Popular local artiste Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has criticised the demolition of a parking facility and a road leading to his famous One Love Beach in Busabaala, Wakiso District allegedly on Mengo orders.
Describing the move as an insincere act by officials of Buganda Kingdom, Bobi Wine, who claims to be loyal to Mengo and Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, looked on helplessly last Friday as a grader guarded by policemen, razed the 50-decimal area near the beach entrance.
Mengo, however, said the singer occupied Kabaka’s land illegally, a claim he refuted saying he has duly paid the tenants and also consulted Mengo before erecting the facility since he has not yet received his land lease.
“I would love to tell you quite a lot but the respect of my kingdom will be at stake. However, this action shows that some people are bent on self-satisfaction. They don’t mind about the losses other people will suffer,” Bobi Wine said.
“I have invested all my youthful energy, earnings and time in this place that I had become so attached to. It is such a tough time for me and my family but I am not going to sue the Mengo establishment. Life will continue.”
Bobi explained that he started investments at Busabaala in 2010 and has since changed the face of the once neglected area.
“Today, when I see someone gather guts to demolish my property regardless of the fact that much of the money I invested is bank loans, then you understand humanity,” he lamented.
He showed this newspaper receipts where he has been paying the lease and ground rent fees.
Meanwhile, the deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Amb Kintu Nyago, ‘praised’ Mengo for ‘teaching’ Bobi Wine a lesson”.
Amb Nyago has for a month been complaining to Buganda land officials whom he asked to intervene in a land case where he accused Bobi Wine of encroaching on his land.
“God is great. Although Bobi Wine still encroaches on part of my kibanja that I acquired 15 years ago and I have been paying Busuulu [ground rent] to Buganda Land Board, he has now known that it hurts to encroach on other people’s land. More than 10 other people are complaining that Bobi Wine encroached on their bibanja,” Amb Nyago said by phone on Sunday.
No legal action
The local musician said he will not take legal action against the kingdom albeit feeling mistreated over the way the land was reclaimed.
Mr Danis Bageya, who speaks on land issues at Mengo, said they have no problem with Bobi Wine and have indeed been working harmoniously with him on land matters.
“If someone has used our office to punish Bobi Wine, he should come up and explain and we see what to do. If it is the enkuluzze [Mengo treasurer department] involved, we shall look into it,” Mr Bageya said.
Amb Nyago said the only lasting solution to land grabbing is for the government to set up a land fund in Buganda so that it buys land from landlords who are not using it.