Buganda Monarchâ€™s UK Trip
Moreover, some Baganda leaders insist the Central government has reacted harshly when land issues are raised; yet, when one of the top Acholi politicians, Norbert Mao, also raised the land issue and even mentioned â€œsecessionâ€? the reaction was more tempered.
Last Friday the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, monarch of Buganda Kingdom in Uganda, received a thunderous welcome In London with some people prostrating before him in their white cassock.
The Kabaka addressed several cultural, business and religious groups but also didn’t shy away from sensitive issues regarding land back in Uganda. The Kabaka commended Baganda youth living in the UK and Northern Ireland for preserving their traditional culture; he addressed a packed audience at Club Volts Edmonton.
At a function organized by Irene Nambi, the Kabaka’s UK and Northern Ireland representative, Musisi Nsambu disclosed that High School graduation rate of Baganda youth stood at 80%. The Kabaka met with various Ugandan communities here including the Muslim community, the business community and Ugandans of Indian origin; he thanked all for their contribution to their country men and women at home.
At a gathering at the Thistle City Hotel, Barbican, 120 Central Street, Clerkenwell, in London, politics could not be avoided. “I commend you for the work you have been doing to demand—and continue so that we can achieve it peacefully,” the Kabaka said, referring to others’, including Katikiro (prime minister) of Buganda, Ssendawula’, and the Kingdom’s call for the government to address the land issue, which some claim is being given away by Uganda’s Central government.
Moreover, some Baganda leaders insist the Central government has reacted harshly when land issues are raised; yet, when one of the top Acholi politicians, Norbert Mao, also raised the land issue and even mentioned “secession” the reaction was more tempered. “And the Baganda were labeled as a xenophobic group of people in Uganda,” remarked Katikiro Ssendawula.
When handed the microphone, Uganda’s High Commissioner to the UK Joan Rwabyomere remarked, “When we were making the 1995 constitution, it was meant to unite all people.” Clearly, she was making a reference to the overall importance of Central government.
“The government of Uganda is committed to have dialogue and I support the Buganda Kingdom because I also come from Toro Kingdom—we are the same,” she said. “Therefore ssabassajja awangale,” she added, meaning “long live His Highness.”
The Kabaka also addressed the importance of the Diaspora population in developing the country. “Thank you for what you have been doing, like the monetary assistance and remittance to your relatives and to the country,” the Kabaka said. “I appeal to you to get together with our clans so that we can build our home—There are no people who are going to come and build your nation, you have to come and buy land from those sales.”
He added: “I also commend those who came with their children and teach them their culture not to get lost. It is important that you sell the culture of the Kingdom Internationally to modernize it.”
The Kabaka also entertained numerous pleas from various groups. The Chairman of Uganda Muslim Community in the UK, Al-Haj Isa Makumbi, told the Kabaka that there are “very few” Muslim ministers in his cabinet.
“Just be patient, I’m now in the kitchen still cooking—preparing food,” the Kabaka said. “There will be changes which are due very soon. I believe you will be very happy with the changes.” Separately, Muslim women asked for land to build a school.
Other prominent guests at the gatherings addressed by the Kabaka were his ministers: Florence Kiyingi, Ahmed Bamweyana, and the former Mayor of Masaka and financial consultants MBE, Manzoor Moghal who led the Indian business community from Leicester, the Second Deputy High Commissioner, Andrew Kalyango, religious leaders, The Rt. Rev. Dan Kajumba, Sheikh Muhammad Kalantani Tebunaziba, and, Major Richard Cargo.
The Kabaka heads for the US on August 29; he is expected to address large meetings there.
Investigative reporter Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from London.
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