Rwenzururu Independence Day Passes Without Activity

3272 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
Bwambale says that there werent sufficient preparations because the royal guards, clan leaders and elders who perform rituals on the day have been involved or affected by the recent conflicts. He says another date will be communicated when the celebrations will be held, adding that any subject who cant let the day pass should celebrate it in his or her home as a sign on loyalty to the kingdom.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Rwenzururu Kingdom Independence Day has passed without any outdoor celebrations. The Rwenzururu flag was hoisted at Kasulenge hill in Harugale sub-county, Bundibugyo district on June 30 in 1962 to declare independence from Tooro Kingdom.

The breakaway followed a walkout of Bakonzo and Bamba representatives from the Tooro kingdom parliament (Orukurato) on March 14, 1962 to protest continued subjugation by the monarchy. The protesters were led by the late Isaya Mukirania, the father to Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere, Yeremia Kawamala, the father to Martin Kamya, the Bwamba King and their colleague Peter Mupalya.
 
 
Rwenzururu Kingdom gazetted June 30th to commemorate its independence since it was officially recognised by government on October 19, 2009. However, the last celebrations were held on June 30, 2012 following tribal clashes. In 2013, police had running battles with the subjects of the Kingdom as they tried to force their way into Bundinbigyo district to commemorate their independence when government blocked Mumbere from traveling citing objections raised by Bamba and Bawisi elders to his visit.
 
 
This time round, the kingdom will not have even indoor celebration as it did in 2014 and 2015. In a statement issued today a copy of which URN has obtained, Clarence Mumbahya Bwambale, the Kingdom spokesperson, says they will not hold Independence Day celebrations. 



"The kingdom hereby informs all the Banya-Rwenzururu that these celebrations will not be conducted formally as it has always been due to the conflicts and challenges we have recently passed through," the press statement reads in part.
 
 
Bwambale says that there weren't sufficient preparations because the royal guards, clan leaders and elders who perform rituals on the day have been involved or affected by the recent conflicts. He says another date will be communicated when the celebrations will be held, adding that any subject who can't let the day pass should celebrate it in his or her home as a sign on loyalty to the kingdom.
 
 
He also revealed that the royal guards had hoisted the flag at midnight without the presence of the Omusinga (King) who should have led the rituals. However, the failure to have the Independence Day celebrations hasn't gone down well with the kingdom subjects. Most of them are demanding that the day should be celebrated in Kasese district officially since Bundibugyo has been contested by Bwamba kingdom. 



Most of the elite subjects went on social media to suggest alternative events like memorial lectures in favor of the kingdom founders and sub-county level celebrations among other activities. Obed Kambasu, a PHD student based in Berlin, Germany suggests that the kingdom officials become innovative and find best ways of celebrating such events without spending money on preparations.

Moses Bwambale, a Civil Society worker suggests that debates would have been organized in schools to give learners a chance to discuss matters affecting their culture.