Buganda Kingdom has prioritized the completion of the Kasubi Royal Tombs in its forthcoming financial year, whose budget is estimated at Shs74 billion.
The revelation was made during the reading of the Kingdom’s budget for the financial year 2017/2018 during the Lukiiko session at Bulange today.
The tombs have been under reconstruction since 2013 and have been the key deliverables in the kingdom’s five-year strategic plan, which is ending in 2017/2018.
“The work at Kasubi is not only tedious; we must follow all the cultural norms. This takes a lot of time. We expect, nevertheless, to complete this process during this financial year,” Owek. Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, the kingdom Treasurer and Minister of Finance and Investments, has said.
Health, agriculture and education are the other key priorities, which will help Kabaka’s subjects get out of poverty.
In agriculture, a lot of emphasis has been put on coffee and matooke where Shs6million and 4,400 seedlings respectively will be given out to Kabaka’s subjects across the Kingdom.
“Agriculture is the cornerstone of our economy and therefore we are prioritizing the Emwanyi Terimba campaign,” Nsibirwa explained. “We will be working together with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority and other partners to deliver this.”
‘Emmwanyi Terimba’ is a campaign launched by Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga this year to restore coffee farming in the Kingdom.
Shs16bn (22%) of its budget has been allocated to Education. “We are going to increase bursaries to enable children from poorer families access high quality education,” Nsibirwa said.
One of the biggest beneficiaries from this is Muteesa I Royal University which is also expected to get its charter during this financial year and start on construction of a multipurpose building at its Kakyeeka-Mengo campus.
On health, Nsibirwa revealed that Kabaka Ronald Mutebi has endorsed a proposal to acquire a water ambulance for the people of Ssese Islands. “The Kabaka has instructed us to acquire a water ambulance so that his people in Ssese Islands can easily get to health facilities whenever there is need,” Nsibirwa said.
A modern mobile clinic, bigger than a 40-feet container, has also been procured and it is currently being shipped. It is expected to arrive in Uganda soon and boost health service delivery in the vast Kingdom.
Nsibirwa also revealed that the Kingdom received Shs313m from the Kabaka’s Birthday Run 2017 of which Shs59million was spent on organizing the function.
Of the Shs254million proceeds, Shs110million has been given to the Central Public Health Laboratories of the Central Government who are the qualified experts in sickle cell testing. The balance will be used to test and treat people during the health camps the Kabaka organizes for his people.
The activities of the Clan Heads Council (Olukiiko lw’Abataka Abakulu b’Obusolya) would be supported financially and a new motor vehicle will be acquired for them so that they can easily perform their duties across the Kingdom.
On tourism, Nsibirwa said that the Kingdom is going to start a Royal Trail Tour in Lubaga Division where tourists would be able to visit the different attractions to learn more about the Kingdom. This new tourism trail is expected to improve the income of the Kingdom. Working with the Private Sector Foundation, the Kingdom is due to publish a royal tourism book that details all tourism attractions in Buganda.
Sub counties starting with Makindye will get new buildings to supplement their income so as to improve service delivery to Kabaka’s people.
However, the Kingdom’s income has been affected by the failure of the Central Government to pay its debt obligations. Buganda had expected to receive Shs8billion as debt payment in the previous financial year. However, no money was received from the Central Government at all.
This shortfall in revenue is expected to be bridged by implementing laws regarding land management by improving ground rent collections as well as continued investments in media, communications, and telecommunications.