The Tooro royal family gathered to celebrate Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV’s 23rd birthday on Monday.
Omukama Oyo was born April 16, 1992, to King Patrick Kaboyo Olimi III and Queen Best Kemigisa.
The celebration came at a time when Omukama Oyo’s right to the throne he inherited in 1995 from his father is under threat.
Omukama Oyo’s right to rule is challenged by his uncle Prince David Kijanangoma.
Prince Kijanangoma claims that Omukama Oyo has deserted Tooro Kingdom by living much of the year in Kampala, instead of the Kingdom Capital Fort Portal in Kabarole.
Prince Kijanangoma also claims that Omukama Oyo has done little to nothing to protect kingdom assets like land which are being sold off.
The party was partly a show of unity and strength as royal family members who swear allegiance to the sitting Omukama of Tooro turned up in full force for the celebration.
Speaking at the function yesterday in Kyenjojo district, Oyo called for unity and calm in the Kingdom.
He said Tooro does not need to be dragged into any form of conflict.
He also urged his subjects to ignore people who want to drag the Kingdom into politics and divide subjects along political lines.
“You all know that kingdoms aren’t supposed to take part in politics. All those who are dragging politics in the Kingdom are enemies,” reads part of his message.
Oyo tasked the central government to ensure that the people of Tooro remain peaceful.
King Oyo’s statement drew applause from the guests who chanted “Hangiriza! Hangiriza Omukama “literally meaning “Hail to the King!”
James Byamukama, the Kyenjojo district Chairperson dismissed calls for dialogue between King Oyo and Prince Kijjanangoma whom he labeled a rebel.
Byamukama together with Uganda’s former Ambassador to Belgium, Stephen Katenta Apuuli said that in the past, it was an abomination to rebel against a legitimate King and whoever threatened to dethrone would be killed.
He however urged Kijanangoma to abandon his plan of dethroning King Oyo and work together with the King to develop the kingdom.