Justice Tuhaise recuses herself from Kabaka land case

By Sania Babirye

Supreme Court Justice Percy Tuhaise has recused herself from a land and compensation case filed by City Lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi against the Kabaka of Buganda.

Mabirizi petitioned the Supreme Court asking Justice Tuhaise to remove herself from the said case, on grounds that Justice Tuhaise had heard the same case in the Court of Appeal in which she ruled against Mabirizi , forcing him to petition the Supreme court to challenge her decision.

And as a result, Justice Tuhaise stepped down from the said case explaining that for justice to be served, she cannot be a judge in her own case which she had set aside.
Meanwhile, Mabirizi revealed that he has since then challenged the decision by other four justices on the panel to not recuse themselves from the same case in the East African Court of Justice.

On the 5th of this month, Justices including Apio Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Paul Mugamba and Mike Chibita refused to recuse themselves from the said case after Mabirizi accused them of unprofessionalism.

Mabirizi states that the said justices can not hear his case because he dragged them before the Judicial Service Commission for allegedly violating their Judicial Oaths and investigations are ongoing.

“They all have to go because am not comfortable with either of them trying my case independently well knowing that I have a petition against them seeking for their removal from their respective offices”. Mabirizi stated.

Mabirizi adds that he has filed an application to stay their proceedings until they recuse themselves.

He also expressed his frustration with the slow pace that his appeal has taken since filing it in 2018.
“When I filed this appeal in 2018, I expected speedy justice but the court delayed because its hearing was not fixed until 2020, we need speed and I need it, but the most important thing is fair hearing. We can not compromise a year aspect of fair hearing in the name of expediting the hearing”

According to Mabirizi, on the 19th of March this year, he wrote to the Judicial Service Commission seeking for the removal of the said justices from office of the Justices of the Supreme Court on grounds of conduct in a manner prejudicial to the good image, honor, dignity and reputation of Judicial service and discrimination of Justice Kisakye, on basis of her sex which was in contravention of the code of Judicial Conduct and abuse of Judicial Authority.

Mabirizi accuses the said justices of allegedly helping the Chief Justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo to confiscate Supreme Court Justice Esther Kisakye’s dissenting judgement in the concluded Presidential election petition filed by National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi.

He states that the alleged misconduct of the said Justices, breeds animosity between him and the justices, and questions their Impartiality in a case were he is an appellant.

The Supreme Court dismissed two Applications filed by Mabirizi challenging the Kabaka of Buganda’s powers to collect annual nominal ground rent commonly known as (Busuulu) on Kabaka land by Buganda Land Board last year.

In the main case to be heard tomorrow, Mabirizi is challenging the Court of Appeal ruling that overturned an order by High Court’s Justice Patricia Basaza to Kabaka to give Mabirizi all particulars in regard to the kingdom’s accounts in the names of Buganda Land Board.

Mabirizi claims that many people’s freedom and rights to property have been violated by the kabaka’s actions of charging between 100,000 and 600,000 for compulsory land.

In 2017, the Court of appeal quashed the high court order on grounds that it was unlawful since Mabirizi did not prove to court that he was representing many other people whose freedom and rights to property had been violated by the Kabaka’s actions.

However, being dissatisfied with the court of appeal ruling, Mabirizi petitioned the supreme court to have the said ruling over turned.

Mabirizi wants among other things the supreme court to order Kabaka to produce all the particulars of the people living on mailo land and details of the money collected from them since 1993.

Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi battling allergies

By Gloria Nakiyimba and Daudi Zirimala

The Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga says the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II is suffering from an allergy dispelling rumors that royal cultural leader was poisoned.

This follows the public appearance of the visibly frail Kabaka in Mengo palace where he celebrated his 66th birthday on Tuesday 13 April 2021.

The Kabaka’s disposition left many of his subjects wondering what had happened to him after he was seen breathing with difficulty, during the celebrations.

This led to suspicion among the Buganda loyalists and Ugandans that his royal highness could have been poisoned.

Now the Prime Minister Mayiga says the Kabaka is undergoing treatment for an allergy which makes it hard for him to breathe well while putting on a face mask or shield.

“We all face health challenges, from time to time, and in the Kabaka’s case the challenges are related to allergies which, when they attack him cause breathing difficulties especially when he has a mask or a shield over his face” Katikiro told the media in Bulange on Friday.

According to the Katikiro “the allergies are being effective managed by the appropriate medical experts”.

The Katikiro dismissed rumors doing rounds on social media that the Kabaka was poisoned saying “they are baseless and should be totally disregarded. Otherwise they will cause undue anxiety”

He assured the people of Buganda and all Ugandans that the Kabaka’s condition is managed with requisite expertise and hope that the Kabaka will achieve full recovery soon.

Kabaka Mutebi prays for quickening in finding COVID-19 vaccine

By Daudi Zirimala

The King of Buganda His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has called upon Muslims to use this year’s Eid Adhuha to pray to Allah to enable scientists in the world to invent medicine for COVID-19.

In his Eid message to Muslims, King Mutebi, emphasized the need of following standard operating procedures put in place by government in the fight against Corona virus as the country awaits a vaccine to covid-19.

He notes it’s during such moments that believers have to pray hard so that the world could overcome Corona virus which has claimed many lives including Muslims who were not able to feast this year’s Eid due to the pandemic.

Kabaka Mutebi urges his subjects to revive cash crop growing

By Daudi Zirimala

The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi has highlighted the need to revive cooperatives in order address the problem of poverty and unemployment among his people.

Speaking during his 26th coronation at Nkumba,Kabaka Mutebi said that once cooperatives are revived people would be able to address their own challenges rather depending on handouts from political leaders.

He also implored his subjects to embrace coffee growing and cotton saying it is through these cash crops that people in Buganda managed to increase their house hold incomes and improve their livelihood.

Mabirizi to pay for damages in his case against Kabaka

By Daudi Zirimala
 
High Court Judge Henry Peter Adonyo has dismissed Hassan Male Mabirizi’s case against the Kabaka of Buganda, challenging the compulsory process of registering people living on Kabaka’s land at a fee ranging from 100,000 to 600,000 shillings.
Justice Adonyo said he cannot deal with a matter which is already decided by a superior court that is the Court of Appeal.

The Judge noted that Mabirizi’s case was declared incompetent by a Panel of Court of Appeal Justices led by Fredrick  Egonda Ntende.

In the ruling Justice Ntende said Mabirizi ‘s claim against the Kabaka is not tenable  in law and court cannot issue an order directing him to disclose bank statements,  and other kingdom documents.

The Judge noted that Mabirizi neither had permission to sue Kabaka on behalf of others nor a court order permitting him to sue on behalf of others adding that the individuals he claimed to be representing are not named.

Mabirizi has been ordered to pay costs to Kabaka for wasting his time in prosecuting a case which is incompetent.

On Monday  Mabirizi  asked Justice Adonyo to stay the hearing of this case pending disposal of his appeal in the Supreme Court.

Mabirizi was dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal that quashed the decision of High court Judge Patricia Basaza who had in error compelled Kabaka to disclose all bank statements detailing the money collected from the people living on the kingdom official mailo land.

However Justice Adonyo has ruled that Mabirizi’s application for stay of proceedings lacks merit, the Court of Appeal having nullified his entire claim against the Kabaka.

Buganda Attorney general David Mpanga welcomed  the ruling saying the case was an attempt by Mabirizi to gain fame and money.

Mabirizi  sued Kabaka Ronald Mutebi challenging the compulsory registration of people living on the king’s land at a sh600,000 fee, is illegal. According  to Mabirizi  Kabaka is only a trustee of the official Mailo land. He wanted  court to outlaw the 10% charge levied by Buganda Land Board  on the sale value of land.
But  BLD noted that the registration was voluntary.  The exercise is intended to regularize tenancy of people leaving on the Kabaka’s land. The registration was conducted in 2016 and  Buganda Land Board of head of legal Ndawula Barnabas back then explained that Kabaka’s land refers to all that land vested in the Kabaka of Buganda by virtue of his office and held in custody for the people of Buganda.
Kabaka’s land includes his  Kings official estate ‘Olusuku lwa Ssabasajja’ measuring 350 square miles covering the counties of Kyadondo, Busiiro, Kyagwe, including such areas as Munyonyo ,  Makindye and Buziga.
It also includes the Sazza and Gomboloola estates measuring 8 square miles and 49 acres respectively found in all districts of Buganda covering some parts of Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala and different areas in rural districts in Buganda region.
It also covers all land that was managed and controlled by the Buganda Land Board as a creature of the 1962 constitution of Uganda, which entails urban and peri-urban areas of municipalities and towns in Buganda.

UBL contributes UGX50M towards Kabaka’s 25th coronation

By Deo Wasswa

Uganda breweries limited has contributed 50 million shillings towards the Kabaka’s 25th coronation anniversary which is slated for 31st this month.

While handing over the contribution to Buganda Kingdom, Juliana Kaggwa, the Uganda breweries marketing director also announced the special celebratory price offer on Ngule beer of Uganda shillings 2000.

She commended the Buganda kingdom for being a progressive cultural institution that not only promotes the preservation of culture but also championing economic empowerment.

Court will be delivering Kabaka’s appeal ruling at 4pm

By Sania Babirye

High court Judge Patricia Wasswa Bassaza has set this eveening to deliver a ruling on whether or not to allow the  Kabaka of  Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to appeal against  her decision in which she compelled the Kabaka to  disclose particulars  of bank accounts  to one of his  subject  Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka.

This afternoon Justice Basaza concluded hearing the application where Kabaka claimed to be aggrieved by the order.

  Christopher Bwanika representing the Kabaka told court that the order issued on the 5th  of June 2017 forcing the Kabaka to disclose financial statements at Stanbic and Bank of Africa in the names of Buganda Land Board where monies collected from occupants of the kingdom land is banked is unfair.

Justice Bassaza also ordered that Mabirizi be availed with   particulars of all the  occupants before 30th  of June for inspection and internalization  so that he can prepare his case in which he is challening the Kyapa Mungalo.

The Kabaka  is seeking permission from justice Basaza to challenge  her orders before the Court of Appeal since he does not have an automatic right of Appeal unless he is allowed by her.

According to the Kabaka the right to privacy of his other occupants who voluntarily registered and  do not wish their affairs  to go public  will be violated since they are even not parties interested in this case if he is not allowed to appeal.

Bwanika further explains that Mabirizi has neither  brought evidence to show that any tenant  has been coarsed or threatened  in any form to register nor any evidence showing that himself is a tenant who has been given authority to lawful represent others.

Mabirizi says  the Kabaka should not impose  registration  fees ranging from shs100,000  to Shs 600,000 on his occupants settling on the kingdom’s land because it belongs to the public and the Kabaka us just a trustee.

Land minister expresses discomfort on the Buganda’s “Kyapa mungalo” campaign

Lands Minister Betty Amongi has questioned the mass land titling campaign by Buganda Kingdom’s Land Board.

Buganda Land Board (BLB) is running the “Land Title in your Hands”, a campaign aimed at granting mainly 49-year leases for tenants on Buganda Kingdom land. The campaign targets those occupying the land without official documentation.

The Central government seems to be uncomfortable with the new arrangement which some have said may fuel mass land evictions on land owned by the Kabaka of Buganda or the kingdom.

Minister Amongi in a speech at the opening of the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission of Inquiry into Land matters said she was listening to the issues emerging from the mass land titling exercise.

Amongi asked the Commission of Inquiry to also focus on Buganda Land Board campaign as part of the other issues to be addressed. She questioned what would happen to those holding the lease titles when the 49 years expire.

Though Amongi says she was expressing her personal opinion on the campaign dubbed “Ekyapa Mungalo”, sources have indicated that President Museveni is not comfortable with it. The President has reportedly demanded for the protection of the Bibanja settlers who are bonafide occupants under customary tenure.

President Museveni met Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi early last month but the details of the meeting at State House Entebbe were not made public. The Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga and Prince David Wasajja were part of it.

President Museveni in April 2014 returned 213 land titles to Buganda Kingdom with a caution to the kingdom against evicting tenants settled on the land. The titles are part of the properties that the government forcefully occupied after the 1966 attack on the Mengo Palace that saw the then Kabaka Edward Mutesa exiled.

Over twenty thousand leasehold certificates have so far been issued to tenants who were settled on the land government returned to Buganda.

Buganda Kingdom’s Land, Agriculture and Environment Minister, Engineer Martin Kasekende in a reaction to the Minister’s statement defended the decision to have tenants on Buganda land issued with lease titles upon paying a fee ranging from 100,000 – 600,000 shillings. He was one of the Cultural leaders’ representatives present at function held at the National Archives and Records Centre.

Engineer Kasekende explained that Buganda Kingdom would not be having any land left itf its predecessors allocated land to individuals for perpetual ownership.

The “Land title in your hands” matter has generated debate within Buganda with some criticising it.  One of Kabaka’s subjects, Male  Mabirizi Kiwanuka towards end of April this year sued the Kabaka challenging his directive on issuance of land titles to tenants on the Kingdom’s land.

Meanwhile, Buganda Land Board (BLB) has been running newspaper advertisements defending the mass titling of the kingdom land. The Board says it acknowledges the fact that there is a special relationship between the kingdom and people of Buganda.

It said the Kabaka under that relationship offers a maximum of 99-year-leasehold term and a minimum of 49 years to all tenants on kingdom land for those who wish to acquire leasehold titles.

Buganda Land Board says the acquisition of leasehold titles is voluntary and that any Kibanja holder not interested in leasehold title will remain a Kibanja holder with full rights.

KABAKA DRAGGED TO COURT BY HIS SUBJECT

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Kabaka of Buganda  Ronald Muwenda Mutebi 11 has been dragged to the Highcourt -Civil division  by his subject over his newly launched scheme of “Ekyapa mu ngalo” which is translated as Tittle in the Hand for  any occupant on the Buganda land who purchases a 49 year old lease.

City lawyer Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka who has other  land scheme  related pending cases against Kabaka is seeking an injunction against the implementation of the “Ekyapa mu ngalo” scheme saying him and many other Baganda whose interests he represents will suffer  irreparable damage and loss since they are required to pay a certain amount of fee to obtain these  releases.

Mabirizi alleges that since the Kabaka is just a mere trust of the said land it is unlawful for the Kabaka to collect ground rent (Busuulu) from all settlers of the official mailo land under the guise that he is the Land lord.

Mabirizi is seeking court to block the kingdom from collecting Busuulu and leasing out the land until his main case challenging the process is heard and disposed of.

This comes after the Kabaka through his Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga announced yesterday that every person who is settling on the Kabaka land should process a 49 year old lease and secures a tittle from the kingdom.

Photo Credit: Daily Monitor

Katikkiro Mayiga says Nkangi was a pillar for the Buganda Kingdom

Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister (Katikkiro) Charles Peter Mayiga has grieved the death of veteran politician, Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi, who passed away Monday morning. Mayiga described Mayanja Nkangi as a pillar for Buganda Kingdom, a man of unparalleled dignity and a wise speaker.

The deceased served as Buganda Prime Minister before the abolition Kingdoms in 1966. He also oversaw enthronement of the current Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II at Naggalabi – Buddo in 1993.

“The late Mayanja Nkangi has been an ardent advisor to Kabaka Mutebi and rendered invaluable counsel to me in this office of Katikkiro,” Mayiga said. He cited a number of occasions where the late Nkangi received immense challenges during his tenure as Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro.

Mayiga was one of the high-ranking Buganda Kingdom officials that visited the late Nkangi at Nakasero Hospital during his last days on earth.

Mayanja Nkangi became Katikkiro of Buganda in 1964 until the 1966 crisis when the Obote I government attacked Mengo palace and exiled Kabaka Edward Mutesa. Nkangi also fled to exile in England meeting Kabaka Mutesa there.

When Mutesa died in exile in November 1969, Nkangi together with the then Crown Prince, now Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, performed the succession rituals which are expected of a crown prince within the norms of Buganda Kingdom.

Nkangi later returned in 1971 upon the fall of the Obote regime and participated in the return of Mutesa’s remains in March of that year. He again finalised the rituals that were supposed to be performed by the Crown Prince Mutebi.

According to Katikkiro Mayiga, a number of these rituals were performed at Bamunanika Palace, in Luweero district. Mayiga also recounted that Nkangi kept in his custody Buganda’s ceremonial mace –the Ddamula — a symbol of authority of the office of Katikkiro from 1966 until 1993 when kingdoms were restored.

Meanwhile, Buganda Kingdom has set up a special committee to take charge of Mayanja Nkangi’s burial arrangements. The committee is headed by the 1st Deputy Katikkiro Emmanuel Ssendawula.

Other members of the committee include Apollo Makubuya, Christine Mugerwa Kasule, William Matovu, Walusimbi Ssengendo, Noah Kiyimba and William Naganga, the Permanent Secretary in Katikkiro’s office.

Earlier, the family issued a burial programme indicating that the late Jehoash Mayanja-Nkangi will lie in State at Buganda Kingdom administrative headquarters in Bulange – Mengo on Wednesday March 8, before a vigil at his home in Ntinda, Nakawa division.

There will also be a funeral service on Thursday March 9, at St. Luke’s Church, Ntinda from where the body will be taken to Parliament for a special session.  The deceased will be buried on Friday at his ancestral home in Kanyogoga, Kalungu West in Kalungu district.

-URN