By Martha Nakimuli
The Baganda in the diaspora have donated to the Buganda rioters who were jailed protesting against the blockage of the Kabaka of Buganda from heading to Bugerere in 2009.
The ceremony to receive the donation was held this week on Tuesday at Bulange Mengo.
Amb. Ssendawula who was speaking during a function where the former inmates received a token from Baganda living in the Diaspora observed that all these people among others fulfilled Buganda’s call to strengthening the throne because if it is extinct, then Buganda would be no more.
He explained that riots broke out after Katikkiro was barred at river Sezibwa from proceeding to Kayunga to oversee preparations for Kabaka’s visit which government claimed it was unlawful and that the Kabaka needed to seek permission from Baker Kimeze the self-proclaimed traditional leader of Bugerere before visiting the place. This angered many people in Buganda leading to riots across Buganda in which over 27 people lost their lives while many were put behind bars.
Ssendawula stressed that these people’s act is heroic since they were fighting for the rights of the Kabaka to move freely around his Kingdom. He added that the Kingdom is not against anyone living in Buganda and does not interfere with anyone’s cultural practices but that the Kingdom is against the creation of parallel chiefdoms within Buganda to weaken the powers of the King. He wondered why the Kabaka is not free to visit parts of his Kingdom when he has rights to move freely across the entire country.
The 1st Deputy Katikkiro thanked all Kabaka’s representatives in the Diaspora especially Wycliffe Lule Musoke, Dr. Ssenkayi and Sam Kigwe Mwanje who mobilized people in the Diaspora to mobilize funds to help the former inmates. The Diaspora collected 8,568,300/= Uganda shillings to go to the families of the former inmates and each of them received 317,000/= to help them in different ways.
Ssendawula however urged the former inmates to make sure that they seek hands on skills on small scale businesses like poultry which he said is not so expensive but can yield greatly. He promised that the Kingdom is set to help educate the former in-mates children via Kabaka Education Fund Bursaries and urged those who are still interested in going back to school to use this chance under the Kabaka Education Fund Scheme.
The Attorney General Apollo Makubuya commended the Kabaka for the support he rendered to his cabinet and the entire Kingdom to secure the release of the former inmates.
Makubuya recalled that the entire trial was full of drama intended at torturing and intimidating the people of Buganda especially when it came to producing evidence and the selective release of some of the inmates.
He wondered why government put much more emphasis on material things that were stolen during the riots and not the many people who lost their lives during the riots and finding out who killed them. Makubuya therefore called upon the government to come out and make a public apology for the wrongful arrest of all these people.
The chairperson of the former inmates Kilulwe narrated their ordeal while in prison. He explained that they were arrested for different reason but all charged with terrorism.
Kikulwe recalled that most of them suffered physically and psychologically with others still suffering up to today. He however extended his gratitude on behalf of all the former inmates to all the people who rendered a hand in different ways especially Buganda government, Members of Parliament from Buganda, the Lukiiko, people in the Diaspora and ordinary people who supported them in various ways.
The 1st Deputy Katikkiro Amb Emmanuel L Ssendawula commended all the former inmates of Bugerere riot for fighting to strengthen Buganda Kingdom.