The Kabaka holds the land in trust
Publication date: Monday, 9th June, 2008
Letter of the day
EDITOR—I wish to add some value to Pereza Ahabwe’s article published on May 29. In the article, Ahabwe stated that the land Bill attempts to protect the ordinary people. I fully support his view.
However, I wish to correct one mistake which many people make believing that the 350 sq miles of Buganda land was given to the Kabaka as his personal property.
The fact is when the 1900 Buganda Agreement was made, several parcels of land were allotted to the kabaka, katikiro Omulamuzi saza and gombolola chiefs as official mailo estates.
The kabaka was to hold the land in trust for the baganda with a restriction not to transfer or sell the land under his trust but to collect busulu and envujjo for his welfare.
This explains why all the sekabakas, including Sir Edward Mutesa never sold, transferred or converted official mailo estates into their own names as personal property.
If this had been allowed to do so, the current Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi would have found nothing left! Article 246(3)(a) of the Constitution of Uganda 1995, imposed on a traditional leader a duty to hold assets or property like official mailo estates in trust for the baganda so that the Kabaka became a mere trustee while the Baganda are the beneficiaries of the 350 sq miles. It is also quite clear that when the Government decided to give 350 sq miles to the kabaka under Article 118(4) of the Constitution (Amendment) Statute, 1993(Statute No 7 of 1993) the kabaka was to hold the 350 square miles as a trustee for the baganda, the beneficiaries not in his personal capacity as private property.
It appears kabaka Mutebi considers himself as the last Kabaka and is busy winding up the kabakaship! This is a very serious matter which Mengo has created as it goes down to the root of the kingdom. I strongly contend that the formation of a private company, Rexba Ltd, whose shareholders/members are a selected few individuals from the Mengo establishment to which company the Kabaka as a trustee transferred the kabakas’ official mailo estates without the consent of baganda through an elected Lukiiko, will soon or later cause a constitutional crisis. Baganda like dan Mulika will challenge the Kabaka the transfer of this land to Rexba where Mutebi holds 99% shares and his son Jjunju hold 1% in a Constitutional Court. The Kabaka as a trustee has no legal power to transfer trust property to himself as an individual. The law of tracing will in future catch up with him.
This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/21/632490