March 2009
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Day March 16, 2009

14th March Kings’ Conference was a Bunyoro war against Buganda

Dear Editors,

While I applaud the Bunyoro kingdom for organising such an important conference at short notice, I’m so sickened by the way it was done and the resolutions reached. This is one of the master steps by Bunyoro kingdom to undermine the kingdom of Buganda and everybody can see it without any glasses on their eyes.

First of all, Organising such a very important conference with a venue in Masindi confirms that this was a Bunyoro conference not a Kings’ conference. If Bunyoro wanted it to be a conference of all kings, then there would have been consultaions and meetings organised among all the stakeholders in advance. Bunyoro knew by doing this, it was most likely that the meeting would not have ended up in Masindi. So they kind of hijacked the whole thing. They organised the venue, the speakers and the agenda.

Secondly, the resolutions reached during the meeting all represent the interests of the Bunyoro kingdom and not Buganda kingdom. Bunyoro has been pursuing the issue of the lost counties for ages even before we got independence. This issue has defeated a lot of national and international brains. Bunyoro has used the legal and international stage to address it but all in vain. I have personally had a debate with Bunyoro Kingdom spokesperson, Mr. Henry Mirima, about this but he and Bunyoro have refused to listen. By Bunyoro raising up the same issue again during the so called kings’ forum, it is trying to have one leg over the Buganda kingdom. Bunyoro is practically advocating for the isolation of Buganda kingdom and this is unacceptable.

I’m also astonished to read that there were over 50 kings in this forum on such a short notice meeting. Where did they come from? How many kings have we got in Uganda? I would advise the kings to be vigilant with whatever Bunyoro is up to at the moment. Bunyoro kingdom called for the meeting, chaired it, and also made resolutions which push for its interests. The master of ceremonies was also Bunyoro’s speaker of its parliament. They ‘hijacked’ the whole function including the traditional leaders that attended.

The resolutions adopted are the direct opposite of what Buganda wants: Bunyoro supports the regional tier but Buganda wants total federalism; Buganda recognises bululi, bunyala and kooki as part of its kingdom while Bunyoro wants them to be independent or part of its kingdom. If I were the government, I would give Buganda federalism and let others enjoy the regional tier, as simple as that.

All in all, this was a Bunyoro conference organised as one of its strategic wars against the Buganda kingdom. Nobody should take it seriously. If Bunyoro wants to be taken seriously, it should accept that ‘all men are equal but some men are more equal than others’. So resolution No. 6 will never be achieved in this 21st century where the world is so competitive.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

United Kingdom

Masindi Kings Forum establish Secretariat in Kla land donated by Kamuswaga

Kings’ Forum

Uganda’s kings, cultural leaders and chiefs establish a uniting Forum at a one-day conference at Masindi Hotel March 14, 2009

A congregation of more than fifty of Uganda’s kings, cultural leaders and chiefs and their prime ministers, and ministers, who met at Masindi Hotel March 14, resolved to establish a legal Kings’ forum with a fully fledged Secretariat, based at Kabuusu, Kampala.

Chaired by the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, the one-day conference attended by nearly all of Uganda kings and cultural leaders except the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, resolved to transform their forum into a registered legal entity with a permanent Secretariat located at Kabuusu in Kampala on a land which was donated by the Kamuswaga of Kooki, His Highness Apolo Isansa II.

To kick-start the Kings Forum their majesties contributed nearly fifteen million Uganda Shillings. While the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitasra chaired the conference, the Master of Ceremonies was Bunyoro-Kitara’s Speaker of the kingdom’s Parliament, Orukurato Orukuro orw’obukama bwa Bunyoro-Kitara, Rev. Fr. Bonevantura Kyaligonza.

The Speaker informed the Forum that the European Union, which is already organizing another large Cultural Heritage conference in Bunyoro-Kitara in May this year, has pledged to give financial backing to the Kings Forum as long as the body is impeccably transparent and has in place qualified and highly responsible officials to manage the funds of the Forum. Other bodies to assist the Forum are the Uganda Ministry of Gender and USAID.

Noting the absence of the Buganda kingdom delegation, the Kamuswaga of Kooki, Apolo Isansa proposed, and the proposal was adopted, the Forum send a high-powered delegation to Buganda Kingdom Government to explain the kingdom the benefits and objectives of the Kings’ Forum and how it is intended to uplift the economic, cultural and social well-being of the population in their regions.

Their Majesties made it very clear that the Kings and all Traditional and Cultural leaders need the participation of Buganda Kingdom in this Forum.

Conspicuously present and seated next to the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara, were The Isaabaruuli of Buruuli, Mwatysansozi Mwogeza Butamanya Omubwijwa, The Isaabanyala of Bunyala Capt. Kimeze Beeka Mpagi Byarufu.

The Traditional Rulers of Acholi, Alur, Bamasaaba, Tororo, Teso, attended in person.

Nine resolutions adopted.

The Forum which consisted of Kings, Traditional rulers and cultural leaders, chiefs and their Prime ministers, Principal Private Secretaries, and other ministers, all totaling over fifty, passed the following nine resolutions:

  1. All kings, cultural leaders and chief to speak with one strong voice.
  2. The Forum to urge the Uganda Government to speed up the formation of the Regional Ties system which was agreed upon by Uganda’s Parliament.
  3. The Forum to urge the Uganda to resume the policy of paying royalities to kings and cultural leaders as it was in the past.

  1. The Forum to support Bunyoro-Kitara’s demand for the Uganda Government to redress the historical wrongs and injustices in the form of the seven lost counties which were donated and annexed to Buganda kingdom to reward Buganda for her role in assisting British colonizers to colonise Uganda.
  2. To register the forum as the National Kings, Cultural leaders and chiefs Forum so that it acquires legality.
  3. To streamline the cultural institutions so that there is no consideration of anyone of them as being on top of the others.
  4. To strongly advocate and initiate policies to develop, promote and teach our cultural languages and begin examining them from infant schools up to University level.
  5. The Forum Secretariat to organize regular press conferences in order to create good, brotherly, and friendly relations with the press. At these press conferences all issues will be addressed by Forum officials either from the Secretariat or as the Forum will see fit.
  6. To advocate for the unity of all the people of Uganda and African in general.

While all participants were given a chance to contribute ideas, the key note speech was given by the chairman of the Forum, His Majesty Rukirabasaija the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara.

Omukama Iguru said, in part,

“We must, as kings, traditional rulers, and cultural leaders convey our collective gratitude to the Government of Uganda for creating an enabling climate for the kingdoms and cultural institutions, and chiefdoms to thrive and serve the people of Uganda with commitment to the sovereign state of Uganda.

“We resolved to speak with one voice but over the last year the kings, traditional rulers and cultural leaders have not been audible enough advocating for critical, social and cultural development needs for their mutual benefits and the befits of our subjects.

“We decided to open and facilitate a secretariat for the Forum of Kings, Traditional rulers and cultural leaders in Uganda to handle the day to day activities including transformation of the Forum into a legal entity. This has not yet been done.

“There is need to urge the Government of Uganda to implement the Regional Tier that parliament has already enacted into law. The delay has not been explained to our satisfaction. Our collective voice must be heard loud and clear.

There is need to call upon all stakeholders to know the value of land, to protect their rights on it, to correct all historical errors related to land and to secure appropriate legal rights.

There is need for collective mobilization for development of all our subjects that willingly pay allegiance to kings and traditional rulers and cultural leaders. Our subjects must see opur functional value.

After our last meeting came the Lira Declaration that we all signed and have a duty to implement through collective development programmes for cooperating kingdoms and chiefdoms of Uganda and together seeking development partners to fund them and in particular the European Union and other willing partners. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity.

It is a felt need in all our institutions that we must ask the Government of Uganda to resume payment of royalties to kingdoms and chiefdoms on forests, game reserves, plantation agriculture and minerals/oil and gas and other natural resources in the various kingdoms and chiefdoms and to lobby members of Parliament in the various kingdoms and chiefdoms to support related changes in the constitution and laws of Uganda.

It is now obvious that we must work together to promote the unity of Uganda, Eastern Africa, and the entire continent of Africa.

We must call upon development partners to identify themselves with the Forum of Kings, Traditional Rulers, and Cultural Leaders and to support their collective programmes and activities.

There is need for cultivate productive partnership between the press and Kings, Traditional Rulers nd /cultural leaders in Uganda for mutual benefit to replace current malicious publication and sensational reporting by a section of the press.

We need to workd together to promote peace, reconsilitation and ethic co-existence and reverse the historical distortions and errors that have led to ethnic strife emanting from colonial rule.

We need to pool resources to promote and support research, documentation and preservation of culture, arts, languages, customs and our entire cultural heritage and encourage cultural exchange and sharing of experience through inter-kingdom exchanges and meetings.

Finally, it is with great pleasure that I invite you to Hoima to participate in the Europe-Uganda Cultural Village scheduled to be mounted at Hoima in May 2009.

Ends the key note address by Omukama Soloomon Gafabusa Iguru.

Report by;

Henry Ford Miirima

Press Secretary of the OMukama of Bunyoro-Kitara

Land should be owned by few Ugandans



1/11The thrust of my views on the land question in Uganda is that, in whatever manner it is resolved, the goal should be to make the country effect the transition from rain-fed, hoe-based, peasant-operated agriculture (if indeed it should be called agriculture) to modern, scientifically-managed commercial farming.  Any intervention in the land question must have its end state as revolutionising Uganda’s agriculture.  In my opinion, anything less that is subversive and an act of treason.

2/11Let me quote Mr. Kyijomanyi who wrote in his debate  on the UAH forum on land the following: “Both aspiring land barons and those with land should be treated the same.”.  Once again, my view is that a progressive government with an eye for the country’s future should do everything in its power to ensure that ownership of land is consolidated in as few hands as possible, to enable the transition in our mode of agriculture to take place.  Those already with land should not be saddled by legislation that entrenches squatters on their land.  It is for that very reason that, I hold that the 2007 land bill is a piece of treason.

3/11No legal, political, traditional or any other obstacles should be created for those I call “aspiring land barons”. If their intention is to consolidate land holdings and do away with fragmentation, they should be given as much support as they need and beyond.  Fragmentation of land is a barrier to the development of Uganda’s agriculture.  If Uganda does not develop her agriculture then the country is dead.  If we are to have a future as a nation, we have to turn our agriculture around.

4/11So, as far as I am concerned, everything is just in black and white: Either you are for consolidation of land ownership or you are for fragmentation of land ownership and entrenchment of microholders.  I am for the former, and I am opposed to the latter.  If you are for fragmentation, I treat you as the ultimate enemy of Uganda.

5/11Let us look at some of the issues Mr. Kyjomanyi raises in  the message to UAH:

1.  so-called land fund, for enabling squatters to buy themselves off:  This is treason.

2.  Land bill that entrenches squatters on land causes fragmented ownership.  That is treason.

3.  Microfinance, microcredit, microenterprise, microthis, microthat, microetc: That is treason

4.  Owners of large tracts of land with tenants that pay them rent (Kyijomanyi Doctrine): retrogressive, reactionary and inimical to the future of the country: Treason.

6/11Kyijomanyi asks:“Should the land fund fund tenants (not squatters) to a luxurious land style, from being tenants (squatters) to owners of 200 cares?” What exactly does this question mean?  What are “land fund tenants”?  What is a “luxurious land style”? Those are obscure phenomena….the trouble is that, you then go ahead and build secondary arguments basing on them.  Once again, Kyijomanyi directes certain questions at me that would make appear me to be a supporter or defender of the 2007 land bill:  “Do you see the inherent moral hazard nature in the land bill/land fund?” . As far as I am concerned, the inherent problems are more monumnetal that the so-called moral hazard.

7/11I thought moral hazard was a situation wherein, when someone is shielded against a certain risk, he starts behaving differently from how he would have behaved if he was exposed to the risk, e.g., smoking carelessly where there are jerrycans of petrol, because you know that there is a fire extinguisher.  How does that concept apply to Uganda’s agrarian question? (By the way, there are still questions you have not answered about the applicability of Akerlof’s lemons to issues of strategic transformation of Uganda)

8/11My point is, if a land lord has 200 acres of land, far from being encumbered with tenants and squatters, he should be facilitated in any way he chooses, to acquire even the adjoining 200 acres..  In other words, all kyijomanyi’s talk of land fund for tenants should be off from the books.  If at all there is a land fund, it should be given to the big landowner, to ease the squatters off the land.  Land fund should be given as abribe to squatters to leave land that they are squatting on.  Not every Tom, Dick and Harry; not every Musoke, Mukasa and Kiwanuka; not every Baluku, Kambere and Masereka; not every Okello, Otim and Otto should be a land owner.

9/11There should be no question of giving “land fund” to peasants, squatters, microholders.  That simply exacerbates the problem of fragmentation.  Fragmentation is the antithesis of modernisation of agriculture.  Backward agriculture is Uganda’s grave.  Whoever encourages fragmentation is Uganda’s grave digger.  Whoever arrogates himself the role of being Uganda’s grave digger has to be resisted.

10/11Kyijomanyi says: “I know what land rents mean. Rent is not mere land rent but the receipts of what is grown on that land. I defined rent broadly.”: That is very funny.  Rentism as an approach to Uganda’s agrarian question is subversive.  Feudal lords fleecing tithes and scuttage and surplus from serfs? I would make you choke on that rent of yours….treacherous, reactionary, mediaeval mentality in an era of producing for a global market.  Disabuse yourself of that thinking.  I hope that is not DP policy.

11/11Kyijomanyi says: “No, unlike you and NRMO, I see a situation where bibanja holders and land owners emerge winners. There is a win-win situation but it cannot be in the form of free lunch for one party.”:  What does he mean here?  We should not be looking for winners or losers.  This is not a matatu game or football match.  The question is whether Uganda will survive or not.  Finally we should not look at landownership as an end in itself.  It has to be a means to increased national productivity.  If the land owner is not a producer then he should be put to task…

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick

Bushenyi Ugandans don’t want Ankole kingdom restoration

This is genocide for Ankole and you cannot joke about it. For us, Bushenyi people(call us Bairu, Beiru or Biru, anyone of the pronounciations is O.K)suffered for centuries under the Horrible Kings of Ankole. Those are the trouble brewing people of the greatlakes region, as you know they are characterized by genocide,1959,1994.

Bahima are the tutsi of Ankole(Uganda) who speak our language in a strange way.They are known to kill very easily with their sticks(enkoni) even on suspicion that someone may steal their cow.Museveni being one of their relatives as his mother is Tutsi and a father is unknown(you cannot tell who your father is when your mother begot illegitimate pregnancy especially in those taboo days and your adoptive father such as Kaguta is neither as well ) is metting the same hell to Uganda not even a millionth of what our people suffered under the bahima kings.

If anybody wants to start world war 111,Bushenyi will surely fit the Balkans title.Quote me on this one.Those Bahima intruders will never make us slaves again.Let them enslave their cows or the lake Mburo game,buffaloes,kobs etc,in thie vicinity.Twabakoowa,period.

Jeniffer Biri

Ugandan resident in Newyork

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