By Daniel Saire
On Thursday September 1, 2022, Prince Patrick Izimba Gologolo, the chief of Kigulu, was buried at his ancestral home in Nasuti off Iganga-Kaliro Road. He was 65.
He had battled skin cancer for long and was in and out of hospital for the last two years of his life until it took him right at home as he underwent palliative care.
Among the 11 chiefs, he was the oldest both in age and length of service and his name would resonate in the minds of many people whenever it was mentioned.
Gologolo joined the Kyabazinga institution in 1998 when his uncle Samuel Kasadha Walube delegated him to represent him in the Busoga Lukiiko due to sickness.
His maturity and experience was always evident with how he carried himself among his fellow chiefs and he was not shy to remind them that he was the only one with both the institutional experience and wisdom’s blessings that come with age. They took him as their advisor.
Prince Gologolo has been a member of the 11 Royal Chiefs Council responsible for the election of the Kyabazinga. He was one of the seven Royal Chiefs that elected the current Kyabazinga His Royal Highness Gabula Nadiope IV. He is from the Baise Ngobi clan which produced the original five royal sons from whose lineage a Kyabazinga is selected.
Those who had the opportunity to work with him, like Busoga Consortium’s Anthony Mula described him as a brave pro-active leader who loved his people and Obusoga and loved everybody equally.
He was a humble royal who didn’t let the trappings of loyalty shroud the fact that majority of his subjects, especially in Kigulu county, were actually poor.
Even after government donated double cabin cars to chiefs, he would once in a while pick on his tradition trudging his Nasuti neighbourhood on foot checking on his subjects to see how they were doing.
But as his health deteriorated, he disappeared from the public eye only to surface later on August 14, in a video clip where he appeared to be under cruciating pain and was asking for help from well-wishers, including President Yoweri Museveni and his son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
The video went viral on social media and aroused sympathy and awe from several people. May be the chief’s cry came too late as he breathed his last two weeks later.
“Prince Gologolo was humble in life and humility followed him to his death bed. It was so touching seeing a whole prince on his deathbed crying out for help. How could a whole kingdom that allocates over Shs6 billion to health fail to treat a royal from a reasonable medical facility,” said an elder in Iganga Municipality who preferred anonymity.
Service to the kingdom
The Royal Chief has been known for his high level of commitment and love for the Kyabazinga institution. Being one of the most senior and elder among the 11 Royal Chiefs, Gologolo always played an advisory role to his colleagues especially on matters of unity, peace and development of the kingdom.
He is remembered for working behind the curtains to contain several wrangles among the royals that threatened to derail progress of the kingdom.
In a meeting with this writer early this year, Gologolo had expressed disappointment with some of his fellow royals that opposed the Isebantu HRH Gabula Nadiope.
“It is not wrong to disagree but doing it in public causes a bad image to the Kyabazinga institution. It is even worse when people who ought to learn and follow us are the ones giving us advice,” he said.
It was not a surprise that the Busoga Lukiiko held a special sitting to recognize his efforts on September 30, 2022.
In his message read by the first deputy Prime Minister Prof Dr. Muhamadi Lubega, the Kyabazinga described Gologolo as a chief who promoted unity in his Kigulu chiefdom and Busoga at large.
The Kyabazinga commended the deceased for doing research and writing books about Busoga culture and tradition.
Gologolo, who was the 25th royal chief of Kigulu, was passionate about agriculture and the environment. He participated in many tree planting exercises, secured tree seedlings and gave them out to people for planting.
“The late loved and practiced agriculture on a large scale. He always emphasized on fallback positions and urged his subjects to embrace commercial farming,” Former RDC Nasser Munuulo said.
He is also remembered for taking the lead in mobilizing and sensitizing communities about the fight against Gender-Based Violence, and promotion of education of children and served as member of Iganga district team against Gender-Based Violence.
He always attended and participated in many public functions aimed at improving standard of life of citizens of his county.
All praises for Gologolo
The Katukkiro Dr. Joseph Muvawala remembers Gologolo for having saved him from a group of Basoga that wanted to throw him out of office.
“Gologolo asked them to put the issues against me in writing but when they gave him the copy, he confiscated it for the good of Busoga,” Muvawala said during the burial ceremony.
He refuted claims that Gologolo had been neglected, adding that the Kyabazinga institution has been meeting treatment costs for the deceased for two years. He contributed Shs30 million towards burial expenses.
President Yoweri Museveni described Gologolo as a hard working leader, elder and patriot who served diligently as Ngobi of Kigulu. Museveni further added that the deceased loved doing research and writing about Busoga traditions and culture. He contributed Shs30m towards the deceased’s burial expenses.
The 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs, Rebbecca Kadaga, commended Gologolo for fighting for the return of Busoga kingdom properties (ebyaiffe).
She urged those of still alive to continue pushing for what the Prince loved most.
Busoga Chief Prince Samuel Zirabamuzaale who is also the royal chief of Bugweri said Gologolo helped to bring about cohesion among the royal chiefs, adding that the deceased was an icon for transparency and accountability.
Prince Ismail Kyeyago says that while many expected squabbles among members of the Ngobi clan after the demise of Gologolo, instead they agreed to work together and organize a befitting send off of their head.
The secretary of the Ngobi clan royal council, Ibrahim Kitawulwa, also warns that any member of the clan that tries to cause infighting will be isolated.
The National Chairperson Uganda Red Cross, Dr Halid Kirunda, says the deceased has been a unifying factor and had love for humanity, which led him to give space to Iganga district Red Cross offices in the Kigulu county office building.
Several people attended Gologolo’s burial on September, 1, 2022, a day that coincided with his date of birth on September, 1, 1957. They included Kadaga, Muvawala, Ministers Milly Babalanda, Kasule Lumumba, Ngobi Gume, and Bwiino Kyakulaga. Members of parliament were Mariam Naigaga, Brandon Kintu, Milton Muwuma, Sauda Alibawo.
Chief Gologolo is survived with a widow and 15 children.
Gologolo was born to the late Prince Dawson Kiregeya and late Maria Katono Kubonaku of Nasuti, Nambale Sub- County on September, 1, 1957.
He went to Nasuti Primary School where he completed Primary Seven in 1970. He then joined St James Secondary School in Jinja in 1974.
He later got a job of office clerk in the District Commissioner’s office Jinja in 1976. In 1992, after the retirement of his paternal uncle HRH Samuel Kasadha Walube, Gologolo managed his uncle’s bookshop called Bakusekamajja in Jinja town.
He later started his own bookshop in 1992 called Buzimba in the same premises. He joined Uganda Management Institute in the same year and got a certificate in Public Administration. He went back to UMI in 1995 and got another certificate in book keeping and record management.
He joined the Kyabazinga institution in 1998 when his uncle Samuel Kasadha Walube delegated him to represent him in the Busoga lukiiko due to sickness.
He became the 25th royal chief of Kigulu in 2000 after the death of Walube. This was after warding off resistance from other royals.
Becoming the chief of Kigulu made him a full member of the Busoga royal council. He has been an advisor on Uganda Royal Youth Council and a member of Uganda cultural network.