Lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the Constitutional Court, seeking a temporary injunction to halt the activities involving the Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, and his agents. The court has granted the injunction, preventing the Kabaka and his agencies from conducting any activities that portray them as registered owners of the official mailo land. This includes imposing registration fees, making threats against individuals living on Mailo land, and collecting a 10 percent charge of the sale value of land or Kibanja on the official Mailo land.
The injunction also prevents the Kabaka from collecting money from non-lease Buganda people in the area and government agencies. The government is also prohibited from supporting the Kabaka in carrying out these activities.
Mabirizi’s argument is rooted in his contention that the Kabaka is merely a trustee of the official Mailo land, and all charges related to it are illegal.
This is not the first time Mabirizi has attempted to halt ground rent collections. In 2020, Supreme Court Judge Dr. Esther Kisakye declined his application to stop these collections, and in 2017, a High Court decision by Patricia Basazaordering the Kabaka to provide certain information was overturned by the Court of Appeal panels of justices led by Justice Egonda Ntende. Mabirizi has now filed a similar case in the Constitutional Court, which is pending a determination.
Implications of the Injunction
The injunction granted by the Constitutional Court is a significant victory for Mabirizi and those who support his cause. It halts the Kabaka’s land activities, which Mabirizi argues are illegal. It remains to be seen whether the injunction will be upheld in the long term, but it is a major setback for the Kabaka and his supporters.
The injunction could also have implications for the broader debate over the ownership of land in Buganda. Mabirizi’s argument is that the Kabaka is merely a trustee of the official Mailo land, and that all charges related to it are illegal. This argument challenges the traditional view of the Kabaka as the owner of all land in Buganda.
The injunction is likely to generate a great deal of debate and discussion. It is a complex issue with no easy answers. However, the injunction is a significant development that could have a major impact on the future of land ownership in Buganda.