President Museveni's remarks before handing over Ebyaffe to Buganda Kingdom's delegation on April 15, 2014, at State House Entebbe.

Wednesday 16th April 2014

When you sing the Buganda Anthem and the National Anthem, remember to sing the East African anthem. 'Tulina okusakira abantu baffe.’

We shouldn't be only Baganda or Ugandans but Africans. That is where our future lies.

These properties were contentious because in the 1995 constitution and 1993 traditional leaders act, we restored cultural institutions which were cultural, not administrative, not political.

And the reason was because when a cultural institution mixes with politics that is sine qua non with its death.

There is one Kingdom which has survived for a long time, the Kingdom of Japan. In China there was an emperor but he was overthrown.

How did the emperor of Japan survive? It was because he did not involve himself in controversies. Japan heard warlords.

When they fought among themselves the Emperor did not involve himself. When one was overpowered, the emperor would call the victor and bless that one to go and lead hid people.

That was his way of not involving himself in controversy.

When we restored the cultural institutions, we made it clear that we did not want our cultural institutions to engage in partisan politics.

The Amagombolola n'amasaza were administrative centres for Buganda government which was then administrative.

I went against the lawyers' argument that these were not cultural but administrative properties and we should not give them back. Am always looking for a win-win situation so I went against the lawyers.

These institutions have been with central government since 1966. Therefore, the central government can give them to the kingdom to use them for development purposes. Although they are 'embuga zamasaza namagombolola' we can give them back on grounds that they have been in Government's hands since 1966 and that is how I solved that issue.

I said you can create new administrative units like LC5. 

 

What was paramount for me in the M. O.U which I signed with His Royal Highness Kabaka Mutebi were the interests of the population and it should be clear to all of you. I did not want the population to suffer in any way.

 

I had no problem returning without conditions, land in urban centres and towns because my reasoning was that in towns, the people are elite and enlightened who can sort out their issues with Mengo by themselves.

 

Land not claimed or utilised by lawful or bonafide occupants as provided in the 1995 constitution would be returned to the Kingdom.

 

However, land occupied by lawful or bona fide occupants would not be returned to avoid creating problems involving big populations because of this transfer of properties. 

 

Where land is occupied by many people who don't qualify as lawful or bona fide occupants, the government and the Kabaka shall negotiate and amicably agree on the manner of handling the occupants such as government compensating the Kabaka, rather than creating a social crisis.

 

We don't want a social crisis when we are still struggling with industrialisation. Everything should be put in the context of Uganda as a whole and society the way it is. 

 

We also provided for respect to the cultural norms of ethnic communities in Buganda such as Banyala and Baruli.

 

It was important that they are left on the land where former administrative units were located as was amicably agreed.

 

Because we agreed on this, that is why His Royal Highness Kabaka Mutebi was able to visit Kayunga without problems. This issue was solved.

 

I want to commend Mengo because in recent times, I have been hearing positive statements from there. I would like to encourage them to continue in that line. 

 

The challenge which our people have are mainly poverty because people don't know what to do, we have land and wealth but don't know what to do with it. I would appreciate if the kingdoms can help us with that. 

 

Recently, I signed the anti-homosexuality bill and Ugandans were very happy, but the problem is Ugandans are lazy. If we don't work, we will remain poor yet we are rich. I challenged them at Kololo; if you want independence you must work.

 

I was reading the statements of His Royal Highness Kabaka in Kayunga and he spoke along those lines.

 

In 1996 campaigns, we put forward a 4-acre plan for each home to have an acre of clonal coffee, an acre of fruits, an acre of bananas and another of ebisagazi.

 

I appeal to Kingdoms and churches to join us. For me, I will work with the Army. We are going to develop the country with or without officials.

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