With just hours to the highly-anticipated Busoga kingdom royal wedding, the chief of Bulamogi, Prince Edward Columbus Wambuzi, says he is yet to receive an invitation.
Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV is on Saturday set to walk Ms Jovia Mutesi down the aisle at Christ’s Cathedral, Bugembe in Jinja North City Division in eastern Uganda.
“I have not yet received any invitation; therefore, I cannot commit myself to the function which is there tomorrow,’’ Prince Wambuzi said on Friday, adding that even the proposed parallel virtual (wedding) functions scheduled to take place in his chiefdom remain unknown to him.
Busoga Kingdom has scheduled parallel virtual celebrations across its 11 chiefdoms, including; Bugabula, where the current Kyabazinga comes from, Bugweri, Bukholi, Bukono, Bulamogi, Bunhole, Bunyha, Busiki, Butembe, Kigulu and Luuka.
Prince Wambuzi says for now, he is “completely out of the wedding arrangement”, adding: “On Saturday, I will stick to my normal programme by either staying at my private Palace in Nakabango or going to the official Palace in Bulamogi Chiefdom, Kaliro district.”
But Mr Andrew Ntange, the Busoga kingdom Spokesperson, says Prince Wambuzi is one of the 2,500 guests who have been invited for the royal wedding.
According to Mr Ntange, the Kyabazinga invited all his brothers to the royal wedding, including Prince Wambuzi, whose decision to attend, he says, will entirely depend on him and his handlers.
“Every brother of the Kyabazinga has been given an invitation to attend the wedding. He recognises all the brothers and doesn’t discriminate against any,” Mr Ntange said, assuring the general public that the Kyabazinga and Prince Wambuzi enjoy “a cordial relationship”.
“Everyone remembers the day when the two visited each other; so, people should not think that they are at loggerheads. Those are negative energies aimed at diverting people,” Mr Ntange added.
In September 2020, Prince Wambuzi paid a courtesy visit to Prince Gabula IV at the latter’s Budhumbula Palace, Bugabula Chiefdom in Kamuli District.
The visit was, however, construed by majority of the subjects as efforts to unite both princes who had been at loggerheads over kingship that had raged on following the death of then Kyabazinga, Henry Wako Muloki in 2008.
Prince Wambuzi and the Kyabazinga fell out in 2008 when, shortly after the death of his father, Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki, a section of Busoga loyalists asked Prince Wambuzi to ascend to the throne, a move which was rebuffed by Prince Gabula’s camp.
Those opposed to Prince Wambuzi’s kyabazingaship contended that Prince Gabula was the rightful monarch “because the Late Muloki was appointed Kyabazinga to keep the seat of Nadiope, whose father (Wilberforce) died while he was still young”.
The bickering and simmering tensions over the Kyabazingaship dragged on until 2014 when the then Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, asked President Museveni to intervene.
This culminated in the 11 hereditary royal chiefs selecting a substantive Kyabazinga to end the six-year conflict by electing Prince Gabula in 2014.
Prince Wambuzi loyalists, however, continue rejecting Prince Gabula’s Kyabazingaship to-date.