By Charles Etukuri
Police have denied reports that it briefly detained Tooro youth who were walking to deliver a petition to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga demanding the return of their property held by the central government.
This follow reports that the youth were Tuesday night surrounded by military and police at Busega, dragged and forced them into vehicles and driven off and held in the parking of Hotel Diplomat in Muyenga.
But then Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, said he was not aware of the arrest.
“I have just come from Parliament now and the youth are already there planning to meet the Speaker,” he said.
The minister for youth in Tooro kingdom Tonny Kalyegira said that they had been picked by armed men and driven to the hotel. “It’s true that we are surrounded and the police are not allowing us out of the hotel for fear that some people may get lost since they are new in Kampala,” he said.
The youth later boarded buses and headed to Parliament where they were supposed to deliver the petition.
On Saturday May 10, the subjects under their umbrella group, Amacumu n’Ebitara bya Rukirabasaija, literally meaning the King’s Spears and Swords, started a four-day-walk from Fort Portal to Parliament.
The youth started trekking from but along the way they were forced to halt their journey after one of them collapsed.
Herbert Mugisa, the Local Council 3 Chairperson for South Division collapsed Tuesday afternoon as they subjects were approaching Buloba.
The group then pitched camp at Buloba Church of Uganda.
The walk comes in the wake of a meeting the youth had with Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, last month in which he reportedly inspired them not to give up on their demands to have the assets returned.
The Kingdom is demanding for more than 150 assets including land and buildings from the government. The assets are located in Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa districts. The Kingdom also has assets in Kasese and Bundibugyo, which were formerly under Tooro Kingdom.
It also includes large chunks of land that are currently being occupied by squatters especially in the counties of Mwenge and Kyaka in present day Kyejonjo and Kyegegwa district respectively. There is also land in Bunyangabu County, Kabarole district.
Early this year, the Attorney General Peter Nyombi sent a copy of the agreement for the return of kingdom assets to King Oyo, but it was returned to the government because it didn’t include some of the kingdom assets in the districts of Kasese and Bundibugyo.
Police deny detaining trekking Tooro youth