Mbale Court sets May to settle Bamasaaba cultural leadership dispute

Mbale, (UG):- The High Court in Mbale has granted a two-month period for mediation between the two controversial parties in the Inzu Ya Masaaba leadership dispute between HRH. Yahaya Masolo Gidudu challenging the validity of Umukuka III Jude Mike Modoma for enthroning himself unlawfully as the Bugisu cultural leader. 

The Umukuka, who was represented by his lawyers of Wakosese & Co. Advocates led by Counsel Massa on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, begged the court presided over by Her Worship Nankya Nusula to grant them time for negotiations on grounds that they are interested in physical meetings between the two repellant cultural leaders.

HRH Masolo Yaaya Gidudu Richard was represented by his lawyers from Waswa P. Cyrus &Co. Advocates. The exact date for the mediation is yet to be decided.

Bugisu cultural institution for Bamasaba has been unsettled for about five years since the demise of Sir. Bob Mushikori Omukuka II, as their cultural constitution, lacked clauses justifying the transition processes of power.

In the three parties, where Masolo Yaaya Gidudu Vs Mudoma & Emeritas Wamimbi had to present a defence before the court, Wamimbi did not submit his, after reportedly realising Yaaya Masolo as the rightful leader meant to be enthroned as the 3rd King for Inzu Ya Masaba.

Last year on 18th April, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) issued a letter of guidance to the chairperson of the cultural council of Inzu Ya Masaba reiterating their position on the dispute resolution procedure based on the Institute of Cultural or Traditional Leaders Act 2011 under section 16.

“As you are aware, the ministry on several occasions has attempted to provide the necessary policy guidance on how to resolve conflicts using the existing provisions of the law. As guided by the office of the solicitor general this time round, we wish to reiterate our previous position which is guided by the Institute of Cultural or TraditionalLeaders Act 2011 under section 16,” the letter reads in part.

Section 16, subsection(1) of the act says; Any conflict or dispute within the traditional or cultural institution or within the community shall be handled by a council of elders or clan leaders or a representative body chosen and approved by the community, in accordance with the traditions, customs and norms of dispute or conflict resolution pertaining to that community. Subsection(2) says; Where the community fails to resolve the conflict or dispute in accordance with subsection (1), the matter shall be referred to the court.

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The Permanent Secretary MGLSD was referring to a letter from the office of the Solicitor General, who received a letter from the cultural council of Inzu Ya Masaba in December 2022 seeking intervention of the office into the cultural leadership dispute.

Meanwhile, Mr Wagabyarire John Amuramu who was also among the contradicting cultural leaders lost interest in the case & eventually joined the purported legitimate Umukuka Yaaya Gidudu, early this year, 2024.

Mr. Gumali Guwanga Andrew who is the Bamasaba premier welcomed the negotiation idea and said once their rival presents matters with facts, they will easily be settled adding that they will not hesitate to continue with court business if the mediation fails to show a greenlight.

“I am pleased that the people we sued are the ones who asked for mediation maybe after realizing the issue and we agreed to have meditations on condition that they come with facts. If the mediation goes futile, then we shall not hesitate to resume court proceedings.” Mr.Gumali added.

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It is now close to five years since the unfortunate death of Sir. Bob Mushikori Omukuka II, as the Bugisu cultural leader, and the institution has since then lacked clauses justifying the transition processes of power.

Now the courts of law await to hear resolutions from both parties in order to set a date for its verdict on the case.

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