Tooro kingdom has demanded that President Yoweri Museveni apologises and withdraws statements in which he called the king of Tooro a “boy”.
In a Friday statement, Tooro Prime Minister Steven Kaliba warned of “bloody” consequences if the president does not cooperate. Museveni referred to the Omukama Oyo, as a boychild.
He was criticizing the youthful king for threatening a hunger strike over what he sees as the president’s deliberate ploy to split the greater Tooro kingdom into smaller units.
The king is 22 years old.
Tooro has been demanding that government gives back various properties belonging to the kingdom. Last month, a group of youths stormed Parliament and petitioned the speaker for the return of the kingdom properties.
Kaliba’s statement represents an escalation of tensions with the central government. Part of the statement reads: “Whereas the president has a right to express his opinion, the inappropriate language used towards our beloved king is regrettable.
The use of the words ‘akavubuka ke Tooro, in English meaning, ‘this boy of Tooro’ by His Excellence is culturally and morally unacceptable by not only the people of Tooro all cultural institutions in Uganda. I would like to call upon all cultural leaders in the country to join the people of Tooro and condemn in the gest terms possible this act of marginalizing and trivializing cultural leaders.”
The statement denies that the king is on a hunger strike: “What is true, however, is that the king will allocate time next month on his private schedule to fast and pray as a cultural and religious belief, for the challenging situations Tooro kingdom is going through.
“Therefore, the people of Tooro Kingdom demand, a complete withdrawal of President Museveni’s words, ‘akavubuka ke Tooro’ as used by the president in reference to his majesty the king. An apology to his majesty the king and the people of Tooro be made by the president Museveni as a person for such disrespectful language towards our king” Kaliba said in a statement
Kaliba argues that Oyo is a king by birth and therefore his physical appearance, colour or age is not for public opinion. He adds that he is a fountain of honor for the people of Tooro, he is a symbol of their cultural identify and, therefore, should not be disrespected. Therefore, an attack on the king is a personal attack on the people of Tooro and Ugandans at large.
Kaliba says, President Museveni was crown ‘Mujwarakondo’ he is supposed to play a supportive role to the king. He acknowledges the president’s contribution to the development of Tooro Kingdom, but cautions that the contribution should not be a license for disrespecting the king.
Kaliba reminds the president that despite the overwhelming support the president and his NRM party has got from the people of Tooro, he continues to take his Tooro electorates for granted.
“A lot of unfulfilled promises and pledges to the people of Tooro still hang. This means the people of Tooro as taken for granted by president Museveni otherwise the sleeping giant is now waking up,” the statement said.
Source : The Observer