Homia –Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom yesterday is celebrating the 21st coronation anniversary of Rukirabasaija Omukama Solomon Iguru, commonly known as empango yesterday.
Empango is a celebration to mark the day the reigning king ascended the throne, an important function in Bunyoro and Tooro kingdoms. It’s during the ceremony that the king gives the state of the kingdom address and performs a series of cultural rituals.
This year’s celebrations have been graced by Tooro King, Oyo Nyimba and Buganda Premier, Charles Peter Mayiga. Ernest Kiiza, the Minister In charge of Bunyoro Affairs delivered the speech on behalf of the guest of honor, meant to be the President Yoweri Museveni, who did not attend the function due to other engagements.
A vigorous campaign dubbed ‘Omuganda’ had been launched by the Kingdom to raise money to facelift the kingdom. ‘Omuganda’ is equivalent to Buganda’s ‘Etoffali’ project.
Mayiga handed over Buganda’s contribution to the initiative with Shs10 million cash.
Responding to Buganda’s donation, Jonathan Akweteirehoa resident of Masindi district said this was a sign of unity and a challenge to the Banyoro to work hard.
‘‘The shs10million Buganda cash donation to Bunyoro Kingdom is a huge task to us, a challenge indeed, given the history, the current efforts to rebuild the two cultural institutions. It also carries a message that kingdoms can transform their people, through collective effort, positive jealous and using our political differences as a region for a common strength anchoring,’’ wrote Akweteireho in a message on MANET (a Facebook group for Bunyoro residents).
In 2013 President Museveni donated Shs200million to the kingdom to support renovation of the Hoima palace. However, only a foundation for the perimeter wall was dug and a gate partially built.
It’s during the ceremony that the king gives the state of the kingdom address and performs a series of cultural rituals.
The rituals peak with a traditional dance known as Amakondere. In this dance, drums and animal horns are played as specially trained youth (abakondere) and elders dance in an eye-catching and rhythmic celebration.
Bunyoro’s reigning king Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru ascended the throne on June 11, 1994, following the restoration of cultural institutions by the National Resistance Movement government. Monarchies had had been abolished by the Obote I government in 1967.
Dr Solomon Gafabusa Iguru is a son to Omukama Sir Tito Winyi, a fallen King of Bunyoro who ruled Bunyoro from 1924 to 1967.Iguru who is also a grandson of Omukama, and is the 27th King in the ruling Ababiito dynasty and is the chairperson of the Uganda Cultural Leaders Forum.