The Omukama of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, has called for investigations into the illegal sale of Kingdom land in Kyenjojo district. The land in question is the site where King Oyo Foundation Hospital is supposed to be constructed. The 20 acre piece of land is located in Kibira parish in Nyantungo Sub County.
The land in question is the site where King Oyo Foundation Hospital is supposed to be constructed. The 20 acre piece of land is located in Kibira parish in Nyantungo Sub County.
The hospital project has stalled for more than five years over lack of funds. In 2010, there was a ground breaking ceremony at the site officiated by Omukama Oyo.
At King Oyo’s coronation anniversary in 2010, Abdullah Bujeldain, the former Libyan Ambassador to Uganda said that the then Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddaffi would contribute funds for the construction of the Hospital. However following the overthrow of Gaddafi in August 2011 and his eventual killing in October of the same year, the project stalled.
In a meeting with members of Tooro Kingdom Land Board at his palace in Kampala on Monday, Omukama Oyo was surprised to learn that the land was sold off by unknown people and the money never accounted for.
A source who attended the meeting but preferred anonymity, told Uganda Radio Network that the Omukama was briefing the members about the proposed plan to construct the hospital this year, but he was surprised when Tooro Kingdom regent, Reverend Richard Baguma, told him that the land had been sold off by unknown people.
According to the source, the King immediately ordered the investigations into the illegal sale and the people behind it. The source states that the King was disappointed that the land was sold off at a time when the kingdom is seeking funds from foreign sources meant for the construction of the hospital.
The source further says that the King will soon appoint a team to investigate the sale of the land.
David Nyamutale, the secretary of the Kingdom Land Board confirmed the meeting, but refused to divulge the details.
Patrick Rubongoya, the Kingdom Minister for Lands, says that he can’t comment on the illegal sale of the land, since he is new in the office. Rubongoya was appointed minister three months ago.
Tooro Prime Minister Steven Kaliba says the kingdom is in talks with the Japanese government to fund construction of the hospital.
For several years, the control of resources especially land has been one of the major causes of conflicts in Tooro Kingdom. Large chunks of land have been leased or sold off under unclear circumstances and the funds not accounted for.
Last year, Kingdom land measuring 650 acres that had been leased to Tooro and Mityana Tea Company Limited (TAMTECO), was sold off. This was after an unidentified person got access to the keys of the registry at the kingdom headquarters and took away the title.
In 2011, the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa sold a huge chunk of Kingdom land to the government as at the cost of 4.5 billion shillings. The transaction between Kemigisa and government was questioned by Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee.