|Republic of Mbale
Jamhuri ya Mbale
|Official languages||Dutch, Swahili|
|Recognised national languages||Arabic, Amharic, French|
|Recognised regional languages||Kurundi, Kinyarwanda, Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo|
|Ethnic groups (1990)||
|Government||One Party State|
|Legislature||The National Congress|
|-||from the Mbuatu Tribal Empire||1956 BCE|
|-||1990 estimate||77,000,000 (13th)|
|GDP (nominal)||1990 estimate|
|Currency||Koloniaal Guilder (KGR)|
Mbale, officially the Republic of Mbale, is a coastal country in East Africa. The nation is bordered to the north by Habesha and Nyala, to the west by the Union du Congo, to the south-west by République du Congo and Boli, and to the south by Great Zanzibar. The country includes the entirety of Lake Victoria and substantial portions of Lake Tanganyika, shared with the Union du Congo, the République du Congo and Boli. Mbale is in the African Great Lakes region. Mbale also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.
Mbale takes its name from the 1st Mbale Empire, which encompassed a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Mombassa. The people of Mbale were hunter-gatherers until 2,100 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Beginning in 1861, the area was ruled as a colony by the Royal Dutch Trading Company, who established administrative law across the territory. Its rule was transferred to the government of Vanavoy from 1947-1968 due to the dissolution of the Royal Dutch Trading Company. Mbale gained independence from Vanavoy on 9 October 1969. The period since then has been marked by intermittent conflicts, including a lengthy civil war against the Mbale National Army in the Northern Region, which has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties.
The official languages are Dutch and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law. Luganda, a central language, is widely spoken across the country, and several other languages are also spoken including Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, and Luo.
The prime minister of Mbale is Matubo O'jibu, who came to power in January 1969 after a successful independence movement.
Mbale dates back to the former Empire of Mbale (1956 BC). Throughout the centuries it remained a large trade hub, largely dealing in slaves and fish. It was largely uncontested by foreign powers until 1860, when Dutch traders splintered the Empire and conquered it with ease. It's administration was handed over to the Royal Dutch Trading Company and the former Kingdom was renamed to Nieuwe Nijkerk.
Following the Second Great War, the now bankrupt Royal Dutch Trading Company handed control of Nieuwe Nijkerk to the Dutch government, who administered it from 1947-1968. Young college graduate Matubo Muhammad O'jibu went on to lead a successful independence movement that finally freed the land from Dutch rule. In 1969 the Republic of Mbale became officially recognized and Matubo O'jibu became the first and only prime minister under the Mbale Democratic Party.
Mbale has 60 protected areas, including ten national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park (both APSIA World Heritage Sites), Kibale National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park.
The "Big Five" game animals of Africa, that is the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant, can be found in Mbale and in the Masai Mara in particular. A significant population of other wild animals, reptiles and birds can be found in the national parks and game reserves in the country. The annual animal migration occurs between June and September with millions of animals taking part, attracting valuable foreign tourism. Two million wildebeest migrate a distance of 2,900 kilometres (1,802 mi) from the Serengeti in the southern Tanzania region to the Masai Mara in Mbale, in a constant clockwise fashion, searching for food and water supplies. This Serengeti Migration of the wildebeest is a curious spectacle listed among the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Politics and government
The parliament is formed by the National Assembly, which has 125 members. These include; 60 constituency representatives, 10 district woman representatives, 10 representatives of the Mbale Armed Forces, 5 representatives of the youth, 5 representatives of workers, 5 representatives of persons with disabilities and 30 tribal representatives.
Officially Mbale runs under a heavily edited draft of the Dutch constitution. Throughout the course of his term, Prime Minister Matubo O'jibu has: Extended term limits from 4 years to 10 years to 20 years to 30 years, Removed the right to Assembly, Removed the right to Free Press, Removed the right private property, and Removed parliament's power to veto executive legislation.
Members of Parliament make between $19,000-$24,000 each year, in staggering contrast to the median wage of $390/yr. Members of the Mombasa Twelve make even more, with estimates going anywhere from $200,000-$270,000/yr.
Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it is thought that Mbale could feed all of Africa if it were commercially farmed. The economy of Mbale has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development.
Chronic institutional corruption and erratic economic management since self-rule has produced a record of persistent economic decline that has left Mbale among the world's poorest and least-developed countries. The national energy needs have historically been more than domestic energy generation, though large petroleum reserves have been found in the country's west.
Due to the turmoil of the O'jibu period, the country has been unable to begin a program of economic recovery or receive considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1981 onward, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.
Music and art