Buganda Kingdom prime minister Charles Peter Mayiga was yesterday cleared to proceed for a controversial visit to the Kooki chiefdom in Rakai district, after the army and the Police provided him extra security.
The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) armoured brigade spokesperson, Maj. Flavia Terimulungi, confirmed receiving information that the Katikkiro’s planned visit was not secure due to a controversy between the two institutions.
“We have secured the ground for the Katikkiro to ensure that his visit to Kooki is safe. The conflict will be handled later,” she said.
Sources said aides of the Kamuswaga of Kooki, Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II, had calledon security operatives to halt the Katikkiro’s visit, citing disrespect from Mengo. Kooki, one of the 18 counties of Buganda kingdom, enjoys a special status owing to an 1896 agreement between the late Kabaka Mwanga II and Kezekia Ndahura, the then Kamuswaga.
The agreement placed the chiefdom under Buganda kingdom, but retained its cultural autonomy.
Sansa was enthroned as the head of Kooki in 2004 and, before long, he accused Buganda kingdom officials of being disrespectful. The drama, which erupted at about 8:00am, resulted in Mayiga being confined to Hotel Brovad in Masaka town, for five hours.
During this period, he held a closed-door meeting with officers from UPDF, Uganda Police, Internal Security Organisation and officials from Mengo. A security source told the press that the matter was delicate and urged the media to report cautiously.
Sources said dignitaries consulted at the meeting included Kabaka Ronald Mutebi, the Office of the Prime Minister and highly placed security authorities in the army and the Police. After the meeting, Mayiga told the press that his delay was caused by a complicated matter. He promised to give details in Rakai. But by press time, he had not addressed the press.
Without details, the Katikkiro thanked the security for handling the matter with calm. Mayiga’s aides said he was scheduled to visit several farmers in Kooki in a drive aimed at promoting coffee growing in the area. His tour began with a visit to St Bernard’s Secondary School, Mannya, following a fire outbreak that claimed the lives of over 10 students and left others hospitalised recently.
Mayiga delivered 100 iron sheets and 100 bags of cement on behalf of the Kabaka. He called for strengthening of morals in schools and among the young generation. Amidst tight security, Mayiga visited a coffee farmer, Zubairu Zziwa of Kyalurangira village.
Kooki chiefdom spokesman Stanley Ndawula, who accused Mengo of “provocation”, said the protection agreement
between Mengo and Kooki chiefdom is no longer relevant.
“We are tired of Mengo provocations. They did not follow the protocol for the Katikkiro visit to our chiefdom. Mengo sent one of the ministers to inform the Kamuswaga about Katikkiro’s plan to visit, which is unacceptable,” he said.
In 2013, Kamuswaga expressed his anger at Buganda kingdom officials for being disrespectful to him and his cultural institution.
“I think the people at Mengo should move at a slow pace, Kooki is sensitive because it also has a cultural leader, who is recognized by the central government,” he said.
Sansa also hinted at the possibility of the Kooki Chiefdom breaking away from Buganda.
“If need be, we shall break away, if they cannot recognise us, if they cannot work