By Andrew Irumba
The people of Tooro again gets the shock of a lifetime after learning that President Yoweri Museveni is about to sign the return of Tooro Kingdom Properties to the Mismanaged Leadership of Tooro Kingdom Establishment.
For starters, it’s no longer a secret that the Tooro Kingdom Establishment and its subjects have been at logger heads for over 15 yrs now, fighting over the mismanagement of the kingdom properties which has resulted into a lot of litigations against the Kingdom and Queen Mother Best Kemigisa in particular, who last year in April was summoned and appeared before Her Lordship Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Land Commission. Up to date the people of Tooro are yet to know whatever resulted from that hearing, leaving all Tooro stakeholders helpless and in suspense.
Apart from the land grabbing that is the norm of the day in Tooro, it’s alleged that many properties have been illegally sold at the command of the Queen Mother Best Kemigisa, who not only uses the iron hand of intimidation with SFC attached to her Royal Guards unit and that of King Oyo.
Infact, Prince Gilbert Mujogya has been openly castigating the Queen mother for not only taking the royal family’s land but also changed the Kingdom land and other properties that belong to Tooro community into her private entities, often times selling them, then but private properties in her names.
Questions are now being asked with curiosity about the timing of the return of the properties to the Kingdom while there are pending unsolved grievances, and a divided Kingdom. It should be remembered that four years ago while President Yoweri Museveni was in Tooro to mediate the conflicts between the People of Tooro led by Prince David Kiijanangoma Vs Tooro Kingdom Establishment, the ‘Ssabagabe’,son of late Amos kaguta from Ankole Kingdom land mandated a Religious leaders’ tribunal led by the Rt. Reverend Bishop Reuben Kisembo, to consult, research and make a report with recommendations on the source of conflicts in Tooro and what should be done.
Batooro, after months of trekking to the tribunal, with all stakeholders sharing their concerns and later on delivered report of their findings to the President, who was to consult with the Attorney General, who is also from Tooro, nothing serious that Batooro could celebrate has so far come out! They were however surprised with the ‘bad’ news emerging that instead the President is bent on ‘rewarding’ the Queen mother and his son King Oyo with approx.Shs48billion!
“We want to know what happened to the religious leaders’ report on the mismanagement of Tooro properties, whose report was presented to the President four years ago. The president wants to return the remaining properties and moneys to vultures? Unless there is something the president is communicating,” one of the royal family members told this reporter on phone when contacted for a comment.
“Tooro Elders Forum known as Isaazi Lyabakuru Batoro over the years have raised their concerns to his Excellency the President about how Tooro Kingdom Properties have been mismanaged at the hands of Queen Mother Best Kemigisa but the President has never shown interest in cautioning about the Isaazi Ly’abakuru B’atoro concerns, making one wonder why the President is always on the side of the people who mismanage the properties. How can we then the people of Tooro trust such a move of returning their Properties to the same people who have been illegally selling them?,” another bitter royal member chipped in
TheSpy Uganda has it on good grounds that this weekend, H.E is slated to officially sign MoU okaying the return of Tooro Kingdom properties and compensate the Kingdom with approx.Shs48billion to lost properties that were taken by Kasese and Bundibugyo establishments when they seceded from Tooro Kingdom.
A big potion of kingdom land in Kasese, buildings and lake Katwe salt among other properties are some of the properties Gov’t will pay money in compensation because they can’t be returned.
Others include; approx.30 land titles in Bundibugyo,Kasese,Kyegegwa, Bunyangabu and Kamwenge districts, Bundibugyo District land tittles that are now under ‘Obundigiya Bwa Bwamba’ cultural institution in Bundibugyo District, Kilembe mines and Lake Katwe salt in Kasese that now belong to Rwenzururu Kingdom, Kamwenge land titles and Bunyangabu District land titles that are now housing the District Headquarters.
Our statehouse spy also told this reporter that ‘Muzei’ will pay for all the royal burial sites (Amagasani) currently occupied by Tooro subjects who can’t now be removed.
It should be remembered that in a quest for finding solution to Tooro’s deep rooted conflicts involving numerous Tooro kingdom officials, many other Commissions have been instituted though no tangible results have been registered, partly due to the high handedness of the Queen mother. These include; The Engineer Edson Kiraso Commission, Professor Edward Rugumayo Commission, Rev. Father Pascal Kabura Commission, The Late Bishop Eustus Kamanyire Commission, Bishop Reuben Kisembo Commission among others.
“All the above commissions, including the recent one of the religious leaders by the President himself, were put in place to try to find solution and deter Tooro Kingdom Establishment and Queen Mother from mismanaging the Kingdom Properties. But they’ve all failed because of what is commonly said in Tooro that Queen Mother Best Kemigisa is untouchable because she is protected by the State,” this royal member whose identity didn’t want to be revealed told this reporter on phone.
With all these unresolved litigations the Kingdom administering is still baffling with, and the fact that lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s report is yet to be released, It would appear a slap in the face to the people of Tooro if the President signed for the return of the Kingdom Properties to the same hands of the abusers that are before the public court, especially at this time when Tooro Kingdom is still divided.
It would serve the interests of the majority Batooro if the President waited longer and took more caution and he makes more extensive consultations with all Tooro Stakeholders to ensure that his good gesture of returning the Kingdom Properties rests in clean hands than the current vultures hiding in sheep skins.
Last year president Museveni returned only seventeen (17) land titles.