Log in

Govt to rescue razed Ben Kiwanuka property

day after bailiffs razed the home of Uganda’s first prime minister Benedict Kiwanuka, cabinet resolved to explore the possibility of rescuing the land on which it sat and turn it into a museum.

Bailiffs acting on behalf of a one Mugabo raided the property at Nalukolongo in Lubaga division on June 3 and demolished it, leaving only the grave of Maxisensia Kiwanuka, the wife of the founding leader of the Democratic Party (DP).

Lukwago looks at the shell of the Mercedes Benz Kiwanuka drove as prime minister

Maurice Peter Kagimu, heir to Kiwanuka, is said to have mortgaged the family property to Mugabo for Shs 600 million to finance his unsuccessful 2016 bid to represent Bukomansimbi South in parliament.

Riding on his father’s legacy, Kagimu represented Bukomansimbi in the 8th Parliament, and also got appointed state minister for Economic Monitoring in 2006, and later Uganda’s ambassador to Nigeria and Switzerland between 2011 and 2015.

Currently unemployed, he failed to clear the debt which has now accumulated to over Shs 700m.

Ahead of Monday’s cabinet meeting, the state minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi briefed President Museveni about the incident. Museveni reportedly asked Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to take up the matter.

Rugunda in turn assigned the Internal Affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo and Kiwanda to study the matter and write a brief to form a basis for government’s response.

“Government is interested in what should happen to this place; Ben Kiwanuka was not an ordinary Ugandan, he was the first prime minister of Uganda, and therefore associated with the democratic struggle of our country,” Odongo told journalists.

Odongo and Kiwanda visited the site during Tuesday’s afternoon downpour.

“Government got concerned about what is happening here. At first, we thought it was a private family issue until we learnt that the house had been demolished,” Odongo said.

“This is a historic site; it is here that the people who fought for our independence lived. Ben Kiwanuka’s name is historic, his house is monumental, it belongs to Uganda, government cannot simply watch,” he added.

Before the ministers arrived, there were a few men picking items from the rubble. The previous day, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago recovered a truckload of books and what remains of the car – a shell of a Mercedes Benz -- which Kiwanuka drove as prime minister.

Lukwago dumped the car at Wakaliga police station while he offloaded the books into a house on Stenseera road in Lubaga.

It is book collections like these that government hopes to use in creating a Ben Kiwanuka museum.

“We want to meet the new owner and the family to see how we can rescue it and turn it into a tourism product,” Kiwanda said.

“The good thing is that the grave of his wife Maxisensia was not removed, we want to look for his remains and bring them here, reconstruct the house and turn it into a museum with collections of his speeches, writings, photos among others,” Kiwanda added.

FAMILY DISPUTE

Before Mugabo moved to take possession of the Nalukolongo property, the Kiwanuka family had been locked in a dispute over the management of the estates of Uganda’s first indigenous chief justice.

The wrangling first came to the fore early in 2017 when some of Kagimu’s siblings accused him of taking possession of the Nalukolongo property as his own.

At the time, he had rented it out to some South Sudanese refugees. Kagimu is also said to have sold off other family properties in Kololo, Munyonyo and Ndeeba.

sadabkk@observer.ug

Comments

+5 #1 Lakwena 2018-06-06 14:55
In other words, what a family and national disgrace!

The Peter Kagimu of this world are the kind of people, whom said; it would have been better if he was not born.
Report to administrator
+2 #2 Odongkara 2018-06-06 15:37
If we are patriotic as individuals and collectively as a nation we wouldn't be witnessing such massive loss of our national and family histories.

Unfortunately the money virus has destroyed us all.
Report to administrator
+3 #3 Ogentho Angel 2018-06-06 17:45
Do we Ugandans know that, that car old as it is it is, is valuable than a new marchedez Benz?

please ministry of tourism, do something, keep that car in place where it cannot corrode please do something.
Report to administrator
+1 #4 Fuller 2018-06-06 21:31
Very timely! Government finds out after the house is demolished.

Then prime minister passes the buck on to two ministers. Until then...
Report to administrator
0 #5 gwok 2018-06-07 01:24
Quoting Lakwena:
In other words, what a family and national disgrace!

The Peter Kagimu of this world are the kind of people, whom said; it would have been better if he was not born.

Dear Lakwena, "mac nyalo buru". You have seen that with Obote's too, haven't you?
Report to administrator
0 #6 Ugthinker 2018-06-07 11:40
Why should Ugandans have to pay? This is just social mobility at play.

We pay through the nose to maintain these dignitaries while in active service, why should we still burdened by the recklessness of their offsprings????

BTW, when did it become government policy to pay off money lenders?

Where will this foolery end with thousands of spoilt brats all over the country?

If Ben Kiwanuka’s heir doesn’t see value in his parents home and graves, tough,let it go.

The country shouldn’t be misled by dimwits like Kiwanda on impulse wants to turn Mugabo property into a museum, yet there were media reports recently that Uganda Museum was under threat from land grabbers!
Report to administrator
0 #7 kabayekka 2018-06-07 12:29
Lucky that there is anything left of this African leadership.

African leaders should learn from this damage. What is the condition of Mobutu's home on which there was an airport runway for Concorde to take him to New York for shopping.
Report to administrator
0 #8 Lakwena 2018-06-07 12:40
In other words Ogentho, thru e.g. Spear Motors, the damn thing can be taken for refabrication.
Report to administrator
0 #9 rubangakene 2018-06-07 19:41
The DP leadership is totally to blame for this debacle for they do not know where they are coming from.

Instead of sounding a bugle to fundraise for their new headquarters, Mao should have done a 'root and branch' review of the present state of the party and its history and what they party hold sacred.

This should have included foremost how to commemorate Hon. Ben Kiwanuka, the first man who made this party and country great.

He and his estate should have been accorded the respect the likes of Karl Marx et al enjoy up to now. He should resign.
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry

betPawa