Lukumu to facilitate Bugungu breakaway from Bunyoro

Bunyoro comprises eight districts including Kikuube carved out of Hoima, Buliisa and Kiryandongo carved out of Masindi, and Kagadi and Kakumiro carved out of Kibaale.

The newly elected chairman for Buliisa District has said he will not relent to facilitate the cessation of Bugungu from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom if at all it is presented to him as a need for the Bagungu.

By this statement to Kazi-njema News, he melts a one month allegation that Masindi district media practitioners had misquoted him for saying fighting to the creation of Bugungu cultural institution was the first item on his agenda as soon as he could get into office for five years.

Mr Lukumu will replace Mr Simon Agaba Kinene who pushed him out of office for the ending five year term.

Though Mr Lukumu does not clearly say he is in favour of division, his statement carries an element of his position.

According to him, supporting Bugungu cessation is not his priority but he is aware of how it is a demand by some Bagungu; which as a leader, will not ignore.

Audio: Lukumu on breakaway (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Lukumu is also a Mugungu in reference to the Banyoro traditional sub-divisions.

Other Banyoro traditional sub-divisions include Banyabugoma, Batyaba, Bakobya, Bakibiro, Bagangaizi, Basindi, Bagahya, Banyabuyaga and Bachope among others.

While speaking to high profile government and cultural dignitaries from different walks of life at the 2016 Bunyoro Kitara Empango commemoration, Mr Lukumu boldly said he could not see any logic in the breakaway.

He described all those in a plot to part away from Bunyoro as bragging tailless chicken that he pronounced as ‘Obukuduuru’ in Lugungu language. By Bagungu community perception, those chicken mainly cockerels struggle to crawl in front of the mature cocks but make no influence.

Mr Lukumu was also quoted saying that the historical ties between the Bagungu and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom created more reasons for continued unity for that division.

Mr Fred Lukumu, the Buliisa District LC 5 Chairman Elect (2021-2026), says supporting Bugungu cessation is not his priority but he is aware of how it is a demand by some Bagungu; which as a leader, he will not ignore. (Courtesy photo).

Mr Jonathan Nyendwoha Mutiti, the Second Deputy Prime Minister for Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom hailing from Bugungu last week told Kazi-njema News that he had not known of Mr Lukumu’s position in relation to promoting the relationship between the Bagungu and the kingdom. He said until then had no reason to support division.

During his stakeholders’ engagements to resolve the outstanding issues in the kingdom for sustainable development, Mr Andrew Byakutaaga, the Prime Minister for Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom discouraged any form of splitting up at the time when unity is much needed among the Banyoro than any time before.

“There started a movement in Buliisa championed by some people to divide us as a kingdom. But for us we are working for unity and we have been one people. When we are one, we can fight as one people but once we are divided, you are like starting afresh. I have said this because it concerns all of us. We have to ensure that we handle the matter and talk to those people of ours by inculcating into them the spirit that we need to keep working together instead of dividing up ourselves.”

Audio: Byakutaaga on cessation (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Some Bagungu who have been pushing for breakaway from Bunyoro for the past decade advance the desire to promote their independent cultural practices, language and traditional regalia different from that of Bunyoro.

Some feel they could benefit a lot from the central government including cash and assets allocated by the State House to cultural leaders. They also accuse Bunyoro kingdom of allegedly failing to protect Lake Albert, preserve their culture and protect them from land grabbing among others.

After colonialism, the issue of seeking self-determination by communities that traditionally lived together in Uganda has not yet had substantial proof of bringing peace and development in society. There is more vivid evidence for it to create or propel hostilities.

The Banyala’s efforts to break away from Buganda kingdom in 2010 resulted into bloodshed in Kampala and detention of hundreds of people.

In Rwenzori region, the Batooro, Bakonzo and Bamba relationships are just under rehabilitation following the move of breaking away from Tooro kingdom to create Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu for the Bakonzo and later the Obudingya bwa Bwamba for the Bamba.

The latest bombardment of the Rwenzururu king’s palace and his consequent detention on allegations of conscripting anti-government militants cannot be distanced from efforts to acquire social, economic and military empowerment.

Losses seem to outweigh the benefits that go to the connected and sharp minority in a given community.


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