Legislators representing constituencies in Buganda are today scheduled to meet President Museveni in State House Entebbe to forge a way forward on the region’s unmet demands.
The MPs had at an earlier meeting last month presented a statement in which they asked Mr Museveni to clarify the government’s position on Buganda’s demands that have not been granted in a long time.
Among the demands are an expressed wish for a return of 9,000 square miles of land Buganda Kingdom insists belongs to it, granting of a federal system of governance and clearing of a Shs19 billion debt.
Buganda Parliamentary Caucus chairperson Godfrey Kiwanda yesterday confirmed an invitation sent to the region’s MPs which said: “His Excellency the President invites the Buganda Caucus MPs on 23rd August at 10 a.m. at State House Entebbe for the second important meeting to discuss the two presentations made in the first meeting.”
Today’s meeting is the second in a month.
Mr Kiwanda said yesterday that the President should also explain why the cultural leader of Buganda, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, was stopped from visiting his subjects in Bugerere, Kayunga District, almost three years ago and why the report on the burnt Buganda’s Kasubi Tombs has not been released to-date.
“We, in the previous meeting, raised issues to do with the pending debt of Shs19 billion which the government has failed to settle. We expect an answer on when this money will be paid. We also expect a report on the Amasiro (tombs) and why the Kabaka was denied [the opportunity] to visit his subjects in Bugerere, among others,” Mr Kiwanda said yesterday. “We will also discuss why until now government has failed to pay Buganda veterans who contributed to the success of the 1986 war and when government is willing to pay them”.
Briefing the media later in the day, Ms Benny Namugwanya (Mubende) said the meeting would also discuss how to empower the people of Buganda region to ensure they improve on their household incomes.
Sources that attended the first meeting, however, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the President said he could not meet all Buganda’s demands since some have constitutional implications. “The President told us that he has granted a regional tier system of governance which is already in the Constitution and that Buganda should embrace it. He also told us that the 9,000 square miles can no longer be traced since they are occupied by the Kabaka’s subjects,” said the sources who asked not to be named.
Daily Monitor could not independently corroborate this position by press time. Opposition members of the caucus boycotted President Museveni’s meeting last month, saying they were called on short notice. Asked whether the opposition would attend, Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze said she was busy doing parliamentary oversight work.
By press time, the President’s press secretary, Mr Tamale Mirundi, and his deputy Linda Nabusayi were not available to confirm today’s meeting.