BAGUNGU VOW TO SECEDE FROM BUNYORO KINGDOM
The Bagungu have embarked on consultative meetings with different stakeholders to secede from the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. They want to establish their own cultural institution known as ‘’Butebengwa’’,
Over seven years on the road, Bagungu who are the indigenous people of Buliisa district have thrown towels on their back to secede from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.
Consultation meetings are being conducted in all the sub counties and town councils involving different leaders like the local area and sub counties/ town council chairpersons and the head of different clan heads in the district.
Sharif Aguma the secretary for publicity Bugungu Cultural Revival Association told our reporter that out of the 56 clan heads, 42 are supporting their secession.
Sharif asserts that they wrote to the commissioner at the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development who gave them guidelines they are supposed to follow to put in place the cultural institution.
”We have so far written to the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom three times about our secession but we haven’t got any feedback,” said Sharif.
Why secede from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom?
Sharif Aguma explains the Bagungu Culture has been eroded and he hopes that once they establish their own cultural institution, they will be able to revive it.
He also explains that though they will remain in the greater Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, they will be independent since they will have their own cultural leader.
Sharif notes that they have different cultures like traditional dances, dressing code, food staple and many others which differ them from the Banyoro.
Sharif asserts that they have made consultations with different heads of clan in Bugungu and they have agreed to support the secession.
”We have consulted different clan heads in Bugungu who have agreed to support the secession,” he asserted.
He also explains they have already composed the anthem for the cultural institution, designed the coat of arms, flag and they are planning to draft the constitution that will govern the cultural institution.
The Bugungu Cultural Revival Association secretary for publicity says that the secession will create unity through the clan heads, protect the cultural norms of Bagungu and also develop the oil rich Buliisa district.
Other leaders speaks out
Fred Lukumu the Buliisa district chairperson explains that due to the colonial error, the 1965 constitution did not recognize the Bagungu. ‘’Though the 1995 constitution recognizes the Bagungu, they are also entitled to establish their own cultural institution,’’ said Fred.
When asked about the cultural leader, Lukumu asserted that the cultural institution is supposed to have a cultural leader. ‘’Once the cultural institution is established, they will have to establish the cultural leader,’’ he noted.
Steven Birija the former Masindi district Chairperson says that Bagungu are the most powerful ‘’Nyoro’’ people. ‘’We have not just seen it. It is upon us to fight for our space or surrender it.’’
Birija asserts that they are pushed aside and neglected because the rest of Banyoro are afraid of them. ‘’But unfortunately, the recent breed of Bagungu we have chosen to be either apologists or act victims to avoid responsibility.’’
The politician says that Bagungu need to organize and protect their identity, but how they do it will either develop or destroy them.
Bunyoro Kingdom Speaks Out
Rt. Hon. Andrew Byakutaga the Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom says that there is no need for the Bagungu to break off rather unite for the development of Bunyoro.
‘’Since we have been working together, there is no need for Bagungu to secede from Bunyoro, we should rather work together for the development of Bunyoro rather than dividing ourselves,’’
Byakutaga also asserted that they are ready to sit on the round table and solve their challenges rather than seceding from Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.