Wednesday May 14 2014

Banyala protest opening of Muteesa 1 Royal University branch in Kayunga

By Fred Muzaale

Banyala leaders in Kayunga District have opposed a move by Buganda Kingdom to use some buildings in the district to house the proposed branch of Muteesa I Royal University.

Speaking during a meeting attended by Gen Aronda Nyakairima, the Internal Affairs minister last Saturday, their premier, Mr Martin Ssenkatuuka, said Buganda Kingdom has started renovating the buildings without the consent of Banyala officials.
“This doesn’t only contravene the August 1, 2013 MoU but also provokes clashes that can culminate into bloodshed. This must stop immediately,” Mr Ssenkatuuka said.

He said the MoU signed between Buganda Kingdom and the central government gave them ownership of these properties.
“When the president was returning the land titles to Buganda Kingdom, he made it clear that the land titles in Kayunga and Nakasongola were for the Banyala and Baluuli respectively,” Ssabanyala Baker Kimeze said.
“It was partly because of this understanding with Mengo that the Kabaka was able to have a peaceful visit to Kayunga recently,” he added.
The university’s branch, according to Mengo officials, is scheduled, to start in September and is to be housed in some of the structures at Ntenjeru County headquarters.

Some of the buildings were previously being used by Kayunga District as offices.

Mengo officials and the university technical staff have for the past months been holding meetings pertaining to the institutions opening and had begun renovating the dilapidated structures.
The premier, who asked Gen Nyakairima to ask the president to intervene in the matter, said the Banyala will not accept to be intimidated.
But Buganda Kingdom Information minister Dennis Walusimbi denied the claims, saying the properties belong to Buganga Kingdom.

“If the land titles were for the Banyala, why did the president hand them to us? Those buildings have been there for many years,” Mr Walusimbi said.

Baganda-banyala tensions not new
In September 2009 riots began after an advance team for the Kabaka was blocked from entering Kayunga District. The government said the visit would incite violence because the Banyala said they had seceded from Buganda Kingdom, and saw the Kabaka’s visit as an affront.