Attorney General (AG) Kiryowa Kiwanuka has cautioned the Judiciary regarding matters concerning an outdated succession law, specifically the 1912 Land Succession Law of Buganda.
The AG’s observation was conveyed in a letter addressed to Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and circulated to various stakeholders, including Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba, Justice Minister Mao Nobert, and others.
The letter also communicated recommendations from a joint working committee on succession registers and certificates of succession, which was established by the Attorney General in 2020 to address challenges related to the 1912 Buganda Succession Law.
Kiwanuka highlighted that the office of the Administrator General no longer holds jurisdiction over estates under Succession Registers, advising courts not to renew letters of administration held by the Administrator General and private individuals concerning such estates.
City lawyer Arnold Kimara emphasized that matters concerning the estate of Buganda Kingdom should be handled by Buganda and not the Administrator General, as implied by the recommendations.
The 1912 Land Succession Law of Buganda required a succession certificate for dealing with a deceased person’s property. However, after the abolition of kingdoms in 1966, powers to issue certificates of succession were vested in the Administrator General by the Local Administrations (Performance of Functions) Instrument, Statutory Instrument No.150 of 1967.
With the restoration of the Buganda Kingdom in 1993, the laws repealed the 1967 instrument, removing the Administrator General’s authority over Buganda Kingdom’s estates.