Katikkiro calls for special lands compensation court.
Buganda Kingdom has prioritized the completion of the Kasubi Royal Tombs in its forthcoming financial year. The tombs have been under reconstruction since 2013 and have been the key deliverables in the Kingdom’s five-year strategic plan, which is ending in 2017/2018. “The work at Kasubi is not only tedious, we must follow all the cultural norms. This takes a lot of time. We expect, nevertheless, to complete this process during this financial year,” Owek Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, the Kingdom Treasurer and Minister of Finance and Investments has said.
This revelation was made during the reading of the Kingdom’s budget for the financial year 2017/2018 during the Lukiiko session at Bulange today. The Buganda Lukiiko passed the Shs74 billion budget.
Health, agriculture and education are the other key priorities, which will help Kabaka’s subjects, get out of poverty.
In agriculture, the emphasis will be on coffee and matooke where six million and 4,400 seedlings respectively will be given out to Kabaka’s subjects across the Kingdom. “Agriculture is the cornerstone of our economy and therefore we are prioritizing the Emwanyi Terimba campaign,” Nsibirwa explained. “We will be working together with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority and other partners to deliver this.”
Emmwanyi Terimba is a campaign launched by Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga this year to restore coffee farming in the Kingdom. Coffee is Uganda’s biggest export earner.
Education is another priority for the Kingdom where 22% or Shs16 billion of its budget will be spent. “We are going to increase bursaries to enable children from poorer families access high quality education,” Nsibirwa said.
Muteesa I Royal University is also expected to get its charter during this financial year and start on construction of a multipurpose building at its Kakyeeka Mengo campus.
On health, Nsibirwa revealed that Kabaka Ronald Mutebi has endorsed a proposal to acquire a water ambulance for the people of Ssese Islands. “The Kabaka has instructed us to acquire a water ambulance so that his people in Ssese Islands can easily get to health facilities whenever there is need,” Nsibirwa said.
A modern mobile clinic, bigger than a 40-feet container, has also been procured and it is currently being shipped. It is expected to arrive in Uganda soon and boost health service delivery in the vast Kingdom.
Nsibirwa also revealed that the Kingdom received Shs313m from the Kabaka’s Birthday Run 2017 of which Shs59m was spent on organizing the function. Of the 254 million proceeds, Shs110m has been given to the Central Public Health Laboratories of the Central Government who are the qualified experts in sickle cell testing. The balance will be used to test and treat people during the health camps the Kabaka organizes for his people.
The activities of the Clan Heads Council (Olukiiko lw’Abataka Abakulu b’Obusolya) would be supported financially and a new motor vehicle will be acquired for them so that they can easily perform their duties across the Kingdom.
On tourism, Nsibirwa said that the Kingdom is going to start a Royal Trail Tour in Lubaga Division where tourists would be able to visit the different attractions to learn more about the Kingdom. This new tourism trail is expected to improve the income of the Kingdom. Working with the Private Sector Foundation, the Kingdom is due to publish a royal tourism book that details all tourism attractions in Buganda.
Sub counties starting with Makindye will get new buildings to supplement their income so as to improve service delivery to Kabaka’s people.
However, the Kingdom’s income has been affected by the failure of the Central Government to pay its debt obligations. Buganda had expected to receive Shs8 billion as debt payment in the previous financial year. However, no money was received from the Central Government at all.
This shortfall in revenue is expected to be bridged by implementing laws regarding land management by improving ground rent collections as well as continued investments in media, communications, and telecommunications.
On Ekyapa Mu Ngalo, the campaign for people to get land certificates of title, Nsibirwa revealed that over 200 leasehold titles have already been issued to the applicants while more than 7000 people have already received their prints showing their land demarcations.
Away from the budget, the Buganda Lukiiko paid tribute to its former member, the late John Sseebaana Kizito who passed away earlier this month. Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga praised him for his steadfastness in serving the Kabaka and Buganda, his business acumen that enabled him create many jobs and his desire for a democratic Uganda. “Sseebaana Kizito loved his Kabaka and his Mmamba Clan as epitomized in his dedication to the many assignments he delivered. He was an astute businessman and politician who strongly stood firm in times of adversity,” Mayiga said. The Lukiiko passed a resolution thanking him for his dedicated service.
On the bill tabled in parliament to further amend the 1998 Land Act (as amended), Katikkiro Mayiga said the Kingdom doesn’t oppose infrastructural development since the country badly needs them. However, a special court should be instituted to ensure that land compensation cases are dealt with expeditiously within 90 days. “Just like we have the anti-corruption court or deal with election petitions in a specific time frame, the same should be applied to land compensation cases,” he said.
Katikkiro Mayiga’s proposal would save government money because if the case isn’t disposed in a specific timeframe, they would still have to pay interest and other costs should they (government) lose the case. “If the case lasts 10 years or more like is usually the case, the government would lose more money,” he said.
The Katikkiro urged the government to also address the core issues that lead to delays in infrastructural project implementation first, which among others include corruption and collusion of its officials.
Key activities in the year 2017/2018 budget
- Completion of the Kasubi Royal Tombs Reconstruction
- Planting six million coffee seedlings
- Planting 4400 matooke seedlings
- Establishment of the Royal Trail Tour in Lubaga Division
- Establishment of Law Chambers at Bulange
- Acquisition of water ambulance
- Muteesa I Royal University getting its Charter
- Improvements in land management
- Investments in CBS FM
- Increment in education scholarships and bursaries
- Improve debt collection especially from the Central Government
- Establish Buganda Statistics Department.