BUNYORO - KITARA KINGDOM - Dynasties
I. The Batembuzi Dynasty
The first kings were of the Batembuzi dynasty. Batembuzi means harbingers or pioneers. The batembuzi and their reign are not well documented, and are surrounded by a lot of myth and oral legend. There is very little concurrence, among scholars, regarding the Batembuzi time period in history, even the names and successive order of individual kings. It is believed that their reign dates back to the height of Africa's bronze age. The number of individual batembuzi reigns, as given by different scholars, ranges from nine to twenty one.
II. The Bachwezi Dynasty
The Bachwezi are credited with the founding of the ancient empire of Kitara; which included areas of present day central, western, and southern Uganda; northern Tanzania, western kenya, and eastern Congo. Very little is documented about them. Their entire reign was shrouded in mystery, so much so that they were accorded the status of demi gods and worshipped by various clans. Many traditional gods in Toro, Bunyoro and Buganda have typical kichwezi (adjective) names like Ndahura, Mulindwa, Wamara, Kagoro, etc..
The bachwezi dynasty must have been very short, as supported by only three names of kings documented by historian. The bachwezi kings were Ndahura, Mulindwa and Wamara; in this order.
In addition to founding the empire of Kitara, the bachwezi are further credited with the introduction of the unique, long horned ankole cattle, coffee growing, iron smelting, and the first semblance of organized and centralized government, under the king.
No one knows what happened to the Bachwezi. About their disappearance, there is no shortage of colorful legend. One legend claims that they migrated westward and disappeared into Lake Mwitanzige (Albert). Another legend has them disappearing into lake Wamala, which bears the name of the last king of the dynasty. There is a popular belief among scholars that they simply got assimilated into the indigenous populace, and are, today, the tribal groups like the bahima of Ankole and the batutsi of Rwanda. The bahima and batutsi have the elegant, tall build and light complexion of the bachwezi, and are traditionally herders of the long horned Ankole cattle.
III. The Babiito Dynasty
The bachwezi dynasty was followed by the babiito dynasty of the current Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara. Any attempt to pinpoint the dates of this, or any other dynasty before it, is pure conjecture; as there were no written records at the time. Modern day historians place the beginning of the babiito dynasty at around the time of the invasion of Bunyoro by the Luo from the North. The first mubiito (singular) king was Isingoma Mpuga Rukidi I, whose reign is placed around the 14th century. Todate, there have been a total of 27 babiito kings of Bunyoro-Kitara.