Omukama Iguru demands immediate investigations into persistent L.Albert attacks.

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KAARO KARUNGI | BUNYORO – The Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, His Higness Dr Solomon Gafabusa Rukirabasaija Agutamba Iguru has tasked the government to immediately investigate the motives behind the persistent attacks on his subjects on the Lake Albert waters.

In a speech read for him by Andrew Byakutaga, the Kingdom Prime Minister during the state of the Kingdom address on Friday at the Kingdom chambers, Omukama Iguru wondered why suspected Congolese militiamen have continued to invade the lake, terrorizing his subjects yet government has kept a deaf ear despite the heavy presence of UPDF soldiers and other sister security agencies deployed along the lake Albert shores.

“How can these attacks happen and no action is being taken by the government?” asks Omukama. “Since 2018 my subjects have been suffering, they are being placed at gunpoint before they are robbed. These cases are all being reported to the relevant government security agencies but no any action is being taken to save my people.”

According to Iguru, the persistent attacks have impoverished most of his subjects who were carrying out fishing on Lake Albert waters since their fishing gear including fishing boats, nets, hooks and boat engines have all been robbed by the suspected gunmen from the DRC.

He has tasked the government to immediately investigate the attacks and come out with a detailed report and way forward to end the attacks.

The Omukama further reiterated the call for the establishment of a Bunyoro public university that he says has for long been ignored by the government saying Bunyoro is the only region across the country that has no public university.

He says the kingdom is working around the clock to find land where the university will be located but tasked the government to immediately make arrangements to ensure that the establishment of the University kicks off this financial year.

The Omukama during the state of the Kingdom address demanded that the government to immediately expedite the process of opening the boundaries of Bugoma forest reserve saying currently both the Kingdom and the government do not know the clear boundaries of the forest reserve.

He says last year, government promised the Kingdom to begin boundary opening of the forest reserve but to date government has remained silent on the matter.

The Omukama has further challenged the government to immediately equip all the health facilities in the region with enough drugs and manpower to ensure that his subjects receive adequate medical attention especially at this time when the region and the entire country is battling the deadly COVID-19 Pandemic.

He also asked the government to fight illegal practices such as theft of government drugs, extortion and the absenteeism by health workers in most heath facilities in the region.

Iguru has further tasked the government to ensure that his subjects fully participate in supplying the oil and gas sector being developed in his area. He says reports indicate that many of his subjects are being side-lined especially when they apply to supply anything to the sector, and he says he is not happy with at all.

“Many Banyoro have got vast knowledge and companies to supply the oil and gas sector but they are being denied the chance yet this resource is on our land. This is unacceptable and we want the government to consider our people so that they can also benefit from the critical resource,” said Omukama.

The Omukama further informed his subjects that the Kingdom has launched the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Education fund that will see two students from each of the eight districts of Bunyoro sub region annually sponsored to study in the various universities across the country.

He says the Kingdom has already earmarked 100 million Shillings to kick start the programme adding that the Kingdom will liaise with its partners both within and outside the country to support the education project.

The Kingdom is also about to establish a Television and a Radio station to help effectively communicate to the subjects and also boost its income, according to the Omukama.

The omukama has also applauded the government for appointing Robinah Nabbanja, as the prime minister of Uganda saying this is a big achievement adding that the appointment has given Bunyoro visibility. He adds that the Kingdom is ready to work with the government to promote development in the area.

He further tasked his subjects to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on them to strictly adhere to the set guidelines.

The state of the Kingdom address was in commemoration of Omukama Iguru’s 27th coronation anniversary. The 27th coronation anniversary was suspended following the surge in the COVID-19 cases in the country.

Initially the celebrations used to attract thousands of the Kingdom subjects from different parts of the country. The coronation anniversary also known as Empango is commemorated on June 11th annually to celebrate the day Iguru ascended to the throne.

Initially during the celebrations, the King’s subjects and guests would be treated to different cultural performances including dances, drama and poetry recitals.

Iguru was enthroned on June 11, 1994 following the restoration of kingdoms by the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM Government.

This is the second time the Omukama has suspended his coronation anniversary celebrations due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

In 2020, the Omukama suspended the celebrations after the pandemic was reported in the country.

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