The 1966 history set to repeat itself

They say history repeats itself although some critics counter argue that it's only fools who repeat history. There are latent signs which suggest that not long from now history of 1966 may repeat itself. What happened to the kingdoms at that time might replicate itself.

Grapevine has learnt that there is simmering debate in the inner circles of power on whether monarchies should continue to exist.

Following the 1966 invasion of Mengo, the seat of Buganda monarchy, the Obote government abolished kingdoms in 1967. The monarchists had asked Obote to take away his central government from the capital Kampala to outside Buganda. They even called on the Baganda for mass defiance against the Milton Obote administration.

When President Yoweri Museveni's rebels captured power in 1986, his government reinstated monarchies. After the army High Command meeting in Gulu in April 1992, it was decided that kingdoms be restored and subsequently Muwenda Mutebi was coronated on July 31, 1993 as Buganda's Kabaka. Others followed later.

Grapevine has learnt that some senior security officials are renewing the push for abolition of kingdoms because the monarchs have resumed their "stubbornness".

The move has been provoked by the Buganda's recent riots against resettlement of nomadic Balaalo herdsmen from Buliisa in Kiboga District, which is in Buganda kingdom and Mengo's persistent demand for the return of the 9,000 square miles of land which were allegedly appropriated by the colonial government. The situation has been aggravated by some voices in Buganda calling for Buganda cession.

Some top security gurus are now saying the rising Buganda nationalism will cause a national security problem and the earlier the kingdoms are abolished the better.

They say the government should abolish kingdoms and just compensate Buganda for the land the kingdom is demanding. And the Kabaka should also be compensated for any losses.

They cite the case of Ankole's Prince John Barigye who was denied being crowned as Omugabe (king) and was compensated Shs4 billion for the land the government had appropriated from his king father.

Secondly, the security chiefs are saying after all other kingdoms like Bunyoro and Toro had not been interested in restoration of monarchies but they accepted after Buganda was given, in what appeared to be NRM's appeasement policy. But the kingdoms cannot be abolished without cause. Sources say the agitators are waiting for a provocation from Mengo hardliners, to justify why monarchies should be scrapped.

An alternative plan is to try and persuade Mengo hardliners to go soft on the government or else the 1966 scenario is in the offing.
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