Elders Condemn Attacks on Former Tooro Premier

2020 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The Elders Forum in Tooro, under their umbrella Isaazi lyAbaantu Bakuru Ba Tooro, have accused the government of remaining silent following acts of violence against the former kingdom prime minister, Stephen Irumba. Last month, unknown people raided Irumbas ranch located in Rwentuha Sub County, Kyegegwa district, killing five cows. Two cows were stolen and three cut. In a press release signed by Professor Edward Rugumayo, the chairperson of the Elders Forum, the elders urged the government to carry out investigations on the violence meted out to Irumba.

The Elders Forum in Tooro, under their umbrella Isaazi ly'Abaantu Bakuru Ba Tooro, have accused the government of remaining silent following acts of violence against the former kingdom prime minister, Stephen Irumba.

Last month, unknown people raided Irumba's ranch located in Rwentuha Sub County, Kyegegwa district, killing five cows. Two cows were stolen and three cut.

Irumba has been battling the government over the ownership of a piece of land measuring about 200 acres.  The disputed land neighbours Kyaka I Refugee Settlement.

In 2016, officials from the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees resettled more than 100 families on the land, a move Irumba has been challenging.

In a press release signed by Professor Edward Rugumayo, the chairperson of the Elders Forum, the elders urged the government to carry out investigations on the violence meted out to Irumba. The elders noted that local leaders of Kyegegwa district are not concerned about Irumba's rights and that no suspects have been arrested and no investigations have been carried out.

"We are concerned that some politicians are not concerned about Irumba's rights like any citizen of Uganda. To date no suspects have been arrested and no appropriate investigation has been carried out," read the statement.

The attack on the farm came three days after the Minister of Lands Betty Amongi launched the exercise of opening the land boundary between Kyaka I Refugee settlement and Irumba's land.

The elders also requested the government to expeditiously resolve the land dispute, to avoid continued threats to Irumba's life and property.

"We specifically call upon the Office of the Prime Minister to have the land dispute between Government and Irumba resolved in the shortest time possible," the statement read.

They said that the delay to resolve the land dispute threatens to affect the family of Irumba.

The elders also faulted Kyegegwa district leaders led by Kyaka South Member of Parliament Jackson Kafuzi and William Byamukama Kisoke, the Kyegegwa district local council Chairperson, of inciting the people to attack Irumba's farm and slaughter his animals.

"The attacks on Irumba's farm were witnessed by police officers and local leaders. We fear that these criminal attacks and acts of violence were undoubtedly fueled and emboldened by the local leaders.

However when contacted, Kisoke denied inciting the locals to attack Irumba's farm. Asked why as a local leader he has remained quiet and no action has been taken ever since Irumba's farm was attacked, Kisoke said that it is the role of the security agencies to take action.

Benon Byamukama, the Kyegegwa District Police Commander, said that they are yet to carry out arrests on the suspects.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.