By The Insight Post-Uganda
In Buganda Kingdom’s Kyaggwe County, an age-old feud over leadership within the Nvubu Clan has erupted once more. This time, it has sent convulsions through the county, its traditional governance, and among the subjects.
Elijah Bogere Lubanga Mulembya, the well-regarded head of Kyaggwe County (Ssekiboobo), now finds himself entangled in a web of tension and confusion.
At the centre of this unfolding drama is a contentious installation of the Inspector of Police -Yunusu Mukasa Kasimaggwa, who is the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) at Seeta police station, as the new Nvubu Clan head.
The traditional title for the leader of the Nvubu clan is ‘Kayita.’ In late 2019, a faction of clan members declared Kasimaggwa as the Kayita, and they had originally scheduled his installation for 2020. However, the COVID-19 outbreak forced them to postpone the event.
Last month (August 26), Kasimaggwa was officially presented to the clan members in a colourful ceremony at the Nvubu clan headquarters (Ekiggwa) on Mbazi Hill in the Mpunge Sub- County in Mukono District.
During this auspicious ceremony, Kasimaggwa also appointed his brother, Godfrey Luyombya Lule, as the clan prime minister (Katikiro), drawing cheers, processions, and celebrations from county leaders and clan members in attendance.
Yet, beneath all the celebrations, there was an unsettling controversy that has left Kyaggwe County’s leaders on edge. Despite receiving a stern warning from the office of Buganda’s premier (Katikiro) not to attend the function, several leaders defied the order and actively participated in the event.
However, those who were defiant have been summoned to a disciplinary committee at Mengo. Among those summoned are the Kyagwe county head-Ssekiboobo, Patrick Eric Ssekabembe (County Secretary for Culture), and Richard Ssekajja (Ssabaddu-Nanfumbambi-Ntenjeru).
In a prior warning letter, Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga declared the ceremony null and void. Mayiga argued that the Mbogo clan still had a seated head known as Emmanuel Musoke Makabugo.
He further noted that the matter of succession had been brought before two kings -Daudi Chwa II and Ronald Mutebi II, and on the two occasions, it had been concluded that Makabugo was the legitimate clan head.
The roots of this dispute stretch back to 1922 when it first appeared before Ssekabaka (Late King) Daudi Chwa II. His ruling favoured the Makabugo family lineage, designating Lukka Makabugo as the Kayita.
This decision disregarded the claim made by Nsabwa Kawala, Kasimaggwa’s grandfather, who contested the succession of Lukka Makabugo, the grandfather of the current head.
Before his passing, Sulaiman Kikoyo bequeathed his nephew, Nasanayiri Musoke, with the responsibility of becoming the heir. This transfer shifted the mantle of Kayitaship to a new family. Following Musoke’s demise, his son Makabugo succeeded him, officially becoming the new Kayita in 1992.
However, the lineage of Nsabwa Kawala insists that their family lineage (Essigga) of Bukuku used to produce the Kayitas, while the Makabugo lineage claims its roots from Namugunde.
The matter resurfaced in November 1997 before King (Kabaka) Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, who ordered a fresh hearing through the Buganda tribunal court (Kkooti Ya Kisekwa). Ultimately, the court’s ruling, dated August 23, 2017, once again favoured Makabugo.
According to Mayiga, this made Emmanuel Musoke Makabugo the Kayita and rendered any plans to install another Kayita null and void. Moreover, he declared that the latter (Kasimaggwa) would not be allowed to participate in any kingdom arrangements, including meetings for heads of clans (olukiiko lwabataka).
Despite the clear warnings, leaders in Kyaggwe attended the installation ceremony, even after receiving a second warning letter from Kayita Makabugo on August 22nd.
This reiterated the Katikiro’s stance that the ceremony was illegal. The same sentiment echoed during the Buganda Lukiiko chaired by the Kabaka at Bulange Mengo.
“We simply seek rightful leadership within our clans, as acknowledged by the elders, regardless of any obstacles that may arise. At Mengo, the King welcomes everyone, and the introduction of the new leader to the kingdom is still pending,” Ssekiboobo emphasises.
Buganda loyalists in Kyaggwe have expressed their disapproval of the Ssaza leaders for involving themselves in contentious issues. The event in Mbazi coincided with the Kabaka’s presence at the clan football tournament final in Wankulukuku, where all county, clan heads were invited to participate.
However, Frederick Bwango, a resident of Mukono, believes that these disagreements at such a time are aimed at obstructing the kingdom’s efforts to foster the development of its people.
In recent times, the kingdom was taken aback by the revelation that certain clan heads held a secret meeting with the president, without the kingdom’s knowledge. Normally, clan heads seek redress for their challenges from the Kabaka, traditionally referred to as Ssabataka.
According to the Buganda kingdom setting, all clan leaders share common responsibilities, which encompass overseeing clan members on behalf of the King of Buganda (Kabaka), preserving lineage continuity, mediating family disputes, and resolving issues related to family succession, among other duties.