The Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate Norbert Mao has used his interface with the Buganda Kingdom Premier to pledge the unconditional and immediate return of the institution’s property once elected head of State.
Mao together with other party officials today met Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga at the Kingdom administration building at Bulange-Mengo.
During the meeting, Mao said that Democratic Party believes in preserving the traditions, customs and institutions of Uganda and that they always take every opportunity to emphasize issues that they believe in whether there is an election or not.
He then pledged to ensure that the cultural institutions in the country like Buganda Kingdom are upheld once elected president on January 14th and to also ensure the immediate return of all Kingdom assets.
In 2013, the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Buganda Kingdom officials paving way for the return of the Kingdom properties.
The assets including the Kingdom’s official estates for Masaza, Gombolola, properties of chiefs, clearance of rent arrears accruing from rentals of the Kingdom properties that were taken over for administration by the Provincial Government after the abrogation of the 1962 Constitution.
The August 2013 step by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government followed a long process of discussions between the two parties regarding the return of properties that belong to the administration of the Kingdom.
Since the signing of the MoU, government has been returning the properties to the Kingdom and payment of rent arrears in installments.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate briefed the Katikkiro about the party’s campaign message saying that it is based on five key issues. These he said include servant leadership, reconciling Uganda that will eventually lead to a National truth and reconciliation process, ending corruption through offering exemplary leadership, shared prosperity and a new consensus.
Mao also notified the Katikkiro about the several challenges his party faces with different members saying that he is only a leader in the party and not the owner of the political party as expressed by dissenting views.
In his statement, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga reiterated his earlier statement on the electoral process saying that the biggest threat to Uganda since independence has been the lack of respect for rule of law and constitutionalism.
“Right from 1966, the Constitution and the rule of law were subverted starting with the abrogation of the Constitution, suspension of general elections, passing of draconian laws, the suppression of person and political freedoms, coups…then we experienced rigged elections, then the military was introduced in the political arena, we have witnessed armed rebellions and today, as we watch a violent electoral process,” said Mayiga.
The Katikkiro said that these are the problems of Uganda and that nobody should say that Uganda’s problems stem from allegiance to different heritages or nationalities.
The Premier added that even within political groups or parties, it has been failure to adopt democratic principles and to adhere to the party constitutions and regulations that has destabilized and disabled them from building strong institutions.
He called upon political actors to raise the bar and show respect for the law.
Buganda Kingdom has previously met major political actors including the ruling National Resistance Movement –NRM party, the National Unity Platform – NUP, the Forum for Democratic Change –FDC and independent presidential candidate Joseph Kabuleta.
Ugandans are expected to go to polls to elect their president and Members of Parliament on January 14th, 2021.