Two fight over Bugwe chiefdom seat

Friday May 14 2021

Sulaiman Godfrey Wanyama Machembe and Phillip Wanyama Hasibante Nahaama. Photos | File

By Anthony Wesaka

A legal fight has ensued over who is the rightful king of the Bugwe chiefdom in Busia.

This follows a suit filed by Sulaiman Godfrey Wanyama Machembe on March 31, challenging the gazetting and eventual installation of Mr Phillip Wanyama Hasibante Nahaama as the king of Bugwe chiefdom.

In his suit, Mr Machembe contends that he is the direct descendant of the late Mayero, who was the last paramount chief of Bugwe prior to the colonial rule in Uganda.
He added that he was dully endorsed and installed by the leadership of the Abayero Royal Clan within Bugwe chiefdom.

“On April 29, 2019, the 1st respondent (government) wrongly gazetted the second respondent (Nahaama) as the rightful leader of the Bugwe chiefdom and by doing so, breached its statutory duty as set out in the Institution of Traditional or Cultural Leaders Act 2011,” Mr Nahaama contends in the court documents.

The petitioner further states that before his case could be determined, Mr Nahaama allegedly organised his own coronation ceremony on December  16, 2020, at Busia Skills Development Centre, where he was wrongly installed.

Mr Machembe is seeking court to amend his original suit so as to cancel the installation of his rival and determine who the rightful cultural leader is.
He also claims Mr Nahaama has since gone on to pass off as the leader of Bugwe chiefdom.


“The intended amendment is necessary to enable the applicant (Mr Machembe) plead the new material facts and further enable court determine the real questions in controversy between the parties in finality, so as to avoid multiplicity of suits arising from the same transaction or a series thereof,” Mr Machembe avers.

The matter came up on Tuesday before Kampala High Court judge Esta Nambayo for hearing, however, she declined to preside over the matter, citing conflict of interest.
Justice Nambayo said she hails from Busia and that she is conflicted to hear the grievances. She sent the file back to the registry for reallocation.

By press time, the registrar of the court had not yet allocated the case file to a new judge.