Gabula moves into  new Shs7b palace

The Igenge Palace in Jinja City. Kyabazinga Gabula is the first monarch to reside in the official palace of the Kingdom at Igenge Hill, Jinja North City Division. photo/DENIS EDEMA

What you need to know:

  • Mr Andrew Ntange, the kingdom’s spokesperson, at the weekend said government would also officially hand over the palace it has been constructing at Shs7b.

The Kyabazinga [King] of Busoga Kingdom, William Nadiope Gabula IV, will today make history as the first monarch to reside in the official palace of the Kingdom at Igenge Hill, Jinja North City Division, as celebrations to mark his seventh coronation anniversary are held.

Mr Andrew Ntange, the kingdom’s spokesperson, at the weekend said government would also officially hand over the palace it has been constructing at Shs7b.

Mr Ntange said the completion of the palace was a key achievement recorded in the kingdom in the past seven years, adding that none of the Kyabazinga’s three predecessors has lived in this official palace.
“The first Kyabazinga, Ezekiel Tenywa, used to reside in a house in Bugembe Town,” Mr Ntange said.

He added: “Kyabazinga Nadiope Wilberforce Kadhumbula, who is the father of the current King, stayed in his private palace at Budumba in Kamuli District and Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki lived in his private palace in Nakabango in Jinja.” 
Mr Ntange said the Kyabazinga has created a ‘Busoga brand’, not only in Uganda, but in other parts of the world.

Achievements
“Nadiope was recently elected as the chairperson of all traditional leaders in Africa during their meeting held in the Ghanaian capital of Accra while his completion of a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Coventry University in the United Kingdom, among other personal achievements, have promoted Busoga and Uganda,” Mr Ntange said.

Mr Ntange added that unity and peace that has prevailed in the Kingdom which had been thrown into turmoil before the Kyabazinga’s election in 2014.

Despite being peaceful, the kingdom has remained poor due to its alleged failure to reclaim its property from government including tourism sites, forests, the land housing prisons, district office blocks and taxes from individuals who built on kingdom land.

Mr Ntange said all the counties which turned into districts were property of the kingdom but the government is yet to hand them over or remit rent to the kingdom.
Mr Ntange added that money collected from tourism sites like Source of the Nile is all taken by government, despite being “owned” by the kingdom.

Earlier, the kingdom prime minister, Dr Joseph Muvawala, told Daily Monitor that attendance had been restricted to 300 subjects because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many people have lost their dear ones to Covid-19; so the ceremony has only been restricted to the Kyabazinga’s subjects in Busoga,” Dr Muvawala said.

He added that President Museveni would be the Chief Guest, while all ministers and members of Parliament from Busoga Sub-region had been invited to the event, whose proceedings, he said, would be telecast live across various radio and television stations.

“I want to say at the same event, the people of Busoga will witness the handover of Igenge Palace that was constructed by the government,” Dr Muvawala added.

Ms Joan Machora, the kingdom’s foreign minister, said no foreign kingdom or chiefdom representative would be part of the ceremony, but they had sent their greetings and blessings towards the coronation.

“This time, we will not be able to be joined by the Kyabazinga’s friends from other kingdoms of Tooro, Buganda, Teso, Bugisu, and abroad like Netherlands and South Africa, but they send us warm greetings,” she said.

background
Kyabazinga coronation
In 2000, William Nadiope Gabula IV was installed as the royal chief of Bugabula by then Kyabazinga of Busoga, the late Henry Muloki.

In 2013,  the Kamuli District Council, led by then LC5 chairperson Salaamu Musumba, declared September 9 ‘Gabula Day’ to commemorate the installation as the royal chief of Bugabula.

This paved way for Gabula IV to be eligible to become Kyabazinga, which is chosen from the 11 royal chiefs in Busoga.
Gabula IV was later enthroned as the Kyabazinga of Busoga Kingdom on September 13, 2014.

Ms Yudaya Babirye Kigenyi, the Minister of Kyabazinga Affairs, said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the monarch is focused on rejuvenating Busoga’s traditional values and norms, generate business plans for youths and clan councils and create a database and documentation of clan identities and totems.

Compiled by Philip Wafula, Abubaker Kirunda, Denis Edema & Sam Caleb Opio

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