Rwenzururu Anthem Sparks Fury in Bundibugyo

4885 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
The anthem was chorused during the swearing in ceremony of Ronald Mutegeki, the chairman of Bundibugyo district held at Boma grounds in Bundibugyo town, Tuesday. Several Bakonzo elders also attended the ceremony. Mutegeki is a Mwamba born to a Mukonzo mother.

The Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba cultural institution has protested the use of the Rwenzururu Kingdom anthem in Bundibugyo district. 

The anthem was chorused during the swearing in ceremony of Ronald Mutegeki, the chairman of Bundibugyo district held at Boma grounds in Bundibugyo town, Tuesday. Several Bakonzo elders also attended the ceremony. Mutegeki is a Mwamba born to a Mukonzo mother.

However, the use of a Rwenzururu anthem as opposed to the Bwamba anthem has since infuriated the Obudingiya Bwa Bwamba cultural institution with the Kingdom Premier Wilson Mubulya accusing Mutegeki and his supporters of provocation.

He says that use of the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu anthem in the district that is predominately Bamba is a sign of disrespect to the King of Bwamba Lt Col Omudhingiya Martin Kamya and his subjects.

Mubulya argues that the fact that the anthem of Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba was not sang at the function pointed to something sinister. Mubulya says that the institution has written to the Mutegeki demanding for an apology to Lt Col Martin Kamya, the OBB cultural leader and his subjects.

But Mutegeki downplayed the incident saying that there was nothing wrong in using the Rwenzururu Kingdom anthem.  He explains that Bundibugyo is home to subjects of Kamya and Charles Wesley Mumbere, the Omusinga of Rwenzururu Kingdom.

Mutegeki, however refused to explain why the Obudingiya Bwa Bwamba anthem was not sang at his function.

Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba cultural institution is comprised majorly of three ethnic communities namely Bamba, Vanoma and Babwiisi. Prior to its formation in 2012 and the subsequent installation of a substantive King two years later, the communities were part of the larger Rwenzururu Kingdom.

However, the two kingdoms have been clashing in the recent past. In 2012, Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere and his supporters were blocked by a section of Bamba from accessing his shrine in Kibindi village in Busaru Sub County in Bundibugyo district. The area comprises of Majority Bamba.

In 2014, more than 100 people were killed in coordinated attacks in Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo districts. The attacks were blamed on tensions between the Bamba and Bakonzo, the major ethnic groups in the district.

In March 2016, twelve people were killed in post-election violence after supporters of Mutegeki and the then incumbent LC5 chairperson Jolly Tibamanya clashed when the district registrar reversed the declaration of results to hand Mutegeki victory.

In April, Mumbere, the King of Rwenzururu and Kamya, the King of Bwamba met in Fort Portal and signed an agreement aimed at restoring peace and security in the Rwenzori region.

The meeting, which was facilitated by eastern region National Resistance Movement-NRM party vice chairman, Capt. Mike Mukula followed tribal clashes between the Bamba and Bakonzo in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo which left more than 45 people killed, scores wounded and 8,000 displaced.