African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 384

Full Length Research Paper

Analysis of the pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial bureaucracy of Buganda: The major milestones in its development

Hizaamu Ramadhan
  • Hizaamu Ramadhan
  • Uganda Management Institute, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 05 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 08 May 2015
  •  Published: 31 August 2018


Bureaucracy in Buganda polity transcended the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era. During each era, the principles which underpin the Weberian bureaucracy manifested variously. Pre-colonial bureaucracy manifested as a strong chain of command through the hierarchical kingdom structure; and centralized control by the King through the chiefs. During the colonial times, bureaucracy had duality in the chain of command and allegiance where chiefs served both the King and colonial administrators. Unlike the pre-colonial era, laws were written and some employees directly under the colonial administration were recruited due to their technical competences and served with impersonality. The post-colonial bureaucracy was an extension of the colonial bureaucracy albeit with more of the Weberian form. Buganda wanted to operate as a state within a state where the King held political and executive powers of Uganda as a state but at the same time retain the position of the head of the monarch (Buganda) within Uganda. Abolition of monarchies created a lull in the late 1960s to early 1980s. Coming into power of the NRM regime reinstated the monarch albeit with more cultural mandate than political and administrative clout. The bureaucratic machinery remained in the Kingdom administrative hierarchy without the powers it enjoyed during the pre-colonial and colonial era. This article provides historical development of Buganda monarch during the different eras. It chronological highlighted the growth; peaking and anticlimax of bureaucracy in the Buganda. Whether the bureaucracy in Buganda will regain its original form under the current government remains to be seen. 


Key words: Bureaucracy; polity; government, pre-colonial, colonial, post-colonial.