President Yoweri Museveni has described as regrettable the events that unfolded when the Teso cultural leader, His Highness Emorimor Augustine Osuban was stopped from attending a cultural festival in Tororo on Saturday last week.
The President met with the Emorimor, other members of the Cultural institution of Teso, a number of religious leaders and some Members of Parliament at Nakasero State Lodge to discuss at length the issues that surrounded the dramatic events.
According to a statement issued by Don Wanyama, the Senior Press Secretary to the President, Museveni blamed the unfortunate events on the inadequacy of information flow. He had been contacted by the Tieng Adhola the cultural leader of the Japadhola of Tororo who rang him to bitterly complain about the matter.
During the meeting, the President said that the turning back of H.H Emorimor and escorting him back to Serere was regrettable.
Rather than be turned back and escorted, he noted that the leader would have voluntarily driven back to Serere. He also said that better communication through acknowledged letters would have averted the standoff.
He further condemned the killing of one youth by a mob and asked that the perpetrators be hunted and punished.
In regards to the “frightening” manner in which Police handled the fracas, Museveni said a polite communication should have been issued rather than scare the crowd by driving police pickups into the venue.
“Given the peace, which the NRM fought for, the leaders should emphasize job-creation and wealth creation so that we work for the prosperity of our people,” the statement read in part.
Museveni promised that government will assist the cultural institution to organize in a non-controversial venue by extending financial support to it.
On the issue of creating a separate Tororo district, the President stressed the need to resolve the intricacies through engagements with all the stake-holders.
Over 15 people were arrested on Saturday and several cars impounded after the police swung in to calm the situation following a disagreement between the Iteso and Japadhola ahead of the Emorimor’s visit to Tororo.
An angry mob had vowed not to allow the Teso cultural leader to be hosted at the King George Stadium, which the Japadhola say is special to them since that is where their cultural leader, the Tieng Adhola, was installed.