Bugweri Chiefdom, one of the 11 major chiefdoms in Busoga Kingdom, has declared its support for William Nadiope Gabula IV to be elected Kyabazinga of Busoga.
During a consultative meeting at the Bugweri sub-county headquarters in Iganga yesterday, 12 sub-county hereditary chiefs, 42 clan heads and six representatives of the Busoga Lukiiko pledged to support Gabula's election later this month. They said they were against the disputed election of Columbus Wambuzi in October last year and said he was not a suitable replacement for his father, the late Henry Waako Mulooki.
Musa Musubo, one of the Bugweri councilors to the Busoga Lukiiko, says Gabula is popular because of the legacy of his grandfather, William Wilberforce Nadiope. He says Nadiope, who was the first elected Kyabazinga of Busoga and the first Vice President of Uganda, contributed a lot to the development of Busoga. Musubo is confident that the same leadership that Nadiope showed exists in his grandson.
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Fred Menyah Kakaire, the Bugweri royal chief who hosted yesterday's meeting, says the heritage the Basoga received from Wilberforce Nadiope remains foremost in their minds. He says Nadiope left a real mark on the national political landscape and is confident that Gabula can do the same.
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Sarah Namugwere, another councilor from Bugweri, agrees with her colleagues. She stresses that it is important to uphold the constitution of Busoga that calls for the Kyabazinga's seat to rotate around all the Busoga counties. She says creating a hereditary Kyabazinga could set a dangerous precedent.
Despite the support from Bugweri, there is still considerable backing for Columbus Wambuzi's kingship. Recently Baite Munobwa, a Lukiiko member from Busiki, said there is no doubt that Wambuzi is the legally elected, lawful king of Busoga and no other candidates would be considered.
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It is still not clear which way the right for the Kyabazinga's seat will go. President Yoweri Museveni is due to visit the Busoga Lukiiko in next month to further discuss the conflict and come up with a resolution on the leadership of the kingdom.