Tooro Kingdom Orders Districts to Pay Rent for Buildings

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In short
In Tooro, the districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Bunyangabu currently use the Kingdom buildings to host their Sub County headquarters. Some of the buildings are also being occupied by schools and health facilities.

The Kingdom of Tooro has issued a directive demanding rent from local governments occupying its buildings.

Following the abolition of Kingdoms in 1967 by the Obote I government, kingdom properties such as land and buildings reverted to the central government. The assets are still under the control of the central government even after the restoration of cultural institutions more than 20 years ago.

In Tooro, the districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Bunyangabu currently use the Kingdom buildings to host their Sub County headquarters. Some of the buildings are also being occupied by schools and health facilities.

Bernard Tungwakwo, the Prime Minister Tooro Kingdom says that with effect from next year, the local governments will start paying revenue for using the buildings or vacate the buildings to pave way for other development programs.

 
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According to Tungwakwo, earnings from rent will help finance several activities of the Kingdom.

In a telephone interview, William Kaija and Richard Rwabuhinga, the LCV District Chairpersons for Kyenjojo and Kabarole districts respectively said that they will meet with the Kingdom officials over the matter.

The action taken by the Kingdom could be in response to government's delay to return assets. 

Tooro is demanding 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 before starting their own cultural institutions.

Since 2013, the Kingdom has been demanding the assets, which they argue once returned, will boost the revenue of the kingdom through leasing out the assets.

In July this year, Florence Kiconco a legal officer-in-charge of land matters at State House, who is also a member of the government team negotiating with Tooro, said that State House and the Office of the Attorney General are still verifying some of the claims made by Tooro.

She said that after the verification exercise the government's position will be communicated to the kingdom authorities. 

 

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.