Bunyoro vows to die for unity against divisionism

Mr Andrew Kirungi Byakutaaga Ateenyi, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister, speaking for unity.

“We call upon all the people of Bunyoro Kingdom to fight for unity. King Kabaleega, who is very much remembered, fought for the unity of this kingdom. Blood was shed to maintain this kingdom as a unified entity,” says Mr Andrew Kirungi Byakutaaga Ateenyi, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister.

“Anybody who comes to preach cessation or breakaway of any part of the kingdom will not be welcomed. He will be fought with all the might,” he adds.

However, Mr Byakutaaga says as kingdom leaders, they have their door open for dialogue to resolve any issue that anybody or community may have as a family.

“The kingdom is made up of many ethnic groups from all over the country which makes us strong,” he added.

According to him it is unity in diversity that made and still makes Bunyoro strong.

Audio: Byakutaaga on unity (English)

He expressed optimism that the existing issues will be resolved through the ongoing engagements with the champions of divisionism.

Mr Byakutaaga warned that breaking away will make Banyoro weaker and it gives no advantage to negotiate or to fight for anything.

Audio: Byakutaaga on warning (English)
Bunyoro Kitara cultural dancers.

The head of kingdom business was speaking at the launch of the training to promote urban farming supported by the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) at the kingdom headquarters in Hoima city.

The Prime Minister further preached the gospel of hard work amongst the kingdom subjects in order to benefit from the oil developments in the region.

His remarks come as a section of Bagungu led by his predecessor Mr Norman Lukumu and the serving Buliisa District Chairman, Mr Fred Lukumu, seriously mobilise support for the dismemberment ideology.

To the leaders of the movement, it is a strategic step to access the national cake and promoting their culture though many analysts think the move is not only precarious to the Bagungu but also to other indigenous groups in Bunyoro.

Their fear is that it might make them more vulnerable and subjective to suppression in smaller bundles by people with hidden interests from other communities in Uganda and beyond.

Described in the books of history as Bunyoro Kitara Empire, it was a very strong nation both economically, politically and militarily.

Map showing Bunyoro Kitara Empire before it was reduced to Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

Even the combined forces from Britain, India and local communities afraid of King Kabaleega’s strength mobilisaiton tactics, did not find it easy to break it before nine years of fighting.

But the fall of King Kabaleega and the subsequent reduction of its size, made the kingdom as an entity – weaker.

Even the collaborative cultural leaders like the Banyambo in Karagwe, Tanzania, remained crumbling as the colonial foundation-built governments deepened their roots of power.

When it was still strong, Bunyoro under Kabaleega had its geographical boundary as far as Mbooga-Zaire in the present day Ituri Province in Eastern DR Congo and Karagwe in northern Tanzania.

The principle of unity in diversity vis-à-vis divide and rule, may need critical attention from front liners in the conflict over cessation or unity.

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