The Observer (Kampala)

23 July 2014

Uganda: Mayiga - Mengo's Sh7 Billion Budget Too Small

Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga used the21st session of Buganda's Lukiiko to urge all people in Buganda to contribute to the kingdom's purse.

The Monday sitting approved the kingdom's Shs 7.4bn budget for the financial year 2014/15 at Bulange.In his speech, Mayiga said it was embarrassing for a more than 1,000-year-old kingdom to run such a small budget.

"I thank members of the Lukiiko for passing this financial year's budget, but our resource envelope is still very meagre," Mayiga said.

"How can Buganda kingdom, which has spent more than 1,000 years, use a Shs 7bn budget a whole year when companies like Mukwano use over and above [that]?"

Mayiga said his push for transparency in the kingdom was getting many nods of approval.

"I receive a lot of letters from people appreciating the transparency and [they] tell me to jealously safeguard Buganda's assets, and I always assure them that I will do so. But what is [the] worth [of assets] that I am safeguarding [here]?" he asked.

"I will safeguard Buganda's assets but a budget totalling to Shs 7bn and the assets we have are very meagre, I want to safeguard bigger assets," he said.

At the beginning of July, Kingdom Finance Minister Eva Nagawa Mukasa presented the Shs 7.4bn budget for Lukiiko members to consider. Most of the budget revenue will be raised from Buganda land board, Buganda's higher institutions of learning, rent from the kingdom's buildings, markets and the kingdom's companies such as CBS, among others.

Nagawa said most of the revenue collected would be spent on completing Kasubi tombs, Masengere plaza in Bulange, clearing the Kabaka's lake, establishing a Buganda museum and developing Kigo and Makindye kingdom land. Speaking about the recent clashes in Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts that killed at least 65 people, Mayiga sent the kingdom's heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

He tasked government to establish an inquiry into the actual cause of the deadly attacks.

"We appeal to the authorities to establish an impartial commission of inquiry to carry out a genuine investigation such that the country knows what caused these attacks in the Rwenzori region... " he said.

"As Buganda kingdom, we urge all the warring factions to remain calm throughout the negotiation process, because negotiating with others doesn't necessarily call for chaos, but it gives all parties an opportunity to understand each other."

The katikkiro also announced that Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II would be opening the 22nd Buganda Lukiiko on August 18.

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