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76-year-old claims bugisu throne

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th October 2010 03:00 AM

A 76-year-old man, Shaban Wambedde Wataba of Nabugoya village in Namanyonyi sub-county, Mbale district says he is the rightful cultural leader (Umugasha) of the Bamasaaba tribe.

A 76-year-old man, Shaban Wambedde Wataba of Nabugoya village in Namanyonyi sub-county, Mbale district says he is the rightful cultural leader (Umugasha) of the Bamasaaba tribe.

By Joseph Wanzusi

A 76-year-old man, Shaban Wambedde Wataba of Nabugoya village in Namanyonyi sub-county, Mbale district says he is the rightful cultural leader (Umugasha) of the Bamasaaba tribe.

Addressing journalists through his speaker at his home on Friday, Wataba said the Bamasaaba came from Ethiopia and settled on the slopes of Mt. Elgon where they established a monarchy in 1664, with Nagwere as the first king.

He said he belongs to the royal family of the Bamasaaba where leadership in not elective, but inherited from one generation to another and that his home is the official palace with over 15 acres of land.

Wataba’s concern comes a few weeks before the installation of Wilson Wamimbi, who was elected as the Umukhuuka of the Bamasaaba by 26 clan leaders in August under an umbrella cultural institution of Inzu ya Masaaba.

Wataba, who has a cabinet that includes a prime minister, speaker and a personal security chief, said Wamimbi should be one of his ministers (Umukhuuka) and not a cultural leader.

Commenting on Wataba’s claims, Charles Siango, a member of the Inzu ya Masaaba cultural institution, said historically, Bamasaaba have never had a monarchy.

He advised Wataba to join the institution approved by the Bugisu local leaders so as to compete for cultural leadership.

The Inzu ya Masaaba mandated by district councils in Bugisu sub-region brings together Bamasaaba in Uganda and western Kenya and those living in the diaspora.

The groups in July approved a constitution that will govern the institution where Umukhuuka will serve for a non-renewable term of five years.

In 2008, Wash Joseph Kanyanya from Bududa district also claimed that President Yoweri Museveni had recognised Biikuuka by Bamasaaba (clans of Bamasaaba) Kingdom.

This was, however, refuted as letters purportedly written by the President’s principal private secretary were said to be forged.

At one time, Kanyanya placed his ‘throne’ at Mutoto Cultural Centre near Mbale town, where the Bamasaaba perform male circumcision ceremonies every even year.

76-year-old claims bugisu throne

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