Umukuka succession battle escalates as Bamasaba reject fresh elections

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Delegates from Bamasaba cultural institution speaking to the media at Mutufu town council offices on Tuesday; Courtesy Photo

Delegates from Mwambu clan of the Bamasaba cultural Institution have unanimously rejected the proposal for fresh election of the Umukuka and end an ongoing conflict to succeed the late Bob Mushikori who died in January this year.

The standoff is between John Amulam Wagabyalile and Mike Mudoma with both claiming to be legitimate and elected cultural leaders of the Masaba cultural institution to succeed . At the time of his passing, Mushikori’s five-year term as the cultural head had expired but he had not handed over power.

Umukuka is the cultural head of Nzu ya Masaba -an ethnic group in Bugisu sub-region, located in Eastern Uganda.

During the burial of former MP Simon Mulongo’s daughter over the weekend, Energy minister Mary Goretti Kitutu who was the chief mourner, suggested fresh elections as a solution to the ongoing conflict over the rightful person to take over the throne.

Minister Kituttu suggested that fresh elections would be the best option amid the escalating conflict that has led to delays in gazettement of the Umukuka but also caused tension in the region.

Surprisingly, the two leaders, both with rival factions claiming legitimacy to the throne, belong to Mwambu clan -one from which the next Umukuka must be picked,

Steven Gidudu, the chairperson of Mwambu clan, while speaking to media at Mutufu Town Council offices on Tuesday, ruled out an election claiming they already have a duly-elected Umukuka.

Mr Gidudu noted that delegates from three clans; Mwambu, Mubuya and Wanale, elected Mike Mudoma as their Umukuka in December last year, and therefore there is no reason to conduct fresh elections.

The rival faction also claim they held elections, and both have separate picked Prime Ministers.

Ambrose Nagimesi, also a delegate said they have on several occasions written to ministry for gender informing them that Mudoma is the duly elected cultural leader but the ministry has for “unknown reasons” delayed the gazettement.

The delegates said government has only 10 days to gazette Mudoma as cultural leader short of which, they are going to match from Mbale to State House Entebbe to seek for an explanation from President Yoweri Museveni.

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