Currently, Mengo Government budgets by estimating the amount of money expected from the Central Government (the rents due, which unfortunately, Mr. Chris Kassami (Secretary to the Treasury) and Mr. Keith Muhakanizi are not releasing for reasons best known to themselves); revenues from the work of Buganda Land Board and sell of certificates and projections from donations, to mention some.
Mr. Chris Kassami - Secretary to the Treasury
Mr. Keith Muhakanizi - Deputy Secretary to the Treasury
Many people of Buganda have all the hope that the Mengo establishment has the good will as long as it can get good accountability and as well get on board many brains instead of being open to a few.
I would love to see the establishment start with a budget of say shs 100bn for one financial year, this may look ambitious, but it is possible. If part of that money is to be got from business partners, what is wrong with it? We need to have projects at hand and what is necessary is shopping for the finance. Not long ago, we heard that Kabaka had land he was ready to lease to Sugar Corporation of Uganda (SCOUL). Surely, there must be interests that are ready to utilize this type of land instead of being redundant. The problem is how do you connect to these interests? This is what has to be solved. There is land on which good schools can be built. Is it impossible to get partners where Mengo can provide the land and some revenue generated from this source?
Can you imagine how much money Mengo would make if it came up with a satellite town in close vicinity to Kampala? What is important is to get the right brains on board and identify the right partners, and money will be realized.
I think the leadership at Mengo needs to be very welcoming of ideas and much time should be spent not in receiving donors of shs 500,000, but in serious meetings with enterprises that can make big investments. We must get a way the brains’ people are assembled. People must be given opportunity to talk about what they think is being done wrongly so that corrections are made. It is not impossible to get a pole of growth within each part of Buganda, but the load lies on the Mengo establishment. If one looked at the Fishing Industry, we are aware of the Cage Fishing. Some people have mis-interpreted the whole concept, but the fact is, Fishing can bail out many people in Buganda when it is done domestically and commercially.
Mengo should not be scared of borrowing money which can get the people out of poverty. Such money can be viably invested as long as the country remains politically stable. In this respect, the establishment should steer clear of those people whose politicking is likely to cause instability in the country whatever challenges we may face. The climate is good for doing business at local and international levels and that is what should be exploited. We just need the people who can make the necessary connections and the Kingdom moves, in which case big projects can be included in the budget that can eventually get masses out of poverty.
The Late Mulwana (R.I.P) was a role model from whose undertakings Buganda should have good lessons. If he managed to have so many exotic cattle and capacity to process and pack milk, are we really not challenged that we don’t have anything to show similar? Is it land, is it brains or what? Buganda administration at Mengo has to re-discover its potential. Those in leadership MUST check themselves. The region has potential which unfortunately is not being exploited, what we are coming up with are wars with encroachers; but why do we give them chance? They are seeing redundant land. Having developments on land does not mean that the Mengo establishment is not considering the sustainable use for future generations. The future generation should come and find 50 arcades built around Kampala, 40 good schools on Buganda land, Historical sites earning income for the establishment; cattle ranches in place, industries, name it. Will they complain that those before them misused the land?
I challenge my seniors at Mengo to wake up, they have the key to transform Buganda with the biggest driving force being the good will people have for their Kabaka and trust in the institution, which should not betray that trust.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka