President Museveni, First Lady Janet Host Kyabazinga and Inhebantu of Busoga

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mama Janet Museveni on Friday 3rd May, 2024 hosted the Kyabazinga of Busoga Kingdom, His Highness, William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV and the Inhebantu Jovia Mutesi for a special luncheon at State House Entebbe.

On November 18, 2023, the Kyabazinga and Queen Mutesi tied the knot at Christ’s Cathedral in Bugembe, Jinja City and later hosted their guests to a reception at the Monarchy’s palace in Igenge.

The unforgettable royal wedding which attracted thousands of guests was the first of its kind in Busoga Kingdom since 1956 and the Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu presided over the holy union.

During the luncheon, President Museveni congratulated His Highness Gabula for getting a wife.

“As he was telling you, whenever he would come here I would challenge him on that. I used to tell him that we the African people once you grow you get a wife. I congratulate you, Your Highness for getting a wife and I thank you for bringing and introducing her to us the “bazadde”(parents),”he said.

President Museveni further welcomed the Inhebantu for joining the Kyabazinga to make a family.

“I thank you for coming when you are already a highly developed product because she told me that she is a financial analyst and an accountant and I will mention how you will help us with those qualifications,”he noted.

“I thank you for coming when you are already a highly developed product because she told me that she is a financial analyst and an accountant

“In Banyankore when a child gets a wife, you don’t just come with swinging arms that you are going to attend a wedding and all that. You bring something on your head. So I will get them 100 cows to welcome our daughter-in-law (mukamwana),” he said.

“Now there’s a family of Inhebantu which she has brought near us. Those ones I give 20 cows. This is not a bride price but a token of appreciation.”

On the other hand, President Museveni tasked the Inhebantu to use her academic qualifications in economics and structures to push the National Resistance Movement (NRM) message of wealth creation to fight poverty in Busoga.

“Now, Inhebantu you will have to use your mathematical skills to help the Basoga because many of them refused to listen to my advice of the four acre model type of farming. Some have listened but most of them didn’t care about it. This is the poverty the people of Busoga are talking about. In the manifesto of 1996 we recommended to the whole country Busoga inclusive the four acre model. By 1995, I had progressed in the cattle corridor, that is why I analysed the other parts of the country and that is why I made a countrywide tour where I put out that advice then in the 1996 elections, we put it in the Manifesto [in writing],” he stated.

“We recommended one acre for coffee, the second acre for fruits, third acre for pasture for dairy cows and fourth acre for food crops. In the backyard, do poultry for eggs and piggery for those who are or Muslims. Those near the wetland can do fish farming. If you do this, you will get a huge amount of money. But many Basoga did not listen to that. These 7 activities are in the category of intensive agriculture but there’s also another type of agriculture which is extensive agriculture to grow low level products which you grow on a high scale when you have got a large piece of land. That is where items like cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, maize, and the indigenous cows fall.”

The President also thanked God for keeping him around and enabling him to work with three generations of the Gabulas.

“In 1966, I was 21-22 years old, already very active, connected and working with the group to which his grandfather belonged-Sir William Nadiope. This group which included Ministers who were arrested by Obote in a cabinet meeting were pushing some issues, one being building a national army since Obote was building a tribal army and these people; William Nadiope, Mathias Ngobi, Dr. Lumu Emmanuel, Grace Ibingira were opposing that. They wanted a national army and as students we were supporting them.”

“Then there was the issue of the East African Federation which this group supported very much. Now Obote had his own scheme. He wanted to build a tribal army, then messed up the Buganda issue. I was directly working with Grace Ibingira so when they were arrested, we took over the opposition to Obote immediately although he didn’t know that he had a very big problem below, but we started that time. Then later alone after fighting, his father Wilson came and joined us in the government here. That was the second generation. Now here is the third generation. You can see why you people should thank God for this old man whom God has kept around all this time. That is why I said if I don’t thank God then He will say I’m not grateful.”

The President further revealed that when he restored the cultural institutions, he wanted them to promote unity among Ugandans and he was happy that Busoga Kingdom was doing exactly that.

“I wanted them to discover the diversity of unity among them.”

On the issue of stabilising the fishing communities, the President said he was looking forward to meeting elders to deal with the challenge of illegal fishing.

“The communities or the indigenous people should control the lakes. This is crucial.”

Mama Janet Museveni congratulated the Kyabazinga of Busoga and the Inhebantu upon their recent royal wedding.

She also thanked the people of Busoga for the beautiful title they gave to the wife of the King.

“Inhebantu is such a beautiful title which means in Runyankore “the Mother of the people”. I have not heard such a title in all traditional kingdoms and Chiefdoms apart from Busoga. When I was watching that wedding I heard that title and it truly fitted your bride and your queen,” she said.

“Those of us who were not present at the wedding physically watched the ceremony on television with happiness and gratitude to God. In this age when the traditional family is under severe attack, we cannot help but thank God that the two young people come together to start a family in a Godly way. We therefore congratulate you heartily, thank you for giving us a day today to celebrate what God started in your lives not too long ago. We also know that a nation is as strong as its families so please be assured of our prayers and all the support as you start out in this new journey.”

Mama Janet also lauded the Inhebantu for accepting to serve as the Patron of the Neyendeire Development Initiative in Busoga, a community based organisation that the First Lady’s Office and a movement of young women, friends and colleagues formed in 2015 and its focused on empowering women in a wholesome manner.

“I’m very happy that Inhebantu has embraced the call to be a champion and a Patron to empower women in the Busoga region. I know that with her oversight as the Inhebantu, this work will continue to grow and cover all the 11 districts of Busoga and even thrive better than ever before. As you launch out and to the entire Busoga region, please know that our doors are open to you and our prayers are with you in all what you are committed to do,” the First Lady reiterated her commitment and support to the Inhebantu.

The First Lady assured the Inhebantu that if she uses her platform to serve God’s people , there is nothing He will withhold from her as she advised her to put God at the centre of her life and seek His wisdom before she embarks on anything.

“ The main reason God gives us leadership is to serve His people. If you use your platform to serve God’s people, there is nothing He will withhold from you. As Mzee, the President always says, when you do God’s business, He takes care of your business. Sometimes when we see the numerous needs of our people, it is possible to get overwhelmed. My prayer is that you will identify just a few causes that you want to commit your time to,” she advised.

On his part, the Kyabazinga of Busoga officially introduced his Queen to President Museveni and the First Lady.

“Today I have come to officially introduce my Queen to you Your Excellency and Mama Janet Museveni and her name is Mutesi Jovia,” he said.

The Kyabazinga also expressed gratitude towards the President and the First Lady for the support that ensured the success of their wedding.

The Inhebantu of Busoga thanked President Museveni for supporting and developing Busoga and Uganda at large.

“I also take this opportunity to thank you for the support that enabled us to successfully hold a royal wedding on 18th November, last year. I thank everyone for the roles you played to ensure the success of the royal wedding,” she said.

“I also thank our Mama, the First Lady, for her special duties towards Uganda in supporting Education, the children and women. As the Inhebantu I pledge to also work towards uplifting the women, youth and children as well as do other duties so that we develop Busoga.”

The Katukiro (Prime Minister) of Busoga Kingdom, Dr. Joseph Muvawala said they had visited the President and the First Lady to celebrate the royal union between the Kyabazinga and the Inhebantu.

He thanked President Museveni for his visionary leadership and promised that they will use the cultural institution to fulfil his vision of transforming Busoga and also to increase the people in the money economy.

“We also want to thank you, Your Excellency, for your generosity; financial, moral support, fatherly support towards His Royal Highness of Busoga. I want to assure you that in the shortest time, you will have a Kyabazinga who has a PhD.”

The event was also attended by Members of Parliament from Busoga Sub-region, Busoga Kingdom Ministers, the family of Inhebantu led by her father Mr. Stanley Bayole, among other officials.