The first Bagwere cultural leader- the Ikumbania- is seeking guidance from Bunyoro, ahead of his coronation on October 26.
John Chrysostom Wayabire visited the Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru at his Karuziika in Hoima town on Wednesday evening. The Bagwere cultural leader and his 15-member delegation first held a closed door meeting with the Prime Minister, Reverend Jackson Nsamba Kasozi before he led them to the palace.
In his statement read for him by the Prime Minister Jimmy Kirya, the Ikumbania said as a new cultural institution, they felt it imperative to have better ideas from Bunyoro kingdom, which has existed for over 600 years.
He said the ideas would guide and nurture the young cultural institution to better preserve the Kigwere cultural norms and practices. Wayabire added that his visit to Bunyoro followed a historical attachment that the Bagwere tribe originated from Bunyoro, migrated and settled in Eastern Uganda.
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The new cultural leader says the visit also intends to strengthen ties between the two cultural institutions for future collaboration in local trade and exchange visits for mutual understanding.
On his part, Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru hailed the Bagwere leader for treasuring the historical ties that exist between the two cultural institutions. Iguru says this paves way for unity and collaboration for development. The Omukama revealed that this also breaks the colonial legacy of dividing Africans to keep them backward.
Wayabire was elected the first Ikumbania of the new Obwa Ikumbania Bwa Bugwere on July 6 this year. Eighty-eight clan leaders elected the cultural leader at the Budaka Saza grounds in Budaka district. He serves a ten-year renewable term of office.
The cultural institution comprises the districts of Kibuku, Budaka and Paliisa; with its seat in Budaka district.
Flanked by the Queen Mother, Ituluula Harriet Sarah Wayabire and his 14 members of cabinet, the Ikumbania presented Iguru with a gift of “Omuzigo” which included two bunches of Matooke and a white male goat. The Bugwere delegation said the gift signified a bond of brotherhood between the two cultural institutions.
Bagwere are among the several ethnic groups in Uganda seeking to form their own cultural institutions. Last week, the Babukusu, one of the clans in Bugisu installed their own cultural leader breaking away from Inzu Ya Masaba, the main cultural institution in the area. Early this year the Basongora installed their own cultural leader, breaking away from the Rwenzururu Kingdom. The Bamba are also seeking to break away from the Rwenzururu kingdom to form the Obhudingiya Bwa Bwamba. This has seen them block the Rwenzururu king Charles Wisely Mumbere from stepping foot on their land in Bundibugyo. In June this year Police deployed in Kasese to block Mumbere as he insisted on visiting Bundibugyo.
The Bagungu, a minority ethnic group in Bunyoro also announced in June plans to secede from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.
However, unlike the Basongora king that government has failed to recognize, the Ikumbania of Bugwere is already recognized. He has full government facilitation and armed guards.