In the end, it was a perfect crowning moment at the end of an acrimonious six-year struggle for the title of Kyabazinga of Busoga.
President Museveni was among hundreds of guests on Saturday afternoon, as Prince William Wilberforce Kadumbula Nadiope Gabula IV was enthroned king at Bugembe, the seat of Busoga kingdom. But while Museveni described himself the Ssabayeekera or chief rebel, the real fighting for the crown had been between Gabula and his rival, Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi, since the death of the latter’s father, Kyabazinga Wako Muloki, in 2008.
But having lost a desperate court battle to stop the coronation, Wambuzi conceded defeat and accepted Gabula as his Kyabazinga.
“My chief [Wambuzi] has not come in person but he has sent us to represent him, and to tell the crowd here that he pays allegiance to ‘our’ new Kyabazinga, His Majesty Gabula IV,” said Simon Muyanga Lutaaya, who led a delegation of seven officials from Bulamogi, Wambuzi’s chiefdom.
And with that last obstacle to his kingship removed, Gabula addressed the Basoga with regal, if subtly triumphant, authority. In his maiden speech, Kyabazinga Gabula asked government to refurbish all its hospitals in the country to save the lives of people. He called upon his subjects to embrace the education of their children and engage in agriculture to boost family incomes.
He thanked President Museveni and his government and the Basoga for their support not only to him, but to all the 11 chiefs in ensuring that Busoga could get a Kyabazinga.
Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, a key player in the search for a new Kyabazinga, demanded that government hands over Busoga kingdom properties (ebyaiffe) confiscated by past regimes.
“And on top of that, we want you also to consider giving a monthly stipend to our chiefs and to always involve them in delivery of government programmes so that they don’t seem irrelevant,” Kadaga said.
President Museveni, who donated two escort vehicles to the new king, urged unity.
“My message to the chiefs and our people is ‘lets us unite. We should now be one person and work together for our own good’,” Museveni said.
Source : The Observer