President Yoweri Museveni has Tuesday made new directives for the return of part of the Buganda kingdom properties which were expropriated by the central government as well as the payment of rental arrears for some of the kingdom properties currently used by government.
The commitments were made on Tuesday during a meeting between President Museveni and the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. The President paid a courtesy call on the Kabaka at his palace in Banda, on the outskirts of Kampala City, following an invitation by the Kabaka.
At the palace, the two principals held closed talks which lasted about two hours. Earlier discussions between the two had been witnessed by the Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja and other kingdom officials while the delegation of the President included Attorney General, William Byaruhanga and State Minister for Privatization, Evelyne Anite among others.
President Museveni directed that land titles belonging to Buganda kingdom that have been verified by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, be returned to the monarchy, said a statement.
The Kingdom has been pushing for recovery of its land that was confiscated by the government during the 1966/7 crisis that had seen Kabaka Mutesa flee to exile after clashing with President Milton Obote.
In the meeting, Museveni also directed that outstanding arrears to the kingdom be paid in the next three financial years.
Some of financial compensation accrues from properties, like Mutesa House in London, which was taken over by the Idi Amin government and later sold. Another outstanding property is Plot 52 on Kampala Road.
Later after the discussions, Katikkiro Mayiga told reporters that the President made a number of directives in regard to reducing the long standing claims (financial as well as properties) by the kingdom.
“The President has directed the Minister of Lands to handover all the land titles that were verified and confirmed to belong to Buganda kingdom,” the kingdom’s Premier said.
“There are outstanding rental arrears for the Buganda properties like in Kigo and Makindye barracks and other properties valued at Shs 6bn. For these, the President has directed for the immediate release of Shs 3bn,” the Katikkiro said.
Regarding the London property (Mutesa House), the Katikkiro said Buganda kingdom is owed Shs 30bn in compensation. Of this sum, Museveni has ordered that Shs 23.6bn be appropriated to the kingdom in the coming financial year 2019/2020.