Kabaka Calls for Collective Action

With his remarks in Kabula county last week, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi appears to have endorsed Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga’s controversial ettoffaali fundraising drive.

At least that is how Mayiga interpreted the Kabaka’s call for Buganda to embrace collective action to develop the kingdom. During his tours of Kabula, in Lyantonde district, during the bulungi bwansi (community work) week, the Kabaka urged Baganda to work together, and to support one another, for development.

Kabaka Mutebi started his tour of Kabula county on Thursday afternoon, by visiting Deborah Rwabwogo’s farm. He then officially launched bulungi bwansi activities by inspecting a community road which was repaired by the residents. Hundreds of people from Kabula and the neighbouring counties of Buddu, Kooki and Mawogola, braved heavy rain to receive the Kabaka.

From the comfort of his air-conditioned four-wheel-drive Lexus, Kabaka Mutebi seemed to appreciate the show of support by waving. On Friday, the Christian king and his entourage joined the Muslims of Nankondo village for Juma prayers, leaving locals pleasantly surprised, if bemused.

To ensure the Kabaka’s comfort during prayers where Muslims usually sit on straw mats, organisers sat the Kabaka on an eight-inch mattress under a tent, with Prince Crispin Jjunju and Katikkiro Mayiga on either side. Kabaka Mutebi attentively listened to the 30-minute sermon from Sheikh Yahaya Nkonge, the Lyantonde district Imam, who urged the people of Buganda to ignore their differences in religion or tribe and focus on development.

Earlier that morning, Kabaka Mutebi had taken the residents near Kabula county headquarters by surprise, when he stepped out in a track suit and went jogging down the road. After the Juma prayers, the Kabaka headed for one James Mugaiga’s farm in Kaliiro sub-county, where he had lunch.

He then retired to his residence within the county headquarters to wait for the main celebrations the next day, where he urged Buganda to put more emphasis on coffee production.

“We need to address the issue of improving the quality and quantity of coffee because it is our major cash crop,” the Kabaka said, adding that this would boost the fight against poverty.

The Kabaka again emphasised the spirit of collective action, as seen in bulungi bwansi work: “This aspect [collective action] is vital in every sector of life,” the Kabaka said. “Businessmen should help their colleagues in that field, as politicians, agriculturalists, artists and others also do the same.”

Before inviting the Kabaka to speak, Katikkiro Mayiga warned district leaders in Buganda against encroaching on kingdom property without permission from Namulondo Foundation. The katikkiro vowed not to stop his ettoffaali fundraising for Buganda kingdom development initiatives.

Some Baganda have criticised Mayiga for the fundraising, which they ridicule as ‘begging’, but here, the emboldened katikkiro said ettoffaali was part of the collective action that Kabaka Mutebi had been emphasising during the tour.

Mayiga commended Dennis Mukasa Mbidde, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, for turning up for the function, but warned the EALA members against fighting their speaker, Margret Nantongo Zziwa, who was also present.

William Katatumba, the Nkore prime minister, was among the guests, as were several Ugandan MPs, district chairpersons, and other dignitaries. The people of Kabula donated at least 30 cows to the Kabaka.

Source : The Observer

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