By Steven Masiga
Mbale: The Inzu Ya Masaba or House of Masaba as it is popularly known here is a one stop centre that tries to unite all sons of Masaba from Uganda and Kenya.
It exists with permission and support of government and the local support of all sons and daughters of Masaba or grandchildren should I say, but its continued existence could soon come to an end if a number of critical issues are not addressed.
The first issue tearing up the house is the election of the fourth Umuguga, even when the same area that’s Budadiri (Bugisu North) had fronted the third Umuguga His Highness Jude Mudooma.
Mudooma was elected and confirmed by a council of elders, owing to selfish interests by some individuals linked to the departed administration of late mushikor,
If i may lift some sections of land law here, titles have defects, the first in time takes precedence. Similarly in this context, team Mudooma takes precedence and maintains counsel Benjamin Wawomola.
Another disturbing factor is the rift over of the Bumageni Army land, where the current third division army barracks seats on.
This land is contested by many parties for example, the local community, Mbale District Local Government and all claim ownership of the land. The crisis erupted when all wanted annual or monthly dues from it. As the struggle to get tenancy dues from Army leadership rages on, the Bugisu cultural institution from nowhere lays claim over the same asset, rubbing the District leadership in aw way to the extent that the late King Mushikor died when he couldn’t see eye to eye with the LCV Chairman Mbale Mr Mujasi to the extent that Mujasi was visibly absent during the late’s burial in Bududa.
A few days ago, the institution equally was not in good books with other local governments District chairmen. Chairman Musila is another staunch example and yet they were supposed to house and fund the institution.
The Third is problem is failure to listen to advice from those mandated to do so such as Uganda’s Ministers of Gender, Culture and advice from the solicitor General.
Guidance was given to the IYM that wrong persons were claiming speakership of the institution with wrong motives and the late king could not heed this advice.
Government felt ignored and stood aside to watch on as the house of Masaba was burning,.
The genesis to a female lady being elected speaker had its origin in Kenya where a different agenda had been smuggled on table contrary to what had taken delegates in Kenya.
The purpose of the visit was to meet and learn more from their brothers across the border and not sacking the secretary General. Others lament Mr Timothy Natseli an elder from bukalasi, and sackings from Kenya a foreign land by all standards was illegal and maintains Mr Nabundu Karim.
The Mbale Municipal Forest Reserve.
There is impeccable intelligence that some officials in the IYM were promised some free plots in case degazetting is done quickly thus confusion was engineered to fulfill this motive. As this clique could not leave the palace “empty handed,” thus they shopped for a puppet leader they thought could easily control even from the periphery.
Another scandalous factor is the FDC Politics where an old man with known cultural interest was smuggled in by FDC leaning IYM officials for either monetary or other motives.
Since most of those elected are NRM leaning right from Wilson Wamimbi First Umuguga, to Mushikor second Umuguga and now Jude Mudooma the third Umuguga. Mudooma was at some point a presidential candidate on NRM ticket and at some point also contested for Nakawa mayorship on NRM ticket.
A very respected cadre of the party and FDC folks at the IYM may have wanted to undo this NRM influence.
Other reasons including failure to account for Covid_19 collections also tore the institution. Some officials are alleged to have collected and deliberately refused to account huge millions of shillings.
Some aggrieved officials have brought this matter to police for investigation and limited funding from government. Some people had a perception that they had landed on dollars when they identified as IYM officials by mushikor because they expected NRM dollars to flow but wapi.
The nature of current legislation is another major cause, whereas the cultural leaders Act 2011 appear to be clear, there is great ambiguity with the IYM constitution that appears to contradict this two enactments and this has caused enormous confusion. This needs to be sorted out.
According to IYM memorandum of understanding, sons of Masaba were three Mwambu as the eldest should have been the first one to reign but our people are more business minded that anything else laments Amir Manghali.
The opportunity went to other sons of Mwambu and Mubuya, who should have ensured that Mwambu comes on board.
This instead created confusion and even attempted to amend the constitution to extent their tenure in office to maintain Mr Woniala Charles former District speaker Mbale.
If the above factors are not addressed quickly many bads thing will follow and the IYM could be wound up, many people around masabaland have thus distanced themselves from this confusion, and making the ascension to buguga was another dividing factor.
Mr Masiga Steven, is an independent writer from Mbale and also a researcher on local governments