The clan tribunal has been in existence since time in memorial in Buganda. It handles cases existing within clans, wrangles between two or more clans, cases to do with funeral rites, deceased personsâ€™ properties and their heirs. Its head is called The Kisekwa who is also the Chairman of the tribunal. It is traditionally referred to as â€œEdiiro lya Katikiiro. It is under the office of the Katikiiro and therefore is does not report its duties directly to the Kabaka but to the Katikiiro. In 1966 when the kingdom faced a political crisis, the tribunal also ceased to perform its duties until in 1993 when the kingdom was restored. The Kabaka ordered for the tribunal to start right away in order to dissolve all the wrangles that had developed within clans, amongst the different clans of Buganda and all those which were to come. The Kabaka appointed 19 members to sit in the tribunal and he wanted it to handle all the cases fairly according to the norms and traditions of the Baganda. The Kabaka also stressed that the importance of norms and traditions should not be under looked by the tribunal in order for peace and unity to be strengthen amongst his subjects.
Structure of the Tribunal
The tribunal consists of the Chairman (Kisekwa), the Vice Chairman and eighteen (18) members and they are all elected by the Kabaka. It is divided into two organs which include;
The judicial organ that deals with dispute within and amongst clans.
The administrative organ that deals with the deceased personsâ€™ properties, funeral rites and heirs to the dead.
Responsibilities of the Judicial Organ
The judicial organ is responsible for handling and settling all disputes regarding the following;
- The clan heads (Abakulu Abeebika Aboobusolya).
- Issues concerning the rightful clan head.
- Issues of approving a particular clan.
- Issues about the clan headquarters. (Obutaka bwâ€™ekika).
- Issues that disregard the clan.
- Disputes between two clans.
- It is also responsible for hearing appeals from previous ruled cases.
Responsibilities of the Administrative Organ
It is the responsibility of the tribunal to be informed of the death of a person, the funeral rites, the heir to the dead and how the deceasedâ€™s property is to be distributed.
The organ also handles funeral rites of big persons in Buganda who include Abâ€™empya, Abâ€™ennyiriri, Abâ€™emituba, Abâ€™amasiga, Abâ€™obusolya, all those people who perform certain functions for the Kabaka, their respective clans and all the Baganda who own land. The tribunal without sabotaging the laws that govern the country should always approve to the Kabaka the heir to the deceased person with the help of the heirâ€™s clan.
Powers of the Tribunal
The tribunal has powers to summon any one it believes can be of any importance in the investigations they carry out on a particular case.
The tribunal has powers to read through all the documents they believe can help them in their investigations.
The tribunal also has powers to give their judgment in writing.
The Procedure of Presenting Cases to the Tribunal
All the cases presented to the tribunal must be registered in the reference book and should all be given reference numbers.
Whoever presents a case to the tribunal must do it in writing with particular emphasis on his/her complaint and what the tribunal should do to help him/her.
After a case has been registered in the reference book, the secretary to the registry hands over the case file to the tribunal registrar.
Legal Charges for the Tribunal
The tribunal shall always determine the legal charges for a particular case to help them through the proceedings of that particular case.
Kabaka of Buganda