Saturday April 19 2014

Kyabazinga wrangle worsens

Former Jinja Municipality Mayor Joel Kafuko

Former Jinja Municipality Mayor Joel Kafuko (holding Bible) swears in as the Busoga Lukiiko representative for Butembe Chiefdom at Bilkon Hotel in Jinja. PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA 



The power struggle between the Busoga kingdom prime minister and the hereditary chiefs has escalated, prompting President Museveni’s intervention.
Mr Museveni met hereditary chiefs, the newly-elected members of Busoga Lukiiko (parliament) and clan leaders at State House Entebbe, on Wednesday.
Busoga has had no substantive Kyabazinga since the death of Henry Wako Muloki in September 2008.

Ceremony blocked
Last Saturday, UPDF soldiers blocked the new Lukiiko members from the kingdom headquarters at Bugembe where they had gone for a swearing in ceremony, which would clear the way for electing a new Kyabazinga (king). They later moved to Jinja Town for the swearing in.

The hereditary chiefs petitioned Mr Museveni. The Spokesperson of the Hereditary Chiefs Council, Mr Luba Munulo, said during the State House meeting, Mr Museveni promised to remove the soldiers who had been deployed as Royal Guards at Bugembe and replace them with police within a week.
The chiefs were led by Acting Kyabazinga, Ssabalangira Kaunhe Wakooli, whom they elected after rejecting Prince Edward Wambuzi.

Court upheld Prince Wambuzi’s election in October 2008 and recognised him as the rightful Kyabazinga of Busoga, but he is not recognised by a cross-section of the chiefs.

Mr Munulo claimed Museveni also dropped his adviser on Poverty Alleviation in Busoga, Ms Maureen Kyalya Waluube for creating a rival faction of chiefs in the kingdom.

They accused Ms Waluube of installing rival chiefs in their respective chiefdoms and taking them to Prince Wambuzi’s home in Nakabango for approval on the same Saturday the new Lukiiko was to swear in at Bugembe.
“Ms Kyalya has been saying the President mandated her to establish our authenticity and that she was meant to enthrone right ones. We wanted the President to come clean on this and he did,” Mr Munulo said.
Ms Kyalya said she had heard rumours of her alleged sacking but had not received any official communication from Mr Museveni.

“But even if I am sacked, I will continue working for Busoga,” she said on Thursday while addressing journalists at Bugembe where she presided over the election of Prince Wilson Gabula Kadhumbula as Chief Prince of the rival faction of the hereditary chiefs.

Prince Munulo said during the meeting with Mr Museveni, they agreed that a new kingdom prime minister (Katukiro) and cabinet would be appointed and sworn in on Thursday next week and the President is expected to preside over the function.

Presidential Spokesperson Tamale Mirundi confirmed the State House meeting but declined to discuss details of the proceedings, saying he had not been authorised.

The current kingdom prime minister, Mr Wilson Muwereza, said he will hold elections to elect the new Lukiiko members on May 23.
The pro-Kyalya faction of the chiefs recently endorsed Prince Wambuzi, the son of the late Kyabazinga Muloki, as the Kyabazinga of Busoga and named Ms Kyalya as Chief Princess, a hitherto unknown title in the kingdom.

President accused
Luuka County MP John Bagoole has accused President Museveni of being behind Busoga Kingdom’s endless wrangles. He said the Saturday events where soldiers barred newly-elected members of the Lukiiko from accessing the kingdom headquarters were a clear indication that Mr Museveni had had a hand in the confusion.

The President’s press secretary Tamale Mirundi denies the allegations.
But Mr Bagoole asked the President and other leaders to let the kingdom’s cultural leaders find a solution to the issue of Busoga’s kyabazingaship.
This is the third time Mr Museveni is being publicly accused of meddling in the affairs of Busoga. In November 2009, former Busoga premier, Mr Martin Musumba, blamed State House for the confusion in the kingdom.
In August 2012, Prince David Bogere Gabula, also accused Mr Museveni of influence peddling following his decision to recognise Chief Prince David Kaunhe Wakooli, as the acting Kyabazinga.