Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rwenzururu starts peace, reconciliation campaign in Rwenzori

As a first step, The Rwenzururu cultural leader Charles Wesley Mumbere  convened a regional meeting of political and cultural leaders from the districts of Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kasese at Rwenzori Base Camp Inn, Bugoye sub-county, Kasese district on Friday April 29, 2016.
Rwenzururu king, Charles Wesely Mumbere addresses the leaders from Bundibugyo Ntoroko and Kasese on April 29, 2016. Photos/ John Thawite
Rwenzururu king, Charles Wesely Mumbere addresses the leaders from Bundibugyo Ntoroko and Kasese in Bugoye Sub County. Photos/ John Thawite
The king has embarked on a drive aimed at restoring peace and reconciliation in the conflict-torn Rwenzori sub-region. The move is part of the implementation of the Royal Peace Communiqué that committed him and the Bamba cultural leader, Lt. Col. Martin Kamya to prevail over their subjects and stop them from being lured into criminal acts by enemies of peace. The April 14th communiqué that was signed at the Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort-portal Municipality was brokered by government represented by Flight Capt. George Michael Mukula on behalf of government.
Addressing the meeting, attended by over 200 elected and cultural leaders, the Rwenzururu king asked them to join him in mobilising the communities for peace, unity, stability, reconstruction, social, cultural and economic development. He blamed the endless impasse in the Rwenzori sub-region on poor politics of discrimination. “Misinformation and negative reporting are another problem that could have escalated post- election violence,” he said, explaining that some politicians had resorted to spreading false information about the Rwenzururu to destroy it.
Ntroroko District Chair Person, Mr. Kwamanywa
The king cited and rubbished allegations that his kingdom struck a deal with a presidential candidate to curve off part of western Uganda and eastern DR Congo to create a state called Yiira for the Bakonzo of Uganda and their kinsmen in eastern Congo called the Banande.

Mumbere surprised his audience when he revealed that the detractors of his kingdom had even gone as far as designing and printing a currency labeled “Bank of the Republic of the Yiira State.” “The perpetrators have even designed a website where the currency and others things of the so-called Yiira Republic can be vied,” Mumbere said, asking his subjects to ignore it as mere propaganda meant to tarnish the name of the institution before government.“You must defend your kingdom because there are selfish people who are working towards antagonizing it with central government and destroying it,” Mumbere said in a two-hour address to the leaders.
He emphasized the need for the people to revamp the practice of intermarriages among the different ethnic groups in the Rwenzori sub-region as one of the strategies for peaceful co-existence in the region. Noting that there is a lot of “unfinished business,” Mumbere challenged newly elected political leaders in the region to follow up on the unfulfilled pledges by the government.    He urged them to find out why Kasese Airfield has never been upgraded to international standards and why government has never released the report on the July 5th, 2014 Rwenzori attacks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


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