It's just a day away from the Uganda Martyrs Day Celebrations, an event that gathers over 3 million people to commemorate the death of 45 young men that were burnt alive in Namugongo after they refused to denounce their religion.
According to history, a group of 22 Catholic converts and 23 Anglicans were executed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga because they refused to denounce their Christian faith hence their execution between 25th May, and 3rd June 1885 to 1887.
This happened after different religious factions of Muslims, Catholics, and the Anglicans tried to get political influence at the Buganda Royal Court. At the same time, the scramble for Africa, its division, occupation, and annexation by European powers was taking place.
According to James Onen, the martyrs were executed because of political insubordination rather than their religious beliefs.
“I’m actually more sympathetic to that school of thought where it's believed that the Kabaka was angry with people in his court who were acting in subversion, where they were operating as agents of foreign actors of the British missionaries,” he said.
He opined that since there was a struggle between the religious factions to gain political influence in the court, this may have caused suspicion which possibly inspired them to overthrow the Kabaka.
Olive Najjuma also added that it's hard to blame the actions of the Kabaka because he thought that they were not only trying to undermine his power but also that they were plotting to assume it.
“The British, who were referred to as ‘missionaries’ were aiding different kingdoms to fight against each other, and the King had people serving him before pledging allegiance to Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ the Kabaka had never heard of,” Olive explained.
Regardless of the theories, the presenters acknowledged that it was a tragic event that is worth commemoration.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.