Culture and Society
The coronation anniversay of King Oyo of Tooro hangs in balance following the current conflicts in the kingdom
Celebrations of the coronation anniversary of King Oyo of Toro hang in balance as a result of the ongoing conflicts in his kingdom. The anniversary, known in Rutooro as empango', has been an annual event since Oyo was crowned king in 1995 at the age of three. During the one week celebrations, his subjects have an opportunity to visit the King at his palace in Fort Portal town, present gifts and interact with him.
The King also visits schools and hospitals and donates food items and clothes to patients. Other activities include cultural exhibitions at the king’s palace and clan football and netball tournament. However kingdom officials are concerned that this year’s celebrations which are supposed to start on July 25th and end on 30th, may not take place because of lack of funds. It follows the freezing of the kingdom because of a court order stopping any kingdom activities from taking place.
Shem Rubale, the deputy Prime Minister Tooro Kingdom says that they have tried to solicit for funds for the celebrations from several organizations in the kingdom but they are reluctant to contribute because of the uncertainty in the kingdom.
A fundraising event that was also meant to solicit funds for the celebrations was shunned last Saturday. The kingdom has budgeted 500 million shillings for the anniversary.
Rubale says that they are in talks with the clan council members to withdraw the court injunction so that the kingdom accounts are opened and the celebrations can go ahead. At the palace, where the celebrations are held, the front section which is supposed to be renovated in time for the celebrations is still in a poor state and grass has also over grown around the palace compound.
Rubale says that the king’s subjects should blame the clan council members for sabotaging the celebrations. But Steven Nyamutale, the chairperson of the clan council denies sabotaging the celebrations. He says that the kingdom officials have deliberately refused the council members to meet King Oyo and solve the conflicts.
Nyamutale says they will continue pursuing the issues in courts of law until the council members are given audience to meet the king.
//Cue in: “we have issues…”
Cue out: “…request him to address.”//
George Basaliza, aged 87 years, a resident of Kagote Fort Portal, who has attended several coronations anniversaries, says that the kingdom and clan members should respect the coronation anniversary and solve the conflicts so that the celebrations take place.
Basaliza says that in the past, if there was no coronation anniversary, the King would never visit the kingdom again, because it showed lack of respect for the king. He says that if both factions fail to solve the conflicts, then the government should intervene. Attempts to solve the conflicts failed after members of the clan council pulled out of the reconciliation talks that were being headed by Reuben Kisembo, the Bishop Rwenzori Diocese.
king oyo nyimba