Kijanangoma: Museveni Saved Tooro Properties

Prince David Kijanangoma waving at his supporters in Fort Portal Town recently

Alexander Tumu

Residents and local leaders in Kibaale district have accused National Forestry Authority [NFA] of fueling encroachment on forest reserves there.

The accusations came on the heels of a protracted battle against forest reserve encroachment in which around 15 forests in the districts have been entirely destroyed.

During a meeting organized by Mid- Western Anti-Corruption Coalition-MIRAC in Kyebando sub county, capsule Residents faulted NFA for failing to demarcate forests reserves which has left them open for encroachers who are thronging them for cultivation, production of timber and charcoal among other illegitimate activities.

Residents further accuse the Authority officials of protecting some illegal activities in the forests like timber production.

NFA was also faulted for failing to prosecute culprits of forest reserve encroachment. One of the residents, who lives near a forest reserve said many encroachers are often arrested and released without charge, even when there is evidence to pin them.

Peter Kyamanywa the LC3 Chairperson Kyebando sub county fears that about four more forest reserves in his sub county are on the verge of extinction.

With no clear answers to the residents’ queries, Eriani Charles; the NFA Sector Manager for Kagadi at the meeting called for joint efforts between the community and the Forestry authorities.

He attributed the failed fight against forest reserve encroachment to political interference. Kibaale district loses 8000 hectares of forest cover every year according to the 2014 forestry department report.

However as the trend of Encroachment on forests heightens, Kennedy Mugume from Mid-western Anti-Corruption Coalition says they have intervened through a program dubbed deepening democratic governance in the forestry sector aimed at timely and exclusive reporting of illegitimate activities.

He says there is need for change in forestry management in order to curtail the escalating encroachment.

Encroachment on central forest reserves in Kibaale shot through the roof in early 2000s with the influx of immigrants from southern Uganda districts.

In early 2015 high court in Kampala issued out an eviction order to about 70000 illegal settlers in Guramwa forest reserve which was completely cleared off for agriculture production, lumbering and charcoal production.

In 2013, Kibaale district passed out an ordinance enshrining all tough penalties against culprits of forest degradation and other natural resources. However, the ordinance is yet to measure up to the expectations.
Tooro Kingdom Prince David Kijanangoma Araali has hailed President Yoweri Museveni for being “very wise” by delaying the return of Kingdom’s assets.

Tooro kingdom lost its property valued in billions of shillings to the central government when kingdoms were abolished under President Milton Obote.

In May, visit web 2014 the Spears and Swords (Amacumu N’ebitara), abortion a youth league of Tooro Kingdom, generic trekked to Parliament in Kampala where they delivered their petition demanding government and president Museveni to return the kingdom assets.

The Speaker Hon Rebecca Kadaga assured the petitioners that government would respond to their grievances.

Prince Kijanangoma on Monday said the president made the right decision to delay the return of the kingdom assets to Tooro because they would end up mismanaged by what he termed as greedy officials.

“President Museveni was so wise to delay the return of properties. If he rushed to return these assets that the Amacumu N’ebitara were demanding, they would have landed in the hands of greedy grabbers”.

Prince Kijanangoma was on Easter Monday speaking to thousands of his supporters at his improvised palace in Rwengoma after throwing them a “Royal party”.

He told his supporters, “It’s now the right time for the president to act and return the properties since I have come to protect them from being grabbed by Queen mother Best Kemigisa and his son King Oyo”.

The prince also asked president Museveni to recognize his victory and start working with him in fostering development and restoring the glory of Tooro kingdom.

Kijanangoma assured the people that he will not lose the courage of ousting King Oyo.

Joram Bintamanya asked security officers in the region to use their offices responsibly and observe fairness to all sides for the goodness of the people of Tooro.

Observers say the battle for Tooro throne is gaining momentum with Kijanangoma’s arguments being bought by many Batooro.

The Queen Mother Best Kemigisa told a church gathering on Eastern Sunday that Kijanangoma is an impostor before assuring him that “you, Kijanangoma, you will never ever be the King of Tooro.”

The visibly angry Kemigisa accused Prince Kijanangoma of trying to usurp power from her son, warning him, “You are doomed. You will fail.”

She fumed: “You are not known in Tooro kingdom. You are a fraudster planted here to cause chaos between Tooro Kingdom and its subjects, dividing us and creating an anti-Kingdom faction”.

This was the first time the Queen mother Best Kemigisa was reacting to unfolding developments in the Kingdom of Tooro.

Kijanangoma recently launched a massive campaign to topple Oyo whom he accused of spending the better part of his time in Buganda instead of leading his subjects in Tooro.

“King Oyo has detached himself from his subjects and has abdicated from kingdom duties. For example one day he woke up and announced he had done away with the kingdom constitution that it was no longer valid,” said Kijanangoma in an interview with ChimpReports.

“This wouldn’t be bad if he had made some amendments but it was wrong to abolish the constitution. He has done away with the members of the loyal clan of Tooro which is a sign of disrespect to elders”

He also attacked the Queen Mother whom she said has “sold almost all kingdom property without consulting Tooro elders and neither does she seek advice from the Orukurato (Parliament).The kingdom has lost a lot of land as she sells it and doesn’t want to be questioned. The Queen Mother has disposed off all categories of land in Tooro (for the kingdom, king and Queen Mother) which does not make any sense after being preserved for generations by the past kings.

“What if the past kings had sold it, where would the subjects be?”

Bagaya’s views

Tooro Kingdom Princess Elizabeth Bagaya believes Kijanangoma lacks legitimacy to topple Oyo.

She said the issue of succession in Tooro kingdom was streamlined and nobody would resort to the old-fashioned violent style of grabbing power in Tooro kingdom.

On the issue of King Oyo overstaying in Kampala and travelling around the world, Bagaya said the King is ever out of the kingdom majorly to lobby for his subjects.

She said, “The kingdom authority has a list of what King Oyo has lobbied for the kingdom. Even King Oyo’s grand Father King Rukidi had a palace in Kololo in Kampala. This issue of King Oyo having a palace in Kampala is a deliberate effort to mislead the people of Tooro”.

Bagaya said the issue of succession was sorted by their late Father King Rukidi when he named Oyo’s father Oyo Kaboyo as heir and consequently his son.


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