Bulemezi County (Ssaza) were the winners of the first qualifier of this year’s Kabaka royal boat regatta held on Saturday at Kiyindi landing site.
Singo, Kyaggwe and Bugerere finished second, third and fourth respectively of the nine teams that competed in different counties (Masaza).
The regatta was graced by the Katikiro (Premier) of Buganda Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga, Orthodox Archbishop Metropolitan Yonah Lwanga, local government leaders, Members of parliament, Buganda kingdom officials among other invited guests.
According to Eng. Ben Misagga, the organising committee chairman, they organised the regatta in Kiyindi in order to spread the game and encourage environment preservation on areas around the waters especially Lake Victoria.
“We want to make the boat regatta a money making venture for the kingdom. In Spain city of Malaga, boat riding competitions bring in over $150m per year and we can also earn as kingdom from the regatta with consistency,” noted Misagga.
While launching the 2019 edition, the Katikiro urged the people of Kiyindi to fight HIV/aids prevalence rate. “Life is precious and Kabaka wants health people. You cannot enjoy such traditional activities like this royal regatta when you are not alive. HIV/Aids is spread is high at landing sites and islands and you need fight this. I want to thank the organisers for the good job and the participating teams,” noted Katikiro, who also planted trees at three local schools.
There will be one other qualifier at Lambu landing site in Masaka on May 21 to be graced by kingdom minister for youth and sports Owek Henry Sekabembe where the other counties (Masaza) that did not take part in Sunday qualifiers will be in action.
“This is a points scoring competition. The points scored in qualifiers contribute to the finals’ performance and the average winner will be declared the champion of 2019 after the finals,” explained Misagga.
All the 18 Masaza (teams) will compete in the finals due June 8 at the Nabugabo sand beach, Masaka where the Kabaka (King) His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi is expected to be the chief guest and award overall winners.
The Kabaka royal boat regatta
Buvuma, Kyaggwe, Buluri, Bulemezi, Singo, Gomba, Kyadondo, Busiro and Bugerere counties took part in the Kiyindi qualifiers.