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. These activities include mass settlers’ registration and the collection of ground rent (Busuulu Collections).
Mabirizi argues that these activities are illegal because the Kabaka is merely a trustee of the official mailo land, and all charges related to it are illegal. He also claims that the respondents have continued with their activities despite a pending petition in which he challenged Kabaka’s actions of presenting himself as the registered owner of official Mailo land and the government’s support for such claims.
Mabirizi seeks to prevent the Kabaka and his agencies, such as Buganda Land Board and Enkuluze (Royal Treasury), from conducting 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. He also seeks to halt the collection of money from non-lease Buganda people in the area and government agencies, including ministries, police, courts, UPDF, KCCA, and local governments from supporting Kabaka in carrying out these activities.
Mabirizi’s application is rooted in his contention that if the court does not grant his application, there is an imminent danger that the respondents will proceed with these exercises, potentially causing irreparable harm to him. 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 Basaza ordering 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.
The outcome of this case is significant because it could have implications for the Kabaka’s authority and the rights of settlers on official mailo land. If Mabirizi is successful, it could deal a major blow to the Kabaka’s claims of ownership of official mailo land.