BY PPU REPORTER
Reconnecting with the clan heads of Buganda (Bataka), 30 years after restoring Buganda kingdom in 1993, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has noted that, “Restoring cultural institutions was premised on the understanding that the central government has a lot of work to do for example, keeping peace, developing infrastructure, etc and the kingdoms would concentrate on promoting good cultural practices and instilling good morals in society, we believed in culture as the core of development if it is well audited to leave out the bad ones”
The President made the remarks while addressing a section of the Buganda clan heads (the Bataka) at State House Entebbe
The President recalled the meeting he had in August 1981 with Prince Ronald Mutebi then with the late Prof. Lule and they had agreed to restore Buganda’s status like it was before the 1966 crisis.
“On my way to Libya I passed via London and Prof Lule linked me up with Prince Mutebi (now the Kabaka). Culture is good but it must be harmonized with modernity. This has been our message up to now and I thank Hon. Nabbosa for coordinating us,” President Museveni further said, adding that the meeting with Buganda Clan heads (Bataka) is the beginning of a new chapter to have a systematic discussion of harmonizing culture and development.
“I’m happy that you have come. We must survive in the modern world. We should desist from using tribes and religions to divide Africans because we need to rebuild our economy, we need a bigger market both in Uganda and East Africa and Africa to become prosperous. We don’t want cultures that take us back,” H.E Museveni noted.
The President said he is a promoter of good cultures and gave an example of Ankole where certain cultural practices have changed due to the emergency of new scientific information
“For example, in Ankole people used to drink milk, which is not boiled, and it was normal, but we later told them it’s not as healthy and they changed. If a girl menstruated, among the Banyankore it was a sign that she was ready for marriage, but this was wrong,” H.E Museveni highlighted.
The Minister of State for ICT Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, who accompanied the Bataka, thanked the President for meeting the clan heads of Buganda (Bataka), saying it will go a long way in mending the relationship between Mengo and him after 30 years.
“Your Excellency, you very well know the history of Kingdoms and Buganda in particular. The Bataka (clan heads) are very important people in Buganda in instilling good cultures, discipline and promoting development,” Minister Nabbosa said.
Omutaka Nakigoye of Kinyomo clan, Nabbimba Lukabya Samson who hails from Kyasa in Kyannamukaaka, Buddu thanked the President for inviting them for a discussion. He however, expressed concern over their being prohibited to utilize some land in Kyasa by the National Forestry Authority yet the land initially belonged to the Kinyomo clan and asked the president to intervene.
“Our people have been arrested several times. Our appeal as Kinyomo clan is, let there be a mechanism to let us keep that land for cultural purposes as we preserve the environment,” Omutaka Nabbimba said.
“With discussion, the clans can get permission to go and do their cultural activities without any problem. The forest and culture are not in conflict. There’s no problem at all,” President Museveni assured, adding that he is to set up a liaison office to help coordinate and receive feedback from Bataka.
Omutaka Walusimbi Mbirozankya, the head of the Ffumbe clan thanked the President for the peace not only in Uganda but also in the region. He reminded him of his message to the Somali National Army recently, saying only a peaceful country can develop.
“Mr. President, we thank you for the peace in Uganda. For all these years you have been in power we have not witnessed any war especially in Buganda,” Omutaka Walusimbi said.
Owekitiibwa Ssewava Sselubiri hailed the President for standing firm against immoral acts such as Homosexuality and promised him support. He also thanked him for fighting COVID19 pandemic out of Uganda and his endless messages against HIV Aids.
President Museveni has on several occasions urged cultural and religious leaders to instill morals among Ugandans, saying it is the only way the country and citizens can benefit from the contributions of both institutions.