By Joyce Namutebi
The reasons why Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II refused the monthly sh5million from government to cultural leaders have been revealed.
The ministry of gender, labour and social development has submitted to the parliamentary committee of gender a copy of a letter written by the then Katikkiro of Buganda, Dan Muliika to the then Permanent Secretary, David Obong explaining why.
The committee chaired by Nakasongola woman MP, Margaret Komuhangi, had demanded evidence from the ministry that the kingdom had declined to receive the money so that the funds could be put to other use.
In his letter dated March 24, 2006 responding to an earlier one by Ebong on the monthly government contribution to cultural/traditional leaders, Muliika said following a representation of the cheques he felt obliged to seek both legal and cultural advice on the matter.
“According to your letter, the payment has a constitutional implication under Article 246(3) of the Uganda constitution,”,Muliika said.
He explained: “The Kabaka symbolizes both the Baganda culture and the Buganda polity; two aspects under Chapter fifteen of the Uganda Constitution. For that reason, I felt obliged to refer the matter to the experts on both law and culture.”
“I have been advised and I have accepted the advice and the Ssabasajja has been briefed and graciously agreed to, that as matters now stand, it will not be prudent for the Kabaka to accept payment of any regular renumeration (which amounts to a salary by whatever name called) from the Uganda government.”
This, he said, is “until a consensus is reached between Mengo and Kampala on the Constitutional provisions for Buganda, which should include sources of revenue for a federal Buganda whereat the Buganda government will take care of the Kabaka’s financial needs from Buganda’s own financial resources and in a manner which reflects the proper level of his status within the Buganda polity in accordance with culture, custom and tradition.”
“We look forward to the day when the now stalled negotiations on governance for Buganda will be accomplished to mutual satisfaction of both parties to enable His Excellence the President’s idea, now being declined, to be fulfilled,” Muliika wrote.
Asked by the committee as to where the sh5m now goes, state minister of gender and culture, Rukia Nakadama said that they do not requisition for it. “It doesn’t come.”