On Monday, the 21 year old monarch who has been on holiday in Kampala toured Tooro kingdom counties of Kyaka and Mwenge, where he held meetings with his county chiefs and interacted with his subjects.
King Oyo later travelled to Fort Portal, where he was received at Kitumba by hundreds of his subjects majority of who were youths. At Kitumba, the King moved out of his vehicle and greeted his people who had lined up on both sides of the road. Some of his subjects prostrated while others knelt to greet him.
Accompanied by Steven Kaliba, the kingdom Premier, the King then walked from Kitumba up to Fort Portal town, a distance of about three kilometres. They were accompanied by a convoy of vehicles, boda boda cyclists and the amakondere royal dancers.
When he reached Fort Portal town, King Oyo was welcomed by hundreds who had lined up along the Fort Portal –Kasese road. They struggled to shake his hands, but they were pushed away by the royal guards.
Some members of Twerwaneho Listeners Club, a pressure group that has criticized Oyo and his administration, also walked with the King until he reached his palace. Notably absent was the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa, who has often been accused of blocking King Oyo’s interaction with his subjects.
Her frequent absence since Oyo started touring the Kingdom could be an indication that the King, now into his 18th year on the throne, has started making independent decisions and is in-charge of his kingdom.
Yusuf Ankunda, a resident of Kamengo village in Fort Portal Municipality, says he was excited to walk with the King for a distance of three kilometres. Ankunda says that in the past, it wasn’t easy to access the King, since he rarely got out of his heavily guarded vehicles.
Nicholas Businge, a Senior Two student at Fort Portal Secondary School, said it was his first time to see the king and walk with him. He said that King Oyo should continue interacting with his subjects and listen to their concerns.
In the past, King Oyo has come under criticism for not interacting with his subjects and being away from his Kingdom. He was once described as a non-resident King because he spent most of his time at his palace in Munyonyo, Kampala.
Today, King Oyo will participate in the beautification of Fort portal town, where he will plant trees and paint some buildings in the town.
On Wednesday, the king will open a four-day retreat for Tooro Kingdom leaders. The event, which will be held at the Kingdom headquarters in Mucwa, will bring together all the newly appointed kingdom ministers, central government officials, local leaders in Tooro and officials from the private sector in the region.