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The payment came after the Katikkiro, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, reminded the central government of an outstanding Shs215.8 billion debt
The government has paid Shs9 billion to Buganda Kingdom as part of rent arrears accrued over the years.
The payment came after the Katikkiro, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, reminded the central government of an outstanding Shs215.8 billion debt.
The rent arrears are for the kingdom buildings and land returned to the Buganda Kingdom in 2013.
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Some government agencies occupying the returned assets have not been remitting rent.
Addressing the Buganda finance sub-committee on the performance report of the financial budget 2021/2022, the kingdom Finance minister, Mr Waggwa Nsibirwa, revealed that the money had been paid.
“We recognise that the central government in this financial year has been able to pay Shs9b as part of the huge debt of Shs121b in rental arrears although If we add up everything the total debt is half a trillion,” Mr Nsibirwa said.
He added that the Shs9b was paid in installments, with the first disbursement in July and the rest remitted in October last year.
When contacted, Mr Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesperson, said he was not privy to the actual amount the government owes Buganda Kingdom.
“The ministry would expect user agencies that occupy such properties [owned by Mengo] and any other to effectively budget and pay for use whenever releases are made in accordance with policy guidelines,” he said.
Mr Mugunga added: “As a matter of policy, the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury has in the past guided agencies to contract for supplies and services including rental space after acquiring relevant resources confirmation.”
“Claims of a big sum, however, would not be surprising given the fact that various properties from the kingdom were taken over back in the day before the NRM government took charge,” he said.
Mr Mugunga said the cumulative effect of nonpayment over decades and rates charged is real.
“It is also a fact that some properties were returned. In such cases, a reconciliation process may be necessary,” he said.
Meanwhile, Buganda Kingdom registered an increase in revenue collection by Shsb2b. The kingdom had budgeted Shs121b but used Shs123b.
Presenting the report on projections for the next 2022/2023 budget, Mr Nsibirwa revealed that the increment in revenue was due to the strong support from Kabaka’s subjects towards kingdom activities.
President Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, have held several meetings mainly centering on full return and repossession of kingdom properties and payment of rental arrears that government has accrued since the 1966 crisis following a feud between then Kabaka Edward Muteesa II and then president Milton Obote.
Some of the government institutions with rent arrears include 26 security agencies, the Judiciary, Ministry of Internal Affairs, 75 prisons, 80 learning institutions and 78 health centres.