By Lutaya Shafiq
The Buganda Lukiiko (Parliament) sitting at Bulange Mengo has passed a sh38.8b for the next financial year 2012/2013, with a demand that officials give accountability for the various Kingdom affiliated events held in the Lubiri palace.
They also demanded to know how much revenue the Buganda Land Board (BLB) collects.
The Lukiiko passed the budget with the hope that the central Government would pay the debt it owes the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s minister for finance, Eva Nagawa Mukasa said Government owes them sh18.8b.
The Kingdom expects to raise the money to finance the budget from the Land Board, Certificates and the money from Government.
The katikkiro, Eng JB Walusimbi said they have reached an agreement with Government and had promised to pay the money in installments in the shortest time possible.
However, some Lukiiko members demanded for the accountability of the money collected from the various events organized by CBS radio and the Buganda Tourism Expo in Lubiri Palace.
“What we see are CBS events including; Enkuka, Kitobero and motor sport, but there is no accountability in the budget. How do we gain from these events as the Kingdom? CBS does not even contribute anything to the treasury,” Ddungu Semuto from Kooki county said.
Sylvia Kirabira a youth representative noted that even tourism expo money was not indicated in the budget.
“They told us in the budget that the expo revenues would not be included in the budget. How come the recent sh2bn from President Yoweri Museveni was included? But the expo took place four months ago,” she wondered.
Gideon Kisitu from Bulemezi stressed that even Buganda Land Board has never made any accountability for its revenue and expenditures to the Lukiiko.
“They blindfold us with small contributions at Masaza tournaments. They just contribute sh500, 000 to the events and we spend about sh2m for the event. Let them tell us how much money they collect from the Post Office near Bulange and telecom masts in various areas annually,” Kisitu said.
Nagawa (minister) said they have already instituted a Buganda Revenue Collection Unit to start auditing all the sectors.
She added that it was not clear how the kingdom benefits from CBS events, but stressed that the finance committee was working on the matter to come up with a report.
The Katikkiro Walusimbi also decried the moral degeneration and neglect of cultural norms among the people in the Kingdom.
“Our identity was the decent dressing, greeting and thanking people. But all that is gone. Our children dress so badly and I think parents have a lot to do,” he said.
The Katikkiro added that even old people including leaders have forgotten their culture. He said they are going to come up with a publication on Buganda culture to educate their people.