FORT LUBA – THRUSTON HISTORICAL SITE

This Fort was once occupied by a powerful Chief – Luba of Bunya Chiefdom in Usoga (Busoga). It will be Launched on 25 February 2022

This Fort was once occupied by a powerful Chief – Luba of Bunya Chiefdom in Usoga (Busoga). It was a landing site for canoes by which men and goods were ferried to and from the Kyagwe shore.
By 1891, the British commander Fredrick Lugard recruited Sudanese troops (“Nubians”) as armed mercenaries to help administer what became the Uganda Protectorate in 1894. A year before, a British Colonial garrison had been established at Luba’s Fort with the posting of 40 Sudanese troops strategically situated near the caravan trade route that crossed the Napoleon Gulf between Bunya and Buganda. This was partly to reduce insecurity associated with the eastern caravan route. It is believed that Basoga Chiefs exchanged slaves for firearms from Buganda and the presence of a British garrison at Luba's Fort helped suppress motives for such activity.

1n 1897, the Sudanese soldiers mutinied in much of the Uganda Protectorate over pay, rations and clothes that were in arrears. The rebellion included Sudanese troops garrisoned in Kenya that joined those at Luba’s Fort. Major Thruston entered the Fort unarmed to negotiate a surrender, but he and Wilson, a British civilian, and steamer engineer Scott were shot dead. The mutineers stayed at the Fort for two months before it was attacked by British forces. C.L Pilkington of the CMS and Lt Norman MacDonald were killed. The mutineers evacuated the Fort and escaped by dhow on 9th January 1898. Luba’s Fort was abandoned and another short-lived Fort Thruston built nearby the following year. Chief Luba died of sleeping sickness on 17th July 1906, during the first outbreak of the epidemic that ravaged the region.

This monument was built in 1900, in memory of those who lost their lives during ‘the war at Bukaleba”. The site’s cultural landscape consists of caves, a man-made ditch system, with significant scatters of iron-slag, pottery, and the Walumbe sacred tree.