TOP
Saturday,August 17,2019 14:17 PM
  • Home
  • National
  • Reconcile, warring Rwenzururu royal family urged

Reconcile, warring Rwenzururu royal family urged

By John Thawite

Added 22nd July 2019 01:56 PM

The Chairperson for the Kasese Inter-Faith Committee, the Rev. Ezra Yongeza Mukonzo, challenged Kibanzanga to reconcile with his other siblings within Kasese as the Committee works on brokering a recollection meeting between Kibanzanga and the Omusinga.

Mumbere703422 703x422

The Chairperson for the Kasese Inter-Faith Committee, the Rev. Ezra Yongeza Mukonzo, challenged Kibanzanga to reconcile with his other siblings within Kasese as the Committee works on brokering a recollection meeting between Kibanzanga and the Omusinga.

RWENZURURU   CONFLICT

A memorial service for the late Rwenzururu Nyamukama (Queen Mother) who passed on last month, took place on Sunday in Kasese district though the Rwenzururu king Charles Wesley Mumbere had called on his subjects to boycott the function.

The Nyamukama (Queen Mother), Christine Biira Boosi Mukirania ,  died at Kilembe Mines Hospital, Kasese district, on June 11 at 85 years.

She was buried in Kasulenge-Kirindi village, Harugale parish in Bundibugyo district on June 16 at the initiative of the king’s younger brother, Prince Chrtistopher Kibanzanga, who is also Uganda’s Agriculture State Minister.

The well-attended memorial service on Sunday, organised by Kibanzanga, was held at his country home at Nyamirangara village, Muhokya sub-county.

It attracted hundreds of guests from the Rwenzori regions of western Uganda and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

 

 ibanzanga mourns his mother ile photo Kibanzanga mourns his mother (File photo)

 

Speaking at the function, various leaders in the Rwenzori sub-region implored the warring Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Royal Family to reconcile to save the tainted image of the much-cherished cultural institution.

The conflict

The Queen Mother’s burial in Bundibugyo has left the seven-member family sharply divided between those for and against their mother’s burial in that district.

The former is led by the Rwenzururu Prince Christopher Taban Kibanzanga, who is also Mumbere’s young brother and Uganda’s Agriculture State Minister, while the latter is led by King Mumbere himself.

The division within the family members erupted when Kibanzanga and his sister Kunihira Rubugha, the Princess, had the Nyamuakama’s remains buried in Bundibugyo.

However, leading his four siblings that include William Maate Kibanzanga, the Rwenzururu king, blamed Kibanzanga for burying their mother in Bundibugyo, opting for Kasese, the kingdom headquarters.

William Kibanzanga and his other family members even shunned their mother’s burial.

They accused him of denying them their preference to have their mother buried in Kasese, where they have been living for over 30 years and where their father is buried, hence the kingdom headquarters.

On a June 25, a letter addressed to Kibanzanga, King Mumbere told Kibanzanga that he had suspended him from the position of chief prince until further notice and barred him from representing the Rwenzururu in that capacity.

 

Omusinga orders

On July 19 the Rwenzururu king, Mumbere urged all the Rwenzururu subjects to boycott the Sunday function, which, however, attracted hundreds of the subjects.

Kibanzanga justifies

“The side which proposed that the Nyamukama be buried at her marital home was the correct one,” Kibanzanga told the guests amidst applause from most of them.

Kibanzanga saluted the late Nyamukama for having been faithful to his father the late Isaya Mukirania and for having struggled to maintain the family after Mukirania death during and after their hard times in the Rwenzori Mountain jungles.

“We all suffered together. How could some of you Rwenzururu subjects call for her burial by the (Kasese-Mbarara) highway on an undeveloped piece of land like a malaya (prostitute)?” he asked.

Kibanzanga scoffed at William Kibanzanga and his siblings who mobilised against their mother’s burial in Bundibugyo.

Kibanzanga told the institution that the decision to take his mother to Bundibugyo was meant to recognise his ancestral home, where the struggle to liberate the Bakonzo-Bamba communities was launched

He said that his mother deserved to be buried where Isaya Mukirania, the first King of the Rwenzururu Kingdom and his co-Rwenzururu founders Peter Kawamara and Mupalya launched the struggle that led to the formation of the Rwenzururu Kingdom in 1962.

Kibanzanga told his guests at the function that in 1974, her mother organized a tour of introducing him to the family members in Bundibugyo.

He said that such arrangements from a brave and courageous woman were a clear message that their home was in Bundibugyo.

Kibanzanga told the gathering that at one time the former Rwenzururu acting Prime Minister Loice Biira Bwambale organised a trip during which all the royal family members went to Bundibugyo where she presided over the groundbreaking of a hut at Kirindi village, symbolizing a home-coming.

Leaders dismayed

All speakers expressed concern that the family, which is expected to unite the subjects, was itself choking in divisionism.

The Kasese District Elders Forum, Barnabas Bamusede Bwambale said the death of Nyamukama should be a unifying factor for the royal family and the rest of the tribes within Kasese and Bundibugyo districts, especially between the Bamba and the Bakonzo.

The Chairperson for the Kasese Inter-Faith Committee, the Rev. Ezra Yongeza Mukonzo, challenged Kibanzanga to reconcile with his other siblings within Kasese as the Committee works on brokering a recollection meeting between Kibanzanga and the Omusinga.

“Without that reconciliation, you are all ending nowhere,” said Mukonzo as the guest applauded him.

Representing the Bahira clan, a lineage of the royal family, the clan chairperson, Fred Wilson Masanduku asked subjects to desist from the family internal affairs.

“There are many complex issues within our family which are beyond you to solve though you are Rwenzururu subjects,” he said.

Godfrey Kabbyanga Baluku Kiime, the mayor Kasese Municipality, described the bickering within the royal family as a disgrace to their late parents whom he described as special and dignified.

“Avoid fighting in public. Special children don’t quarrel in the market; they quarrel in their parents’ sitting room. If you have issues, sort them among yourselves,” said Kabbyanga, who worked as a spokesperson and finance minister for Rwenzururu for 12 years before resorting to politics.

Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt. Joe Walusimbi, cautioned politicians against riding on the conflicts within the Rwenzururu royal family for their selfish interests.

Also related to this story

Kasese mourns Rwenzururu queen mother

Rwenzururu king cancels trip to bury his mother

Rwenzururu Queen mother laid to rest

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles