Bulange Royal Building
The Buganda Lukiiko or Parliament is housed at Bulange Mengo
Bulange Mengo is one of the true prides of the kingdom of Buganda. It is situated on one of the baganda hills and it is adjacent to the Kabaka’s palace which is located on Namirembe hill. Bulengo mengo is the parliament as well as the Administration building of the Buganda kingdom. A straight pass of Kabaka Anjagala road is facing directly from the main entrance of the palace to the main entrance of the parliament which is also called Bulange and this is the perfect place where you will more about the history of the Buganda kingdom which is almost the same as that of Uganda.
The bulange mengo/ parliament where traditionally the Prime ministers (Katikiro), other ministers, chiefs and the Kabaka would hold their meetings with in the palace or under one of the trees in the palace and as time went by, they decided to construct a grass thatched conference center which served as the parliament and by the 20th century, the prime minister of the Buganda kingdom by then who was called Sir Apollo Kagwa decided to establish a brick parliamentary building which influenced the construction of the Buganda parliament called Bulange in the year 1955 together with the plans of the Ssekabaka Muteesa II after he had returned from exile who copied the a similar building style from Scotland which he had admired. The construction of the bulange mengo was completely funded by the Buganda government and construction was completed in the year 1958. Ever since then, it became the Administration capital and Parliament of the Buganda kingdom.
This Bulange building is found in the piece of land which was once owned by the First British Police and it was formerly referred to as Namirembe. The parliamentary building has got only one floor which is sited on the head of the king culturally. And the name Bulange was given to the Parliament Place due to a certain weaving grass that used to grow on that hill.
On the bulange building, you will see about 56 clans of the Buganda kingdom where each is represented by a symbol and their importance explained. With the guide’s knowledge about the Buganda culture, he will explain to you the values of being part of a given clan.
In the ancient days of 1966, Uganda as a whole country encountered a political disorder which led to the invasion of the Kabaka’s palace and finally captured. During this period, Obote II wanted to do away with cultural institutions. Therefore he turned the Buganda parliament –bulange in the Uganda Army Headquarters. However credit goes to the National Resistance Movement that played a big role in restoring the back the cultural institutions thus Bulange was given back to the Buganda kingdom.
However though this was done, there were restriction and conditions attached and although the parliament of buganda commenced with its duties, there were a lot of limitation of how they are going to operate and perform their duties. From then the Buganda kingdom became a legitimate monarchy and the Buganda parliament was only supposed to legislate cultural laws as well as handling its own development issues but were not allowed to influence a political issues.
The Buganda Lukiiko / Parliament was made up of 68 appointed political members elected from the counties, the 6 members were chosen by the Kabaka, the 8 members were county chiefs of Buganda, and the rest were cabinet ministers of the Buganda kingdom. The Prime minister plus the king had their own offices along with the ministers.
When you explore the bulange parliament, you will have an opportunity to support the works of the Buganda kingdom and this is through buying certificates which vary in price and they range from 5000 to 100,000 shillings. There is a local bark cloth shop with numerous art items that will help you learn and understand more about the Buganda culture plus it interesting history, this include the guides, historical books, the royal drums among other art and craft item. You will guide by your guide how to dress up before you are allowed to enter this cultural place.