Since his appointment by the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi 11, in May 2013, Owek.Charles Peter Mayiga (in featured photo above) has inked his name in the books of history both in Buganda and Uganda with indelible leadership traits making him a timely appointment for “Omulembe Omutebi”.
His billing to succeed Eng.JB Walusimbi popularly echoed focus,reconciliation,negotiation,patriotism,knowledge,expertise,experience but above all transparency which he later highlighted himself as OBWERUFU and adopted it as his leadership catchphrase.
Mayiga is not only outspoken, balanced, reconciliatory but also remains the envy of other cultural institutions in Uganda.
My open admiration for his timely statements, rich love for his language and wonderful selection of diction make the celebrated lawyer,Ow’omutima,Munnabuddu and practicing catholic my leader of this decade.
I have a big assignment for my mother who lives outside Kampala and requires of me as routine to report to her news about her Kabaka, Mengo, Nnabagereka and the Katikkiro.
This explains the conflict between my former job demands and her values that made my last days with Tamale Mirundi a daunting task.
Mum is happiest when you play audio or video clips or tune to radio where her Katikiro is the news or the maker.
Those timely, critical, well thought – out (using her own description) well packaged statements either about Mengo or Uganda.
At 67, mama looks at Charles Peter Mayiga,56, as the teacher, politician, lawyer, a spiritual leader, an encyclopedia of all sorts.
I have therefore entertained her always with stories from or about the Katikiro until last week when she asked a very intriguing question that has stretched beyond our usual conversations.
“Mwanawange ye Katikiro ayogeraki ku byempulira basojja kojjange? Omutima gunuma buli kisera nga buli wotega okutu owulira bimu ebyo nembuuza ye kojjange yalyaki,leero Mpanga,luli Mpanga,enkya Mpanga….”(My son what does the Katikiro say about the enemies of my uncle who seem to be unrelenting on troubling Mpanga, today Mpanga, tomorrow Mpanga, every media Mpanga…it troubles me).
She says this in apparent reference to Counsel David Mpanga’s unending ‘woes’ in the media.
My mother is from the Mbogo clan while her mother is from the Ffumbe clan just like Counsel David Mpanga, Buganda’s former Attorney General and one of the strongest leaders of “Omulembe Omutebi”
So been thinking a loud, what has kept the Katikiro silent about the reports or trials or troubles of Counsel David Mpanga?
In the stories that have characterized business and finance in our country in 2019, the most damaging have been those involving city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, Crane Bank, Dfcu, Bank of Uganda, David Mpanga and AF Mpanga as a law firm.
And in each interplay by one or all of them, the good name of the Exeter University Trained Barrister has appeared in disrepute, threatening a track record of a man who joined the Walsh and English bar in 1993 when I was joining senior one.
The Katikiro remained muted even at a time it appeared like the battle was a calculated onslaught on Baganda progressives, a view that was quickly dismissed when a length Parliamentary probe unveiled unprecedented rot.
The stories remained untenable and negligible until the historical Abdu Katuntu COSASE probe that left all doubting Thomas’s silent as to how fraudulent Uganda’s elitist class can be.
For once it appeared as if the names Justine Bagyenda, David Mpanga, Louis Kasekende defined the whole business and financial sector in Uganda.
When the Kabaka subsequently dropped Owek. Mpanga as Attorney General, it appeared the king was acting to avert public damage and expectedly the Katikkiro would make a statement, he did not.
Even amidst that storm, the Katikiro, who is also celebrated city lawyer remained tight-lipped on the reports touching his men David Mpanga and Apollo Makubuya. Or where they simply bad business deals that were best ignored? But, then when does social accountability, a bedrock of OBWERUFU appear to be done.
If all did not compel the Katikiro to speak out, then the stories of February 28, 2019 that coincided with the release of national examination results were damaging enough.
“Police summons City Lawyer David Mpanga….over embezzlement, money laundering and fraud” The summonses were simply to have them aid in investigations but these were not the words ever imagined would be used anywhere close to Mr. David Mpanga, himself a careful speaker and rich at language.
More reports of a lawyer who betrayed his former client, of a lawyer who misled his client, a lawyer trapped into conflict of interest, a lawyer who ill advised his client, a lawyer occasioning financial losses to the taxpayer or his client and more that remain mere accusations since a litany of cases remain in courts of law and until they are resolved, they sound very unfortunate. Have they also been too weak or too strong for the Katikkiro to comment either in rescue, in defense, in caution, in restraint of the parties involved or in reconciliation?
Is there no such demand for accountability, financial or social in Buganda as is in the management of other public institutions?
And as we close the year, another interesting story of how dfcu could have been ill advised to blindly occupy premises of an innocent investor (Meera investments) against who it had no claim, what a case?
In OBWERUFU Kamalabyonna, what explanation can I give your loyal servant and my mother who says you haven’t said a thing as her uncle is being ‘fought’ or so is fighting?
Gusinze ayi beene….!
This Opinion was authored by Veteran Journalist, Sir Simon Muyanga Lutaaya