Buganda kingdom leaders and their Bunyala chiefdom counterparts are locked in a land ownership wrangle with the former dismissing as “pure lie” claims by the latter that all land and former Buganda administrative units in Kayunga district belongs to them.
The fresh row was sparked off by the Banyala leaders led by the chiefdom premier, Mr Martin Ssenkatuuka during the commissioning of a brand new tractor donated to them by president Museveni on Monday. The tractor, which is intended to boost agricultural productivity in the chiefdom would be used by farmers to till their land at a small cost.
While making his address, Mr Ssenkatuuka claimed that most of the land at Buganda sub-county and Ssaza units that was returned to them as per the memorandum of understanding that was signed between Buganda kingdom and central government has been sold off by some “unscrupulous” Buganda kingdom leaders in the area.
According to the MoU, all the land and former Buganda kingdom administrative units In Kayunga and Nakasongola districts were handed over to Bunyala chiefdom. In the same MoU, the Kabaka was deemed free to move to any part of the country without getting permission anyone.
However, Mr Ssenkatuuka complained that government had failed to implement the MoU, which he said had resulted in most of the land being sold off.
“The government should expeditiously implement the MoU because as we talk now it is (MoU) being implemented selectively.” Mr Ssenkatuuka noted.
“Is Government waiting for all the land to be sold and then handover the titles to us?”
Government has in the past handed over some land titles to Buganda kingdom with a promise to handover the remaining ones.
Mr James Rwebikire, the chiefdom spokesperson, warned people who intend to buy on the contested land that belongs to them not to do so, explaining that the land is not for sale.
Reacting to the claims by the Banyala leaders, the Buganda kingdom spokesperson Mr Noah Kiyimba, dismissed claims that the kingdom land was handed over to the Banyala as per the MoU.
“It is unfortunate that the Banyala continue making such baseless claims. All that land and administrative units still belong to the Kabaka,” Mr Kiyimba said.
Recently during an interview, Mr Joseph Kawuki, the Buganda kingdom minister for local government said criticized the Banyala leaders for inaccurately misinterpreting the MoU, insisting that the claims were unfounded and should be ignored.
Mr Ssenkatuuka also asked president Museveni to fulfill other promises it made to them such as a radio station and produce stores.