Special Reports

Teargas as Tooro Kingdom Youth hold Protests

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Officials say dozens of youth have been arrested in streets battles between police and the demonstrators.

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Police and other secuirty organs have deployed heavily in Fortportal to maintain peace and stability.


order http://centroilponte.com/wp-content/plugins/layerslider/classes/class.ls.sliders.php geneva; font-size: small;”>7:00am: The ‘spears and swords’ group of youthful subjects culturally known as “amacumu nebitara byo Mukama) of Tooro Kingdom have announced a gigantic protest over president Museveni’s remarks on their King Oyo Nyimba kabamba Iguuru IV.

check http://clearlakefestival.ca/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-section.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The demonstration dubbed: ‘Dark Monday’ will start from Mucwa kingdom headquarters at around 8:00am on Monday before youth match through the streets of Fort Portal town to the RDC’s office in Boma.

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According to the Kingdom’s Deputy Information Minister, Vincent Mugume, the protesters will include the youth, ministers and subjects.


Mugume said they are protesting against President Museveni’s statement in which he allegedly described King Oyo as a boy.


Tooro Kingdom last week demanded an immediate apology from President Museveni for describing King Oyo Museveni’s recent remarks in which he said Oyo should go ahead with his planned hunger strike as it would help to put his size in good shape.


It all started a fortnight ago with Tooro Prime Minister Stephen Kaliba announcing King Oyo would embark on a seven-day fasting period as a way of showing his dissatisfaction with the split of his kingdom into ‘unnecessary’ monarchs that have caused tribal conflicts in the region.


Obudhingiya Bwa Bamba and Rwenzururu kingdoms were curved out of greater Tooro Kingdom.


Responding to a question from a journalist at Rwakitura last week on whether he was concerned by Oyo’s fasting, Museveni advised the King to “turn to the track of freedom fighters who struggled for freedom.“


Museveni, who also explained the existence of Bamba and Bakonjo in the area, noted: “If my son the King of Tooro has decided to fast, it will help him guard his figure and remain fit. But I advise him to turn to the track of freedom fighters who brought this freedom and restored cultural institutions. We shall not allow anybody to divide the country.”


The remarks have since angered the Kingdom, with social media enthusiasts speculating that Museveni implied Oyo is fat.


Mugume said Tooro will today express its dissatisfaction with Museveni’s remarks and the splitting of the greater kingdom into small monarchs which he claims have created more tribal clashes and disunity.


King Oyo with President Museveni at a recent function in Tooro

The youth will as well be “protesting against the central government’s delay to respond to their demands of returning the kingdom assets that were taken when all kingdoms were abolished during Obote II regime.”


According to Mugume, protesters will further express their outrage following remarks by government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo that Oyo on the King and Prime Minister.


It is alleged that Opondo said Tooro lacks ‘visionary’ and ‘competent leaders’, describing the youth as ‘mob’ that does not know the history and back ground of Tooro.


He also attacked Tooro’s Premier Stephen Kaliba, saying he was using the kingdom as platform to mix politics and Kingdom affairs to promote his vested interests.


District Police Commander Kabarole Geoffrey Kahebwa has issued strong warning to the subjects of Tooro especially the youth that should they take to the streets without his permission, they should expect teargas.


“We are aware of their demands but they should get organized and seek permission from police as the law requires,” warned Kaheebwa.


Kahebwa disclosed that the office of the DPC and RDC have not been informed of the demonstration but only leant of it through intelligence information.


DPC said that he tried to call Kaliba who feigned ignorance about the planned demonstration.


“We have deployed heavily to maintain law and order.”


The latest development signals the need for the central government to hold talks with Tooro Kingdom to resolve the monarch’s grievances.


Observers are also concerned that Kaliba’s radical and aggressive attitude towards government could see a deterioration of relations between the Kingdom and President Museveni’s government.


Analysts say Kaliba’s belligerent attitude evokes memories of Dan Muliika’s era as Buganda Prime Minister during which relations between the central government and Mengo took a nosedive, leading to the 2009 Buganda riots in which lives were lost and property worth billions of shillings destroyed.


It is feared Tooro could be headed in similar direction as long as the youthful King remains under the guardianship of the radical Premier.


President Museveni and fallen Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi were Oyo’s guardians since the age of 3 when the King’s father was assassinated. Knowledgeable sources say Oyo and Museveni enjoyed friendly relations until recently when his Prime Minister embarked on an aggressive policy of recovering the kingdom’s properties.


Kaliba also facilitated the march of hundreds of youth from Tooro to Kampala to petition Parliament, demanding the return of the monarch’s properties.

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