Bunyoro marks Omukama’s 24th coronation anniversary

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By FRANCIS MUGERWA

Hoima- Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom will today commemorate the coronation anniversary to mark 24 years since the Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru ascended to the throne.

The celebrations, traditionally known as Empango, will take place at Karuziika palace in Hoima Town under the theme; ‘Transforming Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom’.

Empango is the first ritual the Omukama performs as he is crowned.
Omukama Iguru first performed this ritual on June 11, 1994.

The kingdom prime minister, Mr Andrew Byakutaga, said President Museveni is expected to be the chief guest at the celebrations.

“The coronation anniversary is the most important ceremony in the kingdom since it marks the day when our king ascended the throne,” Mr Byakutaga said.

He said the kingdom has massively mobilised people to turn up for the celebrations as part of efforts to attract more people to embrace and appreciate the rich culture of Banyoro.

In Bunyoro, the reigning king heads all clans and is a symbol of identity, pride and belonging for all his subjects.
In the run up to the event, the Omukama visited Buliisa District where he interacted with leaders, mothers and children.

The kingdom also held a trade exhibition, a medical camp, an inter-clan football fundraising tournament that was won by Abasiita, and marathon which attracted close to 10,000 people and raised money to buy a 3D scan machine for Buliisa Hospital. Mr Bruhan Kyakuhaire, the special assistant for culture in the office of the kingdom prime minister, said just like the previous years, there will be rituals.

“The Omukama uses the Empango celebrations to make important pronouncements to his people,” Mr Kyakuhaire said.
He said the prime minister will use the occasion to give a progress report as well as accountability and a plan for the forthcoming year.

Mr Kyakuhaire said it is also a day of exhibiting and showcasing different activities taking place in the kingdom.
“It is a day of making friendship among the celebrants. The king’s subjects use the day to make money through selling consumables and other items,” Mr Kyakuhaire said.

Bunyoro Kingdom in western Uganda covers the districts of Hoima, Masindi, Kibaale, Kiryandongo, Kagadi, Kakumiro, and Buliisa. The kingdom’s administrative centre is in Hoima District. The ancient kingdom was one of the most powerful kingdoms in Central and East Africa between 13th and 19th Century. During the 15th Century, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom comprised parts of eastern Congo, northern Tanzania and about 50 per cent of Uganda.
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