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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Killing bwana: peasant revenge and political panic in early colonial Ankole
Author:Willis, JustinISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Uganda
Great Britain
Nkore polity
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182641
Abstract:The killing in May 1905 of Harry St. George Galt, a senior official of the Uganda Protectorate, has generally been treated in the literature as a political murder mystery. It can more usefully be seen as a window on two issues: the importance of clientship in relationships between agriculturalists and pastoralists in the kingdom of Ankole, and British reliance on pastoral allies to make real their power in Ankole. The evidence suggests an explanation for the actions of the killer, Rutaraka, and it also provides insight into the apparently irrational behaviour of the colonial officer who headed the murder inquiry, George Wilson. This paper suggests that Galt was killed by an agriculturalist frustrated by his own failure to advance in Ankole society; but that the repercussions of the killing were magnified by the fears and uncertainties of British officials on the spot over the reliability of their pastoralist allies. The British were, however, unable to dispense with these allies, and the crisis generated by Galt's death was resolved by a reaffirmation of the alliance between the British and the pastoralist elite, after the effective scapegoating of two minor chiefs. Notes, ref., sum.