The Bamasaba Cultural Institution, Inzu Ya Masaba, has, amidst ongoing succession disputes, installed John Amram Wagabyalire as the new Umukuka to replace Bob Saul Kipiro Mushikori who died last week.
On Monday, Bamasaba cultural leaders convened a special meeting to pay tribute to late Mushikori and install Wagabyalire.
The Bugisu Cultural Institution has had leadership and succession battles arising from two rival factions, one affiliated to the late Mushikori and the Secretary General Wilson Wepondi, and another to the Institution Chairperson of Governing Board, Stephen Mungoma.
Power struggles sparked off in the Inzu Ya Masaba late last year following the election of two new leaders; John Amram Wagabyalile (affiliated to Mushikori) and Jude Mudoma (affiliated to Mungoma) in October and December 2020 respectively.
In the same vein, last week, both factions were fighting over the ‘right’ to take the lead in Mushikori’s burial arrangements and subsequently issued out two respective ‘official’ circulars bearing the schedule of the sendoff activities.
Speaking yesterday, Moses Stephen Owor, the head of the Jopadhola Cultural Institution, who presided over the installation of Wagabyalire, paid a glowing tribute to the late Mushikori.
He revealed that the late was a personal friend, which necessitated his attendance in person to pay his tribute other than sending a condolence message.
Mathias Nabuteri, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the installation of the new leader was necessary since there are functions which can only be presided over by the Umukuka. He says Wagabyalire now awaits the official coronation that will happen after the burial of his predecessor.
The institution has also officially started off with rituals to mourn the deceased Umukuka. These include drumming cultural drums by Mushikori’s clan members, an activity that will go on until the day of the burial.
The rituals also include identifying Mushikoiri’s heir among his children, family and clan. Each of the 26 clans will conduct a cleansing ritual that involves slaughtering a bull, goat and cock.
On the day of the burial, each clan will hold a mourning ceremony that will involve sounding the cultural drums reciting chants in their dialect.