By Henry D Gombya, Managing Editor
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been accused of using the Baganda as a stepping stone to power and then abandoning them as soon as he had attained his goal. Mr Museveni who came to power in 1986 after a long guerrilla war mainly principally fought in the jungles and forests of Buganda is said to have made specific promises to Uganda’s leading tribe, the Baganda, whose kingdom had been made desolate by former Ugandan President Apollo Milton Obote in 1966.
In an exclusive interview at the weekend with The London Evening Post, the Chairman of a newly-formed Ugandan opposition movement, the Uganda Federal Front (UFF) Mr Richard Semitego, whose father Charles Mukwaya was hacked to death by the army during Obote’s leadership in the 1980s for hiding Museveni from the Obote soldiers, said many families in Buganda helped feed, hide and look after the then rebels led by Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) after he had promised them that once he came into power he would restore a federal system of government in Uganda and get rid of dictatorship from the country.
This undertaking was allegedly made by Museveni at a meeting held in Kikunyu in Buganda. This village is held in awe by many NRA fighters who see it as the place that helped them mount a successful guerrilla war against the Obote regime. The formation of the UFF was announced last week here in London by the Baganda in the Diaspora who last November gave the Museveni government an ultimatum to give Buganda and other regions in Uganda full federal status as recommended by the 1993 Odoki Report
Semitego revealed that his grandfather Seemu Kabugo had gone out of his way to help hide Museveni and his fighters and had assisted in making it possible for the NRA to get a foothold in Buganda as they mounted their war against the Obote government. He said his grandfather often referred to Museveni as his son
The four demands then made by the Baganda in the Diaspora were:
(a) To give Buganda and other regions of Uganda full federal status as recommended by the Odoki report
(b) To pay Buganda UgShs22 billion (approximately £5.7 million) in rent arrears the Uganda government owes Buganda Kingdom
(c) Release with immediate effect all those imprisoned without charge after the Buganda demonstrations in September 2009 and
(d) For the Uganda Government to stop rampant corruption, nepotism and the marginalisation of sections of Uganda.