President Yoweri Museveni has hailed King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, the Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara for being a great traditional leader who has always remained respectful to the constitution of the Republic of Uganda and in line with the reasons and principles that restored the monarchies in the country.
The President was yesterday addressing a mammoth congregation at Karuziika palace in Hoima town during celebrations marking the 16th anniversary (Empango) coronation of Omukama Gafabusa Iguru.
The President who was the chief guest at the celebrations said that Omukama Gafabusa Iguru has been focused on playing his part as a cultural leader and not a meddler in other people’s work, an issue that could easily create confusion.
President Museveni advised traditional leaders to learn from Omukama Gafabusa Iguru’s work of appreciation of the capitalistic life style of division of labour.
“Do not do someone’s work because we need each other for better co-existence”, he said adding that “I cannot baptize because that is a reserve of the clergy, everybody should know their limits.”
The President called for the highest levels of tolerance and said that the people in the East African inter-lacustrine region are the same and there was no need to divide them.
“I am happy the Omukama has demystified the fact that the people in the North and South are different; they are one people. I wonder why some people waste time working to divide people instead of uniting them. We shall not allow it. We shed blood to bring about unity of our people and shall explain to the masses the importance of unity and integration of East Africa and Africa. Kingdoms and traditional leadership is for uniting and not dividing people and no one should dream otherwise”, Museveni said.
The President promised to increase funding to all traditional institutions and noted that their importance was paramount because it gave alternative kind of leadership.
“You will have both elected and the traditional leaders, this helps to ease work. Some Movement leaders had rejected it in the beginning but I knew it was necessary”, he said.
The President further said that the war against poverty was the main challenge facing the country and the cultural institutions.
“Just imagine if the Banyoro were all rich, they would support the Obukama”, he said. He urged the cultural institutions to put the fight against poverty high on their agenda.
Mr. Museveni promised to explain to the pastoralists who migrated and settled in Buliisa, to vacate the place as the land was largely communally owned. He pledged Shs. 200 million on behalf of the Government towards the construction of the perimeter wall of the Omukama’s palace.
Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru called on all Ugandans, leaders of cultural institutions and the world, to forgive and forget the mistakes of their forefathers. He asked cultural leaders to unite and work together to perform their roles as stipulated in the National Constitution.
He urged the central government to consider giving more resources to the Kingdom of Bunyoro to help protect and mitigate the destruction of cultural resources as a result of oil exploration.
During the same occasion, Omukama Gafabusa Iguru elevated the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service Hon. Henry Muganwa Kajura, to a prestigious Ekondo status which makes Mr. Kajura one of the caretakers of the Kingdom.
The Omuhikirwa of Bunyoro Kingdom Engineer Yabezi Kiiza commended the cordial relationship between the Kingdom of Bunyoro and the Central Government. He promised that this relationship will even be strengthened further through mutual cooperation.
Uganda Media Center