The new Nakasongola district council is facing an uphill task to decide whether to relocate the district headquarters or redevelop the current site amidst cultural tensions.
Nakasongola district has been operating in an old building belonging to Buganda Kingdom since it was carved out of Luwero district in 1997. The building sits on part of the three square miles of land belonging to the Kingdom.
During the last time, the district council refused to pass a resolution backing the relocation to another site that had been identified by the District chairman Sam Kigula, and as a result, more than 180 million Shillings that had been earmarked for construction was sent back to the consolidated fund.
Kigula said he has identified 100 acres of land for the purpose but a majority of the councillor’s backed by Buruli cultural leaders said that this would affect the history of the chiefdom and give way to Mengo to grab the land. They further argued that the administrative unit is no longer contested because it was returned to Buruli through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and President Yoweri Museveni in 2013.
The councillors wanted the district to construct new district headquarters at the current site. But according to Kigula, the government cannot allow them to construct their headquarters in the absence of a land title, yet the land they are occupying now is contested between Buganda Kingdom and Buruuli Chiefdom.
He however hastens to add, that he intends to table a fresh motion in the new district council asking them to endorse the relocation.
Nakasongola district speaker Sunday Rogers Bwanga says that the matter of the district headquarters is contentious but the council will consider it with care and due diligence. He however said they will need more consultation on the matter and guidance to council before they resolve on either to stay at the current site or plan for relocation.
Alex Felix Majeme, the Nakasongola District Chief Administrative Officer said that apart from advising councillors to find suitable land for relocation, they will also need to pass a resolution to embark on the construction using local revenue like other districts.
Gerald Kyanjo, the Buganda Chief in Buruuli County, locally known as Kimbugwe, says that he is planning to write to Nakasongola reminding them to vacate the buildings since the property returned to the Kingdom. Kyanjo says that Nakasongola should vacate the buildings, apply for a lease or pay rent to the Kingdom rather than meddling in cultural differences.
Buruuli Chiefdom seceded from Buganda in December 2004 and in recent years launched efforts to take over all land formerly owned by the Kingdom.