district council has rescinded the motion banning the singing of the Tooro
Kingdom anthem at council events and schools in the district. The
decision came after the District LC V Chairperson, Richard Rwabuhinga, informed
the council that the land dispute that led to the banning of the Kingdom anthem had
been resolved peacefully.
the Kingdom and district started after Fort Portal municipality was elevated to
a tourism city in July last year and thus became autonomous. As a result, Kabarole
district had to shift the district headquarters that are now in Kitumba ward
Central division outside the city.
The district leadership chose Busoro
Sub County to host the new district headquarters. However, the decision sparked
a serious dispute between the district and Kingdom. The Kingdom Lands Minister,
Polly Kateeba then said that the land belongs to the kingdom, saying the
district had to first sign a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU with them before
constructing its headquarters.
On the other hand, Kabarole district officials led by Rwabuhinga insisted that
the land belongs to the district and not the kingdom. Rwabuhinga argued
that the district owns 12 acres of land including the one hosting Busoro
sub-county headquarters. But Kateeba countered his argument saying the kingdom
owns over 49 acres of land in Busoro including the one being claimed by the
dispute persisted, the district leaders held a council meeting on March 12,
2021 and resolved to stop singing the kingdom anthem at their council meetings
and in schools to compel the monarchy to rescind its claims on the land. The
resolution rubbed the kingdom officials the wrong way and at some point, County
and Sub County Chiefs met at the kingdom chambers in Mucwa Fort Portal and
cursed Rwabuhinga and other district leaders, saying the decision they had
taken was very bad.
On April 21, Tooro Kingdom officials and Kabarole District leaders finally
agreed on an amicable resolution of the land dispute. It followed a
meeting in the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala that lasted for
eight hours. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda led the government side, which
included the Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi and State Minister for
Culture, Peace Mutuuzo.
Kabarole District while the Kingdom was represented by its Premier, Bernard
Tungakwo, Lands Minister, Polly Kateeba and Information Minister, Charles
Mpagi. Rwabuhinga told the council on Wednesday that key among their
resolutions was that the construction of the district headquarters goes on as
He also said that the meeting tasked the central government to
establish the bonafide owner of the land and if found it belongs to the
kingdom, the district would have to regularize its occupancy. The meeting
also asked the district to rescind the resolution banning the Kingdom anthem
while the kingdom officials were asked to ensure they rescind their curses
against the district leaders.
Rwabuhinga also informed council that they
had already handed over the construction site for the headquarters to Plantek
Consults to do the designs.
As a result, Peter
Bazira, the Kicwamba Sub County councillor who moved the motion to ban the
anthem said there was no need of maintaining the ban yet their demands had
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Tom Kamara, the Busoro Sub County councillor, seconded the motion to lift the
ban on the kingdom anthem, saying it would be unfair to maintain it yet the
land dispute has been resolved. The councilors agreed that they must
sing the anthem on their next council sitting.