Bullets were heard ringing out at the Rwengoma palace, the home of Tooro rival Prince, David Kijanangoma.
Fort Portal town was today evening put on edge as men, women, children took to the streets to welcome back home the Prince.
Kijanangoma has been in Kampala where he was fundraising cash to renovate his Rwengoma palace.
The procession, as we have learnt, started from Mpanga market stage and marched through the town before turning and plodding the Bundibugyo road.
Sources tell us the march through town was peaceful but trouble would break out when the Prince reached the palace premises located along the same road.
“The Prince was given a hero’s welcome, something that even King Oyo himself has never witnessed.”
The Palace battle: supporters overpower, drive police out
Among those escorting the prince were “thugs” from Kisenyi who police suspected of planning to wreak havoc.
At the palace, police fired bullets in the air to scare and disperse the crowd so the prince could proceed inside alone.
People pushed forward prompting police to fire teargas amidst them.
The prince’s supporters, according to witnesses at the scene, fought back and overpowered police in running battles.
They stoned the police vehicle and sent the police running back to town.
The triumphant supporters then entered the palace and started jubilating.
They are currently playing music instruments, dancing and celebrating the return of their new leader.
Meanwhile, palace sources claim that King Oyo who is now at the Harukoto palace in Fort Portal town is currently “crying”.
“He has totally lost the support of the people. He is now waiting for President Yoweri Museveni to intervene and save him,” claims the source.
Analysts say unless Oyo gives the Prince some position on his administration, he is headed for a disaster.
The Kampala visit
While in Kampala, Kijanangoma was staying at his Kireka home.
He met Batooro at Open House Buganda Road to address them on Kingdom affairs.
He talked about King Oyo’s stay in Kampala, the selling of kingdom property especially land, changing kingdom properties into individual names, chasing Batooro from land with impunity by his own mother, using the kingdom identity for purely personal aggrandizement, killing the kingdom’s good record of reputation, failure to account for money channeled from kingdom accounts to personal, accounts among others.
Hs argument is that Tooro basically has no administration.
When asked about his motives, Prince Kijanangoma admitted he wants to be king to unite the Batooro and rebuild kingdom structures that have been mismanaged.
Kijanangoma also says that he isn’t ready to give up the fight for the throne.
He explains that in the past, he has tried to seek audience with Oyo, but he has been denied audience.
The palace project
But his Kampala visit was majorly inclined to soliciting funds.
The Prince, aided by the youth have been lobbying for funds left and right to renovate the palace and make it a comfortable home for the “next King”.
Tooro youths have already started renovating the palace offered by the prince’s uncle, George William Kagoro.
The 106 year old palace was constructed in 1909 by the then King of Tooro David Kasagama Kyebambe, Kijanangoma’s great grandfather.
More than 80 youths descended on Rwengoma palace this morning and started cleaning it.
Steven Ahimbizibwe, the chairperson of the renovation committee says since the kingdom administration had neglected the palace, they have decided to renovate it because it is now the permanent home of Prince Kijanangoma.
Princess Bagaaya, elders speak
Speaking at a recent meeting, Tooro Kingdom Princess, Elizabeth Bagaaya, labelled Prince Kiijanangoma “an impostor”.
She insisted the issue of succession in Tooro kingdom was streamlined by their late father, King Rukidi, when he named Oyo’s father Kaboyo, successor hence no need for Kijanangoma to resort to violence.
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom, Steven Kaliba, and other royal officials have also denied plotting a vote of no confidence as well as denouncing King Oyo.
Kaliba told Kijanangoma the he has no authority to censure King Oyo and that Uganda was a country with a Constitutional book that has the laws governing it, therefore any attempt to attack the monarchy of King Oyo should be in accordance with the laws of the land.
He assured the prince that he was risking legal action by slandering the person of Oyo.