Bududa, Uganda | URN | Police have deployed heavily in Bududa ahead of the Imbalu festival to take place on Saturday 25th, July 2020 evening.
Armed with tear gas, police officers are patrolling the district in a bid to scare away those who intend to carry out the imbalu ritual as they prepare for the main celebrations at Mutoto cultural grounds in Mbale city next month.
At 5pm on Saturday 25th, six clans of Bukirimwa, Busayi, Banayembe, Buloli, Bunamutunyi and Bashinyekwa are set to go and perform their imbalu ritual at Nashula cultural grounds in Bunashale cell Bushinyekwa ward in Bududa town council.
Jafari Magyezi, the Bududa district police commander said they are not going to allow the festivities to go on as this contradicts with ministry of health guidelines on COVID-19 prevention.
He warned all those organizing the festival to desist as police is ready to use a force to stop their activities adding that they should wait till the president declares those activities opened.
Read Also: Bugisu MPs protest minister Mutuuzo ‘Imbalu’ comments
Andrew Wamusi, a resident said they will do what it takes to see that they honor their ancestors’ rituals even if police deploys. He said their culture should also be respected because it started at a time when this government was not in power.
Robert Kimaswa, another resident said police should allow them only yesterday because they are supposed to fulfill their ancestral beliefs which have been there for many years. He said they are not there to fight with police but only want coordination so that their festival ends well and peacefully.
Last week, in Bunabutsale sub county Manafwa district, there were riots between police and residents over circumcision rituals.