It’s a moment of panic in Bugisu Cultural Institution where a faction of the cultural leaders are contesting the gazetted leader Mike Jude Mudoma. According to a video clip aired by Busoga Kingdom’s Baba TV on the 11th of August 2023, a faction of a one Yaya Masolo [claimant of the same throne] threatens bloodshed should Mudoma and his team attempt to perform any cultural ritual or even visit their clan structures, these threats have since kicked Bagisu into panic mode with fear that a genocide may break out.
In the same video clip, the Masolo group threatens to ignite deadly clashes with the neighboring ethnic community which has left people deeply worried about bloody clashes based on historical community boundary feuds and misunderstandings.
According to Herbert Mulekwa the former Sironko LC 5 Sironko District, there is a security meeting to be held to sanction Bugisu Security Chief although no details of this meeting and location have been disclosed to the public.
Meanwhile, the Kumi Resident District Commissioner Mr Ahamad Washaki has returned from Bungoma County Kenya where Mudoma dispatched him with a special message to elder Mzee Dominic Wetangula the father of the Kenyan Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Moses Masika Wetangula but also the details of the message and response are still undisclosed.
According to RDC Washaki, Mudoma has already signed an MoU with Uganda Wildlife Authority to invest 1,400,000/- in the Mudodo Cultural site.
For those who are reading this for the first time, the fight for the throne has three contenders; John Amram Wagabyalire claims he was installed by Umukuuka II Bob Mushikori after an election by delegates which process was gazetted in the Uganda Gazette.
Masolo Yaya who lives in Jinja also claims to be the rightfully elected Umukuka III by a rival group of Bamasaaba living in Jinja, although Bagisu says he has failed to prove to that effect because his official place of work is not known in Mbale.
On there other hand, some cultural observers are concerned about how government officials are being deployed by Mudoma to fight his wows. However one of Mudoma’s legal advisers is quoted as saying that they are going to overhaul the whole cultural institution to a semblance of regional tier with full authority on Bugisu territory.
All these aside, John Amram Wagabyalire has already run to court to overturn the anomaly of gazetting a cultural leader who was already gazetted by a sitting cultural leader and seeks Gov’t position of how they gazetted Mike Jude Mudoma as Umukuuka III of Inzu Ya Masaaba.
In fact, High Court Mbale has since issued a summons to Mudoma and the Attorney General to file defense against a case filed by Amram.
”YOU ARE HEREBY required to file a defence to the said suit within 15 days from the date of service of the summons on you in the prescribed manner under 0.9rule 1 of the Civil procedure rules S.1 71 – 1 SHOULD YOU FAIL to file a defence on or before the date mentioned, the plaintiff may proceed with the case and judgment may be given in your absence,” reads the summons.
When we contacted the Deputy Prime Minister of the Inzu Ya Masaaba Hon Mathias Nabutele, he said security matters are a preserve of government so he can not comment on the current crisis in this cultural institution where some leaders in broad daylight threaten to cause bloodshed.
Further, we contacted Inzu Ya Masaaba Secretary General Mr. Wodero Francis but noted that he can not discuss matters that are already before the courts of Law.
Earlier on Sam Watulatsu, the former Secretary Bugisu Cultural Board opined that all parties need to sit on a round table and agree on the best way forward because Bugisu is above those fighting the institution.
”The vision and mission of the founding fathers of the Cultural Institution have been abandoned, people seem to be more divided along political lines than before, more so in 2015 when government skewed up the whole process but Bagisu surely need to change this,” said Watulatsu.
Meanwhile, below are some of the activities that Mudoma is planning to execute which has left his rivals warming up to cause bloodshed which that has put the entire Bugisu under security threat and some calling for President YK Museveni’s intervention to curb this tension.