A segment of the Ugandan population has expressed frustration and anger towards Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations, for presenting the Kyabazinga with cows, deeming it a disrespectful act against the kingdom’s cultural norms.
The marriage of Kyabazinga of Busoga, William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, to Jovia Mutesi at Christ Cathedral Bugembe unfolded smoothly over the weekend, with various dignitaries, including Vice President Jessica Alupo and Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, attending the event.
Gen Muhoozi, among the attendees, gifted the couple ten cows following their marriage vows at the colorful ceremony in Jinja.
However, his statement during the wedding reception, “So when you are ready, your Majesty, please come and pick your cows,” has sparked criticism for being perceived as rude, impolite, and culturally insensitive.
Some Ugandans on social media found Muhoozi’s actions embarrassing, emphasising that he not only gifted the couple with cows but also instructed them to personally collect the animals.
Justice Hunter questioned Muhoozi’s behavior, describing it as sheer arrogance and inappropriate.
He criticized Muhoozi for telling the respected king to retrieve the pledged cows himself.
Hassan Sena remarked that such actions are not tolerated in Buganda, emphasising the importance of respecting cultural norms when visiting different regions.
Journalist Sam Waswa raised a similar point, questioning why the guest’s culture should take precedence over the host’s and suggesting that visitors should adhere to the local culture.
Desire Vestergaard emphasized the need for educated and well-traveled individuals, especially diplomats, to respect hosts’ cultures during significant events.
Elit Apio criticised Muhoozi for asking an elder and honored person to “pick cows” in a disrespectful manner, highlighting the importance of maintaining the right tone, especially in cultural contexts.
Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, defended Muhoozi, explaining that different cultures have unique structures.
He clarified the cultural practice of physically selecting cows from a kraal when gifted by someone from the Munyankole culture.
Kyabazinga expressed gratitude to Muhoozi and other friends for their support during the marriage ceremony.
The wedding, attended by powerful officials from Busoga kingdom and the Ugandan government, was officiated by Anglican Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba, drawing thousands of Basoga to witness the royal couple’s procession from the Cathedral to the Palace.