What you need to know:
- They want Parliament to change the Constitution so that they form an independent region
The Banyala and Baruuli ethnic groups in Kayunga and Nakasongola districts, respectively have embarked on a plan to lobby MPs to support their secession from Buganda to form Kyoga region, claiming they are independent cultural institutions.
“We are tired of being in Buganda because of the discrimination, and oppression from Mengo leaders. We have begun dialoguing with locals and central government leaders in the two cultural institutions to support our plan to form Kyoga region,” Mr Martin Ssenkatuuka, the Bunyala chiefdom premier, said at the weekend.
He was speaking during Ssabanyala Baker Kimeze's 13th coronation anniversary at Bbaale Sub County headquarters.
“We are asking our Members of Parliament to change the Constitution so that the Banyala and Baruuli form an independent region,” he added.
Buganda has continuously dismissed the claims, saying both districts are constitutionally in Buganda.
During the celebrations, President Museveni in a speech read by Ms Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, commended the people in Kayunga for living in harmony despite their diverse ethnicity.
The President reaffirmed the government's continued commitment to support the Banyala to practice their culture and norms freely.
“I know land evictions is the pressing problem of the people of Kayunga. I will work with relevant institutions and local leaders to ensure that the problem ends,” Mr Museveni said.
Ms Amongi launched the Lunyara dialect dictionary. She promised to direct the concerned minister in her ministry to work with the Attorney General to prepare for her a comprehensive brief on the un-resolved issue of gazzetting of Bunyala chiefdom and its cultural leader.
The Ssabanyala decried the rampant acts of land grabbing in the district he claimed was being earned out by highly placed people in government.
Mr Kimeze was enthroned as the second Ssabanyala in 2001 following the death of his father Nathan Mpagi. The anniversary celebrations were held under the theme, “Rebuilding Our Identity and Empowering Community on Social Economic Development.”
The Isaabaruuli Mwogeza Butamanya also attended the celebrations.
However, Mr Noah Kiyimba, the Buganda spokesperson, dismissed secession claims, saying the matter is of a constitutional nature.
“The boundaries of Buganda are clear and this is in the 1995 Constitution, there is no way they can change the boundaries without changing the Constitution,” he said.
Last month, both the Baruuli and Banyala demanded full control over land and buildings in Nakasongola and Kayunga which are also being claimed by Buganda.
Under a campaign dubbed; 'My land my life’ both Baruuli and Banyala leader's claim Buganda has for long trampled on their land rights.
According to the Traditional or Cultural Leaders Act, 2010, Kamuswaga and Isabaruuli are listed among the 13 traditional leaders in Uganda. Roth ethnic groups have been pushing for secession which Buganda Kingdom protests.
In 2009, government blocked Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mute bi II from visiting Kayunga, sparking Buganda riots.