By Wetondo Denis Julius
The long winding saga surrounding the election of a new Bamasaaba Cultural leader known as Umkhuka has come to an end with government finally recognizing one of the claimants.
The State Minister, Ministry of Gender, Culture and Social development, Peace Mutuuzo made the pronouncement on Saturday, 20th March 2021. The decision followed protracted meetings held at Mbale District headquarters Malukhu, Lukhobo hall with both claimants present.
Masaba cultural institution has been in a long confusion about who is the truly elected new cultural leader between Mike Mudoma Jude and Amran Wagabyalile with each claiming to be the genuine cultural leader.
According to Mutuzo while speaking to stakeholders, local leaders, political leaders and Inzu Yabamasaba leaders, basing on the information she got from the two factions during their respective presentations on how they were elected, Wagabyalile was elected illegally.
She added that delegates who elected Wagabyalile were forged and the procedure was unlawful yet Mudoma’s election was right.
Mutuzo urged Bamasaba to stop fights but work together with Mudoma as government now proceeds to gazette him as Umkhuka III. The Minister also denied allegations from the Wagabyalile faction that she was influenced to take the decision she took.
The Minister also castigated the Wagabyalile faction for making decisions regarding a Ugandan institution in a foreign land. Wagabyalile is said to have gone to Mungoma from where they made decisions that he should be the next Umkhuka.
She was however, quick to add that the Kenyan Bamasaaba are not left out in Inzu YaBamasaaba Cultural institution.
Meanwhile, Mutuuzo thanked the Bamasaaba for uniting and speaking in one voice.
“I thank you the Bamasaaba for taking this decision without being influenced by anyone,” she said.
During the presentations that resulted into the declaration, Wagabyalile was found to have used fake delegates, sidelined the rightful delegates and the process of his election was superintended by people whose term of office had expired.
The meeting was attended by all LCV chairpersons of the six Bugisu sub region districts who also supported Mudoma’s candidature. Others were RDCs, and local leaders.
Mudoma expressed joy with the Minister’s decision urging the faction of Wagabyalila to come and work with him for the development of Bamasaaba.
However Geoffrey Wepondi, the Prime Minister of Wagabyalile faction disagreed with the Minister’s declaration promising to go to court for redress.