On March 19, 2016, Buganda that members of Ngeye Clan (colobus monkey) in Buganda, their families and friends, witnessed the installation of Haj. Mohamood Minge the new Kasujja (See: Omutaka Mohamood Minge installed as new Kasujja at a colorful ceremony in Busujja). Haj. Minge was installed to succeed the late Omutaka Kasujja, Alikaadi Zibukuyimbwa, who fell in 1927, at the clan’s ancestral place in Busujja, Busiro County.
After his installation, Omutaka Kasujja granted BugandaWatch an exclusive interview, and it took place on April 1, 2016. During the interview, Omutaka Kasujja revealed that his family’s lack of money and instability in Buganda was to blame for the problems that have been there in Ngeye Clan leadership, since even before he was born. He also believes that members of Ngeye Clan are all good and he will work hard to bring them together, to develop and run a clan that they will be proud of.
Below is a transcript of the exchange between BugandaWatch (BW) and Omutaka Kasujja:
BW: Jjajja, thank you very much for allowing us to interview you. Please briefly tell our readers about yourself, your occupation and your family.
Kasujja: I am Haj Minge Kibirige Muhamood, son of the late Mr. Bumaali Kibirige. My mother is Mrs. Mayimuuna Nabakooza who belongs to Nte (cow) Clan.
BW: And what is your occupation, besides being leader of Ngeye Clan?
Kasujja: I studied Accounts and my first job was in East African Posts and Telecommunication (EAP&T) Corporation, which was under the East African Community. After the Community broke up in the mid-1970s, the Uganda branch became Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC). I worked in those companies from 1965 to 1979, when I resigned to start my own business in Kampala. Since 1979 I have been importing and trading in clothes and shoes. I import them from China, Hongkong and other countries.
BW: Many people, including BugandaWatch congratulated you on your installation as the rightful Kasujja, head of Ngeye Clan. Most of those who congratulated you know that another person was in that position before you filed a petition with Embuga ya Kisekwa (Baganda Cultural Court) to contest the situation. And that Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi, recently made a ruling in your favor. Please tell our readers about the petition you filled with Embuga ya Kisekwa and how it led to your installation.
Kasujja: I was born when my father and grandparents had already started the process to solve this issue during the reign of Ssekabaka Muteesa II. In fact, they won the case but because they were not rich and because of poor security in Buganda, nothing changed. Fortunately, our parents and grandparents kept excellent records and left everything in writing, which made it easier for us the process again. We started by petitioning our own clan court but, unfortunately, those in charge, failed to give us a affair hearing, which forced us to petition Embuga ya Kisekwa in 2005. Embuga ya Kisekwa ruled twice that our side was the correct one based on documented evidence. But our brothers on the other side disagreed and lodged an appeal to Kabaka. Earlier this year Kabaka Mutebi II made a final ruling that a new Kasujja be selected from the correct sub-sub-clan (Mutuba) and the case be suspended indefinitely.
BW: What is your relationship with and the members of your clan who disagreed with your petition and supported the man you are replacing as Kasujja, the Ngeye Clan leader?
Kasujja: I have a responsibility to bring together all members of the Ngeye family without treating anyone as an opponent. And I am happy to tell you that many who opposed our petition have shown that they are willing to reconcile and participate in running and developing our clan. By the way, every one in Ngeye Clan is a good person. It is only that, when we believe that something is true for many years, it can be difficult to accept the opposite even after looking as evidence that is in writing. That is why need to welcome everyone and not call those who are still unhappy bad people.
BW: What immediate arrangements are you making to unite the clan, after many years of divisions?
Kasujja: As I said in my answer to your last question, I want to keep talking to all members of Ngeye Clan to make sure that they understand that unity is important and we need it to run and build a clan that we can all be proud of.
BW: Have the Ngeye Clan office and other clan assets been handed over to you?
Kasujja: I have not received any file or assets yet although the Kabaka specifically ordered Mr. Feston Mayanja, who has been the clan treasurer to hand over quickly. It may be because Mr. Mayanja has not been attending the sessions at Embuga ya Kisekwa and does not have the full information. However, we may soon write to the Katikkiro of Buganda for help.
BW: Some Baganda claim that there are people who used money or took advantage of the instability in Buganda to gain leadership in Baganda clans (what it called okulya ensowole). What are your thoughts?
Kasujja: Okulya ensowole, as commonly known, is a big problem that needs much attention if we are to overcome it in Buganda. Although some people may try to use money other improper ways, I think that most problems are caused by clan leaders who do not take time to learn the history, customs and traditions of their respective clans. They instead trust other people, who do not even qualify for succession. And when the clan leader dies the unqualified people can easily take advantage and claim clan leadership. Every clan must make sure that all questions about succeeding their leader are answered and documented many years before he dies.
BW: As a clan leader, are you aware of the daily conditions that Kabaka lives today?
Kasujja: I became a member of the Abataka Council only a few weeks ago. And I am looking forward to attending the meetings and finding out about the daily welfare of our Kabaka.
BW: Omutaka Kasujja, what do you do for relaxation outside your business, family and cultural activities?
Kasujja: I coach the young how to play football and I enjoy that very much. I also enjoy listening to music for relaxation.
BW: Jjajja, thank you very much for granting us your first news interview.
Kasujja: Thank you very much too, Bazzukulu. Ssaabasajja Awangaale!