Shortly after being released from police on Friday, Amos Mugisa addressed a press conference saying he resigned because of interference in the Kingdom administration by palace officials led by the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa and Francis Mugenyi, the Principal Private Secretary to King Oyo. According to Mugisa, the conflict in the kingdom revolves around the management of Kingdom resources including land and money.
Mugisa resigned citing old age, but not before he was dragged out of a cabinet meeting and taken to police for questioning over alleged financial impropriety. Palace officials later said Mugisa had diverted over 12 million shillings from the kingdom coffers.
Mugisa handed over office to Harriet Nyakake who is now acting Kingdom prime minister or the Omuhikirwa. Fredrick Nyakabwa, the Tooro Kingdom Information Minister says that Nyakake, who has been working as a minister under Mugisa, will work together with the two regents, Rev. Richard Baguma and Epafura Mugasa, until another Premier is appointed by King Oyo and approved by the Kingdom parliament, the Orukurato.
Shortly after being released from police on Friday, Mugisa addressed a press conference saying he resigned because of interference in the Kingdom administration by palace officials led by the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa and Francis Mugenyi, the Principal Private Secretary to King Oyo. According to Mugisa, who is aged 64, the conflict in the kingdom revolves around the management of Kingdom resources including land and money.
Tooro Kingdom relies on revenue from land leases and renting out property like buildings. However, most of the funds have been mismanaged. The funds are deposited on individual bank accounts and not on the Kingdom account, as it is supposed to be the case.
Investigations by Uganda Radio Network have established that one of the land titles of a major piece of land belonging to the Kingdom was stolen from the Kingdom registry and sold at unspecified amount of money.
The land measuring 650 acres is located in Hakibale Sub County Kabarole district. In 2001, the Kingdom leased the land to Toro and Mityana Tea Company Limited (TAMTECO). Last year, the lease expired and they were told to re-apply.
In an interview, Mugisa told Uganda Radio Network that Misteri Mujungu, the Kingdom’s administrator and another unidentified person got access to the keys of the registry at the kingdom headquarters and took away the title and sold it to TAMTECO.
Mugisa says that the title was taken so that he is held liable, since he is the only person who has the keys to the registry. He says that he informed King Oyo about the matter, but there hasn’t been any response.
Mugisa states that the title should be returned, because its kingdom property.
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John Baranga, a member of the Kingdom finance committee, says that palace officials led by Mugenyi often clashed with the kingdom cabinet, about who should be signatories to the bank accounts.
Baranga says that legally the signatories are the Prime Minister, his deputy and the kingdom accountant. However, Mugenyi was included last year as one of the signatories, which angered the kingdom administrators. He also says that after the money is withdrawn, it is then deposited on bank accounts of individuals, instead of funding kingdom activities.
When contacted, Arthur Namara, the kingdom spokesperson said that the title is in safe custody, but refused to reveal where. Asked about the failure to account for funds from kingdom properties, Namara says that an audit will soon be carried out to establish the truth.
In an interview, Steven Irumba, the former Tooro premier said that if palace officials don’t stop interfering in the Kingdom administration, the conflicts will never end.
Irumba who also resigned four years ago citing interference, says that King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV should speak out and be in-charge of his kingdom.
David Karamagi, a resident of Fort Portal town says that religious leaders should intervene and bring an end to the conflicts. Karamagi says that the conflicts have overshadowed the economic potential of the Kingdom. He says that the monarch has failed to effectively exploit its vast resources like land.
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