The High Court in Jinja has made a U-turn on ruling over the alleged illegality of the Kyabazinga of Busoga kingdom, William Gabula Nadiope IV, as filed by the chief of Bulamogi, Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi, shortly after the former’s election in September 2014.
The court’s registrar, Fred Waninda Monday announced that the judgement was scheduled for September 14-
Court on the day was mainly packed with Prince Wambuzi’s supporters while the Kyabazinga and a host of his supporters celebrated his seventh coronation anniversary at his official palace atop Igenge Hill, Bugembe Ward in Jinja North City Division, about 15 kilometres away.
When the parties involved turned up at court Tuesday, Mr Waninda told them that judgment files were mistakenly thought to be among the files sent to him by Lady Justice Jeanne Lwakakoko who was in charge of hearing the petition.
Mr Waninda further told the petitioners that ‘‘they would be given a judgement notice if the file is sent to him and then make verdict on an undisclosed date.’’
Efforts to get a comment from palace officials were futile with the kingdom spokesperson, Mr Andrew Ntange, saying he was ‘busy’ attending the aforementioned celebrations.
Following the death of his father and then Kyabazinga, Henry Wako Muloki, Prince Wambuzi was elected to succeed him, sparking fights between factions loyal to him and that of his cultural nemesis (Prince Nadiope).
Prince Wambuzi, in his petition, contended that Prince Gabula was wrongly elected and enthroned by the eleven hereditary chiefs entrusted with electing the Kyabazinga.
According to Prince Wambuzi, the constitution of Busoga Kingdom requires that a new Kyabazinga is elected upon the death of a serving Kyabazinga, but the royal chiefs elected Prince Gabula when the petitioner (Wambuzi), who was elected on October 31, 2008, was still alive.
Prince Wambuzi’s faction further urged that he was the rightful Kyabazinga since he was the heir to his late father (Muloki) and in line with the constitution of Busoga that emphasises the election of a new king upon the death of the sitting king.
On the other hand, Prince Gabula’s faction contended that the late Kyabazinga (Muloki) assumed the throne as a ‘caretaker’ following the death of his father, Wilberforce Nadiope, who was the second Kyabazinga.
The bickering over the rightful Kyabazinga lasted six years until President Museveni intervened and directed the eleven hereditary chiefs to mandate a substantive king.
Ms Kadaga, who was then Speaker of Parliament, also intervened by asking the royal chiefs to come up with a Kyabazinga who would be accepted by the majority and end the animosity between two cultural leaders.
Consequently, the hereditary chiefs on September 13, 2014, convened at the kingdom headquarters in Bugembe and elected Prince Gabula amid protests, prompting Prince Wambuzi to sue him and the hereditary chiefs on grounds of allegedly desecrating the constitution of Busoga.