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Traditionalists defy kingdom, construct shrine on River Nile banks

FILE PHOTO: Hassan Kirunda the new Budhagali oracle

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Traditionalists in Busoga sub-region have started constructing a permanent shrine on the banks of River Nile in Budondo sub county in Jinja district in disregard of a directive from the Kingdom.

The traditionalists say that the shrine will provide shelter to Hassan Kirunda, the new oracle of the famous Budhagali falls,  who was reportedly chosen by the spirits to replace the late Budhagali Nabbamba, who passed on last year.

Early last month, the Busoga Kingdom Cultural Affairs Minister, Richard Mafumo issued a directive stopping traditionalists from pitching camp on the banks of River Nile.

However, Joseph Kawulula, a traditionalist from Namayingo district, says the contested land belongs to the spirits and asked the Kingdom officials to support their efforts to construct a shrine rather than block their request.

Jalia Nabulumba, the Chief Oracle of the hills within Busoga sub-region, says the late Budhagali was denied access to the river banks but this time around, traditionalists are willing to fight for their land and construct a befitting shrine for the oracle.

She says Budhagali is the most valuable spirit in the land and should be allocated land on the riverbanks for his shrine where he can easily groom other spiritualists.

Mafumo however, told journalists that the traditionalists are illegally occupying the river banks, adding that efforts are underway to forcefully evict them.

The coronation of the new Oracle of Budhagali suffered a setback as kingdom officials insisted that different traditionalists should be consulted before he is unveiled to the public.

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