The Kamuswaga, the cultural leader of Buganda’s Kooki county, is bitter that his subjects neither sing the anthem nor fly the flag he introduced four years ago.
Over the years, Kamuswaga Apollo Sansa Kabumbuli II has been visiting schools and institutions and attending big functions, and he realised that hardly anyone could sing the anthem introduced in 2010. Only outgoing acting Kooki Premier Gertrude Sebuggwawo (who composed the anthem) and a few other leaders appeared to have mastered it.
Neither have the schools, health centres, other institutions or even sub-county headquarters flown the Kooki flag. Instead, they buy and fly Buganda and national flags. Officially, Kooki is a county in Buganda kingdom, but their relationship has been fraught with tensions in recent years, over what is seen as Kooki’s attempts to become a kingdom in its own right. As a chief of Kooki, the Kamuswaga holds a special and hereditary position emanating from colonial era agreements.
Last week, the Kamuswaga convened a meeting of head teachers for primary and secondary schools and other stake holders in Kooki to devise means to popularise the flag and anthem. During the Friday meeting at Rakai town council, the chief asked those present to sing the anthem without having it played over the public address system.
They failed spectacularly, and he asked Gertrude Sebuggwawo to teach them how to sing it. They all picked papers on which it was typed and for a while, the meeting became something akin to a primary school music class.
“This anthem is very vital for us because it, together with the flag, is our identity as Kooki. You should all embrace it. Buy our flag and walk with it in your hands so long as you don’t misuse it,” the Kamuswaga said.
Kabumbuli said his people could have lost interest in singing the anthem because it was long, with three stanzas and the chorus. He had, therefore, decided to delete one of the stanzas, leaving two that should be sung together with the chorus. The chief then distributed compact discs with a recording of the anthem to each of the head teachers, and a Kooki flag to each of the seven sub-counties.
“I want you to buy these flags and fly them in your schools together with that of Buganda, the national flag and that of the East African Community for those who have them,” the Kamuswaga said.
He expressed dismay over the many pupils, especially girls, dropping out of school, with only 20 per cent of school entrants completing primary seven.
“This is very bad news and I challenge everyone, including teachers and parents, to ensure that we address this problem forthwith,” he said.
The Kamuswaga also announced a new cabinet of Kooki ministers, dumping acting Premier Gertrude Sebuggwawo, the composer of the anthem.
“The office of the Kooki katikkiro will be managed by the office of the Kamuswaga,” Kabumbuli said, adding that it was a pity for people to hate Sebuggwawo because she composed the Kooki anthem.
Among other key appointments, Uganda’s representative in the East African Legislative Assembly Fred Mukasa Mbidde was named attorney general. Hajji Iddi Ahmed Kiwanuka, a Kampala businessman, is deputy katikkiro.
Brigadier Elly Kayanja – Special aisor
Maj Mugumya Magulumaali – Aiser on minerals
Ananiyas K Sekyanzi – Aiser on financial matters
Prince Kitayimbwa Mumiransanafu – Aiser of cultural affairs
Dennis Mukasa Mbidde – Attorney general
Hajji Iddi Ahmed Kiwanuka – Deputy Katikkiro
Gertrude Sebuggwawo – In charge of palace affairs
Richard Ssegwanyi – Speaker to Kooki Lukiiko
Source : The Observer