We shall not tire from our efforts to
claim our inalienable properties, and we shall not tire from fighting against
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II chose the weekend
celebrations to mark his 17th coronation anniversary, to break his silence and delve into the
delicate subject of Buganda Kingdom’s fallout with the central government.
In the speech he read out to his subjects who
converged in Butambala district, the venue of this year’s celebrations, the Kabaka drew
attention to events that precipitated the fallout, which include the September 2009 riots that
killed an estimated 30 people, sparked by government’s decision to block his visit to Kayunga,
a region under his kingdom.
The closure of Buganda’s radio, CBS, in the
wake of the riots, the 2008 arrest of three Buganda officials, the mysterious fire that razed part
of the Kasubi Royal Tombs, and what he called the continued persecution of Buganda, among
The tone and message were very clear and seemed to signal that the kingdom is
running out of patience.
Below is a loose translation of his Luganda
First, I would like to thank the people of
Butambala for the magnificent preparations. I would also like to thank the Katambala (Butambala Saza
Chief). He is a very hardworking man. I would like to pray and comfort all those who lost their
loved ones in Kampala and its surroundings, and those who got injured in last September’s
We are together with those who lost their loved
ones in Kasubi. We grieve with Buganda and the entire world for the burning of our traditional place
of culture and history. We are hopeful that the Baganda and our people of Uganda together with
UNESCO shall reconstruct Muzibu azaala Mpanga back to its dignity. We thank all those who have and
still help to rebuild our mausoleum.
Last month, we were shocked by the deaths of people
in Lugogo and Kabalagala. We feel for and comfort all those who lost their loved ones.
Buganda is under a lot of provocation. First, it is very difficult now for us to reach out to the
people. It is very hard to send out developmental news and deal with poverty as we used to
previously when our radio, CBS, was on air.
Secondly, Buganda has been divided, and many of its
properties haven’t been returned.
Thirdly, it is very disappointing that there are
places in Buganda where it is said the Kabaka of Buganda must seek permission before visiting his
Fourth, we all wondered at the arrest of our
ministers in Mengo. I think, and it is right, that we the Baganda must regain our properties. They
are our inheritance which our forefathers worked for and left for us to add onto and leave for our
children and grandchildren. In the same vein if there are things for other people in Uganda that
were taken in that way, then they should be returned.
I also want to assure you that we shall not tire
from our efforts of claiming our inalienable properties that belong to the Kabakaship; and we shall
not tire from fighting against persecution. We shall ensure that the current persecution of the
Baganda is stopped. History shows that time comes when those who stick to what they think is right,
triumph. We all know that people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela stuck to
what they believed in and eventually won.
That is why I am encouraging the Baganda and all
those who wish us well not to back track, to be united and steadfast in what we demand for. Those
three people I have mentioned above went through a lot of problems but in the end the people they
fought for got peace and happiness. The Baganda shall not waver but go ahead and fight for what was
taken away from us forcefully. We thank all those who fought courageously to ensure that Buganda
gets its properties.
I see a lot of poverty everywhere I visit in
Buganda and many people in Uganda are dying of poverty. Poverty is the most important issue and that
is why we fight to get leadership and power in our government in Mengo and elsewhere in Uganda so
that we can help the central government in fighting against it. It is an issue.
We ask for our properties so that we can fight
poverty by helping people improve their economic wellbeing through developing agriculture, business
and small-scale industries, building of technical schools, building schools and hospitals and
helping parents who have children who perform well but find difficulty in paying fees. For instance,
the government of Buganda used to pay school fees for people here in Uganda and abroad when it still
had power. The people got the highest form of education. If our properties are returned, and if we
regain authority, we shall be able to help and empower our people.
Nowadays we are in shock and sorrow for our
children who get killed. Child sacrifice, kidnap for ransom is a new trend in Buganda and we all
must condemn it. We all have a responsibility to take care of and love children.
Previously, I encouraged you to register yourselves
so that you can be able to elect the leaders you desire. I thank you for registering in such big
numbers. I also ask you to go out and vote, when the time comes, for the leaders you want in peace.
Serving is in many forms and the Baganda serve in many ways. I want the Baganda to get involved in
serving your country by standing for various positions. Then you can join other Ugandans in serving
your country well.
I want to thank all our leaders and clan leaders in
Buganda who have done a great job in uniting the Baganda and for encouraging them to stick to their
traditions. I thank the saza chiefs for the big job they do to help the people improve their
wellbeing. I thank the Lukiiko members and ask them to do more in their service to Buganda.
I thank religious leaders for the help they give us
on the various issues, for leading us well and for discerning the truth. We thank the people in the
Diaspora who work with us to develop Buganda and Uganda. I know that those people send a lot of
money here to help their relatives. They have done a lot in helping Uganda’s economy and we ask
them to continue, particularly those who can start up factories, to help employ our children at the
same time developing the country.
Since time immemorial, Buganda would collect and
welcome people who came from elsewhere. We don’t discriminate. I am glad that that tradition
still goes on. I want all of us to be at peace with the people who settle in Buganda. We should find
a solution to what befell us previously. I want to assure all Ugandans that we (Baganda) are
together with you. We want to open a new chapter with everyone as long as they agree with our
Finally, I want to emphasise one more point. There
are people who think that loving your tribe means not loving your country. That is very wrong. We in
Buganda cherish our clans but that doesn’t stop us from loving our country Uganda. In the same
way, no one should think that if someone cherishes Buganda then they don’t love Uganda. I once
again thank those who brought us gifts, the organisers, and the people of Butambala. I am thankful
for all that has been said that develops our country. Thank you very