By Wilber Muhwezi- Kasibante
Lt.Dr.Denis Twinomugisha; a lecturer at Mark green University in USA has appealed to the Ugandan government to restore Ankole kingdom as it has done in other regions if Banyankore culture and development can thrive.
He dismissed presumption that during the Ankole kingdom many people; especially Abairu were subjected to all forms of torture by Bahima therefore for that fact Ankole Kingdom should never be restored.
Speaking at the launch of Runyankore proverbs book by Elneo mwine Yeremiya at Ruharo in Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality yesterday, Lt.Dr.Twinomugisha disclosed that cultural institutions were restored in all regions in Uganda except Ankole whose efforts to get back it’s kingdom were blocked by president Yoweri Museveni.
He said the cultural institutions play a tremendous role in uniting people in terms of development and culture.
Ankole Kingdom is one of the kingdoms which were abolished by Ugandan government in 1967. It’s royal drums and regalia comprising the Bagyendanwa, Kabembura,Iguru,Buzimba,the Nyamiringa spear and the Kashazyo shield among others were seized by the state and dumped in Uganda museum in Kampala. The government refused to return them
To this day, in spite of the enactment of The Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act 1993 and clear provisions on the existence of traditional or cultural leaders under the 1995 Constitution, Ankole Kingdom remains a dividing line as some support it’s restoration and other oppose it.
In 1993 Prince John Patrick Barigye was enthroned as the King of Ankole at a colourful ceremony held at Nkokonjeru in Mbarara town.
However, the following day the government cancelled his enthronement, declaring it null and void.
Barigye, still continued fighting for the restoration of Ankole kingdom until October 14, 2011 when he died at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Born in 1940, Barigye was the only monarch in Uganda whose kingdom was not restored after the 1995 constitution allowed for the restoration of cultural institutions.
After his death, his son; Rwebishengye took the forefront in the fight for restoration of the Ankole kingdom.