When Britain withdrew recognition from Kabaka Mutesa II in 1953, considering him disloyal for failure to advocate for the new governor's progressive initiatives, Buganda's response was distinctive and successful: mourning. Ganda wept publicly, and portrayed themselves as wives forcibly divorced from their king/husband. With the removal of Mutesa, they argued, Britain even violated its own alliance, or marriage, with Buganda. Metaphors of marriage and declarations of loyal wives proved successful in destabilizing imperial efforts to reshape power in Buganda to fit into a unified Uganda. Drawing on specific associations of love and politics associated with Ganda marriage, Ganda fought, successfully, to achieve Mutesa II's return and to ensure Buganda's distinctive political identity. In the process, though, they declared and institutionalized an identity as subjects of the Kabaka, abandoning ideas of citizenship through Bataka (clans) voiced by earlier activists and enacting troublesome precedents for proponents of Ugandan nationalism.
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