KABAROLE- Police fired tear gas to disperse angry youth who were protesting in Fort Portal Town over what they termed as disrespectful remarks made by President Museveni made against King Oyo.
The youth under the Amacumu ne Bitara bya Rukirabasaija (the spears and swords of the King of Tooro) group mobilised at the weekend and converged at the kingdom headquarters in Mucya as early as 8 am for the demonstration.
Kabarole District Police Commander, Mr Geoffrey Kahebwa tried to dissuade them from the protest but failed.
Youth beat the security ring as police tried to stop another group from accessing Fort Portal Town through Maguru Road.
The youth were dressed in black as a symbol of their low spirits aroused by the President’s remarks over King Oyo.
The situation has been simmering since President Museveni made a repugnant response to King Oyo’s threat to go on hunger strike over what he claimed was the President’s desecration of his kingdom.
Tooro kingdom was dissatisfied over the recent installation of the Bamba King, Maj Martin Kamya. President Museveni a regent of King Oyo attended the installation in Bundibugyo a fortnight ago.
Asked about King Oyo’s threat to go on a hunger strike, President Museveni told journalists at his country home in Rwakitura last week that King Oyo “would shape up and be healthy.”
“If my son has decided to fast, I do not mind, let him fast it will help him shape up and be healthy” President Museveni said.
However, Mr Tamale Mirundi, the president’s spokesman yesterday said the demonstrators were being influenced by the opposition.
“They are being used by the opposition to cause a rift between the President and the people of Tooro. They should know that Mr Museveni is the guardian of the king and the two are very close,” he said.
Mr Mirundi told demonstrator to use ‘diplomacy not demonstration’ to air out their grievances and insisted that President Museveni would not apologise to the King as kingdom premier, Stephen Kaliba had earlier demanded.
A section of Batooro described yesterday as “a dark Monday” and vowed to “defend their Kingdom” without fear.
The youths are also protesting what they called the rampant split of Tooro Kingdom into chiefdoms: The Obudinghiya Bwa Bwamba in Bundibugyo and Obusinga Bwa Rwezururu in Kasese have created tension in the Rwenzori region.
Toro kingdom prime minister, Stephen Kaliba denied inciting the youth to reportedly revive his political career. “I have no comment but the truth will come out and the devil will be ashamed,” he said.