Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has emphasized the importance of cooperatives in tackling poverty and unemployment in central region and Uganda. He also called on people to grow cash crops, especially coffee.
He said that with so many people complaining about poverty and unemployment, resurrecting investment groups and cooperatives is one important way to help improve household income. He stated that Buganda has historically led the way in savings and cooperative groups, with cotton and coffee growing farmers the backbone of Uganda’s economy.
“Farmers cooperatives first started in Uganda in Buganda in 1913. By the time the colonialists came we were already way ahead, growing coffee and cotton that have been, and are still, key to the economic growth of Uganda. I urge everyone to continue growing coffee,” he said.
The king of Buganda made the remarks at colourful celebrations to mark his 26th coronation anniversary at Nkumba University on Wednesday. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, was the kingdom’s guest for this year’s celebrations.
On the eve of the celebrations on Tuesday, Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi asked clan heads (Abattaka) to focus on culture, heritage as well as development among clan members as one of the means of restoring the glory of the kingdom.
He made the remarks during his visit to the Fumbe (civet cat) clan’s ancestral home at Bakka, Singo, in Wakiso District. This is one of the activities to mark his 26th coronation anniversary on Tuesday. The visit was in line with his new policy of reaching out to clans found in a particular county before any major event.
According to available literature, the clan system in Buganda represents a group of people who trace their lineage to a common ancestor and essentially forms a large extended family.
Clans have hierarchical structures with the clan leader at the top (ow’akasolya), followed by successive subdivisions called the ssiga, mutuba, olunyiriri and finally the individual family unit (enju) at the bottom. There are 54 clans and all members of each regard themselves as brothers and sisters.
The Kabaka observes a need for a deliberate move to strategize through these basic groupings in order to enable the kingdom to cause development among its people. He
challenged each clan leader and leaders of the several successive subdivisions to be proactive.
The Kabaka who was amused by Fumbe-clan leaders’ ability to protect their ancestral home noted that preserving culture and heritage is the only way Buganda will triumph. He re-echoed his appeal to the clan heads to register Boards of Trustees which would be vested with powers to protect and develop the individual clan properties.
The kingdom’s premier Charles Peter Mayiga also challenged Kabaka’s subjects to protect their ancestral homes and heed to their king’s counsel of forming Boards of Trustees. He also reminded the clan leaders to jealously guard their culture and heritage which he says it is priceless and also the cornerstone of the kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Kabaka has used the same platform to inform children and the youth to always seek education and professionalism if they are to be competitive in the 21st century.
The event was graced by traditional leaders from Nigeria, Niger and Ethiopia. The main function will be held today at Nkumba University playground in Katabi town council.
Kabaka Mutebi ascended to the throne on July 31, 1993, following negotiations between the Central government and Mengo to reinstate the kingdom which had been abolished alongside other cultural institutions by former president Milton Obote in 1966.