Tooro Clan Football Tournament Hangs in Balance

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In short
The Tooro Kingdom Clan football tournament hangs in balance following the recent conflicts in the Kingdom. The tournament was supposed to kick off today at Buhinga playgrounds, but by 2:00pm there were no signs that the tournament would take place.

The Tooro Kingdom Clan football tournament hangs in balance following the recent conflicts in the Kingdom.

The tournament was supposed to kick off today at Buhinga playgrounds, but by 2:00pm there were no signs that the tournament would take place.

Last month, several clans in Tooro Kingdom raised more than 10 million shillings to revive the competition, after it was suspended several years ago. However, the current uncertainty in the Kingdom appears to have affected the revival of the tournament.

Steven Bagonza, the interim chairman of the Tooro Clan football tournament, says that the tournament can’t start without the approval from the Kingdom administration. Bagonza says that two weeks ago, Prime Minister Amos Mugisa approved the revival of the tournament, but he resigned his position a week later amidst wrangles over the handling of the kingdom’s resources.

Bagonza says that following the resignation of Mugisa, he has been told that he should now seek permission from the palace officials led Francis Mugenyi, the Principal Private Secretary of King Oyo, since Mugisa 's approval is now invalid. He says that he has tried to approach the palace officials in vain.

Speaking to journalists shortly after his resignation, Mugisa also cited interference in Kingdom administration affairs by palace officials, including the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa.

He says that members of the Tooro clan football tournament committee will meet with palace officials next week to decide on the fate of the tournament. Bagonza is however optimistic that the tournament will be held.

Uganda Radio Network has established that thirty clans had each paid registration fee of 100,000 shillings for the tournament and soccer kits and jerseys had already been purchased.  

Some of the clans that had registered for the tournament include the Abasiita, Ababiito, Abasumbi, Abagweri, Ababbopi, Abayaga and Abahinda, among others.

 When contacted, Reverend Canon Shem Rubaale, the acting Prime Minister and Arthur Namara, the Kingdom Spokesperson, told Uganda Radio Network that they aren’t aware of any plans for the revival of the clan football tournament.

Rubaale states that the clans should have worked with the Kingdom regents and the Kingdom Culture department.

The tournament was suspended several years ago due to financial constraints and poor participation. There were efforts to restart the tournament, but claims of cheating among clans and conflicts within the kingdom, frustrated the revival.

The tournament was last held in 2010 as one of the activities to celebrate the 18th birthday of King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV.

 

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.