The Omukama (King) of Tooro Kingdom, His Highness Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, is concerned about the rate at which HIV/AIDS is spreading among his subjects.
Addressing his subjects to mark the 28th annual coronation celebration at Karuziika palace in Fort Portal city today, the Omukama observed that the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tooro has crippled the economic development in the kingdom.
He said HIV/AIDS is affecting the microeconomic performance in Tooro in several mechanisms as deaths caused by the pandemic lead directly to a reduction in the number of workers available in the kingdom.
Statistics from the Uganda AIDS Commission indicates that Fort Portal has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country standing at 17.8%.
The Royal Highness told his subjects that these deaths occur to workers in their most productive years adding that as younger, less experienced workers replace these workers, worker productivity is reduced resulting in the kingdom developing at a low pace.
Omukama Oyo said having noted that HIV/AIDS is threatening efforts of realising economic development in the kingdom, it is of paramount importance to ensure that his subjects embrace the campaign against poverty by engaging in economic activities.
Audio: Oyo on HIV/AIDS (Runyoro/Rutooro)
He emphasised that skilling the youth in a number of ventures including modern methods of farming for improved agricultural production and food security is a surer way of curbing down unemployment and eradicating poverty among the people of Tooro kingdom.
Speaking at the annual function as a guest of honour, Uganda’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, re-echoed President Museveni’s campaign advising people to desist from land fragmentation saying it escalates poverty.