The Baganda, a dominant ethnic group in central Uganda have petitioned their King over what they called continued disrespect and attack on their culture by security forces from the central government.
The petition follows an incident that happened last week when police and the army fired teargas into a clan meeting that had convened to celebrate the appointment of a clan head by the Kabaka, His Highness Ronald Mwenda Mutebi II.
The thanksgiving ceremony which was held at the Mbogo clan ancestral home in Mugulu, Mityana District in Mityana District, attracted both cultural and religious leaders but ended in frustration and misery as congregants both old and young scampered for water to clean off the irritating gas. Among the invited guest was his grace Bishop Kaggwa, some Bataka of Buganda, area Member of Parliament and other prominent leaders.
No sooner had the function started, the DPC a one Mwiine Mukono Alex stormed the venue and fired teargas and live bullets at the gathering. Several old women fainted, the priests who had been invited to lead prayers also were seen tearfully sneezing.
“Your Majesty, as you are aware, there has been a deliberate attack on our culture and cultural institutions by the government of Uganda, presided over by Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. This openly showed that the government no longer respects any traditional institution. This is collaborated by the previous attack by the same government on the Rwenzururu Kingdom where a number of Ugandans lost their lives including women and children” the petition reads in part.
Security agencies later stated that the use of teargas targeted errant youths who were in bleach of covid-19 guidelines but was accidently blown away towards the venue.
The petitioners who were about 100 including mainly youths led by Hakim Kiiza handed the petition to the Kingdom Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga at Mengo Palace on Tuesday, demanding the arrests and prosecution a one Kagarura Bob, the Regional Police Commander and Mwine Mukono Alex the District Police Commander who they claim have personal vendetta against Buganda.
“It has come to our concern as “Baganda” that these two security operatives have personal vendettas against Buganda as an institution and the people of Buganda” the plea in the petition reads.
The petitioners allege that Mr. Mwine and Kagarura commanded the security forces which arrested and tortured Hon. Zaake Francis Butebi beating while castigating him for being a Muganda.
They also demand the IGP Uganda Police Force, Okoth Martin Ochola and the CDF Uganda People’s Defense Force, Gen. David Muhoozi officially apologize to the people of Uganda at large, the Buganda kingdom, the Catholic Church and all affected religious institutions.
During a press conference on Monday, the spokesperson of Uganda Police Force, CP Fred Enanga, apologized for the conduct of security agencies but condemned the organizers for not involving police ahead of preparations of the event in a concerted effort to combat COVID-19 spread.
Receiving the petition, Katikkiro Mayiga thanked the petitioners for bravely handling the matter concerning Buganda Kingdom. Mayiga said the issues in the petition affects all Baganda and pledged to deliver it to the Kabaka.
Mayiga however castigated the practice of Baganda to shun their own during election period and urged the kingdom subjects to put away their political differences and vote for only candidates who stand for Kingdom issues.
In the petition the petitioners appealed to Mayiga to openly condemn condemn all the “atrocities committed to all the people whom he presides over regardless of their tribes but due to the fact that they are residents on Buganda soil.”
They also demanded that the function which was sabotaged by the central government is re organized and left peacefully to take place, the Speaker of the Buganda Lukiiko to urgently call a special meeting to decide on the next step to be taken as a kingdom.
The Buganda Kingdom administration whose base is in Mengo in the capital Kampala, has had bad and good times with the central government dating back to colonial times with both establishments accusing another for trying to undermine the other.
Some confrontations have however ended in bloodshed and death most horrifying is the 1966 attack by government forces on the Kabaka’s Mengo palace where estimated 2000 men were massacred in the battle that culminated into exile of the King and later abolition of Kingdoms. The Kabaka the, Sir Fredrick Muteesa II later died in London in 1969.
The latest incidents include the Kayunga riots of 2009 where an estimated 40 people died and the unfortunate arson incident at Kasubi tombs where at least 20 people were shot dead as security forces moved to quell the protests.
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