KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has tasked the Lukiiko and subjects to strongly speak out against different voices aimed at diverting the institution’s efforts in advocating for their rights and property.
“We must all jointly double efforts to water down the falsehoods, malicious and hateful words that are intended to divert us from our quest for justice and advocacy on key issues pertaining the kingdom,” Kabaka Mutebi said in part.
The Kabaka was opening the 29th Buganda Lukiiko on Monday in Bulange at the Kingdom’s administrative headquarters in Mengo. The Lukiiko is the legislative assembly for the kingdom and is composed of the kingdom ministers, county chiefs and clan leaders, and is also attended by Buganda’s representatives outside Buganda in Uganda and other countries using internet-based collaboration tools.
Kabaka Mutebi’s statement comes after central government officials sustained attacks on Mailo land tenure system and described the kingdom’s Buganda Land Board-BLB illegal.
In his letter dated 8th November to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM Central Executive Committee -CEC, the President asked the organ to fight Buganda Land Board and asked them to identify the legitimate interests of the different groups of people, which he referred to as the crux of mobilization.
“Resist land evictions for bibanja owners and work for the emancipation of the bibanja owners and compensation of the exploitative mailo owner. Resist all schemes of okutemako (cut pieces from) of the bibanja owners’ land or kyaapa mungalo (leases given by illegal Buganda Land Board),” the President’s letter read in part.
These statements are not different from those of the State Minister for Lands, Sam Mayanja who earlier in October described BLB as an illegal outfit that profits a clique to the exclusion of majority kingdom subjects. He said that BLB is run as a private company to profiteer from public land by illegally charging for issuance of Kyapa Mungalo which are titles on Kabaka’s land.
This Kyapa Mungalo was launched in 2017 by the Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga as an initiative to have people on Kabaka’s land obtain titles and tenure security.
In response to the Central government statements on BLB, Katikkiro Mayiga on 23rd November said that it was laughable for government to declare the entity as illegal because it was registered under the Constitution. Mayiga then said that if the entity is illegal as government wants to portray, it means that all companies registered under the Registrar of Companies are all illegal and non-existent.
“Buganda Land Board was started by Kabaka under the powers and authority in the traditional norms and culture,” Mayiga said. “The Ugandan Constitution recognises the cultures and norms, which the kingdom works under. Therefore, Buganda Land Board was registered under Company’s Act passed by the Parliament of Uganda.”
By saying BLB is illegal, Mayiga said the Companies Act, Constitution, Parliament and the entire government are also rendered illegal because they are the basis through which the board was registered.
BLB was started in 1994 to manage the kingdom property returned under the Restitution of Assets and Properties Act, 1993. The entity also manages the returned properties that the central government recently gave back to the Kingdom following the 2013 agreement by the kingdom and government. These properties include the county and sub-county headquarters land and others.
Buganda is estimated to be about 18,500 square miles of which only 1,000 are run by BLB and the rest administered by the central government.
In the Monday Lukiiko sitting, Mayiga also encouraged the Kingdom subjects to stand by their Kabaka in all situations.
Meanwhile, Kabaka Mutebi also encouraged his subjects to fight corruption and not to only focus on the embezzlement of public funds but also other forms of corruption like degradation of wetlands and cutting down forests which acts continue to affect the climate.
He also told his subjects not to forget about the existence of HIV/Aids and other diseases as they fight Covid-19.