Buganda Kingdom’s lawyers insist they have ‘nothing on the table regarding this matter and we do not deal with hypothetical things’ amid reports thatKabaka of Buganda Ronald Mutebi has been swindling money collected compulsory registration of people living on the King’s land.
A Kabaka’s subject, Mr Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi in the notice filed before Kampala High Court on January 3, Mr Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi has asked the Kabaka Mutebi and his lawyers of Kalenge, Bwanika, Ssawa and Company Advocates to present to court financial documents showing deposits and also produce bank statements in the names of Buganda Land Board for his inspection and internalization to enable him to prosecute his case.
He contends that the Kabaka’s land, where subjects are living, was returned to the king by the central government and is public land collectively owned by the people of Buganda.
Mr Mabirizi says the Kabaka is only holding that land in trust for his subjects but is not their landlord or master.
Mr Mabirizi also wants Kabaka Mutebi to produce the particulars of all titles for official mailo land, returned to him by virtue of the 1995 Constitution and the Restitution of Assets and Properties’ Act in terms of county, block number and plot number and other relevant particulars.
The notice comes after court dismissed preliminary objections in which Mr Mabirizi was challenging the legality of the application in which Kabaka Mutebi through his lawyers is seeking for Shs 500 million deposit as security for costs. In the main case, Mr Mabirizi alleges that the Kabaka’s action requiring all his subjects living on the kingdom land to register their plots at a fee ranging between Shs100,000 and Shs600,000 depending on the location. Registration of land in Kampala, Wakiso or the surrounding areas is Shs600,000 while in the rural areas the owners pay Shs100,000.
He is seeking for court declarations that Kabaka Mutebi’s actions as illegal and thus null and void.
Kiwanuka also wants court to declare that such actions amount to an infringement on the subjects’ right to live on the land especially the collection of a 10 percent charge on the sale of land registered in the Kabaka’s names as per the Restitution of Assets and Properties Act is unconstitutional.
Kabaka Mutebi has since appointed one Bashir Juma Kizito as his representative to swear affidavits and file responses to the petition.
Mr Kizito, a surveyor, claims the petition is riddled with falsehoods calculated to mislead court.
“…the respondent (Kabaka) equally has a right to own property and in exercising his right, the respondent has never deprived any person of any interest or right over the property of any description neither does he have any intention to deprive any individual of any property,” reads Kizito’s response to the petition.