THE Toro cultural leader and worldâ€™s youngest ruling monarch, Omukama Oyo Nyimba, on Saturday celebrated his 13th empango (coronation anniversary) at his palace in Fort Portal. King Oyo ascended the throne in 1995, at the age of three, following the death of his father, King Patrick Olimi Kaboyo.
THE Toro cultural leader and worldâ€™s youngest ruling monarch, Omukama Oyo Nyimba, on Saturday celebrated his 13th empango (coronation anniversary) at his palace in Fort Portal.
King Oyo ascended the throne in 1995, at the age of three, following the death of his father, King Patrick Olimi Kaboyo.
He entered the Guinness Book of records as the youngest monarch in the world. In April this year, Oyo celebrated his sixteenth birthday.
During Saturdayâ€™s lavish annual event, Oyo was joined by a sizeable crowd of people from within and outside the kingdom, as well as ministers, MPs and elders.
Resplendent in his royal garb, the young king was seated on his throne mounted at the entrance of the palace, flanked by his mother, Best Kemigisa, and the head of the ruling Babiito clan, Charles Kamurasi.
Also present were royals from other cultural institutions of Uganda, including Bugandaâ€™s Nabagereka (queen) Sylvia Nagginda, Prince John Barigye from Ankole and Bunyoro prime minister Alibankoha Kiiza.
There was also a delegation from the Libyan embassy in Uganda. The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, has been instrumental in supporting Toro kingdom, having financed the renovation of the kingâ€™s palace, which was completed in 2003.
In the tropical heat, dance troupes performed the Amakondere royal dance, wishing the king a prosperous reign and health.
The celebrations had begun with a service at St. Johnâ€™s Cathedral, presided over by the Anglican bishop, Eustace Kamanyire. Defence minister Crispus Kiyonga attended.
Reading from a prepared text, King Oyoâ€™s short speech in native Rutoro called on his subjects to work hard for the economic transformation of their homes and prosperity of the kingdom.
At the dinner at the Mountains of the Moon Hotel later, over sh9m was raised for the King Oyo Education Fund. Queen Nagginda contributed sh1m.
President Yoweri Museveni, who is an appointed â€œProtector of the Crownâ€ of the kingdom, in a written message, urged Ugandans to revive the African cultural values towards work, conflict resolution and environmental conservation.
â€œThis is the only sure way Africa will succeed in the fight against hunger, political and social instabilities, poverty, unemployment and disease,â€ the President said in a speech read by public service minister Henry Kajura.
Museveni also applauded the good working relations between the Government and the kingdom and pledged to support its development activities.
Kajura launched the kingdomâ€™s five-year development plan, which involves programmes to address health and sanitation, youth issues, education, poverty eradication and disease prevention.
Toro prime minister William Nyakatura said the kingdom was trying to repossess the properties it lost when traditional institutions were abolished by former President Milton Obote in 1967.
Oyo marks 13 years