The Kyabazinga of Busoga Wilberforce William Nadiope Gabula IV has dismissed reports citing that he has been replaced with Edward Columbus Wambuzi, the Zibondo of Bilamoji as the newly legitimately elected King of Busoga Kingdom.
In a statement from Busoga Premier Joseph Muvawala, copied to the President of Uganda, the Inspector General of Police, and the Minister for Presidency, the kingdom maintains that Gabula IV remains the legitimate Isebantu Kyabazinga.
“The Kyabanzinga once elected under the constitution of Busoga and our culture reigns till death and the organs of the Obwa kyabazinga to it: the Busoga Lukiiko, the cabinet, clans’ council, Abambedha council, Chief Royal Council among other duly perform their mandate and there should be no cause for alarm,” the statement reads in part.
Earlier, a statement purportedly from the Busoga Chiefs Royal Council indicated that Gabula had been kicked out following a vote of no confidence from the respective kingdom chiefs and consequently replaced by the ever-willing Colombus Wambuzi.
However, Muvawala maintains that the statement allegedly from Busoga’s chiefs should be “treated with the contempt it deserves”.
“The purported dismissal and or election of a new Kyabazinga is false, illegal, misleading, and intended at creating confusion and disunity in the Kingdom, which all peace-loving Basoga and Ugandans should shun and condemn,” Muvawala said in his statement.
He added that Gabula remains the legitimate head, having been elected in office in 2014 and duly enthroned in September the same year. He confirmed that Gabula remains gazetted under the law as the apex of the kingdom.
Wambuzi always the issue
Columbus Wambuzi has been at the center stage of the chaos in the Kyabazingaship, himself having acted in the role in 2008.
It should be noted that Wambuzi was elected Kyabazinga in the year 2008, however, he was withdrawn from the position citing irregularities in his election where members agreed there was no quorum on the day he was elected.
The Kyabazinga is supposed to be elected by the 11 kingdom chiefs, a criteria Wambuzi did not meet.
Consequently, Gabula was ascended to the throne having obtained 10 votes from the 11 chiefs in August 2014. He was crowned in a pompous ceremony at Bugembe Stadium, just a stone’s throw away from his palatial residence in the outskirts of Jinja District.
Following the coronation of Gabula, Wambuzi vowed to the media that he would snatch the throne “any minute”.
Indeed, several months later, Gabula was dragged to court and parties loyal to Wambuzi asked that his election be nullified.
Three Busoga loyalists including Dan Kawanguzi, a member of the Balangira clan from Busiki Chiefdom, Gideon Isooba from the Bulamogi Chiefdom, and Harriet Nanyanga petitioned the Constitutional Court to declare that the decision to elect Nadiope as the cultural leader of Busoga in the absence of a vacuum to the throne as inconsistent with the constitution.
They also asked the court to declare that the action of police restraining their legally elected and legitimate Kyabazinga of Busoga Edward Columbus Wambuzi from accessing his kingdom office at Bugembe to execute his duty as the Kyabazinga was inconsistent with the constitution.
However, the court trashed their petition.