Culture and Society
The dilapidated palaces are of historical significance to the Kingdom. The past Kings of Tooro were raised from the palaces and taught the cultural values.
Three major Tooro Kingdom palaces are in a sorry state.
The palaces are historically important to the Kingdom, because it’s where the past Kings of Tooro were nurtured and taught about the kingdom’s cultural values.
The palaces are located at Ngezi in Nyantungo Sub County, Kyenjojo district, Rwengoma in Fort Portal municipality and Kabahango in Buheesi Sub County.
At Ngezi, the late King of Tooro, Patrick Olimi Kaboyo, King Oyo’s father, was nurtured there in the 1950s by his auntie, Ruth Komutale, the then Batebe (Princess Royal) of Tooro.
The palace was demolished ten years ago and the land where the palace stood was sold off under unclear circumstances.
Fred Kagoro, aged 87 years, a resident of Ngezi says that he remembers seeing the late Patrick Kaboyo staying at the palace, with his other aunties. Kagoro says that subjects often visited the King and were taught the Tooro culture. Kagoro states that it’s unfortunate that King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru was never nurtured at any of the palaces, because they are no more.
The Rwengoma Palace was constructed in 1930 but since then it has never been renovated. The palace has no windows, the ceiling is falling off and the roof leaks. A section of the palace has cracks.
The former Kings of Tooro, George Edward Kamurasi Rukidi and Kaboyo lived there before they were installed as Kings. Victoria Kahinju and Best Kemigisa, the wives of Kings David Kasagama Kyebambe and Patrick Kaboyo respectively were also taught the cultural values at the palace.
Gerald Baguma, the caretaker of the palace, says that they approached the Kingdom administration for funds to renovate the palace, but there wasn't any response. He also says that the community had mobilized to renovate the palace but the process was halted, because they didn’t get support from the Kingdom.
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At Kabahango, the palace is located on top of a hill, with a view of some parts of Kabarole including Fort Portal town. In the past, Kings used to sit in the compound and view their territory.
Despite the palace being renovated ten years ago, the structures are still in a bad state and people have encroached on the land.
Amos Mugisa, the Prime Minister Toro Kingdom, says that more than 300 million shillings is required to renovate the palaces, which the kingdom lacks.
The palaces join a list of other kingdom cultural sites, which are in a sorry state. They include Karambi Royal Tombs located along the Fort Portal- Kasese road. A section of the royal burial grounds has been turned into a grazing place for cows and goats.
Tooro Kings David Kasagama Kyebambe, George Edward Rukidi III and Patrick Olimi Kaboyo are buried in Karambi. Other princes and princesses, including King Oyo’s young sister Cecilia Komukyeya, are interred in the same place.
The main palace, the Karuziika at Harukooto Hill in Fort Portal Municipality, is the only shining palace after being rennovated a decade ago with funding from the late Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gadaffi. The palace had been destroyed during the occupation by the military after the 1967 abolition of kingdoms.
sir george rukidi