Godfrey Kiwanda, the Buganda parliamentary Caucus chairperson has clashed with Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality MP over the former’s decision to apologize to President Yoweri Museveni after he was booed during Kabaka Mutebi’s 20th coronation anniversary celebrations.
On 3rd August, Buganda Kingdom celebrated the 20th coronation anniversary of Kabaka Mutebi. President Yoweri Museveni turned up as a guest during the cerebrations held at Mengo palace, the Lubiri.
A day before the coronation, President Museveni and the Kabaka signed a Memorandum Of Understanding on the return of the Buganda Kingdom Assets in the possession of the central government.
However, during his address to the gathering in which he announced the return of Buganda Kingdom property, Museveni was booed down.
On Monday afternoon, Kiwanda, the Mityana North MP said it was indiscipline for the youth to boo the President who was invited by the Kabaka to the ceremony. He apologized to President Museveni for the way he was treated and appealed to the Buganda youth to be tolerant and asked them to apologize to the President.
On behalf of the Caucus, Kiwanda thanked Museveni for returning some of the Kingdom property saying they will move a motion on the floor of parliament this week thanking him for the gesture.
He said that the return of these properties like the Masaaza headquarters was a good development and reduced the political tension between the government and Mengo saying it will ensure stability in the country.
When asked why he is coming out now when Museveni was booed almost a month back, Kiwanda said that by apologizing, the Kingdom is not under pressure but said it was the right thing to do and that it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
On the information that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between government and Buganda suggests that the kingdom acknowledged that some of its parts can secede since the Kabaka agreed to respect other cultures within his Kingdom, Kiwanda said Buganda is not a tribe and that the Banyala and Baluli were around and that the rift between Buganda and Banyala can be bridged off through mutual respect.
However, Betty Nambooze said Kiwanda as an MP has a right to address the press on any matter but not on the position of the caucus. She said that they have not had any executive meeting on the matters raised by Kiwanda adding that most of the members of the caucus were not aware of Monday’s press briefing.
Nambooze says the youth were in order to boo the president saying that it is done in democratic societies. She adds that they could have even pelted him with rotten tomatoes.
Nambooze said as a caucus they have no obligation to apologize on behalf of the organizers of the coronation function where they also appeared as guests.
Nambooze noted that Kiwanda had committed treason by saying that Bululi and Bunyara can be given autonomy. She explained that Kiwanda cannot propose autonomy for people who rebelled against the Kingdom and that they are artificial creations of the central government. She added that the Prime Minister of Buganda refused to give MPs a copy of the MOU probably for fear that it could be politicized.
Nambooze said that they cannot start discussing an MOU that is not in their reach because they do not know its details. She claimed Kiwanda could be acting on external influence saying they are scheduled to hold an executive meeting and task him to explain why he went to the press without the knowledge of the caucus. She noted that Kiwanda must answer for his actions because he has abused his powers, which they will not allow.
Nambooze added that they are better off keeping quiet about the MOU since none of them can claim to know its contents.