A reconciliation meeting convened to end the leadership wrangles in Inzu Ya Masaba Cultural Institution has once again confirmed Jude Mike Mudoma as Umukuka III.
This marks the third time that the clan heads have confirmed Mudoma to succeed the late cultural leader, Bob Mushikor, who passed away in 2021. Following his demise, a conflict emerged between two factions, one led by Jude Mike Mudoma and the other by John Amram Wagabyalire.
Numerous reconciliation meetings were convened in an effort to have one Umukuka recognized by the government, but these efforts did not yield positive outcomes. In March 2021, clan heads and delegates confirmed Mudoma as the rightful leader during a meeting at the Mbale district headquarters, chaired by the State Minister for Gender Peace Mutuzo.
However, this decision was contested by the Wagabyalire faction, leading to a summons by the then Minister of Gender, Frank Tumwebaze, for both factions to attend a reconciliation meeting in Kampala. The matter was eventually referred back to the clan heads for resolution.
In 2022, during another meeting in Mutufu sub-county, Sironko district, the clan heads again confirmed Mudoma as the rightful leader, further escalating the conflict. Recently, Minister Mutuzo wrote to Umukuka Emeritus Wilson Wamimbi Weyasa, requesting that 26 clan leaders convene for another reconciliation meeting to resolve the impasse.
During the meeting held at the Mbale district headquarters Wednesday, 15 out of the 26 clan heads voted to confirm Mudoma as their cultural leader. However, some members of Wagabyalire’s faction, including its leader, stormed out of the meeting prematurely in protest against the decision. They claimed that the process followed to arrive at Mudoma’s confirmation was not proper and lacked consideration of the Kenyan chapter, which they deemed illegal.
Umukuka Emeritus Wamimbi, the designated mediator, urged the two factions to reconcile for the betterment of the Bamasaba community. He emphasized that the issue at hand should not have caused the impasse that has hindered development in Masaba land. On the other hand, Mudoma Jude Mike welcomed the decision made by the clan leaders and called for unity among his rivals to promote development and prosperity within the cultural institution.
Situuma Muyanda, the chairperson of Mutiru clan, also voiced opposition to the process, alleging that the mediator displayed bias and did not adhere to the constitution, which only allows delegates to vote.
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