Ham Mukasa.

Uganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII online

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palace the carriage stopped, and the soldiers played the
tune which is played to welcome great men, and all
saluted, and we then entered the Sultan's palace and
went upstairs. In the first room at the top of the stairs
we were met by the Sultan and two of his attendants ;
he was standing a little way apart from them, and first
greeted the Consul, who then introduced us all to him,

IDtett to tbe Sultan 245

Apolo Katikiro, Rev. E. Millar, and Ham Mukasa, and
he took each of us by the hand and then took us into
the council chamber, in which he had left his councillors,
and where we found many Arabs and Indians and Banyans
and the head of each clan in Zanzibar, all of whom had
come together to greet the Sultan's visitors. They were
all beautifully dressed, each one in the dress of his own
nation ; the Arabs had on their burnouses, and large
turbans of fine coloured cloth, and daggers in their waist-
belts as is their custom.

We sat down, and the Sultan asked the Katikiro
how things were going on in Uganda ; and he told him
that he had been a month without receiving any letters,
and so he did not know what was going on at the present
time. The Sultan told us that he wished to come to
Uganda, and we were very pleased, and told him what
our country was like, and how we had very bad houses,
only made of grass, and how we had not yet got our
roads into order ; while they in Zanzibar had houses
built of earth and fine buildings of stone. After we
had stayed for about a quarter of an hour we said good-
bye, and he accompanied us as far as the top of the stairs,
and then went back, whilst we went downstairs, followed
by the Arabs.

The Sultan's palace is very fine and like the
country-house of a rich Englishman. All the things
in it were like the things one finds in an English house ;
the chair of the Sultan, and that of the Commissioner,

246 THoanfri'd 1\atifoiro in

and that of the Regent, General Rogers, were all of

When we reached the courtyard in which were the
soldiers, they played a tune to bid us farewell ; and
we then got into our carriage and drove home.

After a short time we went to visit an Arab who has
a shop in our country, and whose house was near to our
hotel. He welcomed us very kindly, and told us that
the English were very much better than all the other
European nations, and were much richer than all other
nations, and governed all their colonies very well.

His house was just like that of a European inside,
and had large windows and things spread over the floor,
and was quite clean, and had in it chairs and tables
and easy chairs, just like a European house. He said,
" I have travelled in a great many places, and see that
keeping one's house clean and neat makes one live
longer, and keeps one from being constantly ill ; and
I therefore keep my house like that of a European,
since the Arabs are not clean at all and are therefore
always unwell." He gave us some coffee and sherbet,
and a kind of flour mixed with butter, which the Kati-
kiro would not eat ; but I took a little so as not to vex
our host.

If it were not for the prayer-mats you would not
know that this man was an Arab, as all the furniture
would lead you to think he was a European ; he has
chairs and carpets, and pavements worked in designs,

Catbefcral 247

and tables and clocks, and in everything has tried
to make his house like that of a European ; and were
it not for the Muhammadan prayer-books and praying-
mats you would not know he was an Arab.

After a short rest at the hotel we drove to see the
Cathedral at Mkunazini, which is the Cathedral of Zanzi-
bar, just as the Cathedral at Namirembe (Uganda) is
the Mengo Cathedral. The site on which it is built
is the site of the old slave-market ; when Said Barghash
was told to abolish slavery he did away with this market,
and gave the site to the (Universities') Mission, and
they built the Cathedral on it. The first bishop of
Zanzibar was Bishop Tozer, who came out in 1864,
but Bishop Steere built the Cathedral ; he began it
on June 6th, 1873, and finished it in 1879.

When we reached the Cathedral we found two ladies,
Archdeacon Evans, and the storekeeper of the mission,
and they took us all over the building, both inside and
out. We climbed up on to the roof and got a view
over the whole town, for the building is very high and
far above all the other houses.

We went over the hospital and nurses' house, both
of which were very nice. In the hospital were many
different kinds of people Swahilis, Arabs, Indians,
Banyans, Somalis, etc. We bought some books which
we wanted and then drove towards Chwaka, but turned
back before we arrived there.

The next day, September 6th, we went again to the

248 IDkiaitfa'a 1<atifuro in

law courts about the matter of the Swahili who had
cheated the K.itikiro out of a thousand rupees, and
obtained a warrant against him and gave it to our
friend Alidina Vissramu. We next went to see the
printing office where all the books in Zanzibar are
printed, and which is called the *' Gazette Office " ; we
then went to say good-bye to the Consul, and came back
to the hotel for lunch.

After lunch we packed up to go away, and they took
all our things down to the sea-shore, and we followed them
down to a place where there was a very large market,
quite close to the Sultan's courtyard and to the prison.
Our things were put into a boat, and we went off to the
ship which was to take us to Mombasa, and which was
called British India, B.I. They took on board all our
goods and those of other passengers, and we sat and
looked at the town of Zanzibar, which you can see very
well from the sea, and which is a very fine town to look
at. We saw a ship which had been sunk when the Arabs
fought against the English (1896) in Zanzibar; only the
masts are now visible, because the ship is at the bottom
of the sea ; the Government are going to clear it away,
as it prevents ships coming into the harbour properly ;
it will perhaps cost 5,000 to do this.

We waited a long time while they were still taking in
cargo, and amused ourselves with some Somali divers,
who dived after money thrown into the water ; the
Katikiro threw in ten pice and I threw in three, and they

farewell to Zansibar

went down after them and found them, to our great
surprise. A good many European passengers also threw
in money for them.

Captain Agnew, the port officer, came on board with
Mr. Bailey and said good-bye to us, and then went
ashore, and we remained with Mr. Bailey looking at
Zanzibar through our glasses. Eight priests also came
on board, under the leadership of Pere Bulesu, who had
brought them out from Europe. He knows Luganda
and English very well, and we stayed a long time talking
to him and to Mr. Bailey, both of whom are kind men ;
and even though one of them is a Frenchman, still he
is very kind to the Baganda, and likes them very much.
We left Zanzibar at about five o'clock in the evening,
and it became dark as we were nearing Pemba Island.


MomhtM Mr. F. J. Jackson, C.B. English straightforwardness Turtle
soup Kilindini Mombasa fort Lunch with Mr. Marsden Departure
from Mombasa Derailments on the Uganda Railway Port Florence
Reflections on the government of the English German "ruffians"
Fable of the two fowls

THE following morning, September 7th, we reached
Mombasa at about eight o'clock, and our vessel blew
its whistle to tell the people of Mombasa of its arrival,
and we entered the narrow harbour where all the ships

Our friend Mr. D. J. Wilson, who had met us first at
Mombasa Station on our arrival when we were going to
England, came to take us off the ship, and brought us a
boat to take us on shore, and when we landed we got on to
trollies. Apolo Katikiro got on to one with Mr. Gilkison
( Vice-Consul) and Mr. Millar, Mr. D. J. Wilson, and I,
Ham Mukasa, got on to another, and we were pushed
up to the house called the Grand Hotel, which is a very
large house as African houses go, but would be a very
inferior one in England. When we reached the hotel
they showed us our rooms, and we then had breakfast.

At four o'clock in the afternoon we went to see Mr.


, ff. 3. Jacfcson 251

F. J. Jackson, the Deputy Commissioner of Mombasa,
a very old friend of ours who is well known in Uganda,
and a very brave man in war.

We walked to his house, which was the official residence
of all the commissioners, a very fine stone house, roofed
with corrugated iron and three stories high. It is built
in an excellent situation, and has a view of all the ships
that come to the harbour, whether by day or night,
as it has near it a tower with a light on it which
can be seen from a great distance. The house is very
well furnished, with carpets, and tables, and chairs, and
many other things to look at, such as all European
houses have in them ; but although it is called the
Commissioner's residence, yet it is only like an English

When we arrived Mr. Jackson himself got up and met
us at the door, and welcomed us and made us sit down,
and introduced his secretary and his nephew to us,
and also introduced us to the wife of Mr. Gedge, who
came to Uganda a long time ago together with Mr.
Jackson. This lady asked the Katikiro all about England,
and he told her a great deal about all he had seen, and
she was very pleased, and asked him, " What did you
think of the sea ? " and he shook his head and said,
" It was terrible," because he was very much afraid of the
sea, not from mere fright, but because it made him very
ill and sea-sick. After this we went to church, as it was
Sunday, and then went home.

252 TJUjanfra's 1\atihiro in

We received a large number of letters from Uganda
and read them : some brought good news, and some
bad ; a great many people had died of sleeping-sickness,
and many were very ill. We heard that the Government
were going to turn about a hundred chiefs and peasants
out of their estates, which were in the neighbourhood
of Kampala, and that a chief called Kikojo was going
to be turned out of his estates near Entebbe ; and we
were very much afraid, because a promise had been
made that some of these people should not be turned
out, and they were being turned out after all ! This
frightened us very much, as we thought that per-
haps other treaties would be in the same way broken ;
but after all everything ended satisfactorily, for when
they saw that a great many people were angry, and
that both great and small, chiefs and peasants, were
very much troubled about it, the English did as they
always do when they think they have done wrong, and
the Commissioner, Colonel Sadler, refused to allow the
arrangement, and it came to nothing.

On September 8th, the following day, at eleven o'clock,
we went to lunch with Mr. Jackson, the Deputy Com-
missioner, and found him with Mr. Hollins and Mr.
Archer, and another man called Mr. Lorimer, and also
Mrs. Gedge ; and we sat and talked for a while and then
went in to lunch. We had some turtle soup, and the
Katikiro did not know what it was and drank it ; and
then Mr. Millar asked him if the soup was nice, and

"JMnspon" 253

he said it was very nice indeed ; and Mr. Millar laughed
and told him it was turtle soup, and he replied, " When
one is on the war-path, one does not refuse anything." l
After lunch we had some coffee, and talked about
what we had seen in England, and about what was going
on in Uganda, and what news our letters had brought
us, and Mr. Jackson said he was sorry to hear we had
not good news.

After this we went back and explored the island
of Mombasa. It is a small island and flat, like our
island of Lulamba, but about as large as the island
of Buvu, or a little smaller.

In the evening we went to dinner with Mr. J. A. Bailey,
and after dinner played a game called " Pingpon,"
which is played on a table with small round india-rubber
balls, about the size of a fowl's egg ; we played two
or three games and then went home. It was a very
wet day, and Mr. Millar had a slight attack of fever.

The next day, September gth, at eleven o'clock, we
went to see what Kilindini was like. We were pushed
across the island in trollies, and went down to the railway
bridge between Mombasa and the mainland, and then
went on to see where they store kerosene oil. They
have two very large barrels of iron, into which they

1 The author has confused this lunch with the one we had with
the Lord Provost of Glasgow, at which we had turtle soup. At Mr.
Marsden's, two days later, we had lobster salad ; hence the mistake.
Turtles are not eaten by the Baganda.

254 THflairta'0 Ixatifmo in

pump the oil and store it up there till they require to
draw it out. One of these barrels holds two hundred
and fifty tons of the oil, and the other a hundred i
We saw also a damaged steamer which they were mend-
ing, and then came home very tired. I was just like
a sick person, and my boots were making my feet burn,
as they were too tight for me. The Katikiro was not
tired, and we were both very glad to have seen what the
island was like ; because a traveller ought to look round
every place, so that he can tell his friends what other
countries are like.

After lunch we were taken to see the old Portuguese
fort, which is very old, having been built by them
in the year 1400 A.D. It is a very large place, and there
are many ancient things in it cannon, and cannon-balls
for these old cannon, which are like the stems of trees ;
the cannon-balls are like stones in number, and are
all thrown out in the courtyard as they are of no
further use ; the fort has now been made into a prison
by the English, and is a very strong place, and has
many houses in it.

We saw there a great many prisoners three of whom
were Europeans and were engaged in caning chairs,
while the others were doing other work. The prisoners
are well looked after, and have good food and nice houses
to sleep in. We saw also a very old well made by
the Portuguese, which is in a house ; and when it
rains the rain-water is collected in it, and so the people

prieon 255

in the fort get a supply of good water which lasts a
long time.

After this we wrote our names in the visitors' book,
and then were shown photographs of the prisoners,
which were very well taken. They register the
prisoners very cleverly ; they first take photographs of
them, and then write down the height of each man,
and the size of his chest, and his colour, and his offence,
and the length of his imprisonment, and the place he
comes from, and his name and religion. All this they
do to remind themselves about each man, so that when
he commits another offence it is always known what
he is like in every respect.

I thoroughly approved of this, because it teaches us
a spiritual lesson. If we men have the wisdom to mark
criminals who offend against our human laws, how
will it be with the Creator of heaven and earth ? Let
us then take care that we have no marks of evil put on
us, but only marks of good, because as we judge others
we ourselves shall be judged. I put this in to remind
the hearts of all of us who know God, and although
this is a book about earthly matters, still this matter
should be put into it, as it is like what we know ; it
is not as if this book were written for those who knew
nothing of God, but it is to be read by all of you who
know God.

Well, to continue our story. After leaving the fort
we went to have tea with Boustead Ridley (Mr. R. N.

256 Tfloatrta'0 "fcatiluro in

Boustead), and tin -n went to see the Roman (
priests, and after that returned home, and Mr
Semler, the pastor of the Frere Town Church, and tin-
father-in-law of Mika Sematimba, came with his daughter
to see us.

The next day, September loth, we began getting ready
for our journey to Uganda, as we hoped soon to be
starting, and at twelve o'clock the Vice-Consul, Mr.
Marsden, came with his trolley to fetch us to lunch
with him ; the Liwali (chief judge) of Mombasa was also
with him, and we went to his house and had lunch,
and they asked us about England, and we told them
of all we had seen. All Europeans are anxious to hear
something new from every part of their land and other

The son of the Liwali of Mombasa was also there ;
he knew English very well, because his father had sent
him to England, and he had remained there for a year
or two ; he can also write very well, and is now at work
in the Mombasa Government offices. He in his turn
has sent his son to England to be taught, and is going
to leave him there eleven years, so that he may get very
well educated.

After lunch Mr. Marsden brought out his singing
machine, which the English call a phonograph, but
which we call a " talking machine," and it made us laugh
very much, because you hear its voice, which is just
like the voice of a real man, as you know yourselves if

flfeombosa 257

you have heard the phonograph which Mr. Millar brought
to Uganda. After this we went home, because Mr. Marsden
had a great deal of work to do, as he was the Vice-Consul,
and we did not want to waste his time by sitting there

After this Mr. Millar and I went to see our friends
at Frere Town, in accordance with a promise we had
made, but Apolo Katikiro did not come as he was afraid
of being sea-sick when crossing the harbour, and also
he wished to get ready to go to Uganda.

When we arrived at Frere Town we went to see the
Rev. H. K. Binns and another missionary, and then
went to the Rev. Ishmael Semler, the father-in-law of
Mika Sematimba, and afterwards visited the ladie."
of the mission, and then returned home.

In the evening we went to Mr. Bailey's house, and there
found twenty-five English people, who had come to hear
about England and Uganda; there were also four
native Christians from Mombasa. The Katikiro told
them a great deal about England, and they were very
pleased indeed, and laughed with joy. We then had
prayers and went home. It was raining very heavily
indeed, but Mr. Bailey very kindly saw us home to
the Grand Hotel, as he is a very kind man, like all
true Englishmen.

The next morning we fastened up all our things, as
the train which was to take us was on the way to fetch
us, and arrived at twelve o'clock. We sent our things


258 Uflanta0 1\atil;iro in

to the station, and Mr. Millar went with them to get
them put into the train and then came back, and we
had lunch. At one o'clock we went to the station ; we
hoped soon to get to the end of our journey, and
to arrive in Uganda in a few days three days in the
train and two on the steamer, five in all, or perhaps
six if there was any breakdown on the way.

A great many of our friends, both English and Swahili,
came to see us off, and when we got into the train we were
very pleased indeed, just as if we could see Uganda
with our eyes. I saw how very pleased Mr. Millar was ;
he was nearly out of his senses with delight at being
in the train that was to take us to Uganda. Though
he had fever, yet the fever left him at once, and he sang
some English songs we could not understand, and slapped
his knees and my knees, and hit me on the scar of my
wounded leg in his joy, and I was not vexed with him
for doing so, because I was so pleased to see how happy
he was. I, too, was very pleased, but my joy was very
small compared to his. My joy was like that of a man
who has discovered a silver mine, while Mr. Millar's
was like that of a man who has discovered gold, and
silver, and pearls, and precious stones.

Among all the Europeans who go back to Europe
I never saw any who were as pleased as this at going
home to see their parents, and their beautiful country,
and their relations ; and I was therefore very much
surprised at seeing Mr. Millar as glad to get back to

Gravelling bacfc to THgant>a 259

our country as if he had been born there ; perhaps,
though, there may have been some other reason which
I did not know of. I think, however, that this was the
true reason, as Mr. Millar is very fond indeed of the
Baganda, and we were amazed at his not stopping in
England to rest ; he was only there a few months
with us, and came back again without having had
any rest, or having seen his own relations and friends
properly, as he was always busy over our business ;
and therefore this that he did for us ought always to
be remembered.

As we went along in the train we looked at the coast
scenery. They have put iron telegraph posts by the
side of the line, and on these are iron plates, having
on them the number of miles they are from the coast ;
we thought this a very good idea, because you can see
how far on the journey you have got, and how much
remains to be travelled. The whole length of the railway
is 580 miles.

Night fell as we passed Maungu, and we went to sleep ;
and the train went on all the while we were asleep.
The things of the English are very nice ; it is pleasant
to go to sleep in a boat that travels over land while
those who are not engaged in working it can go to

The next day, September I2th, we were in the train
all day. We saw the magnificent bridges that had been
made near the Kedong escarpment over the large

260 llom^a'0 1<atihtro in

nvtrs that had cut ravines out of the hillsides.
Formerly they had a machine there that let the carriages
up and down the hill by a rope made of iron, but
they did away with it as every one was so frightened
of it.

The next morning, September I3th, near Lumbwa,
we saw a train that had left the rails and had fallen
into the valley ; there were no people in it, but only
the bodies of two horses and three donkeys belonging
to an Indian trader, and these smelt very badly indeed.
At first we thought that there had been some people
in the train ; but they told us that it was only some
animals that had been killed. When we reached Fort
Teraan we met a great many Baganda, and talked to
them about England until ten o'clock at night, as they
did not want us to leave off.

The following morning, September I4th, after leaving
Fort Ternan, we passed another train which had left
the rails. The rain had been very heavy, and that is
the reason the line got so much out of order and these
accidents occurred ; and although it gets out of order,
yet it is kept in good repair, because the engineers are
very clever. To people who bridge seas and cut through
mountains and go under lakes, is it a difficult matter
to keep the line in repair ? There is no doubt that
it will be made all right and sound.

We arrived at Port Florence at two o'clock, and on
arrival found there was no house in which we could

<>n boarfc tbe "William flDacfcinncm" 261

sleep ; so the Katikiro and I slept in the railway carriage,
and had our meals in a small hotel. A great many
Baganda collected together to hear about England,
and we told them a great deal about it. Paulo Kawa-
wulo, the chief man of the Baganda at Kisumu, gave
us a present of a large goat, and we ate it. We saw
too how they had begun to build a town at the terminus
of the railway on Ugowe Bay (Kavirondo Bay).

The next day, September I5th, after breakfast, we
got ready our things, and they were taken down to
the steamer William Mackinnon, and were put in
charge of Mr. Brown, who used to be at Nakasero
(Mengo), and he sent them on board ; but we ourselves
stayed some time talking to our friends, and telling
them about all we had seen in England, and when
everybody else had gone on board we joined them. The
passengers consisted of eight Europeans, about forty
Indian soldiers, and four Goanese clerks. We were
very much pleased with the kindness of the English,
because the Consul-General at Zanzibar had telegraphed
to Colonel Sadler, the Consul-General in Uganda, to
tell him we were there, and to ask him to send the
steamer for us ; and they sent it over quickly for
our sakes, and we were very pleased to find it all ready
for us when we reached Kisumu.

We therefore praise the kindness of the English, because
it is like the sun that ripens fruit ; they make a fool into
a wise man, and do not like any one to do ill to his

262 Utfanfra'9 Ikatihiro in Enfant*

neighbour, but want peace everywhere. They are like
the father of the nations of the earth in teaching habits
of kindness, and were the first to abolish slavery in all
lands, and the other European nations learned this
from them ; though some have not yet given it up, such
as the Portuguese. I say this because I saw a black
boy with an Englishman, who had redeemed him for
twenty pounds from the Portuguese, who were going to sell

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Online LibraryHam MukasaUganda's Katikiro in England; being the official account of his visit to the coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII → online text (page 16 of 17)