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Chief Minister: Mengo Has No Land in Kooki

In April, President Yoweri Museveni handed over 213 titles of Buganda Kingdon properties to Mengo officials led by Emmanuel Ssendaula at State House Entebbe. The returned assets include sub county headquarters known in Luganda as Masazza seats.
Kamuswaga\'s palace in Kooki which Mengo claims its belongs to Buganda.

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Almost a month after central government handed over titles of Buganda Kingdom property, Gertrude Ssebugwawo, the Kooki Prime Minister says Mengo doesn’t own any property in his chiefdom. In April, President Yoweri Museveni handed over 213 titles of Buganda Kingdon properties to Mengo officials led by Emmanuel Ssendaula at State House Entebbe. The returned assets include sub county headquarters known in Luganda as Masazza seats.

Denis Walusimbi, the Mengo’s Information minister says the land in Kooki also belongs to the Kingdom since Kooki is under Mengo. He told Uganda Radio Network that under the constitution of Uganda, Kooki is under Mengo establishment. He also said that when Kooki decided to sign the 1896 agreement with Buganda, it forfeited its land and surrendered it to Buganda.

Walusimbi said a team of Mengo officials are expected to visit Kooki to verify the land as soon as possible. However, Kooki Chiefdom has dismissed the claims as false. Gertrude Ssebugwawo, the Kooki Prime Minister says Buganda Kingdom does not own any land in Kooki. She explains that all the land in the eleven sub counties in Kooki belong to Obwakamuswaga. She however says as an individual, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi owns some acres of land in Lwamaggwa, which was donated to him.

Ssebugwawo says the land around the sub counties belongs to Kooki chiefdom while some of it belongs to Kooki princes and princess known as ababiito and Ababiito kati.

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Ssebugwawo now says Kooki plans to start collecting ground rent from all sub county headquarters for local revenue. Stanley Ndawula, the Kooki Chiefdom Information Minister says they have all the land titles for the sub counties headquarters and Kooki Chiefdom headquarters.  He tells Uganda Radio network that they got these land titles before Mengo received its titles in April.

Ndawula says they are hunting for investors to lease the land so that the chiefdom earns revenue. He also dismissing reports indicating that some of returned Buganda land is found in Kooki saying this is false. Joseph Kiseka, a resident of Lumbugu in Kooki says Government must come out and clarify on the confusion before it gets out of hand. He says he knows that Kamuswaga is a slightly above the other County Chiefs in Buganda and therefore enjoys hereditary rights and property ownership.

Kiseka explains that this means he is also a King in Kooki just like Kababa Ronald Muwenda Mutebi is in Buganda.  He explains that by virtue of being Kamuswaga means he owns land in the area. The three-page agreement that makes Kooki merely a county in Buganda was signed by Kabaka Mwanga and witnessed by the then katikkiro Apollo Kaggwa, Stanislaus Mugwanya (finance minister) and Ssaza chiefs, Kago (Kyaddondo), one Poro, Pokino (Buddu), Alex Ssebbowa, Mukwenda (Ssingo), one Yona and Kangawo (Bulemeezi). Signed on November 18, 1896, the agreement saw the Kamuswaga surrender all his authority and privileges to the Kabaka.

The Kamuswaga Ndahura used a thumbprint to sign the document and had his katikkiro (prime minister), one Kabandagara, and a chief (Ssabaddu), one Mugara, as his witnesses. George Wilson, a representative of the colonial government, signed on behalf of the Queen of England.

      

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