President Yoweri Museveni has assured King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru of Tooro Kingdom that government will continue supporting him in all endeavors to promote unity, peace and development in the Kingdom.
He said Government had a clear understanding of the leadership of Tooro Kingdom as per the mandate of the people of Tooro and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
“I am gratified to note that since the restoration of the cultural institution in Tooro 20 years ago, the NRM government has enjoyed cordial and a healthy relationship with your kingdom,” Museveni said.
President Museveni’s message was delivered by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who represented him at the 20th coronation anniversary of King Oyo at Karuzika palace in Fort Portal in Kabarole district on Saturday.
“On behalf of Government of Uganda, I congratulate your majesty King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV upon the 20th coronation anniversary celebrations today,” the President said.
Museveni thanked the people of Tooro for supporting government development programmes and entrusting NRM with the responsibility of leading the country.
He said the restoration of Kingdoms by the NRM government was in recognition of the critical role Kingdoms play in national development and transformation.
The theme for this year’s empango celebrations was “utilizing natural resources to enhance wealth creation in a bid to improve people’s welfare in conjunction with the central government”.
The President said government was investing in building sound infrastructure such as roads, railways, and power plants to unlock the potential of harnessing the country’s resources.
He urged the people of Tooro to take advantage of these investments by setting up businesses to create wealth and improve livelihoods.
The President said there were many tourist attractions in the Kingdom which should be explored and harnessed, adding that people should also be encouraged to form savings and credit co-operatives societies (SACCOs) for purposes of promoting the saving culture.
Regarding the demand for the return of Tooro Kingdom properties, Rugunda said the Attorney General was in the process of verifying the claimed properties.
The President contributed 50 million shillings towards the 20th Empago celebrations.
The Minister for Local Government Adolf Mwesige said King Oyo was the undisputed King of Tooro recognized the NRM Government and the Constitution of Uganda, warning that those trying to claim the throne should slow down on their demands.
King Oyo in his remarks congratulated the People of Tooro upon the 20th Empango celebrations and saluted President Museveni for loving the people of Tooro and effectively leading the country.
He reiterated the demand for the return of the Kingdom properties from the central Government, urging his subjects to embrace government programmes to improve their household incomes.
The King gave the Kasagama achievement award to special people including President Museveni for contributing greatly towards the development of the Kingdom.
He directed his Kingdom officials to focus on addressing the grievances by the Kingdom Princes and Princesses.
The Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister, Bernard Tungwako highlighted the projects which the Tooro Kingdom was planning to implement such as building vocational schools, hotels, small scale industries and a museum to preserve the Tooro cultural values.
Also present were representatives from the various Kingdoms including Buganda, Bunyoro, Rwenzururu, Ankole, Bwamba, and Swaziland.