Bunyoro King Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru on Tuesday marked 19 years on the throne. His 19th coronation anniversary celebration “Empango” was held at his Hoima Karuziika palace.
It was pomp at Karuziika palace as several government and other dignitaries from all over the world graced the function which was crowned by a traditional dance Amakondere going through the night.
But as the Omukama’s subjects celebrated his 19th coronation day, some expressed mixed feelings about his 19 year rule.
Some credited him for his efforts in encouraging unity, promotion of education and luring both international and local friends to the kingdom while others said his team has let him down.
70-year old Joseph Kaliba of Kitongole village in Hoima says compared to his father Sir Tito Gafabusa Winyi, Iguru has advocated for peace and unity in the kingdom. He says the king’s messages of unity are responsible for peace and the unity in diversity prevailing in the kingdom.
The retired primary school headmaster says Iguru has also done much in the promotion of education. He says the king has not only encouraged parents to educate their children, but the kingdom has also started a number of education institutions.
Bunyoro Kitara kingdom is the brain behind Hoima Nursing School and Kabalega Royal institute in Hoima town. The kingdom under Iguru has been at the forefront of advocating for a Bunyoro University which government says is soon to start.
The kingdom has also collaborated with a number of universities in Uganda and abroad to secure scholarships for students in a number of disciplines.
But 82-year old Benon Sali Sulait, Omukama Iguru’s relative, says the Omukama’s contribution would be more immense if he was keen on the caliber of people he appoints to some offices. Although he would not elaborate, Sali says some kingdom projects have been failed by people appointed to spearhead them.
Sali challenges the king to always scrutinize people he delegates responsibility to first.
Some kingdom projects such as the cultural centre and the mobile banking scheme have failed to progress, despite the fact that money to kick-start them was availed.
Meanwhile in Masindi subjects took issue with the poor mobilization for this Empango. Margaret Barungi Nyakabiito, a manager at the Masindi based radio Kitara, says people in the district appear unaware of the relevancy of the event simply because the mobilization was so poor.
She says none of the kingdom officials approached the radio station asking for airtime to mobilize the people, ahead of the event.
Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru is son to former Bunyoro Omukama Sir Tito Gafabusa Winyi. He is a grandson of Bunyoro’s Great King Omukama Yohana Kabalega Cwa.