In 1891 British troops would enter Uganda under the command of Captain Frederick Lugard who was tasked with patrolling the area and keeping trade routes open during the religious conflict still plaguing the country. Lugard was one of those men possessed with a desire to protect both native people in Africa and the interests of the British Empire both commercially and in the form of new territories. While in Buganda Lugard came to see the economic advantages that the country could supply to Britain rich in the form of ivory, coffee, rubber and wheat. Lugard would later argue to stay in Buganda amidst what would become hotly debated topic in England. Much of the debate would revolve around a desire to suppress the slave trade which was once again on the rise, in fact to such an extent that numbers in slave trafficking had not been as high since the mid-1870s. Others would argue that to leave Uganda would be a public relations disaster and would be an embarrassment to the British people and Empire. An argument that had been used in other parts of the Empire to maintain British control. In the end it was decided that Britain should stay. The imperial advantages were too great and a state in the midst of endemic civil strife would be no great challenge to overcome. In 1893 the British government would officially take possession of all matters Ugandan and the IBEA Company would withdraw.
At first, British colonial rule did not change Bugandan lifestyle to any great extent. They maintained traditional clan and Kabaka structure and their economy remained relatively unchanged. However, Mwanga II and subsequent rulers were gradually degraded by the actions of Lugard the British colonial government. British commissioners slowly began to take precedence over Baganda chiefs and even replaced the king in matters of traditional gift exchange (Twaddle 69). It is tempting to speculate what might have happened had British colonial interests arrived at Buganda’s doorstep during a more tranquil period, though the end result would most probably have been the same. A country wracked by tribal, clan as well as religious differences is not one that can usually effectively withstand outside pressures. Three coups in the span of just a few short years had weakened the state significantly. Britain was able to exploit these differences, playing one faction against the other to take control of the country much more easily than would have been possible had they been dealing with a united government.