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Post by sol_drethedon on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:58 pm

Party mood as Kabaka visits Kayunga

Thousands of Buganda Kingdom subjects throng major roads to catch a glimpse of their king, who was blocked from visiting the area four years ago.
At 12pm yesterday, the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, arrived at Ssezibwa Bridge, the entry point into Kayunga District and the very spot where the police blocked his prime minister in 2009, sparking off deadly riots.

He proceeded to cut a customised ribbon of bark cloth, crossing into what is traditionally known as Bugerere County to start a three-day tour in which he will visit model farms, hospitals and address rallies. And with that, it marked a coming around of relations with the central government, which blocked his visit before. His subjects, including Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Lands state minister Idah Nantaba, mobbed his security ring and burst into cheers, chanting tunes of Ganda nationalism.

It was the climax in celebration of the Kabaka’s subjects, whose preparations had come weeks in advance, mounting arches along the way, designed in the traditional regalia of barkcloth and reeds. From Seeta to Mukono, to Kalagi, Nakifuma townships, and finally at Ssezibwa Bridge itself, the Kabaka’s convoy was jammed to a halt by supporters who demanded the Kabaka at least greets them. And he dully obliged, waving majestically.

In a land that the Banyala cultural institution has contested as not belonging to Buganda, rhetoric throughout the visit’s first day was tuned to stage direct defiance to this contest. Speaker after speaker said they welcomed the Kabaka “to his county of Bugerere”.

Calling for harmony
The Katikkiro, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, sought to assert that the kingdom did not discriminate against any ethnicities in Buganda. “The Kabaka is the Kabaka not just of the Baganda, but the whole of Buganda,” the Katikiro said. And as if to rub this in, the Kabaka visited two homesteads, of a Rwandan family and of a family belonging to the Bakenye ethnic group, home of former Mengo minister for co-operatives George Kumama.

The Kabaka visited Kayunga hospital, where he launched an immunisation exercise. He delivered mosquito nets and mattresses as a donation.

The police tightened its security grip, with Kampala North operations commander Sam Omala, who has earned himself a name for reining on opposition activists, taking control. More security enforcements were stationed at the home of the Bunyala king, Maj Baker Kimeeze, his father’s home, in Kyerima village, who, in the past, opposed the Kabaka’s visit. So massive were the crowds that 20 minutes after the Kabaka passed the bridge, motorcycles and taxis still whizzed by, hooting and attempting daredevil acrobatics.

By the end of the day, some were lying on hospital beds, nursing broken limbs, and yet it did not do enough to dump the spirits of the Kabaka first visit to Kayunga.

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