Africa-Press – Uganda. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is set to gazette Mr Mike Jude Mudoma from Buyobo Clan in Sironko District as the duly elected Umukukha of Bamasaba Cultural Institution.
Mr Mudoma, who formerly worked with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), will replace the late Bob Mushikori.
Mushikori, who was elected as the second Umukukha in 2005 to replace Wilson Wamimbi, died early last month of Covid-19. The announcement of Mr Mudoma follows a resolution that was reached during a reconciliation meeting, which was chaired by the State minister for Gender and Culture, Ms Peace Mutuuzo, at Mbale District headquarters on Saturday.
It was aimed at bringing an end to an impasse over the rightful successor to the late Mushikori.
Mr Mudoma and his rival, Mr John Wagabyalire Amuran from Halasi Clan in Sironko District, have each claimed the cultural throne.
“You have made the decision on your own and it is for the interest and unity of Bamasaba. We are going to proceed to gazette the new Umukukha and those who are dissatisfied, should go to court,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
She made the remarks shortly after the chairperson of Mbale District, Mr Bernard Mujasi, read out a resolution endorsing Mr Mudoma as the duly elected Umukukha.
The two rivals were present in the meeting attended by the district chairpersons, RDCs, MPs, elders and the members of the two parallel organs. Mr Wagabyalire and his group, however, moved out of the meeting in protest.
It was found out that Mr Mudoma’s election was conducted by legitimate organs of the institution and constitutional procedures were followed as laid down in the constitution of Inzu Ya Masaba in article 8.2.2 as opposed to Mr Wagabyalire’s election, which was found to have been fraudulent in all aspects.
Findings Mr Mudoma’s election was conducted by a parallel group led by Mr James Kangala as the secretary general, and Mr Nelson Wedaira as speaker of the general assembly. The chairperson of culture council, Mr Christopher Bunoti, installed Mr Mudoma as Umukhuka III in November last year.
The other group affiliated to late Mushikori, which was headed by Mr Geoffrey Wetpondi as secretary general, Sister Rose Nelima, who is the speaker of the general assembly, and Mr Omar Njofu, the chairperson of the culture council, organised the election of Mr Wagabyalire in December last year.
The rivalry within the institution started last year after parallel search committees for the next Umukukha were instituted.
Ms Mutuuzo acknowledged that the parallel parties in the institution had created divisionism and undermined development.
“It has been a challenge but we are still one family. The government reinstated cultural institutions in order to have unity and this is what we should fight to achieve,” she said.
Mr Kangala, the secretary general of the institution, told Daily Monitor that they are in the process of sending a formal resolution to the minister so that the new Umukukha is gazetted immediately.
Mr Mudoma, when contacted, said his leadership is willing to work with Mr Wagabyalire’s faction for the good of Bamasaba. “We are going to work with him and his group. They are sons of this soil and they are resourceful. We will accommodate them,” he said.
However, Mr Wetpondi, an ally of Mr Wagabyalire, rubbished the resolution and said they are going to petition President Museveni for intervention.