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Local gov’ts, Buganda kingdom to jointly settle land and rent issues

Minister Raphael Magyezi meets Katikkiro Peter Mayiga at Bulange Mengo.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buganda kingdom and the central government ministry of local government are to set up a joint technical committee to settle land and rent conflicts between the kingdom and the different local governments.

The initiative comes to solve a stalemate over kingdom properties that were to be handed to the kingdom in 2013, after an agreement signed by President Yoweri Museveni and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II on the 1st of August 2013.

Under the agreement, the NRM government promised to return properties to Buganda such as kingdom land and buildings but to date, they are still occupied by local government plus the army, prisons and police.

Buganda and local governments have been at loggerheads over government’s occupation of kingdom buildings and land without paying rent or leasing. In fact, local governments in Mukono, Mityana and Masaka have been conflicting with kingdom leaders at the counties (Saza) and sub county (Gombolola) levels where these properties are found.

According to Minister Raphael Magyezi, the joint technical committee which shall comprise members from both the government and the kingdom will be funded and facilitated by the government to interpret the Memorandum of Understanding to know exactly what was agreed upon between the kingdom and the government.

The committee will also analyze the implications, verify the kingdom property under the local governments in each district and propose a course of action.

Katikkiro Peter Mayiga says that Buganda has put up four options for the government to choose from in its course of action regarding kingdom property. These are the government asking for leases on the kingdom land, renting the kingdom buildings, vacating them or total purchase of the land and buildings by the government.

Minister Magyezi says that the joint committee is to recommend a specific course of action for each individual property. The implementation plan shall be presented at a policy level once agreed upon by the Katikkiro and the government prime minister to guide on finance and budgeting.

Christopher Bwanika, the kingdom’s Minister for local government has commended the working relationship between the kingdom and the Ministry of local government. He has also asked the Minister of local government to share duties with Buganda in the local governments over issues such as health and people’s welfare.

These have been agreed upon in a meeting held at Bulange Mengo between Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga on behalf of the Buganda government and Raphael Magyezi, the Minister of Local government.

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