The Cultural institution of the Bamasaaba (Inzu Ya Masaaba), the largest tribe in Bugisu sub region has branded the newly sworn-in leader, Umukuka Jude Mike Mudoma as an impostor, who was not legally elected.
On August 8, a section of 49 clans led by the current Inzu Ya Masaaba Speaker, Nelson Wedaira met at Bungokho-Mutoto and voted Mudoma as the new king following an expiry of the incumbent Bob Mushikori on November 15.
33 out of 49 heads of different Bamasaba clans who participated in the polls at Bungokho-Mutoto Sub County approved Mudoma as the new Umukuka.
His election however was termed as mere rumors by the current management.
Geoffrey Wepondi, who is now perceived to be the former Secretary General of the Inzu Ya Bamasaba dismissed Mudoma’s election on grounds that it contravened with a High Court Order that was issued in August maintaining the status quo.
“The rumour that Mr. Mike Jude Mudoma is the new Umukuka III is false and Inzu strongly denounces it, the Umukuka is Elected and not imposed or selected,” Wepondi said in a statement issued shortly after Mudoma’s election.
After his swearing on Saturday November 21 where Mushikori and the entire incumbent management did not attend, Wepondi has on Tuesday this week declared Mudoma as an unlawful Umukuka.
“This is to notify the general public that the office of the Secretary General, Inzu Ya Masaaba which is charged with the Constitutional mandate under the Inzu Ya Masaaba Constitutional to (among others) oversee and supervise the election and installation of Uwelukoosi Umukuuka/Umukhukhu we Bamasaaba was not aware of and didn’t participate in the ceremony that took place on 21st day of November 2020 at Mbale Sports Club Bar puppoting to install Umukuuka III,” reads part of the statement.
“This is further to notify the General public that the purported installation of Umukuuka III was done illegally and by individuals who are not Officers of the Inzu Ya Masaaba,” the statement.
How it started
Following the misunderstandings between the incumbent Umukuka, Mushikori and his Speaker Wedaira in 2017, the Chiefdom was hit by a number of divisionism and power struggle, where different people followed the Umukuuka while others follow the Speaker.
This purported the Wedaira to declare an open war against his King to date and this partly explains why he has on several occasions together with his Deputy tried to organize the elections of the new leader.
Through his Lawyers, N. Mugoda Advocates on behalf of Geoffrey Wepondi, in August filled a Suit before the Mbale High Court, seeking for an adjournment in all the process of the election of the new leader to allow Court to hear an application that had earlier been by LCV Chairpersons from Bugisu region who were challenging the decision to exclude them from attending meetings for the election of the new Umukuka.
The Mbale High Court Resident Judge Jesse Byaruhanga on August 24, 2020, issued a restraint order against all activities in connection to the election of Umukukha III.
Prior to this, Police had foiled a number of Wedaira’s meetings that had been held at Malukhu in Mbale District in June, to search for the next Umukukha on grounds that they had flouted Covid-19 guidelines on public gathering.
Before this meeting, the Deputy Speaker of the institution Rose Nelima had also chaired another meeting on the same subject matter but in vain.
After assuming the throne, Mudoma warned Mushikori never to do a mistake of staying in the office because there is no cultural institution that have two leaders.
“The Bamasaba must have only one Umukuka and whoever shall be an impostor and the law shall take its course, because the Bamasaba are entitled to having only one leader,”
Asked on why he decided to establish his offices in Mutoto not in Malukhu where his predecessor sits, Mudoma explained that,
“Our cultural Centre is in Mutoto and my goal is to transform it into Cultural excellence and that is why I chose to sit within the area but that does not mean that we should have another Umukuka in Malukhu, that is our property thus only Inzu Ya Bamasaba officials are the only ones who are permitted to stay in there,”