MBALE – The ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has approved Mike Jude Mudoma as the duly elected Umukukha of Bamasaba Cultural Institution to replace Bob Mushikori who died last month.
The resolution to approve Mudoma was reached during a reconciliation meeting chaired by the state Minister for Gender and Culture, Ms Peace Mutuuzo at Mbale district headquarters on Saturday.
Mr Mudoma and his rival, Mr John Wagabyalire Amuran from Halasi Clan in Sironko District have each claimed the cultural throne.
“You have made the decision on your own and it is for the interest and unity of Bamasaba. We are going to proceed to gazette the new Umukukha and those who are dissatisfied, should go to court,” Ms Mutuuzo said.
Ms Mutuuzo made the remarks shortly after the LCV chairperson of Mbale district, Mr Bernard Mujasi, read out a resolution endorsing Mr Mudoma as the duly elected Umukukha.
Mr Wagabyalire and his group, however, moved out of the heated meeting in protest.
It was found out that Mr Mudoma’s election was conducted by legitimate organs of the institution and constitutional procedures were followed as laid down in the constitution of Inzu Ya Masaba in article 8.2.2 as opposed to Mr Wagabyalire’s election, which was found to have been fraudulent in all aspects.
Mr Mudoma’s election was conducted by a parallel group led by Mr James Kangala as the secretary general, Mr Nelson Wedaira as speaker of the general assembly and the chairperson of culture council, Mr Christopher Bunoti, elected and installed Mr Mudoma as Umukhuka III in November last year.
The other group affiliated to late Mushikori, and was headed by Mr Geoffrey Wetpondi as its secretary general, Sister Rose Nelima, who is the speaker of the general assembly, and Mr Omar Njofu, who is the chairperson of the culture council, organised the election of Mr Wagabyalire as the next Umukukha in December last year.
The rivalry within the institution started last year after parallel search committees for the next Umukukha were instituted.
Ms Mutuuzo acknowledged that the parallel parties in the institution had created divisionism and undermined development.
“It has been a challenge but we are still one family. The government reinstated cultural institutions in order to have unity and this is what we should fight to achieve,” she said.
Mr Kangala, the secretary general of the institution told PML Daily that they are in the process of sending a formal resolution to the minister so that the new Umukukha is gazetted, immediately.
“The minister is now only waiting for the formal report from us so that the duly elected Umukukha, Mr Mudoma is gazetted,” he said.
Mr Mujasi, however, asked Mr Mudoma not to play the politics of hatred, saying it will affect the smooth running of the institution.
Mr Mudoma, when contacted, said his leadership is willing to work with Mr Wagabyalire’s faction for the good of Bamasaba.
“We are going to work with him and his group. They are sons of this soil and they are resourceful. We will accommodate them,” he said.
However, Mr Wetpondi, an ally of Mr Wagabyalire, rubbished the resolution and said they are going to petition president Museveni for intervention.