Geoffrey Wepondi, the Secretary General Inzu Ya Masaba Cultural Institution has dismissed Mudoma’s election on grounds that it contravenes a high court order that was issued in August maintaining the status quo.
A parallel faction of Inzu Ya Masaba has elected a new
cultural leader to replace the outgoing Umukuka II Bob Mushikori, whose term of
office expires on November 15th, 2020. Jude Mike Mudoma was reportedly
elected on Tuesday as the Umukuka III by a faction led by the embattled speaker
of Inzu Ya Masaba, Nelson Wedaira.
In June this year, Wedaira’s faction convened at
Malukhu in Mbale district to search for the next Umukukha but they were
dispersed by police for flouting Covid19 guidelines on public gathering. Prior to
this meeting, the Deputy Speaker of Inzu Ya Masaba, Sister Rose Nelima had
chaired another meeting to search for a new cultural leader.
However, on Tuesday, Wedaira’s faction met at Bungokho
Mutoto sub-county headquarters where they elected Mudoma as Mushikori’s successor.
According to Wedaira, 33 of the 49 Bamasaba clan heads participated in the
election. He says Mudoma, who is from Muyobo clan is one of the candidates who
were presented by the search committee to the culture council.
The others are Gregory Gidaguyi from Sulani clan,
Amuram Wagabyalila from Halasi clan and Patrick Wamakuyu from the Laago clan. According
to Wedaira, the names were presented to the cultural council, which approved Mudoma
as the new head of Inzu Ya Masaba.
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However, Geoffrey Wepondi, the Secretary General Inzu
Ya Masaba Cultural Institution has dismissed Mudoma’s election on grounds that
it contravenes a high court order that was issued in August maintaining the
“The rumour that Mr. Mike Jude Mudoma is the new Umukuka III is false and Inzu
strongly denounces it, the Umukuka is Elected and not imposed or selected,”
Wepondi said in a statement issued on Wednesday. Wepondi told URN on phone from
Kampala that Wedaire and his faction don’t have the mandate to impose a leader
on the cultural institution.
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How it Started
On August 24th, 2020, Mbale High Court Resident Judge Jesse
Byaruhanga issued a restraint order against all activities in connection to the
election of Umukukha III.
The court order was in response to an application filed
by N. Mugoda advocates on behalf of Geoffrey Wepondi, the General Secretary Inzu
Ya Masaba who sought for an adjournment to allow court to hear an application by LCV
chairpersons from Bugisu challenging the decision to exclude them from
attending meetings for the election of the new Umukuka.
Prior to the court ruling, Inzu convened an emergence
general assembly on August 3, 2020, that instituted a search committee.