Kooki cultural leader Kamuswaga Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II swore in his new cabinet last week, with a firm declaration that the chiefdom had since assumed independence from Buganda kingdom.
Officially recognised as one of the 18 counties that constitute Buganda kingdom, Kooki will not bend to the interests of Buganda, Kabumbuli said at his palace in Rakai. The 40-member cabinet is headed by businessman Hajji Ahmed Kiwanuka, the prime minister.
“We [Kooki] are independent from anyone save for God and the central government, and can address our own issues,” Kabumbuli said. “Kooki has always been there, it is here and it will always be around.”
Kabumbuli accused Mengo of being disrespectful, stressing the need for mutual respect, but warned his officials against collaborating with anyone seen to be against Kooki’s agenda.
Since April, Kabumbuli has been holding secret talks with the Ssabanyala Baker Kimeze and Ssabaruuli Mwogeza Butamanya to plot against Mengo, a move likely to escalate tensions between the kingdom and the chiefdoms. (See: Chiefs plot to abandon Mengo, The Observer, September 8 -9)
Mengo now has up to the Christmas holiday to meet Kooki’s demands, including reviewing the 1896 agreement that placed Kooki under the authority of Buganda. He also wants his official seat to be reinstated in the Buganda lukiiko and the kingdom to hand over 13 land titles that he claims were erroneously handed to Mengo by President Museveni.
“We are not, planning secession, but we are, rather, aiming at putting things right. [The agreement] is too old to remain operational in the current times,” Kitayimbwa said.
Outgoing Kooki acting Katikkiro Gertrude Sebuggwawo arrived late for the function. She has reportedly declined to take on her new role placing her in charge of palace affairs because she is not agreeable to her boss’ new stance on Buganda ties.
In his acceptance speech, Kiwanuka promised to lead Kooki to greater heights.Part of his immediate plans is the construction of Kamuswaga’s palace at Mpalakalemba hill in Rakai town.
Source : The Observer