Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru, the King of Tooro kingdom has come under fire from members of the royal family for skipping the memorial service of his grandfather Sir George David Rukidi III.
On Sunday, members of the royal family organized a memorial service at St. John’s Cathedral in Fort Portal to honor Rukidi, who died on December 21st 1965.
King Oyo who was expected at the memorial service was a no show. In a highly emotional and charged ceremony held in Fort Portal town after the church service, the royals also accused Oyo of turning down their request of meeting him. At the function held at Allan’s Resort, speaker after speaker strongly criticized King Oyo for not making his own decisions and being influenced by a section of palace officials, who they claimed have blocked his close relatives from meeting him.
As the royals were criticizing the King, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya and Charles Kamurasi, the head of the royal family just looked on. This is the first time King Oyo who is in his 18th reign, has been openly criticized by the royal family. Prince Ricardo Okwiri, an uncle to King Oyo, who spoke on behalf of the King’s close relatives, said that it’s a shame and an embarrassment to the Kingdom that the King doesn’t value the memorial service of his grandfather.
Okwiri said that the King should have put aside other engagements to attend the service. Okwiri also claimed that they have been blocked on several occasions from meeting the King whenever he is Kampala and at his palace in Fort Portal. He threatened to mobilize other members of the royal family to storm the King’s palace in Fort Portal and meet him.
However Princess Bagaya disagreed with Okiwri, saying that they should use peaceful means if they want to meet the King. The head of the royal family, Charles Kamurasi, told the guests that he personally spoke to King Oyo about the function but he declined to attend.
But in a telephone interview, Jonathan Baguma, the personal assistant to King Oyo, told Uganda Radio Network that Oyo had other duties to attend to, although he declined to divulge details. But David Kijanagoma, a cousin to King Oyo says that the King was informed about the function three months ago and he promised to attend.
Members of the royal family also resolved to hold annual celebration to mark the death of Patrick Oilimi Kaboyo, who died on August 26th 1995.