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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

INVISIBLE HAND! Who is Behind Busoga Kyabazinga ‘Sacking’ Chaos?

Since The Pearl Times broke the news of a decision by a section of members of the council of chiefs to fire their king, Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Nadiope Gabula IV (Read story here), a lot has happened.

First, Prime Minister Katuukiro Dr Joseph Muvawala issued a statement insisting Nadiope Gabula IV was still Kyabazinga and would rule Busoga until he dies.

Hours later, the six chiefs called a press conference to cement their position on the ‘sacking’ of Kyabazinga Gabula IV. (Read what they said here).


Since the demise of Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki in 2008, the row between Gabula IV and his rival Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi has persisted.

Just one month since Muloki’s death, the quest to succeed him began.

Prince Wambuzi was announced winner of an election by chiefs.

But a chief named Fred Menhya Kakaire complained that there was no qourum during the poll. Prince Kakaire went to court but his case was dismissed.

Yet Wambuzi didn’t ascend to the throne.

Museveni’s NRM government refused to recognize Wambuzi — and so did the courts.

So, for the following six years, Busoga had no recognized king.

But things changed in August 2014.

The 11-chief Council chose Gabula as the Kyabazinga.

Wambuzi challenged Gabula’s election in the High Court in Jinja.

Busoga Lukiiko endorsed August 23, 2014 Gabula IV as king. He was later gazetted, and enthroned the following month.


In the months that followed, kingdom officials, local and central government leaders, including President Museveni, called for unity.

In his message at the enthronement of Gabula, Museveni was concerned that Wambuzi and other rival princes were absent.

“These should be talked to. I will also talk to them,” he said.

Museveni later warned against dragging the central government in Busoga affairs.

“You should stop involving the government of Uganda in the Kyabazinga wrangles because the Constitution is clear on this,” he said in Kaliro in August 2015.


In November 2017, the Busoga Parliament or Lukiiko passed an amendment on the kingdom’s constitution, removing all limits.

With this constitutional change, the Kyabazinga would rule until his death.

In recent years, there seemed to have been some cessation of hostilities between Gabula and Wambuzi.

In August 2020, Prince Wambuzi visited Kyabazinga Gabula IV at Budhumbula Bugabula Chiefdom Palace in Kamuli District.

Now, pro-Wambuzi chiefs say Gabula is no longer king. So, who exactly is behind the fresh trouble over the Kyabazinga throne?

Although Museveni warned against dragging his government into the affairs of Kyabazinga-ship, some people are blaming an ‘invisible political hand’ for Gabula’s woes.

These claim that with the ‘humbling’ of Kadaga in the May 2021 speaker race, her enemies are hellbent on ensuring that all her wings are clipped and allies brought taught a lesson.

Kadaga is a great ally of the Kyabazinga.

Also, before she fell from the speaker’s chair, Kadaga was the most powerful politician from Busoga.

While she could arguably still be the most powerful in the sub-region and kingdom, some politicians seem to be seeking to compete for this status.

In December 2021, deputy speaker of Parliament Anita Among described herself as the new ‘Mama Busoga’ — an endearment previously used to address Kadaga.

“You are not political orphans. Even the Bible says when one door is closed another one is opened. The one which opened is the one that brought Anita. Me and the Speaker Jacob Oulanyah have agreed we must sort out the issues of Busoga. We will make sure we work with you. I want to tell you that I am going to be the Maama Busoga,” Among was quoted as saying as she visited Kigulu South.

A month earlier, Speaker Jacob Oulanyah attended Duwa prayers for the late Kamuli Municipality MP, Rehema Watongola. Oulanyah preached unity.

“The Members of Parliament from Busoga should unite and speak with one voice because it is easier to listen to you when you speak as one,” said Oulanyah.

But with Oulanyah and Among in Kadaga’s Busoga backyard in just two months, some observers argued that there was a move to eclipse the former speaker.

This group of theorists is also arguing that it cannot be a coincidence that months after visits by Oulanyah and Among, the chiefs are seeking removal of Gabula, a strong Kadaga ally.

But the chiefs insist they are tired of the manner in which the king is running the affairs of the monarchy. They accuse him of his stance on the ownership of properties, of vending false accusations and disrespectful behavior.

While it is not clear who is behind the anti-Gabula chiefs, it is hoped that the so-called invisible hand could become visible in coming weeks as the battle for the throne continues in this latest twist.

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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