UGANDA government has today Thursday September 17th 2020 succumbed to Buganda Kingdom pressure and surrendered the prestigious Rolls Royce vehicle which was owned by Ugandan First President Sir Edward Muteesa II, father to reigning King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.
This is now considered as Buganda’s most treasured tourist attraction. Sir Edward Muteesa II’s Mengo palace was invaded by then Prime minister Dr. Apollo Milton Obote’s soldiers commanded by ruthless Idi Amin Dada in 1966, forcing him into exile in Britain where he died. Obote took over as President.
At a function held at the Uganda Museum where the Rolls Royce has been kept since 2013, Prince David Kintu Wasajja, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II young brother received it on behalf of Kabaka Mutebi, the royal family and the Kingdom of Buganda.
Many questions have been asked,why now? Why has the central government finally decided to hand over this vehicle? We shall come back to this analysis later.
TOURISM MINISTER’S SPEECH
At the handover function, Hon. Tom Butime minister for Tourism said, “Today we are here at the Uganda Museum because of the Direct Vintage Limousine Rolls Royce.”
“The Roll Royce was bought in 1964 by the Government of Uganda and used by the First President of Republic of Uganda, Sir Edward Muteesa II. It was transferred to Uganda Museum from State House in 2013 as a Vintage object that needed to be preserved as our heritage.” Said Butime, adding,
But following a cabinet Minute No. 456(CT 2019) that was approved by the President to donate the Roll Royce vehicle to Buganda Kingdom in line with the request of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.” Said Minister Tom Butime at a function attended by Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, State minister for Tourism.
He said, “We are therefore handing over the Rolls Royce to the Buganda Kingdom today September 17th 2020.
We hope the Kingdom will keep it as a memorial treasure and will provide access to the rest of Ugandans for viewing and enjoyment.”
Minister Kiwanda he said, “Here are the cars used by former presidents and three are for the current President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The one government is donating to Buganda was used by President Muteesa. It was his official car. When Kabaka and the president met over this vehicle, they agreed to give it to Buganda Kingdom. Thank God, we are here.”
DIPLOMACY HAS WON – PRINCE WASAJJA
Receiving the Rolls Royce, Prince Wasajja said, “Its both a pleasure and honor for me to receive this Rolls Royce on behalf of Kabaka, the Royal family and on behalf of the Kingdom of Buganda. I want to thank His Excellency the President and the cabinet for this gesture of donating this vehicle to the Kingdom. This has been a very long journey and these are the fruits of our efforts geared towards getting this car for the Kingdom.”
Prince Wasajja said, this vehicle is of great significance to the Kingdom, it has an emotional attachment to the Kabaka, Royal family and the Kingdom in general. “ We thought it is befitting to have it at Bulange and of course it will be accessible to the public. Because of the great emotional attachment for the royal family, it will be better for it to be at Bulange. So we are getting it from home going home.” Said Kabaka’s young brother.
Saluting President Museveni for this gesture, Wasajja said it’s part of Uganda’s story of reconciliation and goodwill and to make sure everybody is happy.
Wasajja talked about hardliners in Mengo who wanted to go the legalistic way to get back the Rolls Royce. However, he said, “We thank the wisdom of Kabaka and the Katikkiro who pursued the journey of diplomacy. Kabaka met the president, the president met the cabinet and we are glad that they were able to understand Buganda’s pain and wish to have the vehicle at Bulange.”
“Man doesn’t live on bread alone. It has been paining us so much to see that our father’s car is not at Bulange. Thank God, we have it now. It is one of us, we really have a strong attachment on it as the royal family, as the Kingdom of Buganda.”Said Prince Wasajja who at Uganda Museum was received by the Kingdom Information minister Owek. Noah Kiyimba also Mengo official spokesman.
He has added that, “This is victory of diplomacy and I think a lot of our issues and problems can be settled diplomatically. Thank you Mr. President and your government, thank you Uganda Museum for keeping the Rolls Royce for this time. We can assure you that the vehicle will be accessible to the public and all tourists as well. It will be kept in a very good condition.”
Owek. Kiyimba was with the head protocol David Ntege and Kingdom lawyer Denis Bugaya, among others.
HOW KABAKA WON IT
For those who think Buganda Kingdom has got the Rolls Royce on a silver platter, or because President Museveni wanted to win Buganda support come 2021 polls, there is a lot you don’t know!
There has been a ‘war’ over this vehicle that has raged for more than Eight years. Kabaka wanted his father’s car badly and every time him and President Museveni met, he would always remind him about letting go of the prestigious Rolls Royce.
All started far back in 2012 when Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II moved in to claim his father’s vehicle.
Our sources in Mengo who asked for anonymity say, Kabaka Mutebi even dispatched a team which included members of the Royal family, Kingdom officials and Lawyers to United Kingdom where the Rolls Royce was manufactured with directives to get factory details about this Vehicle and other First class cars, his father late Ssekabaka Edward Muteesa II owned but they are nowhere to be seen.
On their return, Prince Wassajja personally went to Uganda Museum and checked the car Engine of Rolls Royce to see whether chassis numbers match with those given by Engineers in UK.
“Yes they matched. In fact on opening the bonnet of Rolls Royce at Uganda Museum, I did not only discover that chassis numbers match but also, the Engine was still intact just like Engineers in UK assured us. This is when we intensified demand for this vehicle.” Prince Wasajja told the News Editor Online.
Kabaka embarked on talks with the President over this matter and like, some government officials advised the president not to let it go since it was a government property.
They said, “Mr. President, what if the families of Idi Amin Dada, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote or Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa demand for the cars which their fathers drove? What shall we remain with in the National Museum? This car was for Sir Edward Muteesa as Ugandan President, not as Buganda Kingdom supreme leader. So don’t give it away.”
Museveni was advised to ignore this demand because government was making a lot of money from Tourists who frequent Uganda Museum to see Uganda First President’s car.
On knowing about a clique in government standing in the way of giving Rolls Royce to Buganda Kingdom, a section of lawyers decided to sue and on sensing how this will be an embarrassment to the Central government since this car was officially ordered from United Kingdom for Buganda’s King, they had no other option, but to vomit it.
We can exclusively report that, all is set for Buganda Kingdom to liaise with manufacturers of Rolls Royce and give this vehicle another life.
Congs Buganda Kingdom.