Saturday June 7 2014

Return of kingdom assets will not divide country - Opondo

Media Centre executive director Ofwono Opondo.

Media Centre executive director Ofwono Opondo. 

By Sandra Janet Birungi


Giving back properties of kingdoms and other cultural institutions will not divide the country, the Media Centre executive director, Mr Ofwono Opondo, has said.

Speaking at a press conference in Kampala yesterday, Mr Opondo denied claims that returning kingdom properties is a trick by government to govern the country by a divide-and-rule system.

“There have been claims that (National Resistance Movement) NRM is dividing the country into sects. We recognise the fact that we are Muslims, Christians and non-believers. NRM is not wishing to do away with the diversity of the country,” he said.

On Wednesday, Opposition party Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) asked the government to come up with a clear formula for returning properties to kingdoms and other cultural institutions.

“The party urges the government to intervene with a policy, but not kingdoms to demand without proper rules to be followed,” said UPC spokesperson Lucima Okello.

Returned property
The government has so far returned 213 land titles to Buganda Kingdom and more than 20 land titles to Bunyoro. The return of these assets ignited a chain of agitation from other kingdoms such as Tooro and Rwenzururu, whose properties have not been given back despite their incessant demand.

Meanwhile, at the same press conference, minister for the Presidency Frank Tumwebaze said the Heroes Day celebrations due on Monday are part of NRM’s way of upholding the ‘nation’s common good.’

“The national heroes, whose lives we have been celebrating for the 25th time, possessed unlimited love for this country, Uganda. We are companions in the struggle of making Uganda a better country to live in, which was the major spirit behind their heroic deeds,” Mr Tumwebaze said.