According to Tungwako, King Oyo told the President that the delay by the government to return the properties has affected the kingdom financially. He said that if they are returned, the kingdom can rent them out and get income to sustain its activities and improve its financial base.
In 2013, the tradition was inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO as an intangible heritage in need of safeguarding. UNESCO also allocated Shillings 1.2 Billion to preserve and safeguard the tradition.
Peter Balikuraira, the chairperson of the veterans, says that the land and building was given to them by the then Tooro King George David Matthew Kamurasi Rukidi III in 1949, as a token of appreciation for their involvement in World War II
Tensions between Tooro Kingdom and local leaders in Ntoroko district escalated on Monday after kingdom officials were blocked from conducting a health camp in the district. Officials led by Dr Tito Beyeza, the Kingdom Health Minister, had gone to Rwebisengo Health Centre III to conduct a series of medical activities such as distribution of mosquito nets, free eye treatment, operations and HIV testing and counselling.
Residents of Kagoma village in Kibiito Sub County, Bunyangabu district, have encroached on a key cultural site turning it into farm land. The site is where the first King of Tooro, Kaboyo Olimi I, was buried. Kaboyo Omuhundwa Kasunsunkwanzi Olimi I was the founder of Tooro Kingdom in 1822 when he rebelled against his father, Rukirabasaija Agutamba Nyamutukura Kyebambe III, the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara at that time.
The objective of the policy is to economically utilize the land for food production and development projects. The policy is also in line with the 1995 constitution, 1998 land act, the national land policy, Tooro kingdom constitution.
The officials led by the Prime Minister, Bernard Tungwako, were in Kamwenge to receive the land titles of properties that were taken away by the Obote government in 1966 when cultural institutions were abolished. The properties include 325 acres of land and the Nyacwamba Palace that are currently being occupied by the Uganda Prisons, eight acres of land at Galinaya in Kamwenge town council, 60 acres of land in Kamwenge town council, 25 acres in Kahunge town council and 194 acres at Kabuga parish in Kamwenge town council.
In a letter dated January 21, 2018 and addressed to the President Museveni, AG William Byaruhanga says that the negotiations between the government and kingdom teams were finalised and therefore the assets should be returned at the soonest time possible.
Tooro Kingdom 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.
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.
Land owners in Tooro have welcomed the move to discuss the contentious issue of land at the second Tooro Peoples Conference scheduled for 22nd and 23rd December in Fort Portal. The land owners argue that the discussion is timely due to several land conflicts, evictions, encroachments and ignorance on land utilisation.
In 2012, the Kingdom launched the five-year plan to boost development in the kingdom.Some of the projects in the plan were establishment of Tooro Royal University, rehabilitation of the old palaces and renovation of the royal tombs among others.
Polly Kateeba, Tooro minister for lands, says since the restoration of kingdoms in 1993, the kingdom has only received 17 land titles equivalent to 13 square miles of land. Kateeba says government is still holding 120 land titles equivalent to over 120 square miles. Keteeba says the land government is holding is equivalent to 95 percent of Tooros titled land.
Bernard Tungakwo, the Prime Minister Tooro, says that one of the traditions that will be revived during the celebrations is the Omukama giving cows to clan heads. According to Tungakwo, the revival of the tradition follows calls by Tooro elders who say the practice was once revered. He explains that the Omukama will give out more than 10 cows to clans of his choice on the eve of the coronation anniversary.