The Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has castigated people who are pushing for the abolition of Mailo land tenure system, which is mainly in Buganda, saying they are bent on weakening the kingdom.
The Kabaka broke silence at his 28th coronation anniversary ceremony at Nkoni Palace in Buddu on Saturday, July, 31 where he stretched that some kingdom critics were portraying Buganda as an institution that is not accommodative yet all people regardless of their cultural backgrounds, have peacefully settled in Buganda over the years.
“For those who want to scrap Mailo land their goal is to weaken Buganda. This prompts us to ask, why land in other parts of Uganda is not talked about. Why Buganda land?” he said.
The Kabaka further told whoever is behind to back off mailo land and asked the central government as to why Mailo is only targeting Buganda land not other regions in Uganda.
The Kabaka further said Buganda Kingdom will not relent in its push for a federal system of governance and demand for property still being held by the central government.
Omutanda wa Buganda said both his cabinet and Lukiiko (Parliament) have been consistent in demanding what belongs to the kingdom through negotiations and will continue to use the same avenue to achieve their goal.
In his strong remarks, the Omutanda of Buganda also pressed the government to be just and honest governance.
“For the last 28 years, we have been at the forefront of demanding for justice, federal, land and our buildings. These and other things, we call them Ebyaffe,” he said.
“I want to emphasize this, we shall not relent in our quest for Ebyaffe through negotiations as we have done in the past.”
The Kabaka reminded the loyalists that for the monarch to be restored in Uganda the king had to be directly involved in the 1986 NRA liberation struggle.
Kabaka as well thanked all those that have supported Buganda and activities even when people have not been earning during this lockdown and pandemic.
Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, the kingdom Katikkiro (prime minister), said prior to the enactment of the Land Act 1998, Buganda had advised that government implements the Busuulu and Envujjo law of 1928 which protected rights of both landlords and tenants but their proposal was never considered.
“When Mailo land is abolished as being suggested in some quarters, one of the key pillars on which this kingdom was built will be destroyed. You parliamentarians who are here should know this; Buganda has never failed to discuss this (land) issue. We are ready to sit and show you how best land wrangles can better be resolved,” he said
In 2013, the government and Buganda Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Understanding which the former agreed to return all kingdom property which was confiscated after the 1966 Buganda crisis but a year later when handing over some of the title deeds to Buganda Kingdom officials, President Museveni warned the kingdom against evicting tenants who have over the years occupied her land and buildings. Although some of the properties like Bulange (official kingdom seat), Mengo Palace, have since been returned to the kingdom others such as land occupied by Makindye Military Barracks, Kigo Prison, Mengo Court are yet to be handed over by the government whose rent arrears had accumulated to Shs215.8 billion by April.
The head of clan leaders (Bataka), Mr Augustine Kizito Mutumba had earlier reported to the Kabaka that there was rampant duplication of land titles which he said has deprived many people in Buganda of their land rights.
The government is yet to react to questions raised by the longest reign in East Africa.