Kampala. The Buganda Land Board has been plunged into confusion after Kabaka Mutebi reversed a 49-year lease they okayed and ordered refund of unspecified billions of shillings to city businessman John Ssebalamu.
A Buganda Kingdom cabinet resolution had directed that no land blocks in Wakiso (Kyadondo) and Kampala (Busiro) would be leased before a cabinet sitting.
The cabinet resolution affects land in Wakiso and Kampala that exceeds an acre. But Buganda Land Board is free to lease land less than an acre.
The Kabaka has also ordered a wide-ranging investigation against officials of the Board and has already sacked a junior minister in what officials called a clean-up.
Highly placed sources told Daily Monitor that the move is part of enforcing the Kabaka’s July 31 message at his 25th coronation anniversary where he implored the nation to avoid greed and graft.
A senior cabinet minister, who is also known to be close to the Kabaka, told Daily Monitor that the king’s July 31 message was cleverly crafted to warn both central government and Buganda Kingdom officials. Condemning the leakage through corruption, the Kabaka warned: “You cannot fetch water in a basket and deliver it home. If greed is not decisively handled, our nation will not develop.”
The source also said the Kabaka’s probe team is also looking into alleged indiscriminate sales of kingdom land that formerly housed schools or health facilities but had been leased by the Board.
He said some kingdom officials have already been sacked over the questionable sale of chunks of the kingdom land.
Acting kingdom spokesperson and substantive junior local government minister Joseph Kawuki said he has heard of some sackings, but referred Daily Monitor to the land Board for more details.
But the land Board spokesperson, Mr Dennis Bugaya downplayed the claims, preferring to call it a ploy to malign his organisation.
“Let those people who gave you that information elaborate. Do not do somebody’s hit job. It is better you don’t get involved in unfounded staff. Those are mere lies,” he said by telephone.
Commenting on some staff leaving their jobs, Mr Bugaya said what happened was internal staff re-alignment.