Buganda Constitution, 1954

Scope and Content

Proceedings, evidence, documents and 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.

Administrative / Biographical History

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.


The original arrangement has been retained.

Access Information

Open although advance notice should be given.

Acquisition Information

The material was donated to ICS by the legal adviser to the Colonial Office in 1956.

Other Finding Aids

A descriptive list is available in ICS Library.

Archivist's Note

Compiled 2000, revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project, Aug 2001.

Separated Material

The Public Record Office holds several Colonial Office and other files concerning the Kabaka and Buganda at this period, mostly in CO 822.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of ICS Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or quote from, original documents should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Related Material

Papers relating to the Hancock Commission into Buganda constitutional issues are in ICS 29/1.