Thursday, January 11, 2018

Poverty causing Rwenzori conflicts - Museveni

Friday January 12 2018

Poverty causing Rwenzori conflicts - Museveni

Relations.  President Museveni interacts with
Relations. President Museveni interacts with Ms Christine Muhindo, the mother of Rwenzururu King Charles Mumbere, during a fundraising in Kasese on January 11, 2018. Left is Bukedea MP Anita Among. PHOTO BY ENID NINSIIMA 
By Enid Ninsiima & Moris Mumbere
Kasese. President Museveni has vowed to fight poverty and employment in Rwenzori, which he said are the major causes of insecurity in the sub-region.
“We are going to concentrate on Kilembe mines rehabilitation so that jobs are created since there are many minerals in the area,” the President said yesterday at a donors’ conference of Kasese Better Living Centre of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Mr Museveni told the people of Kasese that money has remained in modern agriculture, tourism services, ICT and industrialisation and urged them to make use of ICT to create job opportunities.
“Use internet processing to outsource jobs abroad,” the President said
He pledged six vehicles for SDA bishops in the country and pledged Shs200 million towards the completion of the church in Kasese. He paid Shs30m cash.
The President warned the Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu to desist from being disoriented from their core values, which he said disturbs peace in the sub-region.
“I am ready to talk with you about peace building in Kasese since we cannot depend on peace brought about by army,” he said.
This is the first visit the President has made to the sub-region since the 2016 Kasese palace attack where more than 100 royal guards were killed.

 Accessed on Friday 12th January, 2018 from:  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


RWECO and FAWE Uganda staff based in Kasese district, conducted a training of 144 ( 60f, 84m) teachers from 25th -27th and 2nd October 2017 in 8 schools of Katwe, Katwe Quran, Mundongo, Karambi , Kamasasa, Kanyatsi , Kyabikere Primary Schools  and Kisinga Vocation Secondary School. The training was about prevention of violence against children. The teachers were targeted since they were identified as among the primary perpetrators by the baseline conducted by RWECO in Nov. 2015. The lead facilitator Mrs. Harriet Masika Kahangwa the assistant inspector in charge of Busongora South, and Mr. Richard Kilhambuli, the Regional Coordinator FAWE Uganda based in Kasese District.
The teachers vowed to drop the cane and instead root for alternative punishments after being educated on forms of violence and more the use canning was outlawed in Uganda. They realized that had been using the cane on risk and cone could easily loose his/her job. One common practice of adults going bare chest at home or dressing in a towel without a vest was a practice mentioned by the participants in all the schools. The facilitators noted that, dressing in a towel was a psychological violence to the children. The Head teacher of Karambi primary school confessed that he had not known such was violence against children, he added that his wife complains about the same and he only took a deaf ear. However, after realizing that he had been violating his children, he vowed to stop the habit.  At Katwe Quran, head teacher had this to say. ‘’ I have been practicing this habit not knowing it violets my children and the community surrounding me, sometimes I even escorted visitors to the road side with the towel am surprised that it tortures the children”.
 The teachers in the various schools of operation appreciated RWECO efforts in the prevention of violence against children and adolescents they noted that since our partnership, they had improved on conducting themselves professionally and   had not remained the same, the community now understand violence against children (VAC) and pledged to becoming change agents in the schools and communities. We are learning more about RWECO and we are proud that among us the teachers we have a model couples. As we  continue teaching  pupils and students, the level of corporal punishment will reduce and mainstream positive discipline through alternative punishments since they do not inflict any pain on a child, these include  detaining students for constructive work, making them write apology, verbal warning, letter writing, reading names of those who have misbehaved throughout the year during Parents Teachers Association meetings, withdraw their privileges, let them write behavioral contract and a students court can also be formed as one of the disciplinary measures.
It was an appeal to all teachers to always remain role models since community respects them, however they cited a challenge of most of the parents leaving the parenting roles of their children to teachers.  The Kasese district education department and the political leaders have joined the struggle to prevent violence against children in schools and communities by passing child friendly ordinances and bye-laws    

Compiled by
MS. Margret Kidima

Friday, September 29, 2017


The Chairperson of the Prime Ministerial Commission Mr. Gadi Mbayahi admitted that there was need for the Bakonzo and Bwamba to dialogue in order to restore peace in the Rwenzori region since the two were the primary actors in the violent conflicts that broke out since 2014. " I admit and suggest the two Prime Ministers from Obusinga and Obudhingiya need to meet and dialogue since the two tribes of Bakonzo and Bwamba are the primary actors in these conflicts" Mr. Gadi was giving a comment at the Rwenzori region leaders and elders dialogue meeting held at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal on 28th September, 2017.
Hon. Gadi Mbayahi ( standing), chairperson of the OBR Prime Ministerial Commission
Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale, emphasizing a point of peaceful coexistence during her presentation at the regional leaders dialogue at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal on 28th Sept. 2017 
Hon. Loice Biira Bwambale ( former district woman MP of Kasese district from the 1989 NRC to the 7th Parliament of Uganda and CA delegate). Hon. Loice presented on a topic of the role of cultural institutions in peace building in the Rwenzori Region. She outline five key intervention areas of cultural institutions as provided in the Constitution and other legal instruments made by parliament.
Col. Peter Omola, Bridged Commander, Mountain bridged ( in army uniform) presenting at the leaders dialogue at Lisieux Guest Centre, Fort Portal, 28th Sept. 2017 
Col. Peter Omola presented a paper on the current conflict status/focus and highlights from the security perspectives. The man in uniform noted that winning a war needed community support by providing credible and timely information, he also noted the cooperation sofar with the local leaders in the Rwenzori region. He assured the elders and leaders that, with UPDF, they were protected and expected no more attacks given the establishment of a specialised bridged in mountain war affairs.
While the UPDF 2nd Division Public relations Officer, Maj. Peter Mugisa, reiterated the words of Col. Peter of the UPDF by building the civilian military cooperation ( CIMIC) by participating in community actions like cleaning of towns, health centers and providing medical support, attending sensitization meetings.
RDC- Mr. Asimwe receiving the Foot Peace Ambassadors tool box from the Chairperson RWECO, Rev. Isaiah
The participants were drawn from the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo. Other participants were the elders and cultural institutions and religious leaders representatives from the region.
Rev. Yongeza Mukonzo ( standing in a color) presenting during the leaders dialogue.
Ms. Florence Kintu, Chairperson Rwenzori Women's Forum on Peace ( standing) commenting on  the presentation of Hon. Loice
The leaders dialogue meeting was held under the theme: together for peace and was a break through after the team from Obusinga led by the Hon. Gadi suggested to dialogue with Obudhingiya. RWECO will follow up on that action.

Compiled by

Jimmy B. O


The world celebrated the International Day of on Thursday 21st, September 2017 under the Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.  The Rwenzori Regional Day of Peace Celebrations were held on Tuesday 26th Sept. 2017 at Bwesumbu SDA Primary School, Kasese District under the same theme. At the event, the participants  appreciated the cultural diversity that we cherish in the region as different cultural groups presented. Rwenzori region which is on the road to peace building is slowly recovering from the violent conflicts and its believed that through music dance and drama, dialogue and reconciliation and forgiveness, peace will return to the once tourism region. The region lost lives, property and jobs as well as economic activities including tourism  at the height of the violent conflicts from 2014-2016.

 Leaders of cultural groups from the Rwenzori region during the International Day of Peace Celebrations at Bwesumbu SDA, Kasese District.  The cultural groups were drawn from: Bandimagwara Cultural Group from Bundibugyo district,  Basongara Cultural Band, Eco's Band and Nyabingo Cultural Entertainers Group all presented. Bweramuli Youth Group from Ntoroko also presented a skit on human rights promotion.
Bweramuli Youth Drama Club, Ntoroko District, presenting at the International Day of Peace at Bwesumbu SDA, 26th Sept. 2017
From left: Mr. Baker (Bwamba Babwisi), Mr. Kalenzi ( Basongora), Mr. Jolly Kahyana ( Bakonzo) and one of the group members

Bandimagwara Cultural Group from Bundibugyo district, presenting at Bwesumbu SDA on 26th Sept. 2017

Nyakabingo Bakonzo Cultural Group presenting Flute dance, one of the Bakonzo instruments showing sign of peace

From left: the District Woman Councilor and Mr. Wilson Mbathulhowo, District Councilor, representing the district Chairperson at the regional international day of peace on 26th, Sept. 2017

Key messages at the regional international day of peace on 26th Sept. 2017 at Bwesumbu SDA, Kasese district:

Message from the Chief Guest was presented by Hon. Wilson Mbathulhawo, who acknowledged the need for peace and peaceful coexistence in the region. He noted the contributions by the different arms of government, CSOs and the community for participating in the International day of peace events. He further noted that, Kasese district had gone through many years of violent conflicts and it was time for politicians and community to come to terms and talk peace to forge development in the region.

The LCIII Chairperson, Mr. Samson Bagenda, called on the community to cooperate with the security personal in case of arrest  "dont resist arrest, inform your wife to inform the LCI, and after reaching sub county, inform your district councilor and me"

While the speaker of the Esyomango Mr. Jolly Kahyana challenged the community as he paraded the different leaders of the cultural groups present at the function. Jolly noted that there were bad elements from the elders who were misleading the youth, and he gave out his phone contact just in case any one comes in the name of the Obusinga pretending to be helping and registering the youth to join Police to first confirm the information from the LCIII and his office.

The CSOs present were:  RWECO, GHFRD, RICENT, RIDE AFRICA, KRC, RFPJ, EDEN, Media houses.

Compiled by

Jimmy BO

Monday, September 25, 2017


Learning from the ancestors is one thing that we downplay but the Acholi sub region found in the Northern Part of Uganda, took advantage of the Acholi tradition of making peace under one of the oldest trees "Oput". The tradition dates back to medieval age but that did not stop the modern Acholi elders from performing rituals that would enable the community heal from the wounds of violent conflicts. We call the ritual "Muto Oput"  reconciliation under the tree (oput) done to families or communities that were involved in violent conflict leading to loss of lives.
Parabongo Survivors performing the"Muto Oput" 13th Sept. 2017 at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru District
RWECO led a team of 62 foot peace ambassadors for a learning visit to Acholi sub region in Northern Uganda. The RWECO team  was hosted by ACORD and JRP in Gulu from 11-14th, Sept. 2017. The main purpose of the learning visit to appreciate the approaches of conflict management used by the communities in the Acholi sub region that was faced with violent conflicts for 25 years. From the learning visit, the team appreciated the triangulation of approaches in peace building and the involvement of religious leaders, cultural leaders and the political leaders to end the northern Uganda insurgence.
Bishop Ochola ( middle in colar), Secretary of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative ( ARLPI) with RWECO team at JRP, 12th Sept. 2017 
Stop violence- Bishop Ochola tells the RWECO team at JRP-Office Board room-12th Sept, 2017
" We formed Peace Committees in every sub county in the Acholi sub region, as a mechanism to sensitize the members of the community to regard the formally abducted children as victims of circumstance"

RWECO team participating in a dance with the Women Network group in Gulu Municipality, 13th-Sept. 2017
Experience sharing was one way of recovering from the trauma caused by the life in captivity
Mr. Simon Peter, vice chairperson Gulu District, giving presentation on the role of political leaders in the pacification of Acholi sub region- 12th-Sept. 2017
"We have putt a side the political parties and focused on developed, the Hon. Mama Santa is the secretary for social services, President assistant but she is  member of the executive where the district chairperson is FDC" here we talk of development and dialogue.

A jovial welcome at Parabongo Primary School, Amuru district- 13th-Sept. 2017
Participants getting ready for the field day in Gulu- 12th-Sept. 2017
Group photo after pre-visit meeting at ACORD Office, 28th-August, 2017
Lessons from the learning visit to Gulu

1. The  four pillars of peace:  Truth, Mercy, Peace and Justice
2. Local community support to peace building was vital for ending the violence in the Acholi sub region
3. Respect and tolerance for each other, approach by the Acholi Religious leaders peace Initiative used as a tool to accommodate each despite of the religious beliefs
4. Use of different approaches by cultural leaders, religious leaders and the political support
5. The government of Uganda and the international community  role in ending the insurgence

Main challenge:

1. Accepting the survivors and their children born in captivity
2. Livelihoods integration into peace recovery programs was not well planned given the nature and coverage of the program to include other districts

Compiled by:

Jimmy Odyek

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


" We were removed from the forest and just thrown on the outskirts, until some NGOs came here and supported us these things you see here" The King of the Batwa Chieftain in Bundibugyo District reiterated and shaking his head during a community meeting with the Batwa Community in Ntandi Town Council, Bundibugyo District on 30th May, 2017.  A joint team of RWECO including RICNET, RIDE AFRICA and KALI had organised the meeting at which the Ntandi Town Coucncil Local Council (LCIII) chairperson was put to task as to why the Batwa were not considered in the operation wealth creation program. In response the LCIII chairperson, immediately pledged to give maize and potato stems to the Batwa who were willing to go to the garden even when they had no space at their community.

Despite the challenges, the Batwa community are welcoming, have a rich cultural history which is not documented and have almost lost their lutwa language.

King Zito Geffrey lead the Batwa in a traditional dance,  May 30th, 2017

Women and children participating in the dance as  sign of appreciation to RWECO

Not all was lost as the Batwa Community have formed a Community based organistion that they called Batwa Community Tukulakulane Association ( BACOTA). The LCIII chairperson pledged also to support the Batwa if they could register their CBO so as to benefit from government programs like youth livelihoods and women's fund. It was noted that the Batwa through the CBO would lobby other development partners to support their agenda on human rights promotion.
We talk Human Rights now:  the Chairperson of the Batwa Women's Council listening the translation of human rights in Lubwisi

Children, youth and adults and elderly were all assembled in the Roman Catholic Church as main hall for training: 30th May, 2017
While the Batwa are listed as one of the indigenous communities of Uganda ( 1995 Constitution), their history is doted with a life not well led: why long story of our ancestral home was taken away from us, but cant you settle here now was the question many people have asked, but where? if no one was concerned about our plight, our life has changed, intermarriage no more lutwa language, not even a single word written in the history of Uganda about the lutwa language, unless otherwise. We cant continue lamenting what was available must be documented like the cultural heritage. When UWA as asked about the Batwa trail in Semuliki National Park,  they noted that about 6 Batwa guides were identified but the problem was that they dont know the English "Queen's Language"

Thats why RWECO has questioned the integration program of the Batwa community in Bundibugyo district.

RWECO team
Charles Kaliba
Geofrey Bwambale
Micah Mutahunga
Farridah  Ihunde
Jimmy  Odyek

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Kasese district local government and RWECO have signed an MoU to retool teachers in prevention of violence against children. RWECO facilitated the Office of the District Education department to carry out the training in 8 Primary schools in the first phase in  Kitswamba SDA, Nkaiga, Kyanya, Karusandara SDA, Ibuga, Kenyange Muslim, Kiburara and St. Johns Bukangara. Teachers trained were 113 (65m, 48f) on prevention of VAC and alternative punishments, handling of deviant pupils who are usually victims of VAC. Two staff of the education were assigned to work with RWECO: Ms. Harriet Kahangwa focal person for FAWE and Mr. Richard the regional FAWE officer. The training was conducted at every school and all teachers were targeted as suggested by the D.E.O that other than holding a central training, the teachers needed the skills in prevention of VAC since it was already provided for in the education department workplan but had no funds. 
The teachers who were trained appreciated the knowledge and skills gained,they called for more refresher trainings in the field of VAC prevention since as parents they were faced with a double challenges  " we as teachers face a double challenge, we spend the whole day with children even when we reach home, we spend more time with children, all our lives is talking and shouting to children"
Teachers posing for a photo after the training, with the FAWE regional focal person
 On other hand, the teachers refresher training was also tailored to the professional code of conduct of teachers, thus as part of professional development the training was timely.
Ms. Harriet second from right,posing with teachers after the training
 From the refresher training of teachers, it was realised that violence against children was common and happens most often in communities including school settings:

Causes of violence against children include: Bad cultural beliefs and practices such as child marriage, child labor, denial of education to girl children among others continue to undermine the implementation and enforcement of child protection laws in Uganda.
Societal acceptance of violence against children as a way of correcting them and enforcing discipline is a common perception especially among parents and guardians.
Immoral behaviors and practices such as violence in the families and communities sometimes make children become violent such as bullying and gang fighting.
Increasing levels of drug and addictive alcohol drinking resulting to domestic violence which puts children as the most vulnerable group.
Poverty; where some girls are forced into prostitution and child labor so as to earn a living that puts them at a risk of HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies it also exposes learners to high levels of vulnerabilities.
Corruption and belief in bribery where parents of children who are offended do not report or with draw cases when they know that the offender is capable of giving them a bribe or dowry, even in courts of law corruption also leads to unfair judgment.
Over dependency on single bread winner and lack of economic empowerment of women which fuels domestic violence this has a lot of effects on children.
Ignorance about children’s rights, war and displacement, divorce / broken families Poor upbringing of the children by the parents causes violence in schools.  Like poor dressing code of parents affects children and sharing of small rooms with children.
Absenteeism  or irregularities of both teachers and pupils, Negative attitude of both , parents, teachers and pupils towards education in certain areas, Late coming for both pupils and teachers, Illiteracy, peer influence , Transfer of anger , Negligence , Orphanage status , long illness and Parenting gaps
Exposure of children to sexual activities like pornography and kind of houses we  stay in,  when a teacher does not take remedial teaching, Poor attendance leads to school lack of control and cheating of the content, inadequate preparation like schemes and lesson plans causes violence.
The teachers appreciated the efforts RWECO has put to reduce on violence against children and adolescents in schools and surrounding communities, the teachers agreed to the following alternative punishments. Form school family initiative where pupils from P1-P7  are divided  among the teachers and set a day in a week for sitting and handle their psycho-social issues , drop the cane and use other alternative means of punishments like  pupil can be sent out to the head teachers office for 5 minutes, apology verbal , letter writing to the teacher offended , having cards in class and then given to  talkative, a  teacher can withdraw privileges of these children like denial pupils to play in the school football team for a week , detention for instance one missing exams it can be given to him or her during games time when others are playing. behavior contract between a teacher and pupils, community service like if there is an elderly person around the school the pupil can clean the compound, demerit box be put in place, students court like deciding for the talkative to sit on the front chair near the teachers are among the alternative punishment.

The trained teachers were thus called upon to be agents of change and children's rights activists 

Compiled by
Margret Kidima
Project Officer CRVP