Light Descended on Bundibugyo District residents when Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development conducted what some participants called a memorable meeting that brought together all Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba (OBB) Ministers to discuss strategies of laying a peace foundation in Bundibugyo District. This was conducted on 26th/09/2015 at MBC Conference Hall near the King’s Palace in Bundibugyo Town Council.
Among the participants included; The Prime Minister who chaired the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, The Speaker of the Kingdom’s parliament, Ministers in-charge of; Youth, Mineral resources, Education, Special interest groups, Health, Gender/Resource Mobilization, Trade and other elders.
|Good Hope Staff, posing for a photo with OBB Ministers|
From the various deliberations by the elders present, the following were highlighted as key causes of Conflicts in the District;
- Identity and forgetting the Bakonzo -Bamba History.
- The new entrants whom the Bamba sell land turn against them and tend to become superior. The superiority struggle causes tension.
- Disrespect among the tribes in the District.
- Political interests for selfish motives.
- Tempering with the voters’ register has also turned into an issue antagonizing peace. Numbers have been inflated in the register which may culminate into a conflict in-case of un agreeable election results.
- Forgetting the genesis of Rwenzururu struggle, and failing to understand that it was a movement against Toro dominance against Bakonzo and Bamba, but not a tribal Kingdom.
- Corruption tendencies by IGG, whose reports do not meet the interests of the local people, but interests of those in offices.
- Connivance among the Bakonzo in Bundibugyo with those in Kasese to disorganize the other tribes in Bundibugyo.
- The Gender Minister re-iterated that she was in the District Council when a minute to recognize OBR was passed, but when the Bamba-Babwisi and Vanuma wanted to have their cultural institution recognized, Bakonzo could not welcome the idea and started fighting all plans.
- Health Minister also pointed a figure on some influential politicians in the District as people to account for the lack of peace in the District. They divide people for their self-political interests.
|A section of Ministers During the Meeting|
- The Youth Minister also classified the causes of conflicts in the District into; political, social and economical. Propaganda among the tribes in the political, social and economic lines has accelerated conflict. Propaganda of marginalization, political influence has divided the different tribes, causing tension.
Enough is enough!! Elders unanimously resolved that the following should be done to bring back the peace and sustain it;
- Emphasis should be put on Joint dialogue meetings of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu and Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba representatives/members
- Government involvement of local communities in Peace building activities. For example, when the July 5th 2014 attackers were given amnesty, the procedure used was not clear to the local people
- Intensive community sensitization and mobilization on peace.
- Having joint ecumenical prayers
- The youth should be engaged in peace building initiatives and taught the history of the ethnic groups on Mt Rwenzori.
- Reminding people of the blood relationship between Bakonzo and Bamba
- Encouraging tribal inter-marriages as a strategy of Peace building and strengthening.
|Good Hope Staff giving remarks before OBB Ministers. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker to the OBB Parliament, looking on.|
The prime minster Rt Hon. Mubulya Wilson informed members that peace engagement meetings just started and that engagements between OBB and Good Hope Foundation together with RWECO as an Umbrella consortium must continue until peace is realized in the District.