By Cyprian Musoke
THE handing over of another 82 land titles to Buganda Kingdom by the Government that was earlier scheduled to take place on Tuesday has been postponed.
The postponement was prompted by the President's busy schedule, according to Attorney General Peter Nyombi, who heads the Cabinet subcommittee tasked with verifying Buganda's property claims.
This is the second time the event has been called off. It was earlier scheduled to take place last Friday.
"We put it (hand over function) off because of unforeseen commitments on part of Cabinet and the President. We shall inform the Mengo establishment of the new date when we shall hand over the titles," Nyombi told New Vision on Tuesday.
"We have finished ascertaining all of them (82 titles). I have them here with me as I speak," Nyombi said.
Buganda's Justice minister and Attorney General Apollo Makubuya confirmed that government contacted them last week inviting them for the event, but later celled it off.
"We got their communication that they had finished verification of another 82 titles asking us to prepare to receive them. They however called again informing us of the postponement," Makubuya said.
On April, 15 2014 Government returned 213 land titles to the kingdom as part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by President Museveni and the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II last year. The properties were confiscated by Government in 1967 when monarchies were abolished and Uganda declared a republic and unitary state.
Buganda Kingdom was one of the five kingdoms in existence at the time and it enjoyed a federal status.
The titles returned were for land located in the capital city and other parts of the central region.
It includes land where the traditional county (Ssaza) and sub-county (Gombolola) headquarters were situated by 1967.
Under the MOU, Government also agreed to pay shs20b in agreed installments to the Kabaka in this financial year. The payment according to the agreement covers all rent arrears, premium, dues, court awards, interest accrued and other claims. Government immediately paid sh2b to the kingdom as part payment.
The money Government owes Mengo had been a sticking issue in the relationship between the government and the kingdom.
The Kabaka undertook to ensure that the returned land is used for the promotion of cultures and traditions in Buganda and for development of the Institution. The Kabaka agreed to honour all lawful interests issued by the government on land where he is a lessor. A lessor is a person who grants a lease of property. The agreement came into effect on August 1, 2013, the date of the signing.
The Kabaka further undertook to "respect the cultural norms of other related ethnic communities located in Buganda such as the Banyala and Baruli and leave to them land where the former administrative units were situated." Banyala are an ethnic group in Kayunga while the Baruli are in Nakasongola district.
Government has equally indicated it plans to return property that was seized from Bunyoro Kitara and Tooro kingdoms in the 1967.