Hoima- Bunyoro will today commemorate the 21st coronation anniversary of the Omukama of Bunyoro Kingdom.
Dr Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I, who assumed the throne on June 11, 1994, is the 27th king in the ruling Ababiito Dynasty. He is a grandson of Omukama Kabalega and son of Sir Tito Winyi.
According to the kingdom prime minister, Mr Norman Lukumu, President Museveni has been invited as chief guest at the celebrations.
This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme: “Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom united for cultural and social-economic development.”
They will be characterised by speeches, awards, cultural rituals and entertainment.
It is a norm in Bunyoro for the king to reward personalities with certificates of recognition or crowns (ekondo) to people he feels have significantly contributed to the development of the kingdom.
Mr Lukumu, also the chairperson of the organising committee, said the kingdom will showcase its rich cultural heritage, investment opportunities and launch key projects.
“We shall officially kick-start the Omuganda fundraising drive and a self-help drive dubbed Bunyoro Kweyamba that will rally subjects, development partners and well-wishers to support new development innovations and projects,” Mr Lukumu said.
He said the public would also be briefed about Bunyoro’s development opportunities and challenges.
The kingdom has also invited local cultural leaders, ambassadors of various countries to Uganda, political and religious leaders, development partners and investors.
About the Omukama
Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru is married to Her Majesty Mary Karunga. The royal couple is blessed with two children; Prince David Rukidi Mpuga born in 2007 and Princess Masamba Nkwanzi born in 2011.
Dr Iguru, who was born in 1949, is a son to Omukama Sir Tito Winyi, who ruled Bunyoro from 1924 to 1967 when cultural institutions in Uganda were abolished under the Obote I regime.
He is also the chairperson of the Uganda Cultural Leaders Forum. The king is also culturally the head of blacksmiths in his kingdom.
“At his coronation anniversary, the king is given a hammer to hit a metal four times,” the king’s private secretary and royal researcher, Mr Yolamu Nsamba, says.
Documents in the kingdom’s libraries show how past kings managed trade and industries such as blacksmithing, iron ore and salt mining. Some instruments of ancient trade such as cowree shells, ivory, hides and other essential commodities in trade are kept in the kingdom’s museum.
The museum, which is housed in the Omukama’s Karuziika Palace, has artifacts and tools that have been preserved for more than 4,000 years.