The last monthly sitting of the Buganda Lukiiko during Mr. Mayiga’s current term of office as Katikkiro was on May 7, 2017 and he decided to use up nearly all of its allocated 4 hours on his speech.
As usual, following the Lukiiko opening at around 9:30 AM, the speaker, Mr. Nelson Kawalya, first invited the Katikkiro to address the members. Many members thought that after Mayiga spoke they would be have chances to thank him or comment on his speech before the session closed at around 1:00 or 1:30 PM.
When Mayiga started speaking, he held on to the microphone until nearly 1:30 PM, when members clearly seemed ready to leave. The speaker decided to close the session and tell members to discuss the speech in their respective committees and later forward their ideas to Mrs. Nagawa Mugerwa Kasule, the minister for Lukiiko affairs.
To monopolize the microphone for about 4-hour, Mr. Mayiga decided to spend as much time as possible making comedic statements, randomly introducing Mengo officials and mentioning their clans and the clans of their spouses, guessing people clans, telling personal jokes and laughing loudly to himself.
The Katikkiro boasted that his biggest achievement was that he has “restored Buganda”. Mr. Mayiga reminded his audience that Ensonga za Buganda Ssemasonga were the pillars of his vision of how to restore “Buganda to its glory”. The 5 pillars, which Mayiga pulled out of one of his books when he was appointed Katikkiro are: (1) Protecting Kabaka and Namulondo (the throne); (2) Federo (gaining federal autonomy); (3) Protecting Baganda land; (4) Hard work; and (5) Unity among Baganda.
During his marathon speech, however, the Katikkiro used the style of American President Trump. He claimed many successes in restoring Buganda, avoided detailed evidence to prove his claimed successes and never admitted any failure.
For example, on protecting Kabaka and Namulondo, Mayiga excitedly threatened to physically attack anyone who dishonors the Kabaka or his integrity. Yet, seconds after, he cheapened Kabaka Mutebi image by claiming that all those who accuse Mengo or Buganda Land Board of corruption are “enemies of Buganda and the Kabaka.” He also showed no sign of regret or awareness that as Katikkiro, his infamous 2013 MOU agreement, dishonors the Kabaka greatly because it allows commoners to sue him frequently (See: Mengo stops caring about Kabaka: Findings 5-12 on the state and impact of legal advice to Kabaka since 1993 and Mengo in desperate fight to control damage after Nkoba za Mbogo student protest and accusations.)
It is possible though that, as previously reported by BugandaWatch, Mayiga might be under the illusion that his MOU was a major success for Buganda because it benefited Kabaka Mutebi and some of the Mengo officials (See: MOU that left Museveni in control of Buganda assets is a Mayiga achievement, Mengo spokesman says ).
On Federo, Mayiga decided to simply speak very fast and blame poverty, claiming that “This is not the right time for Federo” and explaining that Federo is useless if you are poor. However, different NRM sources have told BugandaWatch, Mayiga is still plotting with the NRM government to reintroduce the Regional Tier and still hopes to become the first elected Katikkiro under the new system.
There appeared some signs that Mayiga is aware but unwilling to accept that a growing number of the more intelligent Baganda now know that his 2013 MOU was a conspiracy to steal most Buganda land and assets and put Kabaka Mutebi in captivity by tricking him into signing the phony agreement. Indeed, when it came to third pillar of Protecting Baganda land, he shrewdly diverted his audience’s attention to his latest money collection scheme – Ekyapa mu Ngalo. Mayiga aggressively defended the scheme and accused those who question it of being disobedient to Kabaka and enemies of Buganda.
The Ekyapa mu Ngalo scheme involves issuing land titles for the plots (bibanja) to Buganda residents who hold them. If successful, it will allow Mengo and the NRM government to collect billions of Uganda shillings each year from residents of Kabaka’s Land and some of the stolen Baganda native lands. Mengo is expected to do the registration and the NRM government will issue the titles. The two entities plan to share both the money and people’s data.
Ekyapa mu Ngalo is facing serious opposition from a growing number of Baganda who believe that Mayiga brought it to replace Ettofaali for quick money collection. And to make it easier to Baganda lose their land to banks and money lenders. Women are especially afraid that husbands may start secretly borrowing money using family plots and spend it to alcohol or other women leading to homelessness.
To demonstrate that he has made a lot of progress on the fourth of Ensonga Ssemasonga (Hard Work) Mayiga listed the many businesses Mengo has created (BBS TV, Ngule Beer, K-2 and others), suggesting to unsuspecting Lukiiko members that the more businesses a Katikkiro starts, the more successful he is. He offered no details about the financial health of those businesses (revenues, profits, losses, loans and other liabilities, assets, labor cost or measures). He even never identified the shareholders.
On the 5th and final Ensonga Ssemasonga (Unity among Baganda), Mayiga seemed to struggle with the truth and reality. In his 4 years as Katikkiro, Mayiga has personally caused huge divisions among Abataka, Baganda youth, Baganda in diaspora, Olulyo Olulangira, ordinary Baganda and even the Buganda cabinet by declaring every person who disagrees with him an “enemy of Buganda”. And, in his speech he seemed to sincerely believe that all the less independent-minded Baganda who do not question his ideas (the majority) automatically support him and are “together” on his side.
Throughout his speech, Mayiga spoke sounded confident that the Kabaka will renew his 4-year contract. He spoke in terms of his plans for the future. Surprisingly, he claimed that in his future plans he wants to Buganda must go back to the 1960s, and have every family to grow coffee for exports, matooke for consumption and cassava (for Engule beer). He did not explain where young Baganda will get the land and training in coffee growing. He also seemed not appreciate modern high-paying and exportable skills like software development, call center service, nursing, medical coding skills, back-office operations and the like.