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Maverick Mabirizi now claims Buganda Kingdom officials want him dead

KAMPALA | Maverick city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi is a man living in fear for his life, apparently, under threats from Buganda Kingdom officials.

In a statement released over the weekend, Mabirizi claims that ever since he filed a case against the Kabaka of Buganda in 2016, Mengo officials led by Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga “have been making veiled threats to me, calling upon Baganda people to work on me.”

Such threats, Mabirizi alleges, were recycled by David Mpanga, the kingdom attorney general, and Kyewalabye Male, the managing director of Buganda Land Board.

But he says he stood his ground and thanks Baganda for not following what he terms as ”criminal actions” that was being instigated by Mengo establishment.

In 2016, Mabirizi went to court challenging Buganda Kingdom’s collection of ground fees (obusulu) through the Buganda Land Board.

The controversial case was dismissed by the High Court last week but had already drawn the ire of most conservative kingdom loyalties especially with the maverick lawyer demanding that the Kabaka personally defends himself on top of asking court to compel him to release some kingdom bank account details.

‘Desperate person’

Mabirizi has gained notoriety for filing cases that many consider time-wasting and his latest claims will not shock many.

Indeed, Mpanga said that he heard of Mabirizi’s claims but he dismissed him as “a desperate person” who wants to hog “media attention.”

Another official from the kingdom who preferred anonymity in order to speak freely said Mabirizi’s letter gives an insight into his “mental standing.”

“Why would we want to kill a person like Mabirizi when we are now winning?” the official asked.

“If we didn’t kill him when we were not winning, what about now when we are winning and he is bound to pay costs to senior lawyers?”

Among the Baganda, the Kabaka is venerate. Epithets such as Ssabasajja, Magulu Nyondo, Bbaffe, which translate as Man among Men, Legs of Steel, and Our Husband, respectively, all point to the
invincibility of the King of Buganda.

Yet one man, a Muganda at that, dared to sue Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, something that left many people shocked. Though he lost his case, Mabirizi says Mengo keeps cajoling him for talks.

“Why are they interested in a loser?” he asked, “Why don’t they allow the Supreme Court to do its work? The threats to demand Shs23 billion and the call for talks have influenced my relatives and friends to advise me to quit. I have decided not quit over sugar-coated poison.”

Mabirizi, a lawyer with no practicing certificate, says that for the past two years efforts have been made by Mengo officials through his clan head to ensure that he meets Mayiga and later the Kabaka over his case but he was having none of it.

“I believe in pursuing my case,” the lawyer who belongs to Kkobe clan says. “Several cash offers have been made but I have not been moved.”

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