Bugisu Umukuka confirms new cabinet, calls for reconciliation with rival faction

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Umukuka John Wagabyalire confirmed ministers on Monday; Courtesy Photo

John Amram Wagabyalire, the cultural leader of Masaba Cultural Institution -Inzu Ya Masaba, has called for reconciliation with the parallel faction led by Mike Mudoma as a way of restoring harmony and calm in the Masaba land.

Umukuka Wagabyalire sent the olive branch on Monday while confirming 53 Cabinet ministers at Masaba Cultural Institution head offices located at Malukhu Ward, Industrial Division, in Mbale city.

The Public Relations Officer for Masaba Cultural Institution, Erick Mukhwana, said that the new ministers were appointed in February this year after the election of Wagabyalire as the Umukuka III, shortly after the burial of Mushiokori the Umukuka II.

However, the new cabinet was not confirmed due to both the COVID-19 lockdown and conflicts with the Mudoma rival group.

At the occasion, the Prime Minister of Masaba Cultural Institution Geoffrey Wepondi urged the confirmed ministers to use their positions to work for the development of the Masaba land and avoid conflict with the Mudoma rival camp.

However, Nelson Wedaira the former speaker of the Mudoma faction declared the whole excise illegal, null and void.

He said the Minister for Culture, Hon Peace Mutuzo, publicly declared that there is no cultural leader for the Masaba until the ongoing conflicts are resolved.

Wedaira said they are going to report to police and other government agencies in a bid to invoke charges against Wagabyalire and “his so-called ministers” for defying government directive on matters relating to Masaba Cultural Institution.

Wagabyalire was declared the new Umukuka last year after he won the election with 35 votes out of the 38 votes cast defeating Gidaguyi Gregory who got 2 votes, Patrick Mazina Wamakuyu who scored 1 vote, while Jude Mike Mudoma and Stephen Kizubo didn’t get any vote.

In January, John Amram Wagabyalire was installed as the Umukuka III and head of the Inzu Ya Masaba Cultural Institution replacing Bob Saul Kipiro Mushikori, the Second Umukuka who passed on at the beggining of the year.

However, the election of the new leader came shortly after a parallel faction in the same institution reportedly elected Jude Mike Mudoma as the cultural leader. Mudoma was elected in October by a faction led by the embattled speaker of Inzu Ya Masaba, Nelson Wedaira.

Since then, the leadership of the institution has been contested as each group refused to recognize the other and each claiming legitimacy for leadership of the Bamasaba.

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