Batuku Elders To Elect Clan Heads, Tooro Suspicious

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In short
Batuku elders in Ntoroko district are to elect heads of clans, a move that has raised suspicion in Tooro Kingdom. The elders under their umbrella, Batuku Elders Association (BEA), will next week converge in Rwebisengo town council to elect the head of clans. Moses Abigaba, the acting chairperson of BEA, told Uganda Radio Network that the role of the clan heads will give cultural guidance to the clans in Ntoroko district.

Batuku elders in Ntoroko district are to elect heads of clans, a move that has raised suspicion in Tooro Kingdom.
 
The elders under their umbrella, Batuku Elders Association (BEA), will next week converge in Rwebisengo town council to elect the head of clans.
 
Moses Abigaba, the acting chairperson of BEA, told Uganda Radio Network that the role of the clan heads will give cultural guidance to the clans in Ntoroko district. Some of the clans among the Batuku are Abasiita, Abahinda, Abayaga, Ababiito and Abaliisa. The same clans are recognized in Tooro. King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV is from the Ababiito clan, while Queen Mother Best Kemigisa hails from Butuku in Ntoroko district.
 
Abigaba denied that the head of the clans will be the Batuku cultural leader, although he said that no one can stop them from having a cultural leader, if the elders resolve to have one.
 
In 2012, BEA together with a pressure group, the Anti-Tooro Kingdom Interference in Butuku, claimed that Ntoroko district isn’t part of Tooro.
 
The move by the Batuku elders has been viewed with suspicion. David Mwamba, the representative of Ntoroko County in the Tooro Kingdom parliament, the Orukurato, says that the move is a gimmick by the Batuku to install a cultural leader. According to Mwamba, BEA has similar interests to those of Bundibugyo Elders Development Association (BEDA), which elected Lt.Col. Martin Kamya, the cultural leader of Obhudingiya Bwa Bwamba-OBB, a separate cultural institution in Bundibugyo district. Mwamba also claims that the elders are coercing the people of Ntoroko to break away from Tooro Kingdom.
 
Steven Kaliba, the Omuhikirwa of Tooro, said that he will comment on the matter after the motives of the Batuku are known. He however reiterated that Ntoroko is still part of Tooro Kingdom.  
 
After the installation of Lt. Col. Kamya, there have been reports that the Batuku are planning to install their cultural leader.
 
Tensions between Tooro Kingdom and local leaders in Ntoroko district started in 2012, when the Anti-Tooro Kingdom Interference in Butuku claimed that Ntoroko district isn’t part of Tooro.  In 2012 when King Oyo visited Bweramule sub county headquarters in Ntoroko district, his security was beefed up after residents there threatened to block him.
 
In the same year, Timothy Kyamanywa, the Ntoroko district chairperson, also banned the singing of the Tooro Kingdom Anthem in schools in his district. He said that singing the Tooro anthem meant that Ntoroko is part of the Kingdom yet it is not.
 
The Tooro Kingdom flags that were hoisted in schools and sub county headquarters were also removed on the orders of the district council.
 
Ntoroko County which was part of Bundibugyo district was in Tooro Kingdom. Bundibugyo seceded from Tooro Kingdom and became an independent district in the 1970s. However, the Batuku, who are the majority in Ntoroko have similar cultural values with the Batooro. They speak Rutuku, which is similar to Rutooro and subscribe to the same clans in Tooro Kingdom.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.