Mr Jonathan Mwesigwa’s missive titled ‘Buganda should uphold its people’s wishes’ published by Saturday Monitor on February 27 showed a definite lack of understanding of the workings of Mengo.
Mwesigwa’s only point was to put the good name of Katikkiro (prime minister) Charles Peter Mayiga and the institution of the Kabaka into disrepute by making unsubstantiated allegations.
Mwesigwa talked about corruption at Mengo in abstract terms failing as expected to point out a single illicit transaction. Corruption occurs through procurement, disposal of assets, recruitment of staff, and tendering or award of contracts among others.
If Mwesigwa wants to claim that Mengo is corrupt, he needs to cite cases. If the corruption he purports to exist at Mengo is in relation to land, he needs to mention the particular parcels of land that have been illicitly sold off and the individuals involved.
Since he claims to be a lawyer, at least in the time he may have spent at law school, he should have learnt that whoever alleges corruption must not talk in general terms but must cite incidents.
Unless Mwesigwa is oblivious to what is going on in the world, leaders visiting heads of state is an international practice. The diplomats from the European Union accredited to Uganda were recently at the State House, had they gone to cut deals?
Entrepreneurs, religious leaders, celebrities or citizens visit heads of state all over the world. In Uganda, this has been the practice since colonial days when Entebbe was the seat of government.
Whoever thinks that leaders will never visit State House when the president works from there, whether that president is Yoweri Museveni or anyone else, is naïve and a daydreamer. How will Mengo make its demands to the head of State without visiting the president? Or Mwesigwa wants leaders to meet the President in Owino Market?
Since the restoration of the Kingdom of Buganda in 1993, katikkiros have visited State House to pursue Buganda’s interests. Future katikkiros, if they want to achieve certain things on behalf of the people of Buganda, will have to interact with the head of State.
Mengo, Mwesigwa should know, is the seat of the Kingdom of Buganda, not a political party headquarters. Kingdom officials are leaders, not political activists who one would expect to be the vanguards of the country’s Opposition or ruling party.
The leadership at Mengo has promoted and stood by the rule of law and observance of human rights. Statements have been made and actions have been taken to defend the rights of citizens before and during the campaign period and after the declaration of election results.
If Mwesigwa and his masters have a better strategy, they can present it or even implement it instead of their usual rhetoric that simply maligns the kingdom.
Mengo has not abducted, kidnapped or arrested anybody. The President and of recent his minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo, while speaking in Parliament, admitted to being behind the abductions. They also admitted to the killing of protestors in November last year.
So the call to reverse the trend, to release abductees and stop the violence must be directed at the commander-in-chief and the entire central government of which Mengo isn’t part.
Mr Noah Kiyimba is a Mengo official
Angella Nampewo returns next week