Columbus and Nadiope

Jinja -Looking at this in line with the Kyabazingaship battles in Busoga; it’s so clear that, a controversy has brewed already. As you move through the streets of Jinja and indeed had a chance to travel to Kamuli, to observe the reaction of the Kyabazinga’s diehards there; only many calm but innocent looks on the many.

Many people I talked to, have explained to ‘The Investigator news’ that, Museveni has stirred great controversy because their Kyabazinga is immune of being an employee to the government. Of course many talks out of ignorance based on the fact that, they think he has been promoted while others know nothing concerning the constitution. Being a cultural leader, there is a lot to understand what has befallen Busoga this time.

Since many of the Kyabazinga’s cabinet emanates from his home district (Kamuli), I decided to talk to one gentleman (Owekitibwa), who mentioned that there will be an urgent ‘Busoga Lukiko meeting’ in the morning and this will be one of the major topics to be analyzed! This was on the phone contact with the Busoga Lukiko speaker, Owek. George Mutyabule, who as well confirmed that the meeting is to be held tomorrow at the Kyabazinga headquarters in Bugembe.

On top of that, there is an eminent Kyabazingaship ministers reshuffle and indeed this has left all the ministers in prayers to Kibumba. All of them have been fighting each other in line with dividing themselves in parochial but cynically uninformed prime ministers and districts they hail from. Even the Kyabazinga, himself has shuttered doors to some of his chiefdom officials yet they have major and cultural issues for the proper organization and management of the Basoga people. Shutting doors to discuss with them has created more divisions.

Besides that, land has been a contentious issue in Busoga. It’s also believed that the current Kyabazinga’s cabinet and other leaders have continued to mismanage land and other Kyabazingaship resources. It follows the greedy operations of the cabinet ministers who have continued to sale the Kyabazingaship land in plots and the old houses in Jinja town.

Much as the Igenge palace is yet to finished, it’s nearly in bushes yet the surrounding land has been taken over by the chiefdom officials. Much as on his election as the Kyabazinga mentioned to work upon the land issues; nothing has been done as yet as those he nominated to serve as per his interests have ended up serving their personal interests. A case in point, his prime minister together with other cabinet ministers sold off recently (last year in September) one house originally owned by the Kyabazingaship in Jinja town along the Main street.

On top of that, there are more other brewing controversies which have been privy to the Basoga people yet the Kyabazingaship or ‘Obwakyabazinga Bwa Busoga’ silently let them pass. This makes the whole society loose out when such individuals are part of the leadership!

The thorny case of Prince Zibondo Columbus Wambuzi is another one in Gabula’s hot seat of Kyabazinga. The talk has always been the seceding from Busoga to formulate the Bulamogi chiefdom independent of Busoga. The Zibondo supporters all believe that he was rigged out of the Kyabazinga elections yet there’s also a pending case we might not be able to discuss here.

In no time, the Kyabazinga’s time of office (for five years as per the Busoga constitution) is about to come to an end; thus there was rumored prepation for that or rather suffocate those who would call for the elections. His leadership is nearly in the final years but there’s nothing tangible to point at even when he formulated the cabinet at that. Praising him is the rhetoric many Basoga do but navigating through the challenges facing Busoga is another story. The chiefdom has been hit with jiggers, drought, eminent starvation and famine, deforestation and other natural vagaries has befallen us without the voice of the Kyabazinga or even the dormant politicians here. Even when thinking otherwise, there has been a fusion of the cultural issues of Busoga with the cases of politics of the day. The Rt. Hon Alitwala Kadaga is the ardent supporter of the Kyabazinga thus many know the Kyabazinga as Kadaga’s Kyabazinga destined to politics than the cultures of the Basoga as a society.

The point here is that, Gabula, for as long as he has been the Kyabazinga, he has been tracking a political lifeline other than constitutionally mandated obligations as a cultural leader of Busoga. Being nominated to the ambassadorial role has not come as a surprise because the hot seat of the Kyabazinga is really courting muddy but corrupt issues. Everyone in Bugembe is prone to stealing the chiefdom’s properties, thus Museveni nominating him is simply availing him a way out of the dirt.

What does the constitution say on Ambassador Gabula? In all aspects here; we need to look at article 246 of the 1995 Ugandan Constitution. This article concerns the institution of traditional or cultural leaders. We need to concentrate much on sub-article (246 (3&4) three and four to exorcise all issues in Busoga and the Kyabazingaship. The following provisions shall apply in relation to traditional leaders or cultural leaders — (a) the institution of traditional leader or a cultural leader shall be a corporation sole with perpetual succession and with capacity to sue and be sued and to hold assets or properties in trust for itself and the people concerned;

(b) nothing in paragraph (a) shall be taken to prohibit a traditional leader or cultural leader from holding any asset or property acquired in a personal capacity; (c) a traditional leader or cultural leader shall enjoy such privileges and benefits as may be conferred by the Government and local government or as that leader may be entitled to under culture, custom and tradition;

(d) subject to paragraph (c) of this clause, no person shall be compelled to pay allegiance or contribute to the cost of maintaining a traditional leader or cultural leader; (e) a person shall not, while remaining a traditional leader or cultural leader, join or participate in partisan politics; and (f) a traditional leader or cultural leader shall not have or exercise any administrative, legislative or executive powers of Government or local government.

(4) The allegiance and privileges accorded to a traditional leader or a cultural leader by virtue of that office shall not be regarded as a discriminatory practice prohibited under article 21 of this Constitution; but any custom, practice, usage or tradition relating to a traditional leader or cultural leader which detracts from the rights of any person as guaranteed by this constitution shall be taken to be prohibited under that article.

Looking at the constitution above and the article as it stipulates; it clearly shows there’s an overlap over which the president made the Kyabazinga’s nomination as a Special duties ambassador under the office of the president. This is directly a political nomination thus it’s partisan in the nature and contradicts the Kyabazinga’s roles as a cultural head as indicated in article 246 (3, (d, e & f). He will be regarded as a political leader thus some Busoga faithful might want to have a cultural leader.

Lessons to bridge in this confusion: Dropping the vein of cultural relief into the political and cultural confusion in Busoga; more conundrums befits this confusion. Much as we as Basoga people believe the Kyabazingaship race was over, than President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta drops a great historical but a constitutional controversy of our times when His Royal Highness William Gabula Nadiope iv, the current Kyabazinga to a new political ambassadorial position.

Is President Museveni insinuating the fact that, since the Kyabazinga is elected amongst the 11 princes of Busoga on a five year term as the Kyabazinga is therefore going to be dropped by the other princes in the soon to be announced elections? Rumors have been ripe that, the Kyabazinga was organizing to amend the Busoga constitution which would have empowered him to rule for life of shots.

With that in the mind we must also dig deeper into the history to ironically validate the history behind the Kyabazingaship too. Its common knowledge in Busoga that on a five year term as Kyabazinga, its tag of war for one to be re-elected in the same office unless cynically mitigated and vote buying of the other poor princes in Busoga.

It was so difficult for Sir Wilberforce Nadiope to win again that seat in the end of the 1950s. The Late Nadiope with his political gymnastics outmaneuvered the situation and he participated politically in the first independent government of Uganda. No wonder, the controversy between Late Sir Wilberforce Nadiope then and Late Henry Waako Muloki continued until they both passed on. This has increased the rivalry between Bulamogi and Bugabula BB to date as the two principalities face off in the Kyabazinga elections as the rest principalities continue to observe in agony!

Finally, all Basoga people might be jubilating for the Kyabazinga’s nomination but the worst is yet to come as we see the eminent discussions from all the Basoga people across the globe. Looking at those on those social media platforms, they support their arguments in equal measures. As we live to remember this controversy; once again we only say, “Tuli bankabi innho iffe a’ Basoga”.