Special Reports

Tension As Banyala Move To Block Kabaka's Kayunga Trip


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“We have not been formally informed of Kabaka’s intended visit due early next year,” Ssabanyala, Maj Baker Kimeze, told the press during the weekend.

He further noted that the suspension of Kabaka’s trip in 2009, which touched off violent clashes between Buganda youth and security forces, was still in effect “pending review.”

Kimeze said Mengo should write a letter to the Banyala Premier if the Kingdom wants to proceed with the King’s visit.

He also noted that that letter would be reviewed by Banyala officials to determine whether Kabaka can be allowed in the area.

Observers say Kimeze’s statements could attract a heavy backlash from the Kingdom’s supporters as Mengo has consistently refused to seek permission to visit Kayunga.

Mengo believes the Banyala are under Kabaka’s authority and that the King cannot seek consent from anyone to visit any part of his kingdom.

On Christmas day, Buganda Premier, Peter Mayiga said Kabaka Mutebi would preside over the annual Youth Day celebrations.

He last month toured Kayunga to kick start preparations for Kabaka’s visit.

A few years ago, the Banyala and Baruli, asserted their right to secede from Buganda’s cultural and geographical sphere and claim the kingdom’s Buruli and Bugerere counties as their ancestral non-Ganda homeland.

These claims, based ostensibly on Bugerere and Buruli’s position as so-called ‘Lost Counties’, conquered from the Kingdom of Bunyoro by British and Ganda troops in the 1890’s, have elicited a hugely patriotic opposition response in Buganda which has stoked tensions in the country.

While the Baruli and Banyala assert a right to cultural autonomy based on historical ancestral ties, the majority of Baganda question the ethnic and historic legitimacy of Baruli/Banyala claims and underline political and financial gain and national government involvement as the motivating factors of agitation.

The government has repeatedly denied reports of backing the two communities’ decision to secede from Buganda.

The 2009 clashes say scores of youth being killed as they fought protracted street battles with the elite security forces in Buganda.

The violence also spread to Mukono, Masaka and other neighboring districts.

A police station was burnt down in Nateete, guns looted and several passenger buses set ablaze in the worst political violence in recent years.

Avoid conflicts

In a message delivered for him by Mayiga to the people of Bugerere during the Masiro Ggwangamujje fundraising drive at Ntenjeru, Kabaka stressed that it is very important for the people of Bugerere to forget the conflicts that rocked this country in 2009 after the then Katikkiro Eng. J.B Walusimbi was barred by armed military forces from proceeding to Kayunga to make preparations for Kabaka’s visit that year.

Kabaka said the people in those areas should “instead concentrate on working hard to see the resurgence of Buganda’s prestige.”

He further warned people against tribalism and nepotism which he said “hinders development not only to the country but also to individual persons.”


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