May 19, 2014

Rwenzururu Kingdom Protests Tooro’s ‘Ebyaitu’ Demand

The Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu has commissioned a special committee to review and seek the return of any kingdom properties within central government custody.

Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere
Omusinga wa Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere

The decision comes days after the Kingdom of Tooro petitioned parliament for the return of its properties that are in the possession of the central government. However some of the properties are in the jurisdiction of ‘Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu’ in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo.

In the demand Tooro Kingdom is pursuing the return of 75 titled pieces of land and properties still withheld by Uganda land Commission, the return of all customarily owned land that did not have titles and compensation of income generated by Butiiti tea estate, oruha tree plantation and other estates and forests.

Tooro Kingdom is also seeking compensation for the lost revenue and perpetual royalties out of the Mineral salt at Lake Katwe, from the King’s former hunting zones like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Katonga game reserve and Toro-Semliki Game Reserve. Also sought is Compensation for lost revenue from the Mines of Kilembe (Cooper and Cobalt), Stone and Sand at Kazingo and Limestone at Dara.

But Mumbere says Tooro Kingdom cannot claim ownership and royalties from Lake Katwe mineral salt industry, the mines at Kilembe and Hima Cement because Rwenzururu qualifies for absolute control over them once reverted from the center.

He added that in its anthem, the people of Rwenzururu derive pride in these properties citing salt, fish, and other animals in the National parks adding that the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu anthem would be meaningless if Tooro Kingdom took over the Kingdom assets.

Rwenzururu kingdom which formed part of the mother Tooro Kingdom prior to 1962 was established in 2010 following decades of animosity between the two territories.

Now Mumbere says instead Rwenzururu will seek compensation from Government over the same properties.

Mumbere challenged all the people of Rwenzururu ‘Banyarwenzururu’ to unite for a common cause until they achieve their mission regardless of their political affiliations.

The committee commissioned yesterday is chaired by Rev. Canon Nason Baluku of South Rwenzori Diocese. Other members are Francis Mugisa Kithulha and MPs Enock Muhindo, Joseph Muranga, Yolamu Mulima, Misairi Mukwenda, Yokas Bihande and James Mbahimba.

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