20 October 2012

Uganda: Toro Remembers Muammar Gadaffi

Photo: Jolle/wikipedia
Modern flag of Toro, drawing

IT is one year today since Libyan President Muammar Gadaffi was killed. Gadaffi was a darling to Tooro Kingdom, because the kingdom received immense material support from him.

When Toro kingdom was restored in 1993, the kingdom was not financially sound until Gadaffi came along.

Because of Gadaffi 's financial contribution to the kingdom, in 1996, King Oyo honoured him with the Omujwarakondo (defender of the kingdom), which is the highest honour in the kingdom. Since the founding of Toro Kingdom in 1830, nobody had been given the honour.

Although Gadaffi offered financial support to the kingdom, it did not benefit the subjects of the king.

The only known project that Gadaffi supported was the renovation of the palace.

Kingdom officials, however, say if Gadaffi was alive, he would have supported several projects in the kingdom.

Some of the projects that have stalled due to lack of funds are the King Oyo Hospital, which was supposed to be constructed in Kyejonjo district.

Construction was meant to start four years ago. The kingdom headquarters at Mucwa in Fort Portal is in a sorry state. There are also rumours that the wedding of Toro Princess, Ruth Komutale, was postponed because of shortage of funds and that if Gadaffi was still alive, he would have financed it.

But Toro Kingdom Prime Minister Amos Mugisa, dismissed the claims, saying the wedding was postponed because of other reasons.

Arthur Namara, the kingdom spokesperson, says Gadaffi had promised to appoint a Libyan representative to liaise with the kingdom on issues of development.

Months after Gadaffi 's death, a plaque to remember his support towards the renovation of the Toro Kingdom Palace, was removed under unclear circumstances. The plaque has been there since 2001.

Words inscribed on the plaque read: "This foundation stone was laid by the Great Leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Libyan Arab People's Jamahiriya, H.E. Col. Muammar-Al- Gadaffi , on July, 14, 2001."

Namara said the plaque was removed ahead of renovations when King Oyo was marking 18 years. He, however, did not disclose why it was not put back after the renovation.

A member of the royal family said the kingdom has hired out the Mucwa chambers, the parliament of the kingdom, to Uganda Pentecostal University to raise funds.

Namara says the kingdom will not hold any special function in memory of Gadaffi .

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