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Buganda Land Board protests the gov’t decision to take over Mulungu landing site

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Buganda Land Board has protested government’s decision to take over Kabaka’s Mulungu Landing Site in Munyonyo.

Recently, the Minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, wrote to Makindye Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Doreen Keita Kagabo, giving directives to allow traders and fish mongers to access the landing site, which had been closed for nearly four years due to rising water levels.

However, the move by the Kampala Minister has now come under scrutiny from the Kingdom, with BLB vehemently opposing the orders as illegal and unwarranted, which could lead to the destruction of the landing site.

Dennis Bugaya, the spokesperson and senior operations manager at the Buganda Land Board, asserts that the Mulungu landing site is one of the properties that President Museveni returned to the Buganda Kingdom, and therefore, the minister and the RCC cannot take decisions over it. He advised the kingdom’s subjects to ignore such directives and treat them as illegal.

“The Land Board has secured all the required documents showing their full ownership, and they are ready to protect it from any land grabbers. He also underscored the significance of Mulungu Port to the Kingdom, especially during events like the Boat Race, and reassured that no activities compromising the dignity of the lake would be allowed,” he said.

On whether the landing site had become a danger to the population nearby due to increasing Lake Victoria water levels, Bugaya told this said that they (BLB) made the assessment and established that the situation on the landing site was a danger to the public and agreed to close the site, and NEMA led the operation to evict people who refused to vacate the place peacefully.

Buganda Kingdom Minister of Information and Spokesperson Israel Kazibwe, in support of Mr. Bugaya’s assertions, said when we reached him that the development of Mulungu Port would bring honour to the Kingdom and boost its potential in terms of revenue collection.

Last week, the Kabaka of Buganda, His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, in the company of Prince Richard Ssemakookiro, made a surprise visit to the Mulungu landing site in Munyonyo-Makindye Division, where he thoroughly inspected the activities taking place to ensure that his land was intact.

This Eagle Online understands that Kabaka’s surprise visit to the site was in the wake of the orders made by the Minister for Kampala to the RCC of Makindye to implement the directive of taking over the landing site.

The Chairman of the Buganda Youth Council, Baker Ssejjengo, and Ssalongo James Wamala, an official at BLB, who together escorted the Kabaka as he toured the place, explained to him the status quo of the land and how the Buganda Land Board is protecting the area’s environment, plus plans to develop it for the good of his subjects.

The strategic move, according to them, aims to attract a diverse range of visitors, ultimately fostering prosperity within the Kingdom.

At the end of his tour, the Kabaka urged the Kingdom to actively develop the site, emphasising the importance of preventing exploitation by selfish individuals who may wish to take up land at this site. He also appreciated the work done by the Buganda Land Board to save it from degradation.

Minister Kabanda, when contacted for a comment, admitted that she wrote a letter to the IGP but said her directive was related to possible security threats in the area after the people who were evicted from the site threatened to riot and put the entire Munyonyo on fire, yet in the wake of the just concluded NAM Summit.

“As a leader, I cannot look on when people are threatening to riot; you know, visitors from other countries who came to attend the NAM Conference are still here, and you want those people to embarrass us before the international cameras,” Kabanda said.

She added that she has no intentions of grabbing Kabaka’s land or returning people to the land because she is not the owner of the land, but she wanted to lead the negotiation between the evicted people and the leadership of the Buganda Land Board to resolve the matter amicably.

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