The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga has said he is not a prized commodity that can be traded.
Addressing the Buganda Lukiiko [parliament] at Bulange Mengo on Monday, Mayiga said those who claim President Museveni bought him with a Shs 300m dummy cheque don’t know what they are talking about.
Mayiga used his speech in the Lukiiko to address social media speculation that he too had been bought by the president after a picture of him receiving a dummy cheque of Shs 300m from President Museveni during the King Edward Muteesa II memorial lecture on November 18 at Sheraton hotel circulated widely.
“There are some people who asked me why I accepted the Shs 300m from the government. They wonder whether this was meant to buy me. If you look at me, do you think I can be bought? I can’t be bought and I’m not for sale,” Mayiga said.
He explained that the money was for the reconstruction of Kasubi tombs that were torched in 2010, before he became Katikkiro.
He said during the time of Katikkiro John Baptist Walusimbi, government gave Buganda kingdom Shs 2 bn for the reconstruction of the tombs and promised that if Mengo gave proper accountability, more cash would trickle in. Hence that’s how they promised another Shs 2 bn that had never come until last month when the president delivered the Shs 300m.
“By the way, don’t the people of Buganda pay the most tax in Uganda? What’s wrong if they return some of it to us and we reconstruct the tombs of our departed kings? The president didn’t get this money from his pocket. Therefore, he didn’t buy me. I can also assure you when he calls me for more, I will go and pick it,” Mayiga said.
In a press statement recently, the minister in charge of information at Mengo, Noah Kiyimba, said that so far Shs 6bn has been spent on the reconstruction of the mausoleum, a Unesco World Heritage site. He added that construction work is almost 95 percent finished and very soon they will be able to hand it over to the Kabaka.