Last Friday February 18, 2022, the high court in Jinja dismissed a petition filed by Prince Columbus Wambuzi challenging the installation of William Wilberforce Nadiope as the Kyabazinga of Busoga.
In her ruling that was read by High Court Registrar Fred Waninda, Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko ruled that the election of Nadiope in 2014 was in line with article 8 of the constitution of Obwakyabazinga bwa Busoga, because it had a quorum of 8 princes.
The ruling has for the meantime, settled the dispute between the two warring factions, and will give Nadiope time to regroup and avoid getting beset by similar challenges.
How it started
Before the judgment arrived, majority of members of the Busoga Royal Council had caused a storm in the tea cup by purporting to fire Nadiope as the paramount cultural leader [read Kyabazinga].
They sat and signed off a vote-of-no-confidence via which they backed Wambuzi Junior, son of departed Wako Muloki Senior, to immediately warm up to ascend the throne.
But Nadiope is still tightly holding on to the throne much as the princes are claiming to have fired him. How has he been able to ride against the violent tides so far?
Hours after the leaking of the vote-of-no-confidence, Nadiope’s Premier [Katukiro], Dr. Joseph Muvawala issued a missive slamming as well as lampooning both the development and the authors as inconsequential.
He rallied Basoga as a whole, the kingdom’s well-wishers, friends, government and security organs to dismiss the rather disturbing development ‘with the contempt it deserves’.
Using the missive, the Katukiro took time off to remind the authors of the vote-of-no-confidence about the reality that they themselves upon installing Nadiope, changed the kingdom’s Constitution and permitted the Kyabazinga to reign for life!
After giving Nadiope such uninterrupted reign, he restated the memory of the princes, the relevant government authorities went on and gazetted him, effectively recognizing him officially and legally as the one and only all-potent cock in Busoga.
To scare off the princesses from forcefully evicting Nadiope from the throne, Muvawala by copy of the missive, informed security organs and the overall commander-in-chief Gen.Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa about the illegal decision and asked him to do the needful if the princes dared to forcefully implement the purported sack.
The king also courted political leaders to rescue him. Majority of the MPs representing constituencies in Busoga and special interests groups spoke out and denounced the purported coup as unwarranted, a non-starter and out rightly illegal.
The MPs said some bad elements having been paying hefty monetary bribes to the princes to purposely depose the king, saw majority of them yielding to the temptation on January 3.
In a way, what the MPs are implying is that the princes are merchants of fortune, call them windfall seekers if you can, out to cause unnecessary leadership chaos in Busoga for the dubious greed of money.
The princes concerned are now finding themselves in an awkward situation of being seen and treated by the Basoga, friends of the kingdom, Nadiope and, well-wishers as Iscariots as opposed to strict guardians of the cultural institution and its paraphernalia. The above serves Nadiope perfectly well and the reverse is true for the princes and their backers.
Nadiope before the court cemented his leadership position has been doing something to consolidate power as well as guard it jealously until after fate puts them asunder. He started by replacing princes disloyal to him with those ones who are unquestionably for him and what he stands for.
But the concerned princes assert defiantly, and are being supported by independent analysts, that the sub-counties’ royal chiefs are born, not randomly picked by the Kyabazinga to serve at his whim.
If that theory is to be true, the princes so fired can end up easily embarrassing the king by dragging him through the courts of law which can possibly call Nadiope to order and reinstate the concerned princes.