Buganda at crossroads as ministers fight Katikkiro
Posted by African Press International on February 17, 2007
|The Buganda government is locked in a bitter conflict which sources claim might force the Kabaka to sack his Katikkiro, Dan Muliika, or reshuffle his cabinet.There are two conflicting accounts as to what has caused the conflict. Some Mengo sources claim the Kabaka has fallen out with his Katikkiro who is accused of being radical.
One school of thought claims that Muliika even uses his radical approach against the Kabaka, to the extent of questioning his powers.
The second school of thought to which FDC Chairman, Dr. Suleiman Kiggundu belongs, is that some prominent personalities in Buganda have allied with State House to bring down Dan Muliika.
In fact, Dr. Kiggundu, chairman of Buganda Forum, told a news conference early this week that he has evidence State House has been hosting meetings to plot Muliika’s downfall.
Kiggundu claims their strategy is to exert pressure on the Kabaka to drop Muliika. That if the Kabaka doesn’t drop Muliika, President Museveni will not negotiate with Buganda again over their federal demands.
Dan Muliika was appointed Katikkiro in December last year after the resignation of his predecessor, Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere.
Asked for a comment, the President’s Press Secretary, Joseph Tamale Mirundi, described Dr. Kiggundu as “a day-dreamer”. He said that his boss was too busy with bigger issues such as the East African federation to involve himself in Buganda politics.
These ministers are eight, including the Speaker of the Buganda Lukiiko, Hajji Suleiman Lubega Kaddunabbi. The list of Muliika’s saboteurs, according to this source, also includes retired archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, former Buganda Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, and former Deputy Katikkiro Kaaya Kavuma.
The source further reveals that when Muliika arranged for a Buganda cabinet retreat recently, many ministers stayed away, something he interpreted as sabotage. In fact, Muliika was quoted in the media as saying that there is a clique in the Buganda cabinet and Lukiiko which is fighting him.
It is not clear whether this was the reason for the cancellation of a scheduled Lukiiko sitting on January 15. Also drawn into the conflict are managers of Central Broadcasting Services (CBS). The Katikkiro feels let down by CBS, which he claims doesn’t work in the interest of Buganda.
Tier versus federo
At his press conference last week, Dr. Kiggundu displayed a photocopy of a September 28 letter which Museveni’s Principal Private Secretary, Amelia Kyambadde, wrote late last year inviting Prof. Gilbert Bukenya the Vice President to a meeting on Buganda.
“This is to inform you that H.E the President will chair a meeting on Friday 10th November 2006 on the above subject at State House Nakasero,” reads the letter titled ‘Buganda Lukiiko’.
Dr. Kiggundu argues that some prominent Baganda have been participating in such meetings which he claims aim at blackmailing the Kabaka into dropping the principled Katikkiro Muliika.
Mengo sources have told The Weekly Observer that Muliika had a meeting with the Kabaka last week but it is not clear what they discussed. It is however very likely that the current crisis was at the centre of this meeting.
According to government sources after last year’s elections President Museveni instructed Attorney General Khidu Makubuya and NRM Secretary General Amama Mbabazi to review positions on the regional tier.
This review has however not taken place. Much of Buganda is opposed to the regional tier system mainly because it provides for an elected Katikkiro answerable to an elected Lukiiko.
It is not clear whether the breakdown in talks between Buganda and the central government crisis arises from the uncompromising approach of Muliika or is it that following the elections, Museveni is not under pressure to bow to Buganda’s demands.
What is not denied is that there is a crisis at Mengo. The cause and actors are different, depending on who you talk to.
Members of Kabaka’s cabinet and prominent personalities branded anti- Muliika
Hajji Lubega Kaddunabbi (Speaker)
Members of Kabaka’s cabinet whose side is not known or are on Muliika’s side
Festo Higiro Semajege. (Deputy Speaker)
By Ham Mukasa (www.freewebs.com/hammukasa-buganda)
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