Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2013
ARRIVAL OF AFRICAN CATECHISTS IN TOORO
The colonial administration in Uganda strove towards ‘national’ missions, on the principle that ‘whose land it is, to him belongs also religion’. Hence, after the religious wars, certain areas of Uganda were given to Protestants while others were reserved for Catholic missions (and for Muslims).
In 1894, the Catholic White Fathers asked for and received permission from the Protectorate administration to open a mission in Tooro which they considered to be a western extension of their sphere of influence. However, they did not have the personnel to take advantage of this permission until the end of 1895 when the first priest, Father Auguste Achte, finally reached Fort Portal, the capital of Tooro (Pirouet 1978).
The year before Achte arrived in Tooro, King Kasagama had already asked the Anglican Church Council in Mengo to send him missionaries to teach the new religion to his people (ibid.). As the Anglican Bishop Tucker also saw Tooro as lying within the Catholic sphere, he hesitated to send European missionaries to the area but instead sent some enthusiastic African catechists to bring Christianity to the Mountains of the Moon. Petero Nsubuga, Sedulaka Makwata, and one year later also Apolo Kivebulaya, all from Buganda, went to evangelize the people of Tooro (and the Congo) (Taylor 1958:64).
To send Baganda catechists to Tooro to evangelize the local people was a rather brave enterprise because the catechists belonged to the very kingdom that was remembered in Tooro for slave raiding, killing men and abducting women and children. In addition, at that time Baganda men were employed by the British as ‘sub-imperialists’ through whom the Protectorate government administered the outlying areas of Buganda.