Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV of Tooro Kingdom has said the Batooro shouldn’t give up on their demands to return the kingdom assets.
Oyo said that his subjects have a right to demand from the government what belongs to the Kingdom. In his brief speech to his subjects at the kingdom palace in Fort Portal, on Friday evening, Oyo also commended the youths for the courage they showed when they walked from Fort Portal to Kampala to deliver a petition to the Speaker of Parliament. His speech drew applause from the subjects.
Oyo however urged the Kingdom subjects to remain calm as they demand for the assets. The subjects had thronged the palace to welcome the King who has been away from the Kingdom for three months.
Steven Kaliba, the Tooro Kingdom Premier who accompanied Omukama Oyo, reiterated his demand that President Museveni apologizes to Oyo and the people of Tooro for referring to the King as a boy. He says that if the president refuses to apologize, it will cost him and the NRM party votes in the 2016 general elections.
Oyo arrived in Fort Portal at 6:00pm on Friday and was received by hundreds of his subjects at Kitumba, a suburb of Fort Portal. Oyo, who was escorted by a procession of boda boda motorists, moved out of his car and started walking to the centre of the town, waving to his subjects who had lined up along the streets of Fort Portal.
The King’s comments come after Tooro youths last week protested the delay to return the Kingdom assets and President Museveni’s reference to him as a boy.
Last month, youths in Tooro Kingdom made a300-kilometre-walk from Fort Portal to Kampala, protesting the delay by the government to return the Kingdom’s properties which were confiscated in 1967 when kingdoms were abolished. The youths under their umbrella group, Amacumu n’Bitara, delivered a petition to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament.
The Kingdom is demanding for more than 150 assets including land and buildings from the government. The assets are located in Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyejonjo and Kyegegwa districts. The Kingdom also has assets in Kasese and Bundibugyo, which were formerly under Tooro Kingdom.
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 Kyejonjo and Kyegegwa district respectively and in Bunyangabu County in Kabarole district.