By Innocent Atuganyira
Hoima: The Babiito ruling clan of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom is questioning the criteria used to elect the regents following the protracted ill health of Omukama (King) Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1.
The dissatisfactions were revealed over the weekend during the meeting involving the Okwiri (Chief Prince) of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom and royal family members held at Hoima Cultural Lodge Conference Hall.
Prince Samuel Kintu Gafabusa disclosed that, though he has been attending the kingdom’s administration meetings, he wasn’t involved in the process of electing the regents. He also stressed that, many times, royal family members have been denied access to the palace.
‘’Well, I attended some of the meetings, but in the last meetings where they elected the regents, I was not involved. We are supporting the election of the regents, but we are questioning the criteria they used to elect them because we were not involved,’’ he queried, stressing that ‘’the reigning Omukama Dr. Gafabusa Iguru, Princess Joan Gafabusa, and I are the administrators of the Late Omukama Sir Titi Winyi’s estates, but the Kingdom’s administration doesn’t involve us in the Kingdom affairs.’’
According to the Royal Princess Joan Gafabusa, they were not aware of what has been going on as the royals, and she therefore requested that the Okwiri provide them with the documents pertaining to the process of electing the regents, highlight the King’s health, and also let them know what’s taking place in the palace so that they can also contribute to the cause.
‘’As the royal family, we were not aware of what was taking place in the palace, and we don’t know the status of our brother. That’s why I requested that the Okwiri highlight the health status of our brother and provide us with the documents for electing the regents,’’ she said.
Gafabusa said that though she is in support of the regents, they need ample time to study the consultations that have been taking place and will be able to give their contribution to the cause. ‘’There has been pulling of the ropes in the Kingdom following the expiration of appointment letters of the prime minister and his juniors, and we still have a challenge of appointing new ones since the appointing authority is not in good health status,’’ she said.
Edward Karubanga, a member of the royal family, disclosed that this is not the first time regents have been appointed to work on behalf of the king, stressing that the members of the royal family should be involved in the process of electing the regents.
‘’We have agreed on the number of issues, including consultations with different stakeholders, to make sure that every member of the royal family is represented, and this will enable us to forge a way forward,’’ he added.
The Okwiri of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Eng Fred Mugenyi Rucunya, acknowledged that he received a letter from the royal family spokesperson not being in agreement with the regent issue, not because it’s not necessary but because they had been left out.
‘’We received a letter from the royal family spokesperson not being in agreement with the regent issue, not because it’s not necessary, but because they had been left out. Regents will perform duties on behalf of the Omukama and will have guidelines that will guide them on what they are supposed to do,’’ he explained.
He also clarified that they consulted different stakeholders, including a section of royal family members, political and religious leaders, and others, before electing the regents. ‘’On Thursday last week, we had a meeting with the minister for gender, and he guided us on the way forward. We are looking for legal authority who will be acting on behalf of the king, especially in administration matters like policy, budget, accountability, statements, and others,’’ he further explained.
Mugenyi assured the royal family of getting copies of the draft principals for them to discuss on their own and present their additions and subtractions, adding that thereafter they would have a meeting with the administration of the kingdom.
The contracts of the prime minister and his juniors expired on the 19th of October this year; however, Mugenyi told this publication that the Kingdom’s Prime Minister Andrew Byakutaga is still in the office to avoid the vacuum and enable the running of the Kingdom’s activities as they solve the issue of regents.
The reigning Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Dr. Gafabusa Iguru 1, is the elder son of the late Omukama, Sir Tito Winyi.
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