Rebel prince Kijanangoma calls for dialogue with King Oyo

Tooro King Oyo (L) and Rebel Prince David Kijjanangoma (R)
Tooro King Oyo (L) and Rebel Prince David Kijjanangoma (R).

Tooro rebel prince, David Kijanangoma has called for a dialogue between him and King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV.

In a letter to President Yoweri Museveni, Kijanangoma wants the head of state to mediate in the dialogue.

“I propose a presidential supported dialogue between King Oyo and Prince David Kijanangoma.  I believe that such an arrangement will create peace, harmony and development in the Tooro region,” reads part of the letter, a copy seen by this publication.

In 2015, Kijanangoma rose up against King Oyo for allegedly abdicating his throne to stay in Kampala and his failure to stop his mother, Best Kemigisa, from meddling in the Kingdom administration. This created disunity among members of the Tooro royal family with a section supporting Oyo and others the rebel prince.

Kijanangoma’s U-turn comes as a surprise, since he has in the past vowed never to dialogue with the King or Tooro Kingdom officials. He threatened to storm the kingdom palace with his supporters and dislodge Oyo. He and some of his supporters still occupy Rwengoma palace one of the historic royal houses in Tooro.

In the letter, Kijanangoma notes that the dialogue should include his supporters. He also adds that if the dialogue is a success, it will avoid conflicts and possible future revolts against the King that could lead into violence and instability.

“I realise that to avert further conflicts, instability and possible revolts against the King, I believe dialogue is the best solution,” Kijanagoma notes.

In the letter, Kijanangoma notes that as the dialogue is being prepared, the government should in the meantime provide him with a house and a car. Kijanangoma, who also claims that he is receiving death threats from unknown people, wants the government to provide him with security.

Kijanangoma had scheduled April 25th this year as his coronation after the government had blocked previous attempts in 2015 and 2016.

The then Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Muruuli Mukasa, advised Kijanangoma to follow the law that guides the installation of traditional leaders.

Tooro Kingdom information Minister, Vincent Mugume, said that the Kingdom is yet to receive the letter. He however questioned why Kijanagoma has turned to the President for dialogue and not the kingdom.

Should President Museveni accept to mediate, it will be the second time in two years that the president has intervened in the Tooro Kingdom wrangles.  In 2015, Museveni intervened and appointed a committee headed by religious leaders to find solutions to the conflict.

The leaders headed by Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Ruwenzori Diocese, released a report last year with several recommendations, but they are yet to be implemented.

URN