The recent London visit by Katikkiro Peter Mayiga (August 23rd-August 24th 2014) was historical to Baganda in the United Kingdom as it is five years ago since they last had a Katikkiro visit them.
In 2009, then Katikkiro John Baptist Walusimbi turned up to meet Baganda in the UK to interest them in co-financing the Kingdom’s development plans.
The Katikkiro’s presence always signifies the importance of the visit otherwise a representative would suffice.
In Buganda, the Katikkiro is referred to as ‘Kabaka owe bweru’-Luganda for the ‘Kabaka of Outdoors/Outside’ meaning his presence at a function is significant.
Katikkiro was in London with part of his cabinet to update Baganda diasporans and well-wishers about the priority (okusoosowaza) projects Mengo is pursuing and the various ways they-the diasporans-can get involved.
At the main event at Harris Academy in Peckham in South East London, hundreds of Baganda in the United Kingdom heard of a 20 year strategic vision that Mengo Government (the Government of the Kabaka) is pursuing to return Buganda to the Summit (Buganda ku Ntikko).
Since it is now Kabaka Mutebi’s 20th year in reign, his government is taking stock of what has been attained and what needs to be attained in the next twenty years (2014-2033).
Among the achievements Buganda has attained is the return by the Ugandan government of 213 land titles of Buganda ancestral properties (popularly called ebyaffe) to the Kabaka.
The main purpose of the Katikkiro’s visit though was to receive the £28,315 (over shs120m) Baganda in the UK had raised towards his ettoffaali-the brick-public appeal whose success back in Uganda attracted the participation of Baganda in Europe and America.
In his ettofaali appeal-started just seven months ago in Uganda-the Katikkiro has raised shs3bn locally from Baganda and Kingdom well-wishers to renovate the Kasubi Royal Tombs which were blazed in a mysterious fire on May 16th 2012.
In the ettoffaali appeal started in February 2014, the Katikkiro used ettoffaali as a symbolic reference to mobilise Baganda back home to bring ‘a ttoffaali’-a unit of money-to collectively raise shs3bn that was required to restore the Kasubi Tombs.
Restoring the tombs became the priority of his ettoffaali appeal as they are a significant site within Buganda being the burial grounds for Buganda’s royals.
“There is no such thing as a useless ettofaali, all are mataafali (bricks) and are important,” he told Baganda in London.
As Buganda Kingdom is not allowed to collect taxes by the Central Government, the ettoffaali has turned out to be a very successful model the Katikkiro has used to raise much needed financing from Kabaka’s subjects and well-wishers of the Kingdom for priority development projects from Mengo Government (the Kabaka’s government).
The shs3bn has been used to construct a perimeter wall fence-of concrete meticulously covered with hundreds of reeds-to secure the 64 acre site on which Kasubi Royal Tombs sits.
One of the conspiracies that came up after the tombs were blazed was unrestricted entry on the previous structure that might have enabled the suspected perpetrator(s) commit the abominable act.
The fire blazed the main tomb hut (called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga in Luganda) where the four Ssekabakas (deceased Kings) of Buganda are interred.
The complete restoration of the Kasubi Royal Tombs is estimated to cost about shs10bn.
Katikkiro Mayiga’s fundraising prowess combined with a transparent ethic (in what he terms as obwerefu) where donated monies are immediately counted and declared to those that have raised them, has earned him trust that has catapulted the appeal to non-Buganda regions in Uganda and abroad to the Baganda diaspora.
The Chairman of Buganda Twezimbe Fred Kiyimba read an impressive list of ettoffaali contributions the Katikkiro has managed to raise from even far flung Buganda regions usually thought to have ‘very poor’ locals.
Ettoffaali contributions from within Buganda in less than 7 months
- shs 460m jointly from Wakiso, Kooki and Buddu,
- shs351m from Lubaga in two days
- shs200m from the Central Business District (Kampala),
- shs176m from Masaka Town
- shs161m from Buikwe and Njeru
- shs153m from the Parliament of Uganda
- shs 150m from Business men and Traders within Kampala
- shs150m from Mawogola
- shs102m from Kira Town Council,
- shs 100m from Nsangi
Out of Buganda ettoffaali contributions
- shs84m from Ankole and Kigezi
- shs60m from Busoga
- shs43m from Malaba, Tororo and Mbale
In Uganda, Baganda and their well-wishers contribute to the ettofaali through their clans, counties, districts, places of worship, schools and companies.
We learnt that with the ettoffaali appeal, the Katikkiro became the first Katikkiro under Kabaka Mutebi’s reign to go and conduct official business in the Parliament of Uganda when he turned up to collect shs153m Uganda’s Members of Parliament had raised towards his appeal.
By personally collecting the contributions, the Katikkiro also changed protocol becoming the first Katikkiro to turn up and ‘offload’ fundraisers of their contributions.
Following the success of the ettoffaali appeal in Uganda, Baganda in the diaspora started their own ettofaali drives and soon the Katikkiro was being invited abroad to receive what has been raised voluntarily.
His first leg of ettoffaali collections among Baganda in the diaspora was in Dubai where he collected shs78m in May 2014.
London was the Katikkiro’s maiden ettofaali leg to the developed world to receive the ettofaali contributions of Baganda diaspora.
After the UK, he went to Sweden (August 26th) where he received shs36m, Canada (August 28th) shs13m and is currently in Chicago in the United States for his last leg of ettoffaali collections abroad.
The Katikkiro started his ettoffaali appeal with an impressive transparency (obwerefu) ethic previously unpractised at the Mengo establishment which retained a culture of silence over publicly donated monies to Kingdom projects.