In a shocking revelation, the longstanding rift between His Majesty Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and President Yoweri Museveni has been thrust into the limelight once again, following a clandestine meeting between clan heads in Buganda and the President. The contentious gathering, arranged by the former minister of the Mengo establishment, Lady Joyce Ssebugwaawo, took place in March this year at State House.
The clan heads, who left the meeting seemingly content, were presented with an astounding gift worth nine billion shillings, along with land earmarked for constructing a commercial plaza to secure their welfare. However, what has ignited the fury of Kabaka Mutebi is the clandestine nature of the meeting and the lack of prior communication to him by the clan heads, as per tradition and cultural norms.
It is not illegal for clan heads to meet with the President, but it is customary for such visits to be communicated to the Kabaka in advance for his approval or veto. The Kabaka’s supposed anger stems from concerns that the clan heads, perhaps under the influence of certain politicians, may be working to undermine his authority and power.
In response to the outrage caused by the secret meeting, the Bataka have sought a meeting with the Kabaka to explain their actions and seek forgiveness, if need be, for their transgression. However, in the interest of fairness and dignity, the Mengo establishment should take the welfare of these influential clan heads more seriously to avoid them resorting to seeking handouts.
The Kabaka’s apprehension may appear unwarranted, but it is rooted in the fear that these actions may erode his authority. During recent coronation anniversary celebrations at Mengo palace, the Kabaka voiced his concerns about elements seeking to undermine his authority and kingdom. He rallied the Buganda youth to be vigilant and protect the kingdom’s interests.
Notably, the Kabaka reiterated his demand for federo, emphasizing that without it, he remains a king in name only, lacking real power. This demand harks back to past tensions when the Kabaka accused Gen. Museveni’s administration of sabotaging his kingdom and expressed disappointment that the kingdom hadn’t received due recognition for its support during the Luweero war.
In response to the Kabaka’s grievances, President Museveni arranged a meeting with him at State House, leading to the shelving of a controversial blueprint aimed at altering the mailoland tenure system, which the Kabaka had interpreted as a direct challenge to his authority. Returning to the Bataka-Museveni meeting, both parties recognized the sensitivity of the matter, choosing to keep it under wraps until it was recently leaked. President Museveni is reportedly investigating the source of the leak and their intentions.
It is crucial for Kabaka Mutebi and President Museveni to reconcile their differences to prevent a recurrence of their tumultuous relationship. The roots of their alliance date back to the Luweero bush war when Prince Ronald Mutebi played a pivotal role in convincing his subjects to support the rebellion in exchange for the restoration of Buganda kingdom, federo, land titles, and seized properties.
However, their ongoing discord revolves around their perceptions of each other’s authority and a perceived lack of appreciation. While President Museveni has restored Buganda kingdom and returned land and properties to Mengo, the Kabaka insists that the promises made during the war have not been fully realized.
President Museveni, on the other hand, is wary of returning federo and more land titles, fearing that it could bolster the Kabaka’s power and undermine his own government. In conclusion, resolving the tensions between Kabaka Mutebi and President Museveni is essential for the stability of their respective establishments and the unity of Buganda. Finding common ground and honoring past commitments may be the key to preventing further strains in their complex relationship.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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