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Bamasaba community get half a billion Kenyan shillings to construct a zoo and a cultural centre

By Micah Wamukota in Mbale Uganda

The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre that is running the zoo project at Mutoto area  has donated over half a billion Kenyan shillings to construct a cultural centre.

The government has released 14 billion – Uganda shillings (Ksh541.086million) to Bamasaba community to construct a zoo and a magnificent cultural center at Mutoto in Mbale city.

It will include an amphitheater and a museum as a one stop center for Bamasaba development affairs.

Speaking to a delegation of Kenyan Bamasaba from Bungoma County who had paid him a courtesy call at his rural home in Bumukone Nakuba village, Sironko district, Jude Mike Mudoma (the Umuukuka (III) said that he will embark on a mission to promote the rich cultural values of the more than seven million Bamasaba in Kenya and Uganda.

Umuukuka (III)- Jude Mike Mudoma

He said that he will use his position to harness the rich natural resources around Mt Elgon to develop the economy of the community.

“I will blend culture and development in my strategic plan to woo investors to our region which is very rich in natural resources, tourist attractions and produces the best coffee in the world,” said Umuukuka

He called on the Bamasaba professionals to use their competencies to develop the region adding that he will personally organize for cultural exchange programs, scholarships and jobs for the youths with likeminded kingdoms all over the world to ensure the community grows economically from exporting cultural values.

Mudoma said that he will soon establish a 12-member commission of professionals that will deal with institutional reforms to ensure that structures within the 26 Masaba clans are well established from the grassroots with proper representation unlike in the past where clan leaders were hand-picked without the mandate of the majority.

Umuukuka (III)- Jude Mike Mudoma and his wife

“I will strengthen linkages between the institution and the clans in Kenya and Uganda by developing strong structures so that representation can be improved, “he added.

Mudomo extended an olive branch to his nemesis to work with him to foster unity in the community.

He said that he  will visit the Kenyan Bamasaba after his  coronation that will be graced by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni to share his vision with the Kenyan Bamasaba in Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Kakamega counties.

“I am also calling for unity among the Bamasaba and I ask my brother Mr Wagabyalire and my other competitors to bury the hatchet and work together with us to develop Masaba land,” he said.

Mr Jude Mudoma is now the officially recognized cultural leader of Bamasaba after the swearing in ceremony that was conducted a fortnight ago by the Grade One Magistrate Ms AniteTusiimire in Lukhobo at Malukhu in Mbale City.

A cultural leader is required by the Ugandan laws once chosen and gazetted by the ministry to swear the oath of office or make the affirmation of office in the presence of his subjects.

Mr Mudoma who was gazetted on August 4, 2023, under General Notice No. 1413 of 2023 is now the Umukuka III and will be the cultural leader of the Bamasaaba and Babukusu hailing from Uganda, Kenya and the diaspora.

Bungoma delegation led by Philip Wanyonyi Wekesa (third right) when they visited Umuukuka (III)- Jude Mike Mudoma

The gazette notice dated August 1 was signed by the Ugandan Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Developments Betty Amongi Ongom

Mr Mudoma became a cultural leader upon election by clan heads on 26 July at Lukhobo, in Malukhu in Mbale City.

According to Inzu Ya Masaba constitution Article 8 (3), the Umukuka III of Inzu Ya Masaba is supposed to come from the Inda Ya Mwambu [Sironko and Bulambuli] administration, where Umukuka Mudoma hails from.

Umukuka III Mudoma was elected by 26 clan heads after the delegates failed to resolve on the dispute that surrounded the throne for over two years.

While most leaders from the Mwambu clan supported the gazettement of Mr Mike Mudoma [Muyobo Clan] as the new Umukukaa, others sided with John Wagabyalire Amram [Halasi clan]. Bamasaba have been in wrangles on who should be the cultural leader for two years.

The wrangles between the two factions have   almost paralyzed the functioning of the “Inzu ye Bamasaba” and efforts in the past by the minister of state for gender in Uganda to bring together the warring factions had yielded no results.

Inzu Ya Masaba was created in 2010 with the aim of preserving and fostering the culture of the Bamasaba, the cultural institution which comprises members from 26 clans of Bamasaba spread across Uganda and Kenya.

The institution has been bogged down by leadership wrangles that worsened with the death of the Umukuka (II) Sir Bob Mushikori in 2021.

After Mushikori’s death, two parallel search committees for a new leader were instituted by parallel factions, resulting in the election of two rival cultural heads for the same institution; Mr Jude Mudoma and Mr John Wagabyalire.

To settle the impasse between the two factions, the Ugandan minister of state for gender and cultural affairs Ms Peace Mutuuzo on July 14 wrote to pioneer Umukuka (I) Emeritus Wilson Wamimbi   to convene a meeting of 26 clan leaders to resolve the issue “within 30 days from the date of reception of the letter”.

Umukuuka Wamimbi organized for the elections in which Wagabyalire participated and 16 clan elders voted for Mudoma as the new Umukuka.

Bungoma delegation led by Philip Wanyonyi Wekesa (third right) when they visited Umuukuka (III)- Jude Mike Mudoma

Kenyan elder Phillip Wanyonyi Wekesa from the Mubuya clan in Bungoma town who was a special envoy of the Kenyan Bamasaaba at the meeting said that the Kenyan community was happy that the new Umukuka had been gazetted adding that the Kenyan Bamasaba will support his vision.

Kumi RDC Ahamada Washiaki said he was happy that wrangligles in the Inzu ya Masaba were over and called on Bamasaba in Kenya and Uganda to work in unity and support the agenda of Umukuka Mudoma.

“We should now as a community support the agenda of Umukuka Mudoma and discard our factions for the sake of developing Masaba land,”said Washiaki.

The senior advisor of Umukuka Dr Damiano Wamimbi called on Kenyans to work with the new Umukuka for the sake of the unity of the community.

The leader of the 26 clans Diphas Wabuya who hails from the Babambo clan said that the clan leaders and members at the grassroots are involved in electing leaders to stop the culture of handpicking un popular people as delegates.

Joseph Mauso, the media liason officer of the Bukuka in Kenya and Uganda said that the appointed Umukuka has a vision for the community that should be supported by Bamasaba leaders in Kenya, Uganda and the diaspora.





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