Our reporter

Airtel has enjoyed a cordial relationship with Buganda Kingdom for almost now five years; the partnership has had key milestones evidenced by the now successful Kabaka Birthday Run and the Masaza football tournaments among others.

Whereas these are visible milestones; Airtel has consolidated its footprint in Buganda and everyday MTN is loosing ground in Buganda. In areas like Greater Masaka the figures of MTN show terrible reading. To cement this relationship Airtel signed an agreement with K2 Telecom although details are so guarded to date.

MTN has been trying to get back into Buganda after many failed partnerships like stadia construction for Masaza; canoe regatta etc.. didn’t particularly go as planned, which sources at Mengo say made Buganda unhappy in those earlier times.

News now coming from both MTN Towers and Bulange Mengo show that the telecom market leader has lined up UGX2 billion every year to take away the Kabaka Birthday Run starting in 2020 as Airtel has only one year left on its contract. “The battle between MTN and Airtel is now squarely based on Buganda since all statistics indicate that the country’s economy is 70% concentrated in Buganda,” a source said.

We are meant to understand that this time MTN is determined to wrestle the lucrative Buganda partnership from Airtel. “Airtel has significantly grown since they started associating themselves with the Kabaka with many customers joining the network including its lucrative mobile money. It will be interesting if MTN and Airtel fight on this very green grass and this time when two elephants fight, the grass won’t be affected because Kabaka will have more resources to deliver services to his people particularly health, education and agriculture,” John Ahimbisibwe, an analyst says.