Friday, September 16, 2016

Rape claims spark fresh Rwenzori attacks

 Accessed on Saturday 17th September, 2016 from http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Rape-claims-spark-fresh-Rwenzori-attacks/688334-3383990-m9nq13/index.html 

The Preliminary police investigations into the cause of the renewed attacks in Rwenzori point to a tribal quarrel over an alleged ‘rape’ that turned bloody, leaving two policemen, four suspected attackers killed and several others injured
Saturday September 17 2016
The Preliminary police investigations into the cause of the renewed attacks in Rwenzori point to a tribal quarrel over an alleged ‘rape’ that turned bloody, leaving two policemen, four suspected attackers killed and several others injured
Saturday September 17 2016
Police patrol Kabonero Sub-county, Kabarole Police patrol Kabonero Sub-county, Kabarole District on Thursday. Photo by Felix Basiime

By Felix Basiime & Moris Mumbere
 
Kampala. Police authorities have blamed the death of six people in Rwenzori sub-region on a quarrel between a Mutooro boy who allegedly attempted to rape a Mukonzo girl at Butara B village in Kabonero sub county in Kabarole District on Tuesday.
The Preliminary police investigations into the cause of the renewed attacks in Rwenzori point to a tribal quarrel over an alleged ‘rape’ that turned bloody, leaving two policemen, four suspected attackers killed and several others injured.
The Rwenzori police spokesperson, Ms Lydia Tumushabe, told Saturday Monitor that the tension brewed when the Batooro, who had allegedly been assaulted, reported the matter to police who rushed to the area to arrest the suspects.
The suspects were arrested on suspicion that they had assaulted the rape suspect and others.
However, the Bakonzo in the area protested the arrests of their tribe mates and reportedly attacked a team of police officers in order to secure their release.
“The attackers were armed with two guns, spears and arrows and killed Assistant Inspector of Police Simon Peter Apire and police constable Salvario Ochema,” she said.
“The attackers also injured police officers Francisco Nsimaki, Benon Byaki and Ojok Polycarp,” Ms Tumushabe added.
She said the attackers were killed in self-defence, adding that those who had guns shot and injured Mr Ojok in the leg before they escaped.
Since Wednesday, a combined force of police and UPDF soldiers has been deployed in the area to restore calm as community policing is going.
Meanwhile, Rwenzururu Kingdom has refuted media reports labelling the Kabarole clashes as tribal clashes between Bakonzo and Batooro ethnic tribes.
According to a statement from the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu spokesperson, Mr Clearance Bwambale Mumbahya, “the cultural institution regrets the Tooro killings but denies reports that the killings originated from a tribal clash hatched by Bakonzo against Batooro”.
“The attackers represent no tribe and reports by the Rwenzori regional police spokesperson referring the issue as if the Bakonzo and Batooro are in tribal clashes should be withdrawn immediately,” Mr Bwambale said on Thursday.
Police accused
The institution further accused police of rushing to the media to comment on the matters without carrying out thorough investigations.
“How can a sexual affair turn tribal? Because according to information gathered from the Kabonero Sub-county chairperson in Kabarole District, Mr John Kyaligonza, the fight erupted from sexual affair on Idd day.”
“It is from this incident that the brawl escalated into a clash after the suspect was released from Nyakigumba police station,” he added.
The Kabarole Resident District Commissioner, Mr Steven Asiimwe claimed that the attackers were part of the armed group that attacked the region in July 2014 and March this year.
Mr Tumushabe said burial arrangements of the dead will depend on the programme of the bereaved families.
Calm restored
Serenity, has however, been restored in the area. The sub-region is a hotbed of ethnic and land conflicts.
Previously, police have blamed the attacks on security installations and internal clashes in Rwenzori sub-region on witchcraft and money that are believed to be fuelling the conflict.
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com
 

Friday, August 12, 2016

FOOT PEACE AMBASSADORS LAUNCHED IN THE RWENZORI REGION

Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence with support from the European Union Delegation in Uganda and Hivos have launched a project on Community action  prevent and manage  Conflict Conflict and Human rights violations in the Rwenzori region. Speaking during the training of  27 Foot Peace Ambassadors the District Police Commander of Bundibugyo SP Martin Tukahebwa noted
DPC Bundibugyo, SP Martin Tukahebwa address  participants
" We lacked the foot peace ambassadors in the chain of ensuring peace in the Rwenzori region, now that RWECO has filled the gap, peace will once again be restored in the communities". Training of Foot Peace Ambassadors at Vanilla Hotel, Bundibugyo Town Council from 8th-9th August, 2016 by RWECO team ( RIDE AFRICA & RICNET)

Ms. Margarete Kabasinguzi facilitating a session on Communication with the FPA, Vanalla Hotel, 9th August, 2016

Group Photo for the FPA participants from Bundibugyo and Ntoroko Districts after the training at Vanilla Hotel, 9th August, 2016
Training of  20 Foot Peace Ambassadors from Kasese and Kamwenge Districts kicked off from 11th-12th August at Uhuru @ 50 Hotel, Kasese Municipality

FPA participants from Kasese and Kamwenge districts pose for a group photo after the training on 12th August, 2016 at      Uhuru @ 50 Hotel, Kasese Municipality.
In total 47 Foot Peace Ambassadors were trained in conflict analysis and prevention skills and thereafter, the FPA will use the skills to train members of their community based organisations in peace education and consensus building.  The FPA will use innovative methods to do peace education and will also mainstream other issues like Hiv/Aids, environment, poverty and gender concerns since these are also grounds for triggering conflicts in the communities.


RWECO Team
Margret Kidima
Jimmy B. Odyek
Isaac Sinamakosa
Jeff Bwambale
John M Silco
Charles Kaliba
Margarete Kabasinguzi 








Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kings Kamya, Mumbere call for peace

Kamya slammed the recent post-election violence in Bundibugyo and the entire Rwenzori sub-region that claimed scores of lives.
Thursday August 4 2016
By LONGINO MUHINDO & BY ENID NINSIIMA
BUNDIBUGYO/KASESE- The King of the Bwamba, Lt Col Martin Ayogi Kamya, has rebuked what he called people who circulate propaganda of hatred among communities in Bundibugyo District.
Mr Kamya was speaking during the launch of the Bible in Lubwisi at Christ School playground in Nyahuka Town Council, Bundibugyo District.
Meanwhile, in Kasese District, the Rwenzururu King, Omusinga Charles Mumbere, has urged residents not to blame government for the recent Rwenzori conflicts but instead blame their children.
“We should fault our own children who have accepted to be used by government to betray their fellow tribesmen,” Mumbere said at Peas Secondary School in Buhuhira Sub-county during his visit to the area.
He said Busongora North has faced several challenges because it is the stronghold of the kingdom where majority of the royal guards have been mistaken for ‘Kirumiramuthima’, a militia group that was allegedly involved in the killings that left more than 15 people dead, including police and soldiers in Kasese District.
Bamba-Babwisi community had no Bible in Lwamba-Lubwisi and have been using the Bible in Rutooro.
The Lubwisi Bible was facilitated by members of the Uganda Bible Society and World Harvest Mission (WHM).
Mr Kamya appealed to Bundibugyo residents to embrace peaceful co-existence and use the Bible as a weapon to fight poverty and tribal misunderstandings in the district.
He condemned the recent post-election violence in Bundibugyo and the entire Rwenzori sub-region that claimed scores of lives.
“I appeal to residents to embrace the Gospel, which preaches equality irrespective of religion, tribe, culture and political differences,” Mr Kamya said.
The Rev Elastimas Kisembo from Rwenzori Diocese said the Bible will help disseminate the word of God to his people.
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Accessed on Thursday 4th, August, 2016 from: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Kings-Kamya-Mumbere-call-for-peace/688334-3329298-nrsst4z/index.html 
 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parents take led in guiding their children at Kitswamba SDA primary


On 11th Monday 2016 Human Rights and Democracy Link Africa with support from RWECO organized a school open day or career day at Kitswamba SDA where over 400 parents, religious and local leaders attended.
The school started in 1962 by the Seventh Day Adventist church and became government aided in 1997, its run by the school management committee that has 13 members, parents Teachers Association 9 members , 13 (1f,12m) teaching staff and the pupils. The school’s population is 860 pupils (462 girls, 405 boys). Enrollment for girls is large however P.7 has only 17 girls and 23 boys this implies that most of the girls and boys too drop on the way for early pregnancies, early marriages and lack of basic needs like scholastic material and sanitary pads. Parents contribute 3000shs as development fund to the school and also agreed to pay for remedial classes. In 2015 PLE only 6 pupils were in division two out of 55. Reasons for poor performance the school administrators attribute to, inadequate classrooms, seats and understaffed, lack of lunch meals for pupils, lack of safe water the school uses swamp water which is not clean at all, lack of scholastic material, education not being first priority in the area, lack of payments for school dues, denial of time to revise at home, attending burials, marriages and cinema halls among others. Children presented poems and skits on VAC and its impacts and how they want a violence free community to achieve their goals. The pupils called on their parents to provide mid-day meals, basic needs and teachers to stop violating their rights, provide safe environment, be present at school and finish the syllabus.  
The day was organized for the teachers, parents and leaders both local and religious to interact and forge way forward in preventing violence against children and proper upbringing children for a better future. Parents were embraced and took lead in guiding children and fellow parents. These are some of the forms of violence in this community defilement, rape, early marriages, corporal punishments by teachers and parents and child labor. Amidst all these, children are still engaging in bad acts for instance one parent highlighted that there six girls in p.6 that have been coming to school in wrong hours waiting for boys and men, they have made this school a lodge and already one of them is pregnant. Therefore parents should be kin on the steps our children take for us to yield fruits in them.
The CDO Kitswamba sub/county argued parents to have commitment of educating their children, the mistrust in families where pockets are different affect children too. Let’s work together for a proper economic empowerment. Parents were guided to love and take good care for their children by providing basic needs like scholastic material, sanitary package always guiding them on issues of reproductive health, how to respect people, dress code limit their movements, guide them to fear God , talk about children roles and responsibilities and above all ensure there is food security in the household.


Compiled by
Ms. Margret Kidima


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Kasese teachers vow to prevent violence against children



Rwenzori Consortium is together with KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRIC, RICNET & KGR are implementing a pilot project in community-led mechanisms to prevent violence against children and adolescents in 15 Primary Schools and one Secondary school in Kasese district.

Teachers joining pupils in singing to denounce violence against Children at Ibuga Primary School, 30th June, 2016

RWECO and the Kasese district Education office organized a teachers learning that was hosted at Ibuga on 30th June and on 1st July at Katwe Primary School.  The teachers are key actors in ending violence against children since during the baseline survey, pupils mentioned teachers as the key players in violating their rights. During the learning visit, micro-teaching lessons were arranged and teachers were exposed to different methodologies that are violence free as in Ibuga where children come from different background a teacher had to ensure that he/she use different languages in the lower classes where they thematic curriculum.  The teachers appreciated the learning event at which the district inspector of schools were presented by Mr. Edson Biryandi the Assistant Inspector of Schools in charge of Bukonzo.
During the learning visits, the children presented skits on prevention of VAC and mentioned that denial of mid day meals was hindering them from achieving their goal of education. The pupils called on their parents to provide mid-day meals and teachers to stop violating their rights, provide safe environment and finish the school syllabus also be present at school.  
Other activities include: sensitization meetings  that are  aimed at bringing the parents together and share the findings of the baseline survey.  The partners identified guest speakers during the sensitization meetings and these were parents and role model couples who shared their vast experiences in prevention of violence against children and adolescents. .blogspot.ug/2016/06/parents-speak-out-on-violence-against.html . While in other schools the parents sensitization ,  the sensitization meetings were used as occasions for parents to meet with class teachers and their children.  Children presented poems and skits on VAC and its impacts and how they want a violence free community to achieve their goals. 


Complied by Felista Masika
RWECO Assistant Office Administrator

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PEACE BUILDING WAS POSSIBLE-MUNKUNYU SUB COUNTY LEADERS PLEDGE TO PROMOTE PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE

Munkunyu Sub county leadership in Kasese district have pledged to sensitize communities on peaceful co-existence after a highly powered sensitization  meeting took place  on Tuesday 19th, July, 2016  that was organised by Good hope Foundation for Rural Development with support from RWECO, Hivos and the European Union Delegation in Uganda. Good Hope is implementing a project on community action to prevent and manage conflict and human rights violations in the Rwenzori region. As a ground rule each participant was asked to talk in a language they felt comfortable with.
Participants at the sensitization meeting at Munkunyu Sub county, 19th July, 2016

The participants were  drawn from the subcounty leadership including local council  (LCI-LCIII) executives, religious leaders representatives from farmers and pastoralists. The facilitator Mr. Isaac Bwalhuma a lawyer working with Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity informed the participants about the legal requirements of land ownership while quoting the Land Act and the 1995 Constitution of Uganda. Land was identified as the root cause of conflict  in the sub county and since the LCI courts were disbanded by order of Court, many errors were made by LCI executives in matters of land. The facilitator advised the LCI that their role was only to mediate in land issues and not make judgements as had been the case and land cases were taking a different twist of being violent.

The participants also were informed of the emotional statements of " EKITAKA KYA MAGHENDA" by the youth Councilor;  loosely translated as the land was gone  as being sensational instead people should invest in education and cutting on their cost of consumption. The RWECO Coordinator reminded  the communities instead of discussion issues of welfare were busy discussing division in the community. The Gombolala Internal Security Officer, was asked how many Lorries of cows are registered going to  the Border market in Bwera, he informed the house that 30 lorries carrying 20-25 cows are cleared at the Market in Bwera. One pastoralists was asked how much that could be in terms of money, he said each cow on average costs Ugs. 1,000,000/ translating into Ugx. 600,000,000/ per week. That was the money spent on cow meat, asked further what the lorries that bring into Kasese take out of Kasese, the participants answered non. Now who was responsible for taking the Shs. 600,000,000/ the citizens of Kasese? Another question, was whether the shs. 600M spent on meat was also reflected in the  number of Professors in Kasese district? the participants realised that it was only through such sensitization meetings that they could live peacefully with their neighbors.
Another issue  brought up during the meeting was about the River Kanyampara water channel that feeds the cattle crazing  in Nyakatonzi sub county, the participants suggested to meet the communities along the channel devise means of co-existing and using the channel with out causing conflict they were informed that the best time for the crop farmers to feed water into their gardens was at night, thus leaving water to flow to the cattle crazing during the day.  The Chairperson LCIII, Mr. Josephat Muhindo, the District woman Councilor and the District councilor were presented and pledged to mainstream conflict prevention into their work. The Chairperson LCIII, pledged to place a ramp at his office since the people with disabilities could not access his office easily.


RWECO Team
Jimmy B. Odyek
Felestus Soki

Thursday, July 14, 2016

RWECO TRAINS STAFF IN CONFLICT ANALYSIS AND PREVENTION AT UHURU @ 50 HOTEL-KASESE MUNICIPALITY


 RWECO trained 15  staff  from : KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRICA & RICNET were trained from 6th-8th, July, 2016 at Uhuru @50 Hotel, Kasese Municipality. 

Mr. Bangirana Narcisio facilitating at the staff training-8th July, 2016

The project on community action to prevent and manage conflicts and human rights violations was designed as a result of the unending conflicts that have ravaged the Rwenzori region since the pre-colonial to post-colonial era. As far as back in 1921, conflicts had emerged in the Rwenzori region due to:  cultural identity and resource sharing, migrations, land ownership was basically a   cause of cultural conflicts in the traditional Tooro Kingdom, the conflicts were even intra-tribal and inter-tribal.
 Until 1962 when the representative of the Bakonzo and Bwamba matched out of the Tooro Kingdom Rukurato and declared secession from the Tooro Kingdom, conflicts in the Rwenzori region became more pronounced than ever. With the creation of Ruwenzori (Kasese District) and Semuliki ( Bundibugyo district) in 1974, however, even when the districts were granted still conflicts and human rights violations became eminent, loss of lives and property did not end. Thus the Rwenzori region has passed through hard times as described by some scholars and development workers.
  The political interventions in the conflicts have not provided safe grounds as conflicts have continued to emerge at different times. The NALU & ADF rebel attacks in the 1990s, left mayhem to the citizens of the region and the whole country. More so, with the recognition of Cultural Institutions in the region, organized groups of people who claimed that there were marginalized attacked government installations in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts on July 5th,2014. Lives and property were lost and community responses to these conflicts were not given chance since government intervention was political.
 Conflicts and human rights violations of any form have devastating impacts on the community and those most affected are women, children, PWDs and the elderly. Thus RWECO conducted training for staff in key conflict terminologies, conflict prevention and management and community action initiatives to prevent conflict and human rights violations
The main purpose of the staff training
 The main purpose of the staff training is to equip staff with concepts and terminologies applicable to conflict prevention and management and human right.

 Specific Objectives
1.      To equip staff with knowledge and skill so key concepts in conflict prevention and management and human rights
2.      2. To re-tool staff in the application of the rights based approached to peace building and conflict management;
3.      3. To pre-test the peace education manual

The training was attended by 15 ( 5 F, 10M) staff from: KALI, Good Hope, RIDE AFRICA & RICNET. The training was facilitated by Mr. Narcisio Bangirana, a renowned conflict analysis and peace building facilitator in Uganda; the facilitator took staff in conflict sensitive facilitation skills, training skills and moderation. Other facilitators were: Jimmy and John who handled conflict concepts, conflict analysis and prevention and conflict mapping. The training was one of the events where staff discussed further conflict scenarios at local, national and international level. Group work further gave staff an opportunity to apply the skills learnt during the training.    During the training members learnt that in order to manage conflicts in Rwenzori region, look at how communities interact, empower them with skills of co-existence and information.
We also learnt that for conflicts to be managed, there should be Negotiation  which is a problem solving process in which two or more people in a conflict voluntarily discuss their differences and attempt to reach a joint decision of their common concerns that is satisfactory to both parties.
Members also learnt that the most appropriate approach for managing conflicts in Rwenzori region is mediation where a third party facilitates a negotiation, it’s also important that those who conflict are the very ones to bring the solution.  Bearing in mind that Post conflict peace building is very important because it help people to understand law, cultural institution, building their capacity and gives them knowledge. it also involve rehabilitation of communities e.g. veterans (let’s make an attempt on rehabilitation). It also involves transformation like cultural galas , peace games  and church leaders involvement.

Compiled by
Ms. Margret   Kidima
RWECO


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

CHILDREN SPEAK OUT ON ZERO VIOLANCE AGAINST CHILDREN


The Day of the African Child (DAC) was commemorated  on 16 June by Member States of the African Union (AU), and its Partners. That  occasion was  firstly a commemoration to recall the 1976 uprisings in Soweto, when a protest by school children in South Africa against apartheid-inspired education resulted into public killing of these unarmed young protesters by police officials.
The theme for 2016  commemoration was , “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all children’s rights”. The 2016 DAC was unique in that it gave  the Rwenzori region an opportunity to reflect on causes and nature of the conflicts that had happened and thereafter design appropriate strategies for lasting peace in the region. The importance of Article 22 and other relevant provisions of the African Children‘s Charter and other relevant African human rights instruments in safeguarding girls and boys in Africa from conflicts and crises and their attendant consequences;


The children spoke out about Zero Violence against children  by parents, guardians, step parents and teachers in the following ways. That once there was  domestic violence between the two parents, it should not affect them. Their basic needs should continue being provided for , suffering sexual abuse by parents when there is separation , child laboring, child human sacrifice, corporal punishments in schools  and teachers raping  has led some drop out of school hence live miserable life.  One girl pupil gave a testimony about teachers , "once a teacher asks you for sexual intercourse and you don’t adhere, he will subject you to beating every day and ensures that particular pupil fails P.7’’.   That  affects them and become vulnerable to multiple problems.
Therefore the children do make a strong appeal to all parents and stake holders for proper parenting and justice when implementing  cases concerning them because some perpetrators usually connive with parents of survivors and we strongly believe that once professionalism is well practices, the law will take its course on the culprits.

During the commemoration on 16th June 2016, at Itojo Primary school in Ntoroko district, the function began with Roadshow Band match of all pupils the leaders from the different districts led by the RDC Ntoroko Mr. Isingoma Wilson as the chief Guest. Other guests were the RDC Bundibugyo, RDC representative of Kasese, the district chairpersons of  Kasese,  Ntoroko, other guests were the  District Education Officer Kasese, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kasese and the District Community Development Officer Kasese among others. Different presentation of pupils from different districts included Kasese, Bundibugyo, Kabarole and Ntoroko the host. RWECO had four schools from their project area that included Mundongo, Ibuga , Kiburara  and  Kanyatsi Primary’s . 

Margret Kidima
RWECO

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ENSURING EVERY COIN COUNT: RWECO FINANCE STAFF GETING ON HNADS SKILLS

Governance and Accountability has a cost attached in form of training and equipping staff with the right tools and skills. While, its easy to fault other systems, at RWECO we have walked the talk by retooling and equipping Finance Officers with the current accounting packages. A seasoned Finance Consultant with background in  Law and Finance Officer of Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition (RAC), Mr. Dan Katorogo accepted to share his knowledge and skills with the 5 RWECO Finance Officers from: KALI, GHFRD, RIDE AFRICA, RICNET & KGR. It was hands on training in Financial discipline, budget compliance and application of accounting soft ware.
Mr. Dan ( standing right in checked shirt) giving instructions on the next step
RWECO finance officers following the instructions to enter the figures in quick books and generating reports

RWECO

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

THE PRICE OF PEACE IS PEACE- PEACE IN UGANDA IS PEACE IN THE RWENZORI REGION

The price of peace is peace!! The Rwenzori region has been in the news following the post- election violence episodes that have left both citizens and government ask who is responsible for master minding the attacks. I will use this space to write about the need for peace and its relationship to development work.

In the academia and contemporary world, we all talk of peace and development, that has been witnessed in the Rwenzori Region, as we drew near the Easter Season, Kasese district usually celebrates such periods with the world read tourists are usually spotted in the district and that means money has exchanged hands right from the farmer of yellow bananas, dodo, tomatoes, mangoes, name it  to the Hotel operator, and equally entry to the national parks leaves a mark to the people neighboring the protected areas. Government gives back 20% of the gate collections to the communities, but all sectors lost at the height of the attacks as tourists both local and international cancelled their travel plans to the troubled region.

Some scholars argue that out of conflict we forge development, i will argue that its at a cost of loss of lives and property. People are tone apart even fearing their own shadows, conflicts in all its forms is bad; talk of inter state conflict or intra conflicts- the Rwenzori region presents a mix of inter tribal and intra tribal conflicts and print media have reported 40 lives lost. Where are  the children and women at that stage? we see hundreds of women and children in Bundibugyo district struggling for a living yet they have a right to live in a peaceful environment, where is development when thousands of coffee trees, banana plants and cocoa trees are cut down as anger boils to highest level.

As we journey through this hard times, the religious leaders have held ecumenical prayers to preach peace, the cultural leaders are calling on their subjects to live in peaceful co-existence, development practitioners are arguing government to assure them of peace since we need each other to existence as human beings, we need to identify ourselves as Ugandans. The price of Peace is Peace - peace will bread development, conflict will tear away development.

This piece of work is part of the work in progress about the Rwenzori region conflicts
Jimmy B. Odyek
Policy Analysts