President Yoweri Museveni has told Busoga leaders to abandon cliques within the ruling NRM party .
By George Bita, Donald Kirya and Henry Mukasa
President Yoweri Museveni has told Busoga leaders to abandon cliques within the ruling NRM party but concentrate on finding solutions to problems in the region like the stalemate over the election of the Kyabazinga.
Meeting MPs from Busoga at his residence in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district over the weekend Museveni offered Sh80m to fund a constitution review process for Busoga kingdom before elections of the Kyabazinga can be held.
The meeting was convened to discuss pledges to the region some which date back to 1996 and 2001, keys roads in the region that are in bad shape and the programme to rehabilitate health services and schools in the region. "We needed concrete answers on these," Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who heads the Busoga Parliamentary Caucus commented. "Everything went on very well…. We had a lengthy meeting, discussed all issues and President promised to address them," she added.
Museveni's offer of money, according to Kadaga, was after members asked that the Interim Committee that was set up by the late Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki Wambuzi should be facilitated to do its work. "It will move around the districts of Busoga to get views from the people. We shall then have a Constituent Assembly which will be constituted by members of the Lukiiko and others to discuss the outcome the public hearings," Kadaga explained.
Other sources said that the President also promised that government is to pay arrears of over Sh240m the Kyabazinga would have earned for the period the kingdom had had no head. Government pays traditional leaders sh5m per month for facilitation.
Kyabazinga Wako Muloki died on September 1, 2008 and ever since the kingdom has been embroiled in a bitter succession wrangle. Two princes have laid claim to the throne; Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi the heir to Muloki and Prince William Gabula Nadiope IV, the heir to former Kyabazinga, Sir William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope III.
Busoga Information minister, Michael Kifubangabo said the money for constitutional review was welcome although he hinted the process would cost more. However, the Katukiro Wilson Muwereza, noted that the constitutional review was uncalled for since Busoga already has a Kyabazinga, Columbus Wambuzi.
The development has divided the kingdom subjects into two factions supporting either Prince, sucking in political leaders and power brokers in the region. "We reported to the President that there are Kingdom officials who are selling property belonging to Busoga Kingdom. He promised to take action saying that he is mandated as the head of State to preserve the properties of people," Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru.
"What you honourable members are concentrating on is worshipping pro-Kadaga or pro-Kivejinja/pro-Mbabazi cliques at the expense of addressing key issues affecting your constituents," Museveni reportedly stated.
Unlike in most monarchies, where the heir to the king is automatically enthroned, in Busoga the Kyabazinga is elected. The Chiefs Royal Council which constitutes that Electoral College is made up of eleven hereditary chiefs who head the eleven chiefdoms in Busoga. A stalemate was reached in the election of the Kyabazinga when Prince Nadiope's supporters said the seat is rotational.
Museveni, Busoga MPs discuss role of Kyabazinga