Rwenzururu King Wants Cultural Leaders Represented In Parliament

1919 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere has suggested that all cultural institutions in Uganda be represented in parliament to help involve them in policy making.

Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere has suggested that all cultural institutions in Uganda be represented in parliament to help involve them in policy making.
Speaking in Kasese today, Mumbere said that if government agrees, all the cultural leaders under the Uganda Cultural Leaders Forum would sit and select their legislator on rotational system.
Mumbere said that there are issues concerning the kingdoms that have not been discussed on the floor of the house by the elected members of parliament even when they are from the different cultural institutions. He said that some of the issues that have been ignored by parliamentarians include Article 246 of the 1995 Constitution. The article talks about the establishment of a cultural institution in any part of Uganda by a community with agreeable interests of promoting their culture and identity.
The Omusinga, whose Rwenzururu Kingdom was recognized in 2010 but has been threatened by other ethnic groups, wants the constitution amended on grounds that kingdoms being established in an area where a recognized one exists, should hold consultations to avoid conflicts.
Over the last two years, the Bakonzo in Rwenzururu Kingdom have clashed with the Basongora and Bamba communities in Kasese and Bundibugyo districts.
In Bundibugyo, the Bamba/Bawisi finally seceded from Rwenzururu Kingdom on May 30 this year when they installed Lt. Col. (Rtd) Martin Kamya as the king of Obundingiya bwa Bwamba. In Kasese, the Basongora and Banyabindi are still seeking to have their cultural institution recognized with the former having openly crowned Ivan Bwebale as King on July 1, 2012. His palace was however attacked by Bakonzo youth who took away the royal drum and the flag a week later.
In Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, the same idea is looming as the Deputy Prime Minister Blasio Mukasa confirmed in an interview with Uganda Radio Network in Hoima at the weekend.
Mukasa said that what the Rwenzururu Kingdom is pushing is exactly what Bunyoro has been pondering about because much of the issues on the ground especially in the Oil and Gas sector have not been addressed. He said that the government has not been consulting the Kingdom when dealing with Oil and Gas issues even when the local communities have been affected in different ways that include poor compensation processes.
The idea of the Kingdoms having a representative in parliament may not, however, be welcomed by the members of parliament who pay allegiance to the cultural institutions. Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza challenged the idea of the cultural institutions saying that if their prayer is honored, all the MPs will be rendered useless.
Kiiza said that MPs whose constituencies are in different established cultural institutions, have been promoting the interests of their Kings. She gave an example of the demonstration by members of parliament in August this year when the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Mary Karoro Okurut directed the de-gazzeting of all the Kingdoms.
Section 13 of the Institution of Traditional or Cultural Leaders Act 2011 bars cultural leaders from participating in partisan politics.