not heed Matui’s warning and proceeded on his journey. They arrived at Gamatui Sipi and found that his cousin brothers had left for Kapchorwa. Some of the relatives who had stayed behind showed Sodo the land where his cousins used to stay. Sodo constructed a kraal with huts for his family and they stayed for a little while. Eventually he received news that his cousins had left Kapchorwa for Bukwa. It was not long before the people of the Bumatiek clan conspired to kill Sodo and his family and take his animals. One day, when Sodo’s wife Wanyenze went to the well to fetch water, women from the Bumatiek clan warned her of their husbands’ conspiracy to kill Sodo and his family because they were Bagisu who had come to Gamatui to take their land.
Wanyenze returned home and reported to her husband what she had heard from the Bumatiek women but he brushed her off.
One cloudy morning as Wanyenze opened the door to come out of their hut, she saw men armed with spears surrounding their home. She rushed back into the hut to inform her husband. Sodo made an alarm and quickly armed himself and the older children. Sodo, together with his sons and daughters put up a brave fight but the enemy were too many for them. They were overpowered and killed. The Bumatiek clan also suffered severe casualties and lost many men during the attack.
At the time of the attack, Wanyenze was pregnant with Gimei. The enemy believed it was a bad omen to kill pregnant women and very young children. Wanyenze was allowed safe passage with the three little children she was holding, carrying one of them on her back.
The attackers took all the animals and burned down the homestead. Wanyenze stood on the other side of the hill and saw their kraal going up in flames and realised that all her family had been killed.
Wanyenze moved down to Kamooko with her three children and reported to Mangusho Matui who welcomed her and her children. She narrated the whole story to Mangusho who in turn wept for the demise of his friend Sodo and the children.  Matui asked Wanyenze to stay with them at Kamooko but she refused. After a few days of rest, Matui arranged for escorts to lead Wanyenze down to Buyobo through Butandiga. When Wanyenze reached Buyobo, she had the three children; Nambafu, Muduli and Wogidoso. After a few months, she gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Gimei.
At the time, Wanyenze was still young and a certain man from Bumayamba village wanted to marry her on condition that she kills her son Wogidoso because mucus used to run from his nose all the time, and he did not want to live with a child who eats mucus. Our grandmother Wanyenze wept and rejected this man who wanted to kill her son. So until the day Wanyenze died, she called Wogidoso by the name ‘Wodyemira’ (meaning one who eats mucus)
One day, the British colonisers together with Baganda administrators visited the village. The Baganda leaders looked for local children to be educated in reading and writing. The people of the area heard about this, but the parents hid their children as they did not want the Baganda to take them believing their children would get lost. So they reported to the Baganda that there was only one orphan boy called Wodyemira in the village who would be availed to them. The local people directed the Baganda chiefs to Wanyenze’s home and they requested her to give them her son called Wodyemira. They convinced Wanyenze to allow her son to go with them as they were going to teach him to read and write and they also promised to bring him back after training. She accepted but with mixed feelings.
The first Baganda who entered Bugisu were Muslims hence Islamic influence grew in the area. Since Wogidoso (his birth name) had been registered for education in the names of ‘Wodyemira’, it was very difficult to reverse it. He was 15 years old then and was not circumcised as he was still young. Wodyemira was later circumcised in the Muslim faith and given the name Zakaliya. After healing, he continued with his studies learning how to read and write. He also studied the Holy Quran and other Islamic readings and rituals.
His mother, Wanyenze Maliza got married again to a man called Bwirura and gave birth to a baby girl, Nafuna who was her last born.
When Wodyemira Zakaliya qualified to read and write, he was appointed as a Mwalimu (Teacher) attached to a county chief of Budadiri by the name of Sareh. At this time both present day Kapchorwa and Bukwa districts were under the Budadiri County administration. It was in 1934 that Kapchorwa attained a county status. During the census of 1922, there were only 39 graduated tax payers in Kapchorwa. Kapchorwa gained district status in 1962.
As the Baganda leaders had administered Bugisu for a long time, the white colonialists saw it prudent that indigenous Bagisu take over the affairs of their administration to avoid discontent and uprising from the local natives. This opened an opportunity for Wodyemira Zakaliya who was then appointed a Muluka Chief. In 1925, the white colonialists fearing Islamist expansion instructed all local chiefs to convert to Christianity. Wodyemira was then baptized as Daniel. In 1930, he was promoted to Sub-County Chief of Buteza.
In 1936, both the British Governors for Kenya and Uganda agreed to extend the Kenyan boundary to the present location of Masaba Senior Secondary School in Eastern Uganda. The European settlers wanted to secure the whole of Mountain Elgon and surrounding regions for farming. The British Governors wanted all the sub-county chiefs to endorse on this agreement. The revolutionary sub-county chiefs, including Wodyemira refused to honour this arrangement. Therefore, in 1939, all the sub-county chiefs who did not endorse the expansionist agreement were prematurely retired with pension, except one Gidale who endorsed it.
Wanyenze Maliza died in 1931 and is buried at Buyobo, Bumayamba, Bugisu. On this note I am going to mention her children and grandchildren in order of age.
Nambafu, her first daughter produced one son whom she named Nabudere Zerubaberi. She passed in 1984 and is buried at Bumusi, Buyobo, Budadiri where she had married.
Muduli Wonadoya Andrea who died in 1962, produced Nacwera Gonyi Henry who died in 1980 and is buried at Buyobo, Bumayamba. Nafuna Phoebe a daughter who died in 1963 and rests at Bukimali, Bugwagi, Buyobo where she had married. Wojambuka Sekaniya is living. Wasige Muduli who died in 1987 and rests at Buyobo, Bumayamba. Gumonye Yosiya is living. Mafabi Enos is living. John Budeyo who passed in 1997 and buried at Buyobo, Bumayamba.
Wodyemira Wogidoso Daniel who passed August, 1972 produced the following children:
1.      Kamesi Mitulesi (daughter); born 1918, deceased 1954
2.      Sodo Erusaniya (son); born 1919, deceased 1994
3.      Gyabi Erika (son); born 1921, living
4.      Mashate Erieza (son) born 1922, deceased, 2010
5.      Mugide Hadija (daughter); born 1922, deceased 2006
6.      Nambafu Erina (daughter); born 1922, deceased 2004
7.      Kibombi Yolamu (son); born 1924, deceased 2003
8.      Kayegi Grace (daughter); born 1925, deceased 1961
9.      Wambedde Wodyemira (son); born 1925, deceased 1949
10. Womadere Benedict (son); born 1925, living
11. Makada Misaki (son); born 1928, living
12. Bwairisa James (son); born 1929, living
13. Wagooli John (son); born 1930, living
14. Masumba Misulamu (son); born 1930, deceased 2006
15. Prof Dani Wadada Nabudere (son); born 1932, deceased (2011)
16. Wanyenze Florence (daughter); born 1932, deceased 1973
17. Mabberi Ignatius (son); born 1934, deceased 1936
18. Wagooli Charles (son); born 1936, deceased 1986
19. Wamboza Yosamu (son); born 1936, living
20. Wanyenze Margaret (daughter); born 1939, deceased 1973
21. Wegosasa Beth (daughter); born 1939, deceased 1983
22. Nabuduwa Aida (daughter); born 1945, deceased 2006
23. Wadada Peter (son); born 1947, living
24. Wambedde Richard (son); born 1950, living
25. Obadiah Mudebo (son); born ?1952, deceased 2017
Wodyemira Wogidoso’s wives:
1.      Nakasumba from Bukimali, Bugwagi, Buyobo
2.      Nambafu from Bushika
3.      Irene Neumbe from Bunamakongo, Buyobo
4.      Namudosi from Bukiyiti, Buteza
5.      Nambafu Robinah from Bumasifwa
6.      Nanzala Euglas Edisa from Bugwimbi, Buteza
Gimei Sodo died in 1919 soon after he was circumcised. He died while nursing his wound and buried at Dunga where the present church of Buyobo is located. He did not produce any children.
Nafuna Wanyenze Bwirura died childless in 1964.
In May 1972, Wodyemira Daniel Wogidoso, while of sound mind made a will that his son, Prof Dani Wadada Nabudere would be his heir upon his death and succeed him as head of the home and Clan.
This information was compiled from the clan oral tradition by Wambedde Richard of Bumayamba, Buyobo, Sironko District. The youngest child of the late Wodyemira Daniel Wogidoso. (2011)