Friday, 6 July 2012


One week after the Rwenzururu Kingdom celebrated 50 years of existence; a tribal clash has erupted between the Bamba and Bakonzo in Bundibugyo district with concerns over who should pay allegiance to King Charles Wesley Mumbere.
There is a heavy deployment of police since Friday morning after was described as an attempt by a cross section of the Bamba to attack and burn the Omusinga’s (King) palace that he recently launched in Bundibugyo district.
The Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations at Bundibugyo police station Mr. Nelson Kabengo described the incident as “violent” adding that some Bamba are attacking Bakonzo.
He said “people are just fighting each other. The Bamba are fighting the Bakonzo saying they did not allow the King to establish a palace here in Bundibugyo”. He confirmed the heavy deployment in the area.
Mr. Kabengo said that police blocked a group of Bamba who wanted to burn the King’s palace hence causing violence all around Bundibugyo town.
He said that several boda boda riders have lost their motorcycles which were burnt during the clashes and some people were injured in the process. No major arrests of the would be ring leaders had been made by press time.
The acting Prime Minister of the Rwenzururu Kingdom Ms. Loice Biira Bwambale extended her sympathy to the troubled families in Bundibugyo, calling for immediate stop of the fights.
A press release from her office on Friday evening read in part “the office of the Omulerembera (prime minister) has heard with dismay of the confusing situation in Bundibugyo district between the Bamba and Bayira (Bakonzo), the incident is regrettable and calls upon both sides to immediately stop fighting”.
Ms. Bwambale also urged the concerned central government offices to contain the situation adding that there was no need for bloodshed among the people that have suffered and struggled together for many decades.
She asked the Bamba and Bawesi in Bundibugyo to remember what they went through with the Bakonzo in their time for struggle for independence from Tooro Kingdom.
It is not yet clear whether the Bamba are becoming the second tribe under the Rwenzuru King Charles Wesley Mumbere that also wants to establish their own monarchy as has been done by the Basongora.
It is documented that  the Bakonzo and Bamba fought together to get out of what they called “ Tooro Kingdom oppression” in the early 1960s leading to the formation of the Rwenzururu Kingdom but somewhere on the way to the recognition of the cultural institution, some Bamba groups opposed Mumbere.
A source close to the situation told Daily Monitor that the Bamba are also calling for the establishment of their own Kingdom.
However, there was much hope in clinching a peaceful cooperation between the Bamba and the Bakonzo after King Charles Wesley Mumbere held a series of meetings with Bamba elders in Bundibugyo district on the eve of the 50 years anniversary that was held on Saturday June 30.
This now looks to be a trying moment for the Rwenzururu Kingdom administration that was already involved in issues concerning the installation of the Busongora Kingdom leader Rwigi IV Kabumba Rutakirwa Ivan Bwebale on July 1.
The Rwenzururu Kingdom has since declared the installation of the Basongora King as null and void and directing that the Kingdom anthem and flag must continue to be in use in the area claimed by the latest raising monarchy.
A number of petitions from different stakeholders are reportedly to have been sent to President Yoweri Museveni asking for his guidance about the move of establishing a Kingdom within a Kingdom by the Basongora.
The Rwenzururu Veterans (former freedom fighters) last on Wednesday told journalists in Kasese town that they have signed and sent a petition to the president to express their dissatisfaction about Basongora, claiming that they cannot watch and see such a Kingdom rise.
Also the family of the Babiito clan who claim to be the rightful to produce the King of Busongora Kingdom have also written to the head of state asking for guidance about the Omukama Rwigi IV Kabumba Bwebale. They claim that Princess Kogere who led the Babiito from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom was their leader in Busongora and there have been heirs to her throne after her death many years ago.

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