Tuesday, 5 October 2010

New archives list - The Buganda Constitution 1954

Newly added to the ULRLS Archives Catalogue is the handlist of a collection of papers relating to the Buganda Constitution, 1954 (ICS110)

The collection comprises of proceedings, evidence, documents and the judgement in the case of Mukwaba and others v. Mukunbira and others in the Uganda High Court. The case was brought to test the legality of the withdrawal by the Protectorate Government of recognition of the Kabaka Mutesa II as native ruler of the Province of Buganda, and actions by the Government affecting the Constitution, 1954. Judgement was in favour of the Protectorate Government

In November 1953, the Protectorate Government of Uganda withdrew recognition of Mutesa II as native ruler of the Province of Buganda. This status had been held by the Kabaka under the Buganda Agreement of 1900, following the establishment of a British Protectorate in 1894. The Agreement also provided for the withdrawal of recognition, as occurred in 1953, should the Kabaka no longer remain faithful to the protecting authority. Following the withdrawal of recognition of the Kabaka, he was deported to Britain. The court case, heard in 1954, tested various constitutional questions arising from this and subsequent actions, and found in favour of the Protectorate Government.

Because of the constitutional difficulties arising at this time, the Protectorate Government set up a Conference to consider the situation further. This took place in 1954 also, and was headed by Sir Keith Hancock (then Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London). The Conference made various recommendations regarding the future Constitution of Buganda. The implementation of the agreed recommendations of the Conference, and the outcome of the court case, ultimately led to the return of Mutesa II two years later as a constitutional monarch.

Papers relating to the Hancock Commission into Buganda constitutional issues are in Sir (William) Keith Hancock papers ICS29/1.

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