Buganda king Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II used his 28th coronation anniversary speech to send a clear message to President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni that the monarchy would not stop demanding federalism (Federo) and its properties as well as defending its mailo land tenure system.
The scientific anniversary celebration happened on July 31 at the Kabaka’s palace in Nkoni Village in Lwengo District.
In his speech, the Kabaka sought to address President Museveni’s recent comments on the need to abolish Mailo land tenure system.
MUSEVENI ON ‘EVIL MAILO LAND’
Museveni’s issues with the mailo land system stems from the fact that it creates dual ownership over the same piece of land.
Under this system, mailo land owners have the same rights as freehold owners, but they must respect the rights of lawful and bonafide occupants and kibanja holders to occupy and live on the land.
In a June 2021 speech at Kololo Independence Grounds, Museveni shredded the mailo land system and rooted for its abolition.
“This is a very bad system; the system which is in Buganda here, this one of Mailo land, I don’t know why people support it. It is very bad for the people. It’s not a fair system and it is not in other parts of Uganda because in other parts of Uganda, when you are in your kibanja, it is your kibanja. It (mailo) is really very bad, not fair,” he said.
“In Ankole, you cannot come and chase a Munyankole from his kibanja (land). You cannot. But in Buganda here, they have got so many actors; this one is saying this, this one is saying that, and is all against the small person.”
KABAKA RESPONDS TO MUSEVENI
Kabaka Mutebi has now argued that the Mailo land system is not the cause of Uganda’s land issues.
He also claimed those who want mailo land abolished were enemies of Buganda with intentions to make the rest of Uganda turn against the kingdom.
“Buganda does not, and has never wished to split from the rest of the country, or kick the rest of the citizens out. But we have heard the issue of land in Buganda, being raised by many people, saying that this is one of the reasons curtailing the development of Uganda. This is not true!” said Mutebi.
“Those who say this only want to weaken the Kingdom. This hurts us very much and we are left wondering; Why is land in other parts of the country not being mentioned? Why is Buganda’s kindheartedness and welcoming nature being looked at as a weakness?”
The king further made it clear Buganda would not rest in piling pressure on the central government to return its properties and grant the kingdom federal status.
“Federo government system, buildings and several other properties including palaces are some of the things that have not been returned to the kingdom after nearly 30 years of negotiations. We shall not relent to remind government that like other parts of the country, Buganda Kingdom has its own properties which cannot be conditioned,” he said.
“I wish to remind you that prior to the restoration of traditional kingdoms in 1993, we passed through several steps including participating directly in removing dictatorships. The things taken from Buganda including Federo, land, buildings including Bulange and other palaces, these and others are things we call ‘Ebyaffe’ and it is true, the indeed belong to us.
“We have chosen no other path other than negotiation and reminding our leaders about the things we agreed upon yet 28 years down the road, we are still on these same issues.”
Additional reporting & translation: Courtesy