A country without culture is doomed, and this is reflected in the way its people behave, says Hon Richard Rwabuhinga the LC V chairperson Kabarole district and former Education Minister Tooro Kingdom. Rwahuhinga confirms that the government of Uganda and cultural institutions have a very strong relationship because they both serve the same population and need.
Uganda has a number of cultural institutions which operate under the government and are directly they funded by it. However, some people say cultural leaders and government don’t have a clear relationship.
Professor Fredrick Jjuko a political analyst notes that when president Museveni came to power, he installed legitimacy and had cultural institutions restored since Dr Milton Obote had abolished them. He adds that this is the reason he can never have them as separate instructions since they exist because of him.
According the Uganda constitution, traditional or cultural leaders or institution should not practice any custom, culture, usage or tradition that detracts from the rights of any person as guaranteed under the Constitution or contravenes the Constitution or any other law. A traditional or cultural leader shall not deal with foreign governments except with concurrence of the Government.
Uganda has a number of cultural institutions headed by a number of rulers /kings and among these are; Ker Kwaro Acholi Ker Alur Obukama bwa Bunyoro, Buruuli Chiefdom, Obwakyabazinga Bwa Busoga
Obwakamuswaga Wa Kooki, Lango Chiefdom, Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu, Kakabaka bwa Buganda,
Teso Chiefdom, Tieng Adhola Chiefdom Obukama bwa Tooro, Inzu ya Masaaba.
Benefits from cultural leaders
According to Faruk kabugo a teacher at kyaliwajara Umea, kingdoms have increased the tourism rate in Uganda from the cultural sites and sites they have created hence increasing on the revenue. among these are the Imbalu in Bamasaba, kasubi tombs in Uganda among others.
Rwabuhinga notes that a country without culture leaders is hard to rule because the people have no unification, an un cultured person will behave the way they want because nothing grounds them, cultural leaders have done a great thing in restoring peace and creating a good governance.
The state of cultural leaders.
During this year’s Imbalu in Mbale, the Bamasaba cultural leader urged government to increase funding to cultural institutions, since they had inadequate resources to effectively run their affairs. The Bamasaba Umukhukha also suggested that the government should set up an independent ministry to be in charge of culture.
“We need our own fully-fledged ministry that is well-funded to support our projects because as a country, we are endowed with unique cultures and great potential for tourism but they remain unexploited,” he said.
In the same function, the State minister for Gender, Ms Peace Mutuzo, asked traditional cultural leaders should play a role in the implementation of sustainable development goals.
“The traditional leaders should ensure that nobody is left behind in the walk towards middle income status of the economy,” she added.
Rwabuhinga notes that the cultural leaders need to be empowered economically to be able to address the economic need of the people since most of them are financially unstable.
Vincent Mugume Araali the deputy spokesperson Tooro kingdom notes that government has done everything possible to help cultural leaders. He adds that Tooro kingdom and the government have the best relationship only that they are still waiting for it to give the Tooro kingdom what belongs to them.
Isaac Mufumbi* not real name, a history teacher notes that government and cultural institutions are in a great fight for space and none is letting the other prosper. He says this can only be broken if there is democracy in the country where each institution is given rightful means to rule.
According to Ugandan constitutional act, Kings are supposed to enjoy the following privileges from the government.
Without prejudice to this section, a traditional or cultural leader shall enjoy the privileges and benefits that the traditional or cultural leader is entitled to under culture, custom or tradition which are not inconsistent with the Constitution or this Act or any other law.
The benefits payable under this section shall be free from income tax. Where a traditional or cultural leader is recognized in more than one regional government, the benefits shall be paid by the regional governments in equal proportions.
The duties and responsibilities of the traditional or cultural leader may be financed through central government from the Consolidated Fund as a grant.
This interview was carried out when Uganda was celebrating its 2018 Independence.