KAMPALA, UGANDA: Buruuli and Bunyala Chiefdoms have launched a fresh campaign to repossess lost still under Buganda Kingdom.
In their new campaign dubbed ‘My Land My Life’, Buruuli and Bunyala Chiefdoms seek to repossess 14 and 11 pieces of land respectively currently under Buganda Kingdom.
Buruuli chiefdom says the British protectorate government dispossessed them of their land and handed it over to Buganda in reward for her alliance in the Anglo– Nyoro war, which ousted Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro and forced him to flee to exile.
Bunyala Chiefdom says that the British Protectorate government also gave away part of their land in the 1900 Buganda Agreement. Martin Luther Senkatuuka, the Prime Minister of Bunyala Chiefdom, says that in 2013, President Yoweri Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi signed a memorandum of understanding where it was agreed that all land in the areas are left to the Chiefdoms.
He, however, says that they are disappointed that to date Mengo officials have refused to return the land and continue leasing it to other people as well as charge ground rent. Senkatuuka says that they want the land returned to them to enable them to redevelop it and empower tenants who live there.
On Friday, Isabaruuli Constantine Mwogezi Butamanya accompanied by the Ssabanyala Captain Baker Kimeze launched a fresh drive to demand the return of their land.
Speaking at his palace in Kibira village in Nakasongola town, Isabaruuli Butamanya said they have been patient enough and are going to use all legal means to ensure Buganda Kingdom returns the land.
Isabaruuli blasted the government for giving preferential treatment to Buganda Kingdom and failing to correct historical injustices against other chiefdoms.
In August this year, Buruuli Chiefdom sought an audience with the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to remind the government about their lost land and demand its return. They also intend to petition Attorney General seeking his intervention to return their property.
However, Buganda’s information Minister Noah Kiyimba, says that the chiefdoms were not a party to the MOU between the Kabaka and the President intended at returning all land to Mengo. Kiyimba said that they are also pursuing their own properties that are still being held by the government and they want MOU implemented.
He however notes that Buruuli and Bunyala chiefdoms are also free to pursue their own demands, adding that Buganda Kingdom is ready to respond in case they initiate any legal process against it. In 2019, Buruuli cultural chiefdom petitioned the Commission of inquiry into land matters.
The Chiefdom asked the probe to recommend the correction of historical injustices, which dispossessed residents of their properties. Buruuli Chiefdom seceded from the Buganda Kingdom on December 10, 2012, whereas Bunyala Chiefdom seceded from Buganda Kingdom in 2008 when Captain Baker Kimeze was installed as a cultural leader.
But Kingdom still considers the areas as counties and doesn’t recognize the chiefdoms.