The Traditional Leaders Act article 246 states that a traditional or cultural leader shall not have or exercise any administrative, legislative or executive powers of Government or a local government
Sulaiman Madaada (L) addressing the media on the Kyabazinga's appointment flanked by party president Asuman Basalirwa. Photo by Ashraf Kasirye
Justice Forum (JEEMA) party president Asuman Basalirwa has said that appointing the Kyabazinga of Busoga William Gabula Nadiope as an Ambassador is not only humiliating to the Busoga community but also against the constitution of Uganda.
This follows the reshuffle and appointment of ambassadors announced last Friday by the Office of the President in which the Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV was appointed Ambassador on Special Duties in the Office of the President.
On Saturday evening Basalirwa with other JEEMA leaders Sulaiman Tibasuula Madaada the head of JEEMA youth league and Ssentongo Kyamundu the party spokesperson held a press conference and explained how the appointment contradicts with the legal system of the country.
Basalirwa quoted the Traditional Leaders Act article 246 which states that a traditional or cultural leader shall not have or exercise any administrative, legislative or executive powers of Government or a local government. The Act also bars any person, while remaining a traditional or cultural leader, from joining or participating in partisan politics.
"Now for those who have been saying that Kyabazinga can be an ambassador because it's a civil office and not a political office, the law states it clearly that Administrative legislative or executive powers are prohibited for a person of Kyabazinga," said Basalirwa.
He threatened to seek court interpretation of the same and a ruling on the matter, if Parliament goes ahead to vet and approve Nadiope for the post of ambassador.
"Besides that, it would amount to anger among us subjects of the Kyabazinga to see our King taking orders and assignments from other people yet in our culture we believe that he can never be employed by anyone other than his subjects working with total commitment to serve him and his interests," he added.
Basalirwa also requested the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who chairs the appointments committee to prevent herself from cross examining her king during the vetting process, or declare him disapproved in case he fails to meet the required qualifications.
"If Hon. Kadaga allows such things to happen to the Busoga King, it will be another humiliation not only to both the king and the speaker but also the entire Busoga community" Basalirwa noted.
Meanwhile, Nadiope on Saturday attended a Busoga Lukiiko (meeting) at the kingdom headquarters Bugembe hill, moderated by the kingdom speaker George Mutyabule in presence of the Prime Minister Joseph Muvawala and his deputy Muhammed Lubega.
After the meeting, Muvawala told journalists that they thank the President for the appointment but they had decided to make thorough consultations from the chief council of the kingdom, the clan heads and other Basoga to find out the effects and benefits of the appointment to the kingdom.
He also said that they want to establish how this appointment contradicts or connects with their culture and if they can't move together, they will have to ask the king to reject it.
Muvawala also said that the Kyabazinga had been appointed as a goodwill ambassador who will be operating in his office at the palace, and he will not be answerable to any person lower than the President himself.