Tooro Continues Push for Kingdom Assets

1644 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Tooro Prime Minister Bernard Tungakwo says that in 2015, during a meeting with Omukama Oyo and kingdom officials at the State Lodge in Fort Portal, Museveni promised immediate return of the the properties. He however explains that since then they have not received any communication from the government.

Tooro Kingdom leaders are frustrated over delays by the government to return its properties. 

Since 2013, the kingdom has been demanding for the return of its assets that were reverted to the government after the abolition of monarchies in 1967. 

During his 18th coronation anniversary in 2013, 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

President Yoweri Museveni, who was the chief guest promised to return the properties, but didn't specify when.

Bernard Tungakwo, the current Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister says that in 2015, during a meeting with Omukama Oyo and kingdom officials at the State Lodge in Fort Portal, Museveni promised immediate return of the the properties. He however explains that since then they have not received any communication from the government. 

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Tungakwo says that attempts to seek audience with the government team which consists of officials from State House and office of the Attorney General have proved futile. 

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Saulo Mugasa, the speaker of the Orukurato, Tooro's Parliament, says that once the property is returned, especially land, it will be leased out to investors and the proceeds used to develop the kingdom.

Florence Kiconco a legal officer in-charge of land matters at State House, who is a member of the government team negotiating with Tooro, says that State House and the Office of the Attorney General are still verifying some of the claims made by Tooro. She explains that after the verification exercise the government's position will be communicated to the kingdom authorities. 

However, Tungakwo says that the silence from the government could force the kingdom to evict districts who are currently conducting administrative work at the county and sub-county levels in buildings belonging to the kingdom. 

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In 2014, more than 300 youths in Tooro Kingdom under their umbrella group, Amacumu n'Ebitara, walked for 300 kilometres from Fort Portal to Kampala protesting the delay by the government to return the Kingdom's property.
 
Tooro is demanding for more than 150 assets including land and buildings from the government. The assets are located in Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa districts. The Kingdom also has assets in Kasese and Bundibugyo, which were formerly under Tooro before starting their own cultural institutions.
 
Some of the assets include large chunks of land that are currently being occupied by squatters especially in the counties of Mwenge and Kyaka in Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa district respectively and in Bunyangabu County in the newly created Bunyangabu district.
 

 

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.