Many influential leaders were involved in convincing the Chief Justice (CJ) Alfonse Owiny Dollo, the head of the judiciary to apologise to Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II the Kabaka of Buganda over his defamatory remarks that insulted the later.
During the vigil at the home of fallen Speaker of Parliament Jaco Oulanyah, Dollo accused Kabaka Mutebi of using a presidential jet which he was not entitled to as a cultural leader to travel to Germany for treatment.
Dollo who was emotionally charged wondered why Baganda did not demonstrate against the Kabaka’s use of public funds but decided to riot when his tribemate Oulanyah was fighting for his life in Seattle, USA.
This angered many Ugandans who accused Dollo, a leader at CJ level of promoting tribalism and defaming the Kabaka.
Later, pictures surfaced on the internet showing that the Kabaka travelled to Germany in a commercial passenger KLM plane not a presidential jet.
Days later, Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga technically and maturely rubbished Dollo’s allegations and clarified that the Kabaka did not use a presidential jet.
Mayiga cautioned leaders at different levels to resist from making statements which embarrass their offices and divide Ugandans.
Sources have intimated to theGrapevine that many leaders were alarmed by Dollo’s statements and feared that politicians especially those from Buganda region would use them to fuel the already volatile situation and mobilizing youths on social media to cast abusive, hate words at Dollo and the people of Acholi which would later throw the country into a tribal confrontation with regrettable consequences.
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI INTERVENES
Multiple credible sources in State House revealed to the mighty Grapevine that president Museveni was very disturbed with Dollo’s statements and was forced to call him on phone.
Sources divulged that the big man from Rwakitura was not happy with Dollo’s explanation and directed him with immediate effect to make sure that he resolves his issues with Buganda before Oulanyah’s burial.
Sources further revealed that Museveni was very bitter with Dollo and it’s the reason why he used strong words when he was addressing Members of Parliament after the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker at Kololo.
Museveni blasted those who put on wigs (Dollo, Among and Tayebwa) for the backward and colonialist mentality of putting wigs on their heads which make them look like mad people.
Museveni warned that the people who put on wigs should not think that they are different from others.
Sources who understand the old man with a hat very well told us that the man was sending a message to Dollo, cautioning him that putting on a wig does not make him special and too powerful to start sending strong statements that may divide the nation and push it into turmoil.
Sources disclosed that before Museveni addressed the MPs, he talked to Dollo face to face at Kololo Airstrip where the voting of the speaker was taking place and asked him how far he had reached with solving his matter with Buganda administration.
Sources revealed that even though Dollo has a lot of respect for Museveni, he was determined to stand on his words.
Sources added that like Democratic Party president Norbert Mao, CJ Dollo has a very strong attachment towards his Acholi tribesmen and he can do anything to fight for them.
Other people close to the CJ disclosed that Dollo’s words were anchored on a self-held belief that there is a group of Baganda radicals who are against the Acholi that’s why they celebrated the death of Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech, the fallen Deputy Inspector General of police and also insulted him during the Bobi Wine’s presidential election petition accusing him of being Museveni’s puppet.
Justice Dollo held this belief that Bobi Wine and his supporters were behind Oulanyah, Gen. Lokech insults that is why his statements at Oulanyah’s Vigil were filled with a lot of acrimony.
It should also be remembered that when President Museveni was looking for a new Chief Justice to replace Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe, Dollo was competing with Justice Kisakye who was the leading candidate from Buganda.
The CJ was briefed that there is a section of officials in Buganda who were against him and were lobbying for his immediate competitor Justice Esther Kisakye, a judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Kisakye was even invited to attend Buganda Kingdom official ceremonies and during one of these ceremonies Buganda Premier Mayiga introduced her to King Mutebi.
When Dollo was later appointed CJ, and was in charge of NUP boss Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu’s presidential election petition, there was a heated disagreement between him and Kisakye.
Dollo still believed that there were Baganda radicals who were behind Justice Kisakye when she insulted and attacked him during the hearing of the petition to malign his name.
JUSTICE KATUREEBE, KANYEIHAMBA INTERVENE IN DOLLO SAGA:
Back to his apology to the Kabaka, credible sources close to Justice Dollo intimated to theGrapevine that retired Chief Justice Katureebe personally met Justice Dollo and pleaded with him to apologise to Kabaka Mutebi to bridge the big gap he had created between him as a person, the Acholi, the office of the Chief Justice and Buganda kingdom administration.
Sources added that Katureebe was very instrumental in the reconciliation process which involved engaging the Inter Religious Council to be present when Dollo was delivering his apology.
Sources divulged that Katureebe personally talked to Dr. Stephen Kazimba, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda and also the chairperson of the Inter Religious council to be present at Bulange.
The retired CJ also talked to Buganda Kingdom Minister for General Duties David Kisitu Mpanga, who is also a senior lawyer to talk to Mengo officials especially the Katikkiro and the king to forgive justice Dollo.
Another key player in the reconciliation process was Justice George Wilson Kanyeihamba the retired Justice of the supreme Court who talked to Dollo and beseeched him for apologise.
Sources revealed that Kanyeihamba also talked to Kabaka Mutebi on phone because they are close friends and asked him to forgive the CJ.
He pleaded with him to accept his apology which the king accepted.
In the process of reconciliation, there is also a strong NUP legislator and a senior lawyer (names withheld) who is a close friend to justice Dollo who mediated the talks.
A story is told that when Bobi Wine attacked Justice Dollo, during the hearing of the presidential election petition, the said lawyer reached out to Dollo and pleaded with him that Bobi Wine made the attacks in his personal capacity and his lawyers were not involved.
He told the CJ that the decision to attack him was made by politicians not lawyers.
Other people who persuaded the CJ to swallow his words included the wife.
Dollo is married to Justice Florence Nakachwa who is Omuganda and they have children. This makes him a brother-in-law in Buganda.
Sources close to the CJ disclosed that when he made a decision to apologize, he talked to his friends, especially those from Acholi who selected a team to escort him to tender in his apology to Katikkiro Mayiga at Mengo, the headquarters of the Kingdom on behalf of the Kabaka who had flown out of the country the previous day.
Dollo was escorted by Dr. Olara Otunu, the former Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) president, retired judge of the High Court Ralph Ocan and Peter Okwera.
Sources privy to the details from the Mengo meeting revealed that Dollo asked Katikkiro Mayiga to talk to Buganda youths especially those from NUP to stop insulting leaders for the good of the country an assignment that the man from Buddu accepted to do.
Sources said that Katikkiro pledged to attend or send a delegation to attend Oulanyah’s burial in Omoro District next week.
By Sengooba Alirabaki