Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 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.
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 status quo.
“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.
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.