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Kabarole Council Lifts Ban on Tooro Kingdom Anthem

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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.
Councillors agreed that since the land dispute had been settled, the ban on the anthem was no longer necessary.

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Kabarole district council has rescinded the motion banning the singing of the Tooro Kingdom anthem at council events and schools in the district.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.  

Trouble between 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 district.  



As 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.

Rwabuhinga represented 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 planned.

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 been met.  





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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.      

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