The cold war between Tooro and Rwenzururu Kingdoms in western Uganda is taking a new twist as both institutions demand for royalties from the central government.
The relations between the two cultural entities have been frosty since 2009 when Rwenzururu was recognized as a separate kingdom, effectively breaking away from Tooro.
A year later, Charles Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma was installed as the Rwenzururu king, a demand that started in 1962 when Mumbere’s father Isaaya Mukirania led a group of Bamba and Bakonzo leaders to rebel against Tooro Kingdom.
Mukirania died in 1966 and left Mumbere, then a young boy as his heir. Despite the installation of Mumbere as king in 2000, Tooro never officially warmed up to its new neighbour, even though they never openly denounced Mumbere.
On Saturday, Rwenzururu marked the 47th coronation anniversary of Omusinga Mumbere, at which function Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere said the government should pay royalties to his kingdom. Tooro Prime Minister Steven Kaliba was in attendance, the first time a high ranking official from Tooro had attended an event organized by Rwenzururu.
Though he didn’t mention the resources, Mumbere has in the past argued that Rwenzururu should be paid royalties from resources which include Katwe salt lake, Kilembe Mines, Hima cement factory and the Queen Elizabeth national park all in Kasese district.
However, Red Pepper Online has established that Tooro Kingdom wants government to pay royalties for the same resources. The resources are some of the items that have been compiled by the team that is negotiating with the government for the return of the Tooro kingdom assets.
In a telephone interview, the Tooro Premier Steven Kaliba told local media that he is surprised that Rwenzururu is demanding for what still belongs to Tooro.
Kaliba says that the royalties can’t revert to Rwenzururu and yet Tooro hasn’t been receiving the royalties since the restoration of cultural institutions in 1993. Asked if the Kingdom should be compensated, Kaliba said the matter will be decided by the Kingdom Parliament, the Orukurato.