By Geoffrey Mutegeki Araali
It was a joyful and colourful day on Monday as thousands of subjects turned up to celebrate King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru IV's 23rd birthday held at Kasina grounds in Mwenge county, Kyenjojo district.
Oyo, who described the day as special, arrived at Kasina grounds at 1:30pm amidst cheers and adulations from his subjects who had waited for him since morning.
Together with the First Deputy Prime Minister, Henry Muganwa Kajura who represented president Museveni, they were received at Kasina by the Kyenjojo district LC5 chairperson James Byamukama and the county chiefs.
In his speech Oyo promised the people of Tooro that he would address all that had gone wrong in the Kingdom for the betterment of his subjects.
“The core value of this day is ‘unity’; we the people of Tooro have the responsibility to have unity in our Kingdom. We are setting out to make right all that has gone wrong and have already laid strategies and means to achieve it,” Oyo said.
One of King Oyo's subjects entertaining guests during the King's 23rd birthday celebrations at Kasina grounds, Mwenge county, Kyenjojo district. PHOTO/Sunday Rogers
He called upon Batoro not to mix the Kingdom affairs with politics if they want to have peace.
Tooro Kingodom has recently been in the news for negative reasons after Prince David Kijanagoma challenged King Oyo's reign accusing him of absconding from his duties while lounging in Buganda.
“All those bringing politics in our Kingdom are enemies of Tooro who want to divide us. Let us stand by our cultural values and save our culture,” Oyo said.
The king also challenged government to intervene in the affairs of Tooro.
“I request the central government through its security agencies to ensure peace and stability in Tooro Kingdom,” Oyo said.
President Museveni, in his speech delivered by Kajura, challenged the people of Tooro to respect the constitution of Uganda to avoid the skirmishes in the Kingdom.
“Respect the Constitution of Uganda. Other problems that happened in other areas of western Uganda should not happen in Tooro,” Museveni said
“Stop fighting those who are leading you but work together for the development of your Kingdom,” he added.
He called on the people of Tooro to embrace income generating activities in order to fight poverty.
Pupils of Light nursery and primary school performing at King Oyo's 23rd birthday celebrations at Kasina grounds, Mwenge county, Kyenjojo district. PHOTO/Sunday Rogers
LC V boss Byamukama termed the Kijanangoma faction challenging King Oyo as mere noise makers who should be ignored.
“The noise we are hearing will remain as noise; we shall hear it and get satisfied. As Mwenge County where this Kingdom started we are in full support of you. Be firm and you should not negotiate with them,” Byamukama said.
Princess Elizabeth Bagaya described the celebration as historic basing on the history of Mwenge in as far as Tooro Kingdom is concerned.
“Mwenge has a unique position in the history of Kingship. It was a center of excellence and knowledge. That is why all the Kings' children would be sent here to acquire knowledge about culture,” Bagaya said
She noted that when the NRM government restored Kingdoms it was the people of Mwenge who led the acceptance of Kingship.
“We are here to commemorate Mwenge’s achievements in the Kingdom of Tooro. We are now standing at a unique venue, support your King and love him,” Bagaya said
The King was entertained by various groups, all packaging their presentations with messages for reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.
The people of Mwenge petitioned the King to fast track the construction of King Oyo children’s hospital; establish a palace in each district and to establish a television station for income generation among others.
Oyo confirmed chiefs from Parish level to county level. He also launched the distribution of 120 wheelchairs that were donated to the Kingdom by Child International
Meanwhile Kijanangoma who was absent congratulated Oyo on his 23rd birthday.
“I wish him the best and pray to God that he gives him more years. However I cannot attend his day because I’m also busy with my kingdom’s affairs,” Kijanangoma said on phone.
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Thousands attend Oyo’s birthday in Kyenjojo