Glamour and pomp as Kabaka turns 63
• Kabaka speaks against kidnaps
• Worried of a sinister scheme against Buganda
A combination of religious and cultural activities added colour to Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’s 63rd birthday celebrations at Villa Maria Catholic Parish in Kalungu district.
In the company of his queen, Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, the Kabaka arrived at Villa Maria shortly after 11am and was led to a guided tour of Villa Maria cathedral which once served as the seat of the Catholic Church in Uganda – following the late 1880s religious wars in Buganda.
He was later led by the Bukalasa Minor seminary brass band to the tents where thousands of his ecstatic subjects were waiting.
Masaka Diocesan Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa followed in tow, leading a liturgical procession for the celebration of the holy Eucharist mass to offer thanks for the Kabaka’s birthday.
Unusual for the Catholic Church, moments after mass had started, the congregation was asked to sing Happy Birthday for the Kabaka.
While Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi spoke about the cordial relations between the kingdom and the central government, the Kabaka had no kind words for the authorities.
He for instance spoke of a seemingly deliberate effort by the government to erase Buganda from the map of Uganda.
“We have seen maps that have been printed and distributed showing the different regions of Uganda. Much areas like Busoga, Bunyoro are clearly indicated, Buganda is not. We don’t know what their intentions are but it is of a great concern and we ask the concerned authorities to handle the matter urgently,” Mutebi said.
He also spoke against the deteriorating security situation in the country which has led to rampant kidnaps and killings.
What is worrying, the Kabaka is the fact that kidnappers demand for huge sums of money as ransom and go on to kill the victims.
“Many people are still nursing wounds and many have lost their lives, we do not want to go back in the dark days where people used to spend nights out of their houses for fear of being attacked,” Mutebi said.
He said, the current security situation might warrant the people to restore to traditional ways of mobilising themselves such as sounding the gwanga mujje community call.
He blamed the breakdown in the security system to the government’s failure to organise village council elections for 16 years now.
“Village committees are the only ones that can clear what is going on the country because they used to discipline people in their own ways,” the Kabaka said.