Masaka District Put Under Pressure Over Buganda Assets

The installation of the Kabaka’s chief responsible for Buddu county (the Pokino)on Wednesday highlighted potential tensions between Buganda kingdom and local government authorities over properties belonging to the former.

While Masaka district leaders embraced the event and struck a conciliatory tone, officials from the Kabaka’s government only fell short of telling them to pay rent or get out. Pokino Vincent Sebbowa Mayiga was installed in Masaka, together with deputies John Robert Kisule and Hajji Isaac Ssemujju.

LC-V chairperson Joseph Kalungi revelled in a function that, he noted, had not taken place since the reign of Kabaka Edward Muteesa II, who was deposed in 1966.

In his speech, Pokino Mayiga commended Masaka district authorities for allowing the function to take place in the very building which the Kabaka’s government constructed.

“But everyone at this function will agree with me that allowing us to hold the function here was not done in good faith. In fact they gave us with the right hand and at the same time they withdrew what they gave us with the left hand,” Mayiga said.

The Observer was told that when the Mengo establishment drew the programme for the function and day, they insisted on holding it in the official building meant for the Pokino. However, this building now houses the offices of the LC-V chairperson and other district officials. Not ready to surrender the keys to the building, officials asked the Pokino and his team to prepate for their event in the presence of one of the district secretaries.

After the preparation, the secretary locked up and promised to open the next day for the function to take place. This angered the Pokino, who urged Baganda to support his push to have the district vacate the building.

“I wish to inform the LC-V chairperson and his team that they should work out their programme in this place ending on December 31 this year or else they should start renting for me a house in town from where I’ll carry out my duties. If none of that is done, they should start budgeting for renting these premises,” Mayiga said amidst applause from the gathering.

Mayiga also accused certain people he did not name in the Buganda Land Board of conspiring to sell off the Kabaka’s land in Buddu. In response, Masaka LC-V boss Kalungi avoided the blame game, promising to work with the Pokino to resolve any misunderstandings. Hajji Mahmud Sekimpi, who represented Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, called for harmony and cooperation between the office of the Pokino and Masaka district local government.

“We are developing that spirit of working together. The central and local governments need us and we also need them because we are all working for the development of the same people. When the Pokino gives out coffee seedlings to the Kabaka’s subjects, it will be the same group of people to benefit from the central government therefore, there is no need to pull ropes,” Sekimpi said.

Source : The Observer

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