THE Buganda Kingdom is now running two weekly newspapers, in a move that media observers say is a replacement for the Central Broadcasting Services (CBS)Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â radio staton shut down in September last year, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
King Ronald Mutebi, the cultural leader of the Buganda Kingdom, launched the two Luganda weeklies, named Gwanga (Nation) and Eddoboozi (Voice).
"Its clear what the strategy is, first the names picked for the weeklies say Voice of the Nation, it's a statement from the kingdom that they will not apologize to have their radio re-opened and that they have the muscle to fight on," said a media lecturer at Makerere University who declined to be named.
Until it was closed, Buganda used CBS which was the most widely listened to radio in the country to rally her people behind its causes, causing concern for PresidentiÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â YoweriÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Museveni.
With CBS on air, Buganda would mobilize crowds within hours to attend functions organized by the kingdom.
In order to reduce the publicity deficit created by the CBS closure, Baganda activistsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â decided to launch a new media campaign and the two newspapers are just a part.
The majority of the staff for the two newspapers are former employees of CBS, andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â several are Buganda activists.
The Buganda kingdom, situated inÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â UgandaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s central region with a population of now about seven million of the countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s 31 million, is demandingÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â a federal system of government which will give it some autonomy.
President Museveni is opposed to thisÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â demand, whichÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â has brought him into direct confrontation with Buganda.
Journalist Robert Kalundi Serumaga who was kidnapped after a WBS night talk show on the second day of the September riots (September 11th) is one of the faces behind Gwanga.
The birth of Gwanga and Eddoboozi brings the total of main Luganda newspapers to four. Apart from Bukedde, Pepper Publications Limited resumed publication of Kamunye, a weekly Luganda version of their main product Red Pepper. Kamunye means an eagle.