By Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
MASAKA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: Addressing a rally at at Kizungu in Masaka, the NRM Interim Chairperson and National Resistance Army (NRA) High Command Chairperson, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was quoted as saying that “Obwakabaka bulina okuddawo kubanga bwebwaali buggyibwo, be bwali bukwatako tebaasooka kwebuuzibwako: (the institutions of traditional leaders will have to be restored because they were abolished without the consent of the people concerned).
That was quoted by Munno, a Luganda Daily published by the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1985 and in Ufahamu annual journal of 1986.
A few months before the fall of Kampala on January 26th 1986, Ssaabataka Ronald Mutebi appeared in the liberated areas of Masaka and Mityana as intensive fighting between government forces and NRA rebels was going on at River Katonga Bridge.
Museveni’s promise became true when on Saturday July 31st 1993 at Naggalabi Buddo, Kabaka Ronnie Muwenda Mutebi was crowned the 36th king of Buganda at a ceremony that was televised worldwide. I am lucky to have covered the event on behalf of Ngabo/The Star newspapers and the first event was “olutalo lw’ebirumbirumbi ´(mock battle) between the Kabaka and Omutaka Semanobe, in memory of a battle between Kabaka Kintu and his predecessor Bemba Musota in which Bemba was killed by Kintu at Naggalabi Buddo and the latter proclaimed himself Kabaka.
In the 1993 battle, some of Semanobe’s fighters were the late Abu Mayanja, who immediately crossed the line to that of the victorious Kabaka Mutebi ll. Journalists wrote that the greater crosser from UNC to UPC, KY, DP, and then NRM , had also crossed from Ssemanobe’s side to that of the Kabaka.
The following day Sunday, a church service was held and on Monday, the Kabaka opened the first session of the Lukiiko at Bulange, Mmengo, which Obote had turned into Republic House. In this Lukiiko, President Museveni who was in attendance was named a lineage (omukulu w’omutuba” by Katongole, the Nte Clan leader and was vested in a gown of Kabaka’s officials.
While in 1979, the late Samwiri Mugwisa, one of the political commissars in Obote’s Kikoosi Malum faction led by Tito Okello, Oyite Ojok and Paulo Muwanga which fought side by side with others like Robert Ssebunnya and Israel Mayengo, promised that walls had been ordered from US to get assembled in Masaka to restore destroyed buildings-but these walls never reached Masaka.
Like in 1993, July 31st, 2021 is a Saturday. It is unfortunate that people are not going to enjoy the fanfare as it has been the case since 1993, due to Covid-19 pandemic. I am grateful to Almighty Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of Worlds and Havens, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, to have kept me alive since l was born on Sunday July 24th 1966, during the 1966 crisis, two months immediately after the battle of Mengo on May 24th where Kabaka Edward Muteesa ll narrowly survived the Uganda Army invasion commanded by the then Army Chief of Staff, Col. Idi Amin Dada, on the orders of the then President Milton Obote, who wanted Muteesa dead or alive.
I am more grateful to Allah, as the 28th anniversary of the Kabaka’s coronaton has found me in Masaka City, the heartland of Buddu, as the Deputy Resident City Commissioner. The Kabaka’s call for prioritizing Masaka as one of the nine cities, will never be forgotten.
On Thursday July 22nd, l attended a security sub-committee held at Nkoni palace, chaired by Lwengo RDC Jjuuko Kasiita and attended by Masaka RCC Fred Bamwine among others. It was maintained as recommended by the central organizing committee that, due to the Covid19 pandemic, there shall be only 20 invited guests at Nkoni, on Saturday, but the cerebrations shall be held live on radio and TV.
According to the program, the Kabaka shall quietly leave for Buddu via Mawokota on Friday July 30th 2021 and the handover ceremony at Katonga Bridge by Mawokota Saza Chief, Kayima, to Buddu Saza Chief, Pookino, shall not take more than three minutes. However all the Kabaka’s subjects are called upon to put on kanzus and gomesis to cerebrate the day in their homes, and also to plant trees to commemorate the 28th coronation anniversary.
No cerebrations expected at Lukaya, Welcome Round About at Nyendo or at Kyabakuza. That is subject to the President’s national address on Covid19 that is expected to be held on Friday evening, God willing.
Long live Ssaabasajja Kabaka. Long live Buganda. Long live Ssaabalwanyi Yoweeri Museveni. Long live Uganda.
The writer is a veteran journalist and Deputy Resident City Commissioner, Masaka City.
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