The Tooro Constitutional Review committee has hit a stalemate in Ntoroko district. On Tuesday, the committee members were in Ntoroko to seek views from local leaders and members of the public, whether the district should be included in the new constitution as part of Tooro Kingdom.
Last year, Timothy Kyamanywa, Ntoroko LC5 chairperson banned the singing of the Tooro Kingdom Anthem in schools and at district functions. He also ordered the removal of the Kingdom flags which were also hoisted at various school saying Ntoroko isn’t part of the Kingdom.
When members led by Chris Kisembo, the vice chairperson of the committee reached the venue of the meeting at Karugutu Community hall, it was closed. Some members of the Pro Tooro Kingdom, a newly formed group in the district were waiting outside.
Kisembo requested staff from Karugutu town council to open the hall, but they refused citing orders from district officials whom they didn’t disclose.
Kisembo condemned the actions of the district leadership saying that they should have defended their stand and also given an opportunity to other people to express their views.
He says that the committee will give the district the last chance to give their position on the matter or else they will go ahead and write their final report.
According to Kisembo, when the 1999 Kingdom constitution was drafted, Ntoroko was a county under Tooro Kingdom and there is need to know where it now belongs since it was granted district status three years ago.
Henry Kasaganki, a resident in Karugutu trading centre says that the district shouldn’t be part of Tooro Kingdom because since the Kingdom hasn’t helped them since it was restored. Kasaganki cites scholarships that are offered to only students from Kabarole, Kyejonjo, Kyegegwa and Kamwenge districts.
He says that Tooro Kingdom is imposing itself on the people of Ntoroko, because they want to control resources and benefit from royalties from government in areas in the district where oil was discovered.
However David Mwamba, a resident of Rwebisengo trading centre and a member of the Pro-Tooro Kingdom in Ntoroko says some residents want to be under Tooro Kingdom but they are being persuaded by politicians not too.
In a telephone interview, Kyamanywa told Press that he had no hand in sabotaging the meeting. He however says that the members should have informed the district about their visit.
Kisembo says that the committee hopes to conclude its work in a month’s time and then present the draft constitution to the Kingdom parliament, the Orukurato.
Last year King Oyo suspended the 1995 kingdom constitution to pave way for some amendments. Two weeks ago King Oyo was sued for illegally suspending the constitution.