Tooro Kingdom king Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV is facing some backlash following his decision to appoint Steven Frankstock Kiyingi Amooti as the new prime minister or Omuhikirwa of the monarchy.
Omukama Oyo appointed Kiyingi as Prime Minister following the resignation of Bernard Tungwako.
Kiyingi will become the 10th prime minister under Oyo. Others are: John Sanyu Katuramu, Steven Nyabongo Rwakijuma, David Rusa, Steven Irumba, William Nyakatura, Dr Apollo Karugaba, Amos Mugisa, Steven Kaliba and Bernard Tungwako.
Omuhikirwa Tungwako resigned on August 20. He had served as Tooro Kingdom’s Prime Minister for only seven years having taken over from Steven Kaliba in May 2015.
It is not clear what Tungwako’s new job will be but it will be the cultural sector.
“This is to communicate a decision I have reached to step down from the position of Prime Minister of Tooro Kingdom effective immediately in order to enable me prepare for service in another role,” the outgoing premier wrote.
“I will continue to promote and support the cause and interests of Tooro Kingdom in my new assignments and will where possible remain available for consultation to the person that you shall chose as my replacement.”
But Tungwako’s replacement in Tooro has been openly rejected by some members of the kingdom’s Supreme Council, the monarchy’s top organ.
Some of the members claimed that Kiyingi was not a Mutooro. They say he is an Indian and that it is not proper for King Oyo to appoint a foreigner to reign where there are several able Batooro who can take up the Omuhikirwa position.
One council member named Charles Musiime even argued that the Omukama disregarded the rights and powers of members of the Tooro Supreme Council and grossly flouted the procedure for the appointment of the Omuhikirwa.
Musiime was quoted as stating that articles 27 and 28 of the Kingdom’s Constitution requires that Omukama Oyo nominates a person for the Omuhikirwa job, who then can be approved by the Council.
But a meeting to discuss Kiyingi’s appointment happened and was presided over by Speaker Julius Mwirumubi Kihika. Musiime and his group claim that the speaker only gave a chance to members in support of the controversial appointment to voice their opinions, suffocating the views of those opposed to Kiyingi’s elevation.
He even claimed that Kiyingi was not a Mutooro by tribe. Aggrieved council members even alleged that the new prime minister is not even a Ugandan but an Indian.
This council members and others opposed to Kiyingi’s appointment swore that they will not allow the youthful Tooro king to break the rules. But appointments made by the king are final.
Despite the protests from some council members, Omukama Oyo presided over the inauguration of Kiyingi as Prime Minister, his first deputy Harriet Nyakake and second deputy Kwemara Ngabu, at the Karuziika Palace.
Oyo directed Kiyingi to continue with preparations for the Tooro coronation anniversary as well as implement the monarchy’s ambitious development plan.
Available records indicate that Kiyingi studied at Schools such as Kabarole Primary School, Bugema Adventist SSand Tala High School. He graduated with a diploma in Mass Communication from Kenya’s Daystar University before earning a degree in Commerce from India. Kiyingi has worked in the president’s office and as a diplomat in Tanzania and DR Congo.
Omuhikirwa Kiyingi denied being a non-Mutooro, insisting that the Council Members opposed to him were just vending lies. He said he was born in Tooro and that his color should not mislead some Batooro to think that he is not one of them.
But some of the council members have warned that Tooro Kingdom might be divided, with some likely to break away and form a new kingdom — just like was the case decades ago when Bakonzo broke away to form Rwenzururu Kingdom.
Ugandan kingdoms are not stable formations. Just months ago, a group of hereditary chiefs in Busoga ‘fired’ their king, Kyabazinga. (Read Story Here).