By Our Reporter
BULIISA: The Bagungu are waiting for the government to gazette their cultural institution known as Buttebbengwa Bwa Bugungu.
Through the Bugungu Cultural Revival Association (BUCRA), the Bagungu clan council on March 29, 2023, elected the former Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister Norman Lukumu as their cultural leader.
At the same function, they also elected Mr. Basaswaki Thomas as the speaker, deputized by Mr. Mukungi Bonny.
In an exclusive interview with this publication, Mr. Lukumu said that their resolutions have been submitted to the respective government offices, and they are waiting for the government to gazette their cultural institution.
‘’We have already submitted all our resolutions to respective government offices, and we are waiting for the government to gazette our cultural institution,’’ he said.
Lukumu disclosed that they have commenced activities for the Buttebbengwa Bwa Bugungu as they wait for the government to gazette it, noting that the gazettement may take about a year.
‘’We have commenced the activities for the Buttebbengwa Bwa Bugungu as we wait for the government to gazette it. The gazettement may take about a year,’’ he added.
He also clarified that they are on good terms with Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom but are culturally different, assuring the public that they are living in harmony with other dialects both in Bugungu and Bunyoro.
‘’There is no battle between the Bagungu and Banyoro as some people claim, and we are not fighting the Bunyoro Kingdom. All people in Bugungu are safe,’’ he said.
The Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister, Andrew Byakutaga, however, insists that the election of Mr. Norman Lukumu is not within the law, therefore the government doesn’t recognize it.
Byakutaga says that there is still room for negotiation, noting that there is no need for Bagungu to form their own independent cultural institution since they have been living in harmony with Banyoro.
Since 2011, the Bagungu have been pushing for the formation of their independent cultural institution.
In 2011, Edward Kabagambe spearheaded the secession but failed due to political pressure.
In 2014, Charles Babyesiza enthroned himself and even started constructing a palace at his ancestral home in Bugana village, a move that was opposed by most people.
Starting in 2018, Mr. Norman Lukumu, who had just been sacked as the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Premier, joined the team that was spearheading the formation of the Bagungu cultural institution, giving it more strength.
On May 31, 2023, Raphael Otaya was installed as the first Kumam Cultural Leader.
The installation, also known as Won Ateker Papa Me Kumam, marked the official breakaway of the Kumam community from the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) under Emorimor.
The Kumam community comprises people from Kaberamaido and Kalaki, predominantly occupied by the Kumam, and the other two districts of Soroti and Serere from the Teso sub-region.
The Kumam also covers the districts of Amolatar and Dokolo in the Lango sub-region. Six district councils unanimously agreed to be part of the Kumam community.
Otaya, 66, was elected in July 2022 in a race that attracted three other contenders. He garnered 250 votes from the delegate conference conducted in Kaberamaido Town Council, beating William Egweu, Robert Ewangu, and George Michael Egunyu.
His coronation attracted thousands of people from within and outside the Teso sub-region, including delegations from the Buganda Kingdom and Won Nyachi of Lango.
Otaya’s coronation came at a time when ICU leadership had succession challenges after the demise of the first recognized Emorimor, Augustine Osuban Lemukol Adugala, in February 2022.
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