Gen Tumukunde halts Kabaka’s palace reconstruction



Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde has halted the reconstruction of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s palace in Buruuli County, Nakasongola District that was destroyed by fire early this month.

Gen Tumukunde, who last week held a series of meetings involving the Buruuli cultural leaders and officials from Buganda Kingdom to solve the impasse between the two cultural institutions over ownership of the land on which the palace is located in Nakasongola Town Council, called for patience and restraint from both parties.

The two parties are fighting over ownership of the land in question as government tries to establish who is in charge of the contested piece of land.

“Buganda officials should stop the construction process but continue using the land for their meetings as government moves to resolve the problem.

I also urge Buruuli leaders to avoid all verbal attacks directed at Buganda officials,” Gen Tumukunde announced after meeting stakeholders and officials from both cultural institutions at Nakasongola District Production Hall last Friday.

The announcement directing a tentative halt to the construction process preceded a series of meetings where he separately met officials from Buruuli cultural group at Kabira village in Nakasongola Town Council last Thursday and another meeting with the Buganda Kingdom officials in Nakasongola Town.
Gen Tumukunde last Friday also held a meeting with the Nakasongola District security committee before the general meeting was convened.

The Security minister warned both Buruuli cultural leaders and Mengo leaders against incitement messages, which he said breach security guidelines.
“In the coming few days, you will get a final response from government,” he added.

On January 16, police in Nakasongola blocked Buganda loyalists led by Buruli County chief Gerald Kyanjo from embarking on the reconstruction of the palace fence.

Buruuli cultural group officials had reportedly demanded an immediate halt of the construction works, a matter which sucked into the police to avert direct confrontation, according to Nakasongola District police commander Michael Kasigire.

A source that attended the meeting between Gen Tumukunde and Buruuli cultural leaders said the Baruuli claimed that Mengo had planned to construct a perimeter wall, including other permanent structures yet government had not come out with a final position on the land ownership.

“The temporal fence was constructed through an understanding between Mengo and Buruli officials because Kabaka Ronald Mutebi was supposed to tour Buruuli County. The fence was supposed to be demolished after the tour, which did not happen,” one of the officials from Buruuli cultural group reportedly told the minister.

Key issues

Conflict. Both Buruuli cultural leaders and Buganda Kingdom officials have for long been at loggerheads over ownership of land at Nakasongola District headquarters.

Different view. Although Nakasongola District is constitutionally part of Buganda Kingdom and Buruuli County is among the 18 counties of Buganda, Buruuli cultural leaders led by Mwogeza Butamanya insist that they are an independent cultural institution and have for long been pushing for secession from Buganda Kingdom.

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