KAMPALA – The Kabaka of Buganda, Roland Muwenda Mutebi II, used his 26th coronation celebrations on Wednesday to call for the revival of cooperatives as a way of fighting poverty in the country.
Speaking at the colourful function that was also graced by traditional leaders from Nigeria, Niger and Ethiopia, Kabaka Mutebi decried what he called the loss of values that have been the pillars of food security in the country since colonial days.
“The Protectorate government supported their government from wealth accrued from coffee and cotton production…. Cooperatives are owned by people and their members are not paid by government, they don’t need government funding,” he said.
“Cooperatives are a source of wealth and they enable people to accumulate wealth. People are crying of poverty [but for how long], we need to revive cooperatives and reenergize cotton and coffee growing to support our economy,” he added.
The Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, said that norms and culture must be preserved to achieve socio-economic transformation.
He said Buganda looks forward to protecting the throne, gain federalism, protect its boundaries, promote good health and education as well as maintaining unity.
President Museveni, who was represented by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, applauded the Kabaka and Buganda kingdom for the cordial relationship with the central government in addition to mobilizing the community to work hard in order to improve their welfare. He thus appealed to the kingdom to help him in the drive to eliminate poverty by enabling every household to have an income.
He further called upon the kingdom to uphold its core values of love, peace, prosperity and cultural diversity before gifting the Kabaka with UGX50 million and cows.
The Sultan of Sokoto Caliphate in Nigeria praised Kabaka Mutebi for promoting good health and education of his people.
“Those are the most important things any leader must ensure (that) people possess at any time,” he said.
“Place people first. Serve them. As leader, you are servants of your people. Kabaka is serving the people that’s why we see mammoth crowds here,” he said
Kabaka Mutebi ascended to the throne on July 31, 1993, following negotiations between the Central government and Mengo to reinstate the kingdom which had been abolished alongside other cultural institutions by former president Milton Obote in 1966.