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Bamasaba to Celebrate Imbalu Cultural Ritual Without a King

By Melanie Aanyu,

The celebration of this year’s Imbalu (circumcision) ceremony in Bugisu Sub-region is expected to go on without a cultural head.

The ritual, which will kick off in the first week of August at Mutoto Cultural Grounds in Mbale City, is supposed to be presided over by the sitting Umukukha every even year.

But this might not be possible this year since the throne remains empty as the contest over who is the rightful cultural head rages on.

The government has not gazetted any of the parallel leaders despite calls from religious, political and opinion leaders in the region.

Mr Mike Jude Mudoma from Buyobo clan and Mr John Wagabyalire from Halasi clan, all from Mwambu family, were elected in 2020 by separate factions.

Mr Mudoma was elected by the faction led by Mr Nelson Wedaira, the speaker of the general assembly of the institution, while Mr Wagabyalire was chosen by a group led by Mr Geoffrey Wepondi, the secretary general of the institution.

The throne fell vacant after Bob Mushikori, who hailed from the Mubuuya family, died in January last year.

Mr James Manana, one of the elders, said the unresolved leadership wrangles have affected the running of the institution.