Summons all opinion leaders in Buganda.
He will meet all heads of religious denominations in Buganda, clan heads and all his officials from county level down to the village.
The Kabaka of Buganda has summoned key opinion leaders in Buganda for consultations in what is widely seen as an attempt to fight a government move to isolate him. The consultations begin this week.Royal sources have told us that Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II is unhappy with President Museveni who publically calls for dialogue with Buganda but privately pursues measures that appear to alienate the monarch from his subjects.
Mengo, the seat of Buganda Kingdom, is wary of the aim and motive behind the President’s last two meetings with Buganda politicians, which they believe are prejudicial to talks between him and the Kabaka.
While in Kyotera last week, President Museveni spoke for the first time about what transpired in the September 30 meeting with the Kabaka at State House, Entebbe. He hinted that he told the Kabaka that CBS radio was undermining his government.
“If you keep quiet for a long time, people will blame you in future if problems that would have been prevented in time occur,” he said. He then added that CBS was switched off air because “it was creating tension, spreading lies and undermining unity.”
Buganda Kingdom officials will now ask more questions after the Broadcasting Council decided to re-open Akaboozi Ku Bbiri while CBS remains closed. Ssuubi FM, the other closed radio station, is also expected to re-open soon. On October 29, the President not only hosted the LC-V chairpersons from 14 Buganda districts but he also asked them to support the Land (Amendment) Bill 2007, and the regional tier style of government. Buganda rejects both.
Members of the Buganda Caucus in the same week rejected the Land Amendment Bill once again, because according to Michael Mabikke (Makindye East), the positions of government and Buganda have not been harmonised.
The second meeting the President hosted was that of Buganda MPs from his ruling NRM party. They met him the following day (Friday October 30) at the same venue and discussed the same issues. State House press releases indicated that both sets of leaders had endorsed President Museveni’s proposals.
The two meetings appear to re-enforce the President’s announcement on September 10 that he would no longer discuss Buganda issues with unelected Mengo people (Kabaka and his officials) but rather elected leaders in Buganda.
The September 30 Kabaka visit to State House Entebbe had raised hope that at last the government and Buganda would resolve outstanding differences. To fend off what Buganda officials see as an attempt to isolate them and the Kabaka, they have lined up high profile meetings between the Kabaka and key opinion leaders in his kingdom.
Those lined up for these meetings include leaders of all religious denominations in Buganda, clan heads and all Kabaka’s officials from county level down to the village. A special sitting of the Lukiiko is also being organised.
During these meetings, the Kabaka is expected to tell his subjects for the first time what he discussed with Museveni when they met on September 30 — the first such meeting in two years. The meeting came after three days of riots in Buganda protesting the government’s decision to block the Kabaka from traveling to Kayunga to preside over his kingdom’s annual Youth Day festivities.
It is not clear what the latest maneuvers on both sides will lead to, but most likely another collision. Parliament has also jumped into the fray. A motion has been lined up by Michael Bayigga (Buikwe West) for a resolution of Parliament recommending the immediate re-opening of CBS.
The Observer has learnt that Bayiga, who will be seconded by Michael Mabikke (Makindye East), will argue that the Broadcasting Council exercised its mandate arbitrarily, excessively, selectively and unconstitutionally.
“Their action has led to loss of employment [by] nearly 500 workers serving as producers, technicians, reporters, newscasters, stringers, drivers and casual workers whose survival and that of their children and families depends on earnings from these three stations,” the MPs contend.
The MPs also doubt the spirit of the Council’s actions which they say seem to be politically motivated.
“It is worrying that the BC is not involved in any dialogue with the station managers in efforts to have them re-opened, instead it is State House that is setting conditions for their re-opening,” the MPs point out.
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