Over 1,000 subjects of Busoga Kingdom on Tuesday took to the streets to protest against the State Minister for Lands, Ms Persis Namuganza’s ferocious attack on the Kyabazinga (King) of Busoga, William Gabula Nadiope IV.
Ms Namuganza, who is also the Bukono County Member of Parliament, while addressing residents of Ivukula Sub-county in Namutumba District recently, urged them to pelt the Kyabazinga with stones the moment he steps his foot in Bukono County.
On Tuesday, Kyabazinga’s subjects led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Joan Machora Kitto, started marching from the Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe to Busoga Square, a distance of about ten Kilometers, holding placards reading, ‘Namuganza should apologize’, ‘Namuganza should not bring problems’ and ‘Namuganza should leave Busoga’ among others.
Traffic along the Iganga-Jinja road was momentarily interrupted as thousands of Kingdom loyalists, mostly youth, made their way to Busoga Square where the Kingdom ministers addressed them.
Ms Kitto said they are to mourn for two days as a sign of expressing their dissatisfaction with the way Ms Namuganza abused the Kyabazinga.
She wondered: “How can Ms Namuganza prevent the King from entering Bukono County and urge Basoga from her area to pelt him with stones if he sets foot there? If someone has not abused you, why abuse him?’’
The Kingdom’s State Minister for Youth Affairs & Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Veronica Kagona, said leaders who must be exemplary to others are the ones abusing the Kyabazinga. She urged leaders in Busoga region to resolve their issues amicably amongst themselves.
Mr Andrew Ntange, the Kingdom’s Minister for Information, said what Ms Namuganza did tantamounts to betraying Busoga Kingdom which spent six years without a Kyabazinga following the death of Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki in 2008.
He said: “Namuganza wants Busoga Kingdom to be divided such that Gabula stays with four Chiefdoms while Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi remains with seven which we shall not accept.”
Without substantiating, he added: “If Namuganza says that the government doesn’t recognize Gabula as the rightful Kyabazinga, it indicates that we are likely to repeat history."
Jenifer Kongo, a resident of Jinja Town, said Ms Namuganza should come out and apologize to the Kingdom, failure to do so will result to being denied access to Busoga region.
“Minister Namuganza should publically come out and apologize for what she said. Our Kyabazinga needs respect because, since he was elected, he has promoted education through giving out bursaries, health and agriculture,’’ she said.
Ivan Kakande, a resident of Kivubuka Sub-county in Jinja, said abusing the Kyabazinga and tarnishing his image will not be tolerated because he has united Basoga especially the youth.
When contacted for a comment, Ms Namuganza said she is not ready to apologise for what she said.