Monday 19 December 2016


RWECO Members meeting DEC

Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development through RWECO has this morning of Monday December 19
th 2016 represented other CSOs to meet the Kasese District Executive members to discuss Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
The Meeting was convened in LCV Chairperson’s office with a purpose of planning for a combined effort towards contributing to Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori region at large. And was attended by; Eight Participants that included the District Local Council Five Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary for Social Services, Secretary for Works, and Secretary for Production, and ED GHFRD, Coordinator RWECO and P.O GHFRD.
RWECO Coordinator Mr.Jimmy Odyek B briefed participants about the Community action to prevent and manage conflicts project that is being funded by EU through HIVOS to ensure peaceful co-existence in Rwenzori region. He narrated how RWECO has been engaging stakeholders through Good Hope Foundation in Kasese, KALI in Kamwenge, RICNET in Bundibugyo and RIDE AFRICA in Ntoroko for Peace.
Deliberating on Kasese Conflicts. Secretary for Production and Secretary for Works before LCV Chairperson

Mr. Sibendire Bigogo Geofrey, the Kasese District Chairperson made the following key remarks about Kasese conflicts;
·         Some CSOs in the region are being used to promote conflicts instead of promoting Peace. He said , he lost trust in some CSOs he is well aware of and asked RWECO to try by all means and make sure they do not join the camp of those CSOs the District has already identified.
·         Those with Power (Central Government) do not recognize the need for Peace in Kasese District, the reason best known by them.
·         The way Government is handling Rwenzori issues is complicating everything. Use of force to tackle what would be simple conflicts that necessitated dialogue is not a solution at all but escalating the conflict.
·         Central Government seems not to be respecting the District leadership and not recognizing the major role they must play in ensuring a peaceful Kasese.
Supplementing the Chairperson’s remarks, the Vice Chairperson Hon.Elly Magwara Masesreka stated that Central Government has failed to handle the exact issues that could be leading to conflicts in the region, and that he is personally not happy with the way Central government is reacting to Rwenzori issues.
According to the Vice Chairperson, Some People who felt insecure due to alleged hunt down of those loyal to Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu(OBR) by Central Government sought refuge at the OBR Palace as the only institution they could trust for their security. “ As District, we do not know what the Central Government is up to in Kasese District” said by Vice Chairperson.
Generally, Participants raised the following key issues concerning conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori at large;
·         Most CSOs are not boldly coming up to talk the truth about Kasese Conflicts, attributed to Government intimidation and some conflict merchants also planted in CSOs.
·         Interests by Government in Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) likely contributing to escalating conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori as a way of creating fear among the communities which are near DRC
·         Poor analysis of Rwenzori conflicts is derailing stakeholders back and therefore creating a sense of complexity in solving the conflicts. “A domestic related conflict for example is very fast linked to a tribal conflict, any killing in a community is very fast linked to royal guards of OBR and every one seems to believe in such rumors than getting the truth before acting” highlighted by one of the participants.
·         Miss conception of blood relationship between Bayiira/Bakonzo in Rwenzori region (Uganda) with those in Eastern Democratic republic of Congo is being used by Conflicts merchants to spread rumors that have acted as fertile grounds for conflicts in Rwenzori.
Vice Chairperson at the extreme front during the Meeting

After all the above discussions, we agreed on the following action points towards Peace in Kasese District;
  • As community actions continue, CSOs should engage Central Government and boldly talk the truth about Rwenzori and Kasese Conflicts.
  • CSos like RWECO also ought to conduct consultation with some key open minded historical leaders of Kasese about the Conflicts for guidance and more clear facts.
  • CSOs need to feel sympathetic with Conflicts survivors in Kasese and Rwenzori at large, and once in a while have a sharing with them for psycho-social healing.
  • CSOs through RWECO ought to organize another big meeting with District and sub county leaders for all owned action points towards sustainable peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.


Wednesday 7 December 2016


In response to the 26th and 27th November 2016 Kasese attacks when government forces attacked Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu Prime Minister’s office and King’s Palace respectively, where royal guards, civilians and Police lost lives( allegedly 62-according to Police reports), Civil society organizations operating in Rwenzori converged in Kasese Municipality on 6th/12/2016 at the Municipal council hall to meet the Kasese District resident commissioner(RDC) to discuss urgent mechanisms of restoring sustainable peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
Jimmy Odyek of RWECO,Moderating the Meeting

Participants totaling to twenty one (21; 2 females and 19 Males) attended and participated in the Meeting. The meeting majorly targeted executive Directors of the Rwenzori based Civil society organizations operating in Kasese District, Managers of the four FM radio stations in Kasese District, heads of the Peace desks for Catholics, Anglican, Moslems and Pentecostal Churches in Kasese and Resident District Commissioner.
Among other organizations that attended were Rwenzori consortium for Civic Competence as the host with its members that include; Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development(GHFRD), KALI, RIDE-AFRICA and RIC-NET, and other organizations including among others; KADDNET,ACODEV,FURA,NAYODE, Rwenzori anti-Corruption coalition(RAC), Pentecostals Pastor and media houses that were represented by UBC-NGEYA FM, and RDC and his deputy.
CSOs Members in a meeting at Kasese Municipal Council Hall

During the meeting, key pertinent issues were raised by participants as being causes/ or triggers of Conflicts in Rwenzori and Kasese in particular, referring to the recent attacks, and the following were noted as triggers/causes;
·         Alleged growing number of royal guards’ camps in Kasese District and one in Kabarole District
·         Miss trust among the different development stakeholders in Kasese, including local people, Police, Royal guards, UPDF and other government institutions. There has been a growing lack of trust of each other in as far as conflicts in the region are concerned.
·         Miss information about Rwenzori and Kasese issues to the Central government by majorly politicians and some elders. A case in point is Yiira State secessionist roomer, and framing domestic conflicts as tribal and therefore engineered by Kingdom
·         Actions of OBR whereby it continued to recruit big numbers of royal guards.
·         Un clear demarcation of kingdoms’ boundaries in Rwenzori region
·         Covering the truth about Rwenzori issues by some self seekers/opportunists
·         Political conflicts have resulted into killings of innocent people
·         Reluctancy of government to handle problems of rwenzori as they occur. Small issues have piled up, resulting into conflicts like land issues, failure to fulfill promises etc
·         Un clear reports about the previous attacks like in 2014 and March 2016 whereby government arrested the alleged leaders of the attacks but never let them to face justice. This raised suspicion among the populace about who could be engineering killings in the region; Government or some one else?
·         Internal fighting within OBR allegedly planned and promoted by external forces with in Government
·         High level Poverty among community members who are easily manipulated and therefore easily engaged in escalating conflicts
·          Hostility of government against royal guards who naturally find a way of protecting themselves too
·         Lack of consistency with in OBR Leadership whereby every leader who comes in office does not refer to his/her predecessor’s records
·         Not being selective in recruiting royal guards. Some of them are ex-soldiers and therefore used to the aggressiveness of soldiers.
·         Two strong centers of power in the District especially the RDC and LCV Chairpersons offices almost working as parallel offices and yet they all target the same local community members

The Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Major James Mwesige made the following response and remarks about Kasese Conflicts;
·         With in the kingdom, there are three different divergent thinkings. These fail to agree and create an environment for a conflict among the Kingdom subjects
·         The OBR having a whole security force threatens government and therefore calling for government action
·         Failure by his Majesty to listen to President Call whereby the president asked the Kingdom to disband the royal guards department and government promised to provide two(2) royal guards per sub county for the kingdom and put them on salary scale, but his majesty never complied
·         The excessive force by UPDF when attacking the Palace on 27th/11/2016 was because the enemy was in a fenced location, and therefore the government had no way out
·         Government is committed to building Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori region at large.

The Meeting zeroed on the following action points as the next step towards peace building and sustainability in Kasese District;

  • CSOs to separately meet OBR Cabinet and Veterans team
  • CSOs to organize another specific dialogue with Kasese inter-religious council
  • CSOs to organize another meeting with Kasese District executive committee
  • CSOs to organize an interface meeting with Kasese District members of Parliament
  • Organizing continuous dialogues between government and OBR
  • Lobby for a psycho-social program for Kasese District because most people have been psychologically traumatized by the attacks and deaths of many people.

Thursday 22 September 2016


“Dis-respect among people and conflicts are cousins” said by the Speaker of the Rwenzururu Kingdom Parliament Rt. Hon.  Muhindo Enoch. He narrated this when he was moderating a Peace promotion dialogue facilitated by Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development on September 21, 2016 at Virina Hotel in Kasese Municipality.
The Kingdom Cabinet ministers not forgetting the Hon. Prime Minister, Royal guards, Community liaison officer-Kasese Police, Deputy Resident District Commissioner-Kasese District, and other stakeholders in Peace promotion met on the date above to join the rest of the World to commemorate the international day of Peace. The Kingdom organized a dialogue with a theme: Community action for Peaceful co-existence.
In front from Right to left; The Kasese District Deputy Resident District Commissionner, Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Prime Minister and Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Speaker of Parliament
The Kingdom used the Dialogue to remind themselves of their History and conflicts in the Rwenzori region, Uganda and World at large and how communities have co-existed along side the inevitable conflicts. In the Prime Minister’s remarks, Rt. Hon. Thembo Kitsumbire, the following were noted;
Kingdom Prime Minister officially opening the Dialogue
·        He reminded participants of the history of conflicts as dating far back before the birth of Jesus, biblically in the Middle East. The prime minister said conflicts in the Middle East have not ended because of disrespect among the ethnic groups in that region as well as miss-treatment.
·        Conflicts in Rwenzori according to the Prime Minister started way back in 1800, when Banyoro and Batoro for long time conflicted and Toro Kingdom was created from Bunyoro Kingdom. Similar struggles continued for other tribes like Bayiira/Bakonzo who also until 1962 said enough was enough and also seceded from Toro to establish Rwenzururu Kingdom which operated illegally according to the then Governments until 2009 when OBR was recognized as cultural institution by the Republic of Uganda. All the above struggles and conflicts happened because of disagreements and ethnic miss treatments.
Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu Parliament Speaker giving a detailed background of People in Rwenzori region
During the plenary discussions, the following issues were raised by Participants as being influential in escalating conflicts in the region;
·        Police fears Royal guards because of their “heartless character” and therefore according to CLO, an armed royal guard is very dangerous and when they confront with Police, the only way out is to shoot to kill.

·          There are gaps in communication between communities and Police. Police are for several times miss informed about Royal guards and Bakonzo in particular and just act without having a second thought of digging out the truth.

·                 Most youth are un employed and are therefore easily manipulated to insight violence for some leaders’ self interests.

·              Conflicts in Rwenzori have been fueled by irresponsible politicians, who do not value human blood so long as their interests have been achieved.

·            OBR is financially incapacitated and therefore fail to fully engage its people in peace promotion campaigns.

·             Political fall back in the recently concluded national elections in Kasese District by the sitting National Resistance Movement (NRM) government angered it very much and since then started suspecting Kasese People and Bakonzo in particular of being enemies of Government.

·              Ethnic favoritism by government in Rwenzori region has made some tribes “wild” as a mechanism of defending themselves and this has failed attempts of Government to promote Peace in the region, because it is seen as being biased. This according to participants has promoted dis-respect among the tribes in the region where some tribes feel are “darlings” to Government than others.
The CLO,Kasese Police ASP Sunday, narrating his experience working with local People and relating with Royal Guards
These issues guided Participants to come up with the following action points that could reduce/control conflicts in the region and Kasese District in particular;
·             Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR) to hold inter-cultural galas with peace messages for sustainable Peace in the region.

·                OBR to identify leaders of other tribes and create a healthy relationship with them.
·        Intensify dialogues between OBR and Government from National to Local levels.
·        Civil society organizations like Good Hope/RWECO to organize specific meetings for Police and royal guards, decentralized from up to bottom. This will remove the fear between the two security agencies.
·        OBR to come up with a concept paper clearly specifying how they need to economically empower its Royal guards, and submit it to the President of the Republic of Uganda through the Office of the Resident District Commissioner, before 19th/10/2016.
·                   OBR to always plan for international Peace day and indicate it on its yearly planner.
The Coordinator RWECO, Mr. Jimmy Odyek reminding Kingdom leaders of the commitments they made during the 2015 Peace Week, and what RWECO has sofar done.
The Dialogue ended with closing remarks from the Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Muhindo Justine who thanked Good Hope Foundation for remembering to engage OBR on an international Peace day. This according to her is a reflection of commitment to finding remedies to challenges of Peace in Rwenzori, championed by a respected institution like Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu.

She encouraged Participants to educate others about the advantages of being good listeners in avoiding conflicts and working as a team for a common goal. The RDC pledged her total support for a peaceful Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
Participants leaving the venue at the end of the Dialogue, one by one led by OBR Parliament Speaker and Minister of Education


September 8th-16th, 2016 was a period of trained Community based organizations’ members to comb villages and urban centers in Kasese District, sensitizing people on Conflicts prevention and management and human rights violations prevention. This one week work left 1347 males and 1657 females reached through; Music dance and drama, Community meetings, house to house visits, and Peer to peer method.
Ten community based organizations from Kitswamba, Munkunyu, L.Katwe, Karusandara sub counties and Katwe Kabatoro town council that included; Karusandara youth united Development association, Kikorongo Service Centre, Katunguru Women’s resource users Foundation, Katwe Kabatoro association for PWDs, Kakone Mwemukye Tufanye Youth, Mother Care Women Group, Kitsutsu Youth, Ophfund Uganda ,Bigando Youth United group and Bigando Farmers deployed 300 trained members of their organizations to carry a one week sensitization campaign of communities for Peaceful co-existence and Human rights violations prevention.
One of the sensitization meetings in Munkunyu sub county
Several issues were raised by community people reached that among others included the following;
·        Most conflicts are silent and therefore end up in communities and homes, un reported.
·        Cases of Domestic violence especially against women and children are still rampant in communities
·        Early marriages and adolescents’ sex abuse are still common in communities, needing serious intervention.
·        Most organizations in communities do work on prevention especially concerning sexual abuse. The response part has not been fully funded and this has left most victims traumatized in communities, and has promoted connivance between child sex abusers with Parents of the victims because after all they see no help at all than settling their issues locally
·        Violent Conflicts to a great extent are being triggered and fueled by bad politics. “Politicians are target workers and do not at all mind about their actions so long as they have achieved their missions”, said by one of the community members in Bigando, Kitswamba sub county.
·        Youth un employment is contributing a lot to un ending conflicts in communities. The Youths are easily lured into bad acts because they have nothing to do, and lose
·        Politicizing culture has also bred conflicts in Kasese Communities. According to some members, there are tendencies of destabilizing Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution for political interests that face resistance from people who very much believe in it.

·        Land conflicts are increasing because of population increase, which population is not innovative enough to maximamly utilize the little available land.

·        Most community people are still ignorant of the laws governing Ugandans as per the National constitution. Many offences have been committed ignorantly.

·        People have not changed their behaviors of engaging in reckless acts like adultery, defilement, prostitution especially in the fishing villages and urban communities which has contributed to increasing cases of HIV and AIDS.

·        Climate change is a serious threat to Peace and development in the communities visited. Seasons have changed and yet over 80% of community members derive their livelihoods from Agriculture. If no action is taken to completely tackle climate change, more conflicts of survival are yet to happen.

·        Police force according to most community members is not a people’s force, but a political force.
Sensitization local meeting by a Foot Peace Ambassador in Lake Katwe sub county
This sensitization exercise has made us to learn the following;
·        A lot of information is wrongly/or under reported about local communities by media. There is need to invest in community journalism for evidence based reporting of genuine community issues.
·        Investing enough in civic education may tremendously reduce on un lawful actions by community members. Most of them are just used by self seekers, ignorantly.

·        Police force has a lot to do in redeeming its image in communities. Stakeholders need to come in to help close the gap between Police and the civilians if people must support actions of law enforcement, championed by Police.

Thursday 8 September 2016


On 29/8/2016 RWECO participated in Music Dance and Drama festival organized by SNV which was held at Kisinga primary school Kisinga subcounty for the main purpose of disseminating and creating awareness on under nutrition with a focus on stunting to the pupils, their parents and to the community at large. The event was under theme "stop poor nutrition for quality learning. 10 primary schools including Kiburara primary school participated in this competition and among the items presented included; set piece, poem, original composition and creative dance. The event was attended by over 1000 people including the district chair person, DEO, Inspector of schools, district nutrition officer, and district nutrition coordination team, cultural local and religious leaders as well as the RDC. Members commended on food as the most challenge UPE schools is facing and community members were called upon to respect children's rights especially through giving right food to them, education, as well as avoiding early marriages and child labor.
The chairperson LC3 Kisinga sub county thanked all the development partners including SNV, Save the children and Good Hope Foundation for their efforts towards improving the wellbeing of children in the sub county. He promised the development partners to fully support them in every project they plan for the sub county.
The DEO encouraged to schools improve co-curricular activities as one way of encouraging pupils to love education. Development partners were also called upon to strengthen and applying MDD as an avenue to easily and directly convey messages and change behavior of several people as in regard to violence against children and adolescents
The RDC raised a concern on parent’s laziness as one way that is increasing food insecurity and malnutrition. She also commended on poor hygiene and sanitation in the households which is increasing the risks of children to acquire diseases.
The chairperson LC5 recommended the approach of using MDD in influencing practices and behavior change among the community members and increasing children’s self esteem.  He added that 49% of children in the district are stunted and on this note he said there is a need for the community members to change the cultural eating habits and he also commended on the parent’s failure to fulfill their obligations towards their children. He finally commended on the change in climate and he encouraged the community members to begin planting trees as one way of achieving our food production goal.
Kasese district principle Education officer giving a speech about nutrition during competition

Kiburara P/S presenting a creative dance during the competition
Kasese district deputy RDC presenting a speech about child growth and development in relation to nutrition

Chairperson LC V Presenting his speech during the event about Nutrition and child growth