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Weekly Observer | Govt reclaims Buganda Land titles

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Posted June 5, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uncategorized ~ 2,503 views

     

Uganda's Attorney General Mr. Peter Nyombi and Buganda Government Constitutional Affairs Minister Apolo Makubuya exchange Land titles looking on is Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Daudi Migereko

Uganda’s Attorney General Mr. Peter Nyombi and Buganda Government Constitutional Affairs Minister Apolo Makubuya exchange Land titles looking on is Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Daudi Migereko

Kabaka told he has no control over Buruuli, Kooki properties — Government has recalled some of the 213 land titles of Buganda’s ancestral properties less than two months after President Museveni handed them over in the full glare of cameras.

The Observer has learnt that Attorney General Peter Nyombi recently wrote to the kingdom withdrawing some of the titles, and also indicating that the kingdom has no control over properties in Kooki, Buruuli and Bugerere, areas perceived to be under Buganda Kingdom’s jurisdiction.

The two-page letter, dated May 30 and addressed to Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, directs the kingdom to hand back at least 13 land titles for land located in Kooki County. Nyombi’s letter quotes clause 2 (b) of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the kingdom signed with President Museveni on August 2, 2013, which requires the Kabaka to respect other ethnic groups such as the Banyala and Baruuli.

The clause, according to Nyombi’s letter, also takes away Kabaka’s control over properties in counties where there are recognized cultural groups. Asked for a comment last evening, after the State of the Nation address by President Museveni, Nyombi confirmed writing the letter.

Asked about its rationale, he said: “We want to operationalise the MOU and in the letter I’m suggesting that the kingdom sits down with government to agree on a way forward.” He further said, “There’s no need for panic because the verification process has identified another 84 properties of the Kabaka.”

The MOU, signed last year on the eve of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’s 20th coronation anniversary, was negotiated by Mayiga and kingdom officials who included; Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Apollo Makubuya, Prince David Wasajja and Herbert Ndiwalana.

The letter was written in response to an April 24 letter from the Kamuswaga Apollo Ssansa Kabumbuli II to President Museveni, protesting the handover of the titles of land located in Kooki. Contacted by telephone yesterday, Mayiga declined to comment on this matter, saying he was busy. But the Kingdom’s spokesman Denis Ssengendo Walusimbi said the kingdom had not received the letter.

“We have not seen it, probably it is on the way,” Walusimbi said.

He, however, maintained that the properties in the respective counties belong to the Kabaka.

“Yes other communities can own properties in [those counties] but that does not take away the Kabaka’s control; the counties are still part of Buganda kingdom,” Walusimbi said.

Fake titles
Buganda’s first deputy Katikkiro Emmanuel Ssendaula, Makubuya and Prince Wasajja were some of the Buganda Kingdom officials that received the land titles on behalf of the kingdom during an April 15 event at State House Entebbe. The properties included the Katikkiro’s official estate, estates for the County chiefs (Abamasaza) plus Amagombolola (sub-counties) and Amasaza (county) headquarters.

“Some of those properties had been handed back to us way back and we were surprised when we discovered that some of the titles he [Museveni] had given to Buganda are the same titles he had given to us,” Kamuswaga’s spokesman Stanley Ndawula told The Observer yesterday.

The Kooki titles were handed over to the Kamuswaga in 2007, sparking off a bitter row between the government and Buganda Kingdom.

“What we don’t know is whether the titles we have are the genuine ones and Mengo was given the fake ones or vice versa because the titles in our possession appear to be the original titles. So where did those given to Mengo come from?” Ndawula wondered.

Mengo, on the other hand is also questioning the authenticity of the titles in Kooki’s possession.

“At least I saw all the titles that were handed to us and are registered under [Buganda Kingdom] and Uganda Protectorate, so I am querying the origin of the titles that Kooki claims to be under its possession,” Walusimbi said.

During the State House event, Walusimbi said, Nyombi reported that the titles were being handed over at the conclusion of a verification process which was embarked on after the signing of the MOU in August last year.

“And Museveni in his own words said the local governments that have been operating from the properties should relocate, so what are these new tricks that they are bringing in? We don’t understand what they are up to, something does not add up,” Walusimbi said.

This development is likely to ignite a new round of hostility between the Kingdom and the central government. Mengo is now accusing the government of attempting to abuse the Constitution.

“Even then, Kooki and those other counties [Buruuli and Bugerere] are part of Buganda according the Constitution; unless they have changed the Constitution,” Walusimbi said.

sadabkk@observer.ug


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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