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Busoga chief collapses, dies

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President Museveni (C), Busoga chiefs and other officials t

President Museveni (C), Busoga chiefs and other officials take a photo at Bugembe in Jinja where Japheth Bagoole Isabirye collapsed and later died. PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA. 

By ISAAC MUFUMBA & ABUBAKER KIRUNDA

Posted  Friday, May 30   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

The mess. The chief died before Mr Museveni arrived to discuss the Busoga Kyabazinga issue

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JINJA- What was meant to be a happy occasion turned sombre yesterday at the Busoga Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe, Jinja when the chairman of the Busoga Clans Council, Japheth Bagoole Isabirye, collapsed and died.
Isabirye collapsed at about 10am at a function where President Museveni was scheduled to address the Busoga Lukiiko (parliament).
Attempts to save his life were futile as he was pronounced dead on arrival at Almerca Hospital in Mafubira.

The exact cause of his death had by the time of filing this report not been established as the body was still lying in Jinja Hospital where it was due for a postmortem. The deceased has separately held the title of head of Busoga’s Baise Igulu clan.

Hours later, President Museveni arrived and made a speech in which he denied having a hand in the confusion that has surrounded the institution of Obwa Kyabazinga Bwa Busoga since the death, in September 2008, of Henry Wako Muloki.

He also said he is not aligned to rival camps embroiled in the fight for the Kyabazingaship. “Before coming here, I was being advised not to come. People were saying there are court issues and that the government was behind the confusion. I took an acid test and decided to come here,” he said.

He added despite the court injunction and doubts about the legal status of the new Lukiiko, he could not ignore his role as President because he is not a lawyer. The courts, he said, can continue doing their work as he also continues performing his duties as President.

Mr Museveni said the responsibility of sorting out the mess in Busoga was entirely in the hands of the 11 hereditary chiefs, 10 of whom he recently met at State House Entebbe.

He also promised to convince the main claimant to the throne, Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi, to join other chiefs in working for the development of Busoga. Prince Wambuzi and Lukiiko delegates from his Bulamogi County were not at the function.