Masaza cup officials, Kooki settle for neutral ground

Kooki's Deputy Premier Mr Godfrey Kimbugwe (R) shakes hands with Buganda's Sports Minister Mr Henry Ssekabembe as Rakai RDC Ms Sarah Kiyimba looks on after a closed door meeting between the two institutions on July 20. PHOTO | AMBROSE MUSASIZI

What you need to know:

  • Radio announcements and local advertisements in Kyotera (Buddu) have this week gone ahead to announce a match between Kooki and Kabula to be played on Thursday, August 18 after it was earlier cancelled on July 02 by Police and Kooki loyalists who held demonstrations in Kooki.

The organizers of the Masaza Cup tournament under the Buganda Kingdom led by Mr Ibrahim Ssejjengo have finally resolved to have the football matches that were supposed to be hosted by Kooki Chiefdom played at a neutral ground.

The first match between Gomba and Kooki was played at St Joseph’s playground in Kyotera, a town located in Buddu County on Sunday, August 14.

Radio announcements and local advertisements in Kyotera (Buddu) have this week gone ahead to announce a match between Kooki and Kabula to be played on Thursday, August 18 after it was earlier cancelled on July 02 by Police and Kooki loyalists who held demonstrations in Kooki.

Efforts to play Masaza Cup games on Kooki cultural ground have been resisted by the Kooki officials for this year’s tournament after three home matches were blocked including pre-sub county games which the Buganda Kingdom had organized.

The last game to be blocked was to be played between Kooki and Butambala on July 23, when Mr Ssejjengo was arrested in Kooki by Police and charged with inciting violence.

During the first two botched matches on July 2 and July 16, Kooki was supposed to play against Kabula and Buwekula respectively.

Mr Ssejjengo insisted that Kooki is part of Buganda where the subjects are interested in being part of the Masaza Cup and the games will continue as planned by the Kingdom.

On July 22, the Kooki team that played the first away games of Gomba and Butambala with the team manager then, Ms Maria Nakyeyune went and apologized to the Kamuswaga of Kooki and pledged not ever to get involved in the Masaza Cup tournament organized by the Buganda Kingdom.

Kooki and Buganda’s impasse has been in place since the Kamuswaga (Kooki’s hereditary ruler) tabled four demands that the latter failed to honour.

The demands included restoration of the Kamuswaga’s throne (Namulondo) in the Buganda (Lukiiko) hall, reviewing the said November 1896 agreement between the two institutions, and returning Kooki’s 13 land titles to the Kamuswaga and removing all parallel structures which had been appointed by Mengo in Kooki area.

Buganda has however been silent on all these demands until it initiated negotiations in May this year by sending a delegation led by the nearby Buddu County Chief (Pokino) Mr Jude Muleke.

Kooki’s delegation led by Kooki’s deputy Premier Mr Godfrey Kimbugwe also went to Mengo for a dialogue on July 20. Still, the meeting yielded nothing after the two sides failed to agree on a match which had been slated to take place on Saturday, July 23.

Mr Stanley Ndawula, Kooki’s spokesperson told the Monitor that their stand remains that they are autonomous despite Buganda’s claims of Kooki being a county under them.

“I have always said that we don’t mind whether Buganda claims we (Kooki) are under them as a county, for we know we are independent under the rule of Kamuswaga Apollo Isansa Kabumbuli II who is hereditary”, he said.

Buganda Kingdom’s spokesperson Mr Noah Kiyimba earlier told the Monitor that Kooki’s history is well known with the hereditary ruler, the Kamuswaga but Kooki is under Buganda as a county due to the November 1896 agreement which was signed between the two institutions as Kooki sought protection from Buganda.

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