Fresh succession disputes in the leadership of the Bugisu Cultural Institution, Inzu Ya Masaaba (IYM) have erupted following the death of the second Umukuuka, Sir Bob Mushikori who succumbed to a diabetes related illness from his home in Mbale early this week.
Two rival factions, one affiliated to the late Mushikori and the Secretary General Wilson Wepondi, and the other to the institution Chairperson of Governing Board Stephen Mungoma, claim to be officially in charge of organizing Mushikori’s send off.
Wepondi, the institution Secretary General, announced that the late will be buried after two weeks, when his children have returned from Canada.
Power struggles sparked off in the institution, following the election of two new leaders (Umukuuka) John Amram Wagabyalile (affiliated to Mushikori) and Jude Mudoma (affiliated to Mungoma) in October and December respectively.
Mudoma’s side represented by his Secretary General James Kangala and Wagabwalire’s side represented by Wepondi the acting Secretary General, are in a heated fight about who should be heading the burial ceremony as they send-off the deceased leader.
Two different letters dated January 4, 2021 were released by both factions, each claiming to be leading the burial ceremony.
“The burial activities are being spear headed by the Cultural Council and coordinated by Rev. Dr. Stephen Mungoma, the chairperson of the Governing Board which is constitutionally mandated to marriage the activities of Inzu Ya Masaaba,” reads part of the letter released by Mudoma’s side.
Wagabyalire’s faction released a counter letter partly reading, “All official communication concerning the burial activities shall be released by the Secretary General, Geofrey Wilson Wepondi.”
Augustine Wekesa Wamalwa, the out-going Chiefdom Deputy Prime Minister, in his reaction to the two letters, informed the Bamasaaba fraternity from Uganda, Kenya and Diaspora that they have only one Central office where anything concerning the burial of the late His Highness Umukuuka (II) will be communicated.
“Any document without Inzu Ya Masaaba stamp or authorization of the Secretary General, Wepondi, will be considered fake or null and void,” he said adding, “Let us respect the office of the secretary general Inzu ya Masaaba. Again, I want to thank all Bamasaaba for keeping peace during this trying moment.”