Buganda Counties

At its founding, the Kingdom of Buganda had only a small territory consisting of the counties of Busiro, Busujju, Kyaddondo and Mawokota; as well as small portions of Ssingo and Bulemeezi counties. Most of the surrounding territory was the dominion of the kings of Bunyoro. There was considerable rivalry between Bunyoro and Buganda, and constant fighting over territory. Gradually, Buganda was able to expand its territory at the expense of Bunyoro until it grew to the twenty counties that constituted Buganda at its pinnacle. The islands of Ssese were autonomous within Buganda right from its founding, being reserved as the islands of the gods. They were not directly governed by the kings of Buganda until after the 1900 agreement. The following list gives the counties, their respective headquarters, the title of the county chief, the designated rank of the county within Buganda, and how the county came to be part of Buganda. A map showing the location of each county is given at the bottom of the page.

The Counties of Buganda

County Headquarters Chief’s Title Designated Rank How Acquired
1 Buddu Masaka Ppookino Mutuba II Annexed by Jjunju from Bunyoro
2 Bugerere Ntenjeru Mugerere   Annexed by Semei Kakungulu from Bunyoro
3 Bulemeezi Ggaga Kangaawo   Some of it original territory, rest annexed from Bunyoro
4 Buruli Nakasongola Kimbugwe   From Bunyoro, 1900 Agreement
5 Busiro Ssentema Ssebwana   Original Territory
6 Busujju Mwera Kasujju   Original Territory
7 Butambala Kaabasanda Katambala   Annexed by Kateregga from Bunyoro
8 Buvuma Maggyo Mbuubi   Annexed by Mwanga II
9 Buweekula Kiryannongo Luwekula   Annexed by Kamaanya from Bunyoro
10 Ggomba Kanoni Kitunzi Mutuba I Annexed by Kateregga from Bunyoro
11 Kabula Kabula Luwama   Ceded to Buganda from Ankole
12 Kkooki Rakai Kaamuswaga   Tributary kingdom, subsumed 1896
13 Kyaddondo Kasangati Kaggo Ssabaddu Original Territory
14 Kyaggwe Mukono Ssekiboobo Ssabawaali Annexed by Kimera
15 Mawogola Ssembabule Muteesa   Mostly curved out of Buddu, 1900 Agreement
16 Mawokota Butoolo Kayima Musaale Original Territory
17 Ssese Kalangala Kweba Islands of the Gods Originally autonomous, became county in 1900
18 Ssingo Mitiyana Mukwenda Ssabagabo Some of it original territory, rest from Bunyoro
19 Bugangazzi* Kakumiro Kiyimba   Given by British, 1896
20 Buyaga* Kibaale Kyambalango   Given by British, 1896

* These counties were transferred from Bunyoro to Buganda in 1896 by the British colonial rulers. This was a reward to the rulers of Buganda who had collaborated with the British in their fight against king Kabarega of Bunyoro. Kabarega had vigorously resisited the colonization of his kingdom. After Uganda’s independence from Britain, they reverted back to Bunyoro following a referendum in those counties in 1964.