Tooro Resumes Talks on Return of Kingdom Assets

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In short
The negotiations which had started in 2015 stalled after the kingdom requested the government for time to compile a list of its assets. However, Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister Bernard Tungwako says the complete list has now been sent to the Attorney General.

Negotiations for the return of Tooro Kingdom assets are expected to resume next month, Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister Bernard Tungwako has confirmed.

The assets were forcefully taken from kingdoms by the central government in 1966, when the then President Milton Obote abolished traditional institutions and made Uganda a republic.

They include chunks of land currently occupied by squatters in the districts of Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa and Kabarole. The Kingdom also has assets in Kasese and Bundibugyo, which were formerly under Tooro Kingdom.

The negotiations which had started in 2015 stalled after the kingdom requested the government for time to compile a list of its assets. Tungwako, the head of the kingdom negotiating team, says the complete list has now been sent to the Attorney General.

He adds that the negotiating team comprising of eight members will restart the negotiating with the government. 
 
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The list, a copy of which Uganda Radio Network has accessed, shows that the Kingdom is demanding for more than 150 assets including land and buildings scattered through different districts in Rwenzori region. They include among others, Katwe salt lake, Kilembe Mines, Hima cement factory and the Queen Elizabeth national park.
 
Tungwako says that they will seek monetary compensation for some of the assets that are no longer under the Kingdom of Tooro. These include assets in present day Kasese and Bundibugyo district
 
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Since 2013, the institution has been demanding the assets from the government.  During the 18th coronation anniversary at the Karuzika in Fort Portal, Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, the then Prime Minister Stephen Kaliba and several other Kingdom officials all spoke of the need for government to return the assets commonly referred to as Ebyaitu.

The demands came just two months after President Yoweri Museveni signed a memorandum of understanding with Buganda Kingdom officials on the return the latter's assets.

Using the analogy of twins, Kaliba referred to Tooro as Nyakato and Buganda Kingdom as Nyangoma, two names given to female twins. He argued that children are treated equally noting that since Nyangoma has already received what belongs to her, it's time for Nyakato to also celebrate.

 

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.