Four people seek to succeed Bagwere cultural leader

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At least four people have so far expressed interest to succeed the late John Chrysostom Wayabire, the former cultural leader of the Bagwere. Wayabire succumbed to COVID-19 last month leaving the throne vacant.  

The position of Bugwere cultural leader officially known as Ikumbania is elective by the clan heads also known as the “Itabanji”. Apparently, four people have so far expressed interest to replace Wayabire. They include Geoffrey Wayabire, the son of the fallen Ikumbania, Joshua Wilberforce Musimami, Badiru Kirya and Eric Kasolo.  

Joshua Wilberforce Musimami is a professional teacher and was recently elected head of the Balameri clan. Sources privy to what is happening in the cultural institution; say Musimami’s election is meant to prepare him for the position of Ikumbania since only clan heads are eligible for election. 

Bugwere comprises 108 clans spread in Budaka, Kibuku, Butebo, and Pallisa districts.  Jacob Mayiso, the Speaker of the Bugwere cultural Institution told URN that the person eyeing the seat of Ikumbania must be a clan leader, a person of integrity, respectable and with a sound financial background to sustain the day-to-day activities of the institution. 

He says they are now searching for a person to caretake the throne for six months until they elect the new Ikumbania. 

Abdul Rashid, the Budaka Township LC I Chairperson advises those who will participate in the election of the new cultural leader not to elect a self-centred individual.   

Francis Ouma, a resident of Budaka township and Ida Sophie Kyomugisha, a district councillor elect, saying those eyeing the position ought to work towards the Unity and development of the Bugwere just like it was with the late Wayabire.  

Arthur Mboizi Wako, the Budaka County MP-elect, says the process of electing the new cultural leader should be transparent and that the clan heads have the obligations to elect a right-thinking person who will fit in the shoes of the late Wayabire. 

He said that the late Wayabire died at a time when Bugwere needed him most, adding that he had started on programs geared towards the emancipation of the Bagwere, which his successor should pick up.   

There was some claimants to the Ikumbani’s position prior to the instalment and gazetting of the late Wayabire. The claimants included Samuka Mubbala Kintu from the Balalaka clan and Prince Nelson Mulabi Kamba Kidandaire 1V from the royal clan of Balangira among others.