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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Rwenzururu Kingdom appreciates support from RIC-NET


Rwenzururu Kingdom calls on government to compensate families

https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Rwenzururu-Kingdom-calls-government-compensate-families/688334-4870152-td8nbez/index.html 
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 27 2018   
Destruction. Some huts burnt during the raid on
Destruction. Some huts burnt during the raid on Rwenzururu Kingdom on November 27, 2016. The cultural institution has urged government to settle the families of people killed. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 
Kasese. As Rwenzururu Kingdom marks the second anniversary of the military raid on King Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace, the cultural institution has urged the government to settle the families of more than 100 people killed in the attacks.
However, government, responded yesterday that there is no need for compensation of any family because the operation was carried out to “rescue the palace and the people of Rwenzori region from the wrong elements of instability’’.
A dark cloud covered Kasese town on Sunday, November 27, 2016 when the army, commanded by the current commander of the land forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu, raided King Mumbere’s Buhikira palace.
In a raid that the army explained then as an aim to smoke out wrong elements that were hiding in the palace, more than 130 people said to be royal guards were arrested.
Much as today marks the second anniversary of the assault on the palace, to the cultural institution, the commemorations started yesterday because a day earlier on November 26, 2016, the army had raided the Prime Minister’s office in the heart of Kasese town, leaving at least eight royal guards dead.
Now, Mr Gad Mbayahi, the chairman of the Prime Ministerial Commission (PMC) – a body that Mumbere appointed to run the cultural institution during his incarceration in Luzira prison – told Daily Monitor on Sunday that government for the sake of peace and reconciliation in the Rwenzori region, needs to commiserate with the families of the people killed during the attacks and resettle them with at least Shs20 million each.
The Minister of Information, ICT and National Guidance, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, however, refutes the claim that the UPDF killed innocent people whose families need to be compensated or resettled.
Mr Tumwebaze said: “Government cannot tolerate any act of lawlessness and impunity. Kasese is now peaceful and all efforts to sustain the peace should be strengthened and given priority by all stakeholders.”
Early this year, the PMC and the cabinet resolved to construct an administration block in the proposed modern palace site but resource constraints has stalled the project.
Mr Mbayahi revealed that despite collection of funds, there is still need for Shs4.5m to complete the process.
Administration
The kingdom authorities have now settled in a remote side of Kasese town. They are operating in Mumbuzi cell in a room rented by Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence in conjunction with Rwenzori Information Centres Network who donated equipment.

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

mkthembo@ug.nationmedia.com

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Students contributes to the peace building discourse through debates


We Deserve a Prosperous, Peaceful Society with Good Governance.
Main speakers at the Debate
It was a sharing of ideas peaceful..........but we are great friends after the debate competitions.

"Stop using the youth as tools of tools  ......we deserve a new future of respect, unity, coexistence and respect for each other human dignity"


Champions Celebrating.......



Sunday, October 21, 2018

RIC-NET support to conflict affected girls recognized


By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU
CFr.   https://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/How-Kasese-widows-used-Shs50m-Museveni-cash/688342-4814676-v96k90/index.html

When President Museveni in February donated Shs50m to widows who lost their husbands during the November 2016 Kasese attacks, hopes were high that the funds would make a life-changing contribution to the affected families.
Their husbands were killed during the army raid on Rwenzururu Kingdom palace and administration officers in Kasese Town between November 26 and November 27, 2016.
More than 150 people, including children, were killed in the attack that saw King Charles Wesley Mumbere and about 200 others arrested.
The money was lobbied by Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary and delivered by Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among.
There was excitement among the 34 earmarked beneficiaries, whereas there was protests among those who were not listed as beneficiaries.
The 34 widows living in Kasese Town are taking care of about 120 orphans. This newspaper investigations established that there are at least 120 widows, more than 200 orphans and two widowers from across the region.
Exact number not known
However, there is uncertainty on the exact number since the kingdom does not have a royal guard census record that would indicate the size of their families.
Delivered in a lump sum of Shs200m, Shs50m was specifically for the 34 widows, and the rest was for motorcycle boba boda riders and some other organised women groups in markets in Kasese Municipality.
The widows, under their association Kasese Municipality Abakwakali Thukolerehaghuma Sacco, were given Shs50m, the boda boda riders got 10 motorcycles and women in the markets shared Shs150m.
While delivering the money, Ms Among as an emissary of the President asked the widows to use the funds in a revolving system so that it is not spent at once. The money was banked in Centenary Bank into an account allegedly belonging to the office of the area MP, Mr Centenary.
“We do not expect you to put the money to waste, but to use it for the betterment of yourselves and the communities at large. This is a revolving fund supposed to benefit beneficiary after beneficiary,” Ms Among said then.
Where is the money?
A few days after Ms Among had left, the widows stormed Mr Centenary’s office demanding that they are handed the money so that it is shared. The MP first rejected their demand, asking them to open an account for their Sacco account to which the money would be transferred.
However, after too much pressure from the widows and from his party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who accused him of dinning with President Museveni, Mr Centenary withdrew the money and handed it to the widows.
Ms Peace Kabugho, the chairperson of the Sacco, said following pressure from the widows, the money was handed over to them by Mr Centenary and it was shared among themselves. Among the beneficiaries were 34 widows and 60 wives of detained suspected royal guards. The condition was that each of these women was to take home Shs510,000.
“We distributed the money to the widows because they cried there was no one taking care of the homes. The MP advised that we include women whose husbands were in prison because they equally had problems. The women said they would start up small businesses and keep saving in the Sacco,” Ms Kabugho said.
A quick multiplication of Shs510,000 by 94 beneficiaries shows that at least Shs47.9m was given out to the widows and wives of detained suspects. The remaining Shs2.06m, this newspaper has learnt that it was agreed Ms Kabugho takes it as token for her lobbying when she met President Museveni in State House, Entebbe to discuss their plight. She, however, denies taking the Shs2m on the top of her share of Shs510,000.
Meanwhile, this newspaper has also established that after receiving the money, the beneficiaries spent it on basic needs without forming small scale businesses as promised.
They failed to save in the Sacco as they had promised after rejecting the State House idea of a revolving fund.
Ms Kabugho revealed that since February, the Sacco treasury has only received cumulative savings of Shs500,000 from 34 active members.
“I have to tell the truth that no widow would get Shs510,000 and start whatever small business when the children are starving and being chased away from schools for school fees. I have two Senior Four candidates who needed registration fees and school fees. Other children are in primary school. So it was little money for all women,” she said.
It is difficult to trace these widows because they are scattered around Kasese Town unless when the Sacco meetings are held.
Success story
Ms Rafairina Biira, one of the widows of Timothy Mukududu, a Rwenzururu Kingdom royal guard from Bwesumbu Sub-County, told Sunday Monitor that she and her co-wife, Mary Kabugho and their five children, were surviving on casual jobs around Kasese Town when the presidential support was delivered.
“Kabugho is my relative and we got married to one man. When he died, it was me the first wife to take care of Kabugho, her child and my four children. When we received the money (Shs1.02m for two people), we started a small business of selling tomatoes in the market. We used part of the money to rent coffee plantations in the village, which we are about to harvest,” Ms Biira said.
She appealed to the President for more financial assistance.
MP disappointed
Mr Centenary, the area MP, said he has lost track of the money given to the widows and wives of detained suspects because unlike the boda boda riders and women in markets, this group rejected a revolving fund system.
“They ate all the money and it was finished. Their leaders have been coming to my office asking me to assist them by going back to the President but I cannot do that because they disappointed me,” Mr Centenary said.
Support from other sources
Support to orphans. Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RIC-Net), a non-governmental organisation based in Fort Portal, has been supporting at least 35 orphans from across the region.
Mr John Silco Murugahara, the RIC-Net executive director, revealed that they have been supporting school-going children with scholastic materials, and sanitary towels for girls on a termly basis, whereas those out of school have been enrolled on vocational skills training.
Also, Big Heart Foundation, a charity group in Kasese Municipality, supplied food stuffs, soap and sugar once to only the widows in Kasese Municipality.
Mr Samson Bagenda, the chairperson of Bwesumbu Sub-county which lost 29 people, leaving behind 38 widows and 187 orphans, told this newspaper that the families are in dire need of help since the breadwinners died.
He said most widows were left with uncompleted houses and others in bad state, whereas others have no land of their own.
Mr Bagenda said since the attacks, his Sub-county has since organised the widows into a group through which they have received clothes and food supplies from Uganda Women Network, Justice and Peace Commission from Kasese Catholic Diocese, Kasese Guide Radio and some churches.
He said some of the orphans are on the brink of dropping out of school because their mothers cannot afford to pay school fees hence a call on well-wishers to come to their rescue.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

CSO CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE- BOMA FORT PORTAL

Geust of Honour  visiting  RIC-NET Stall

The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70” resound in both songs, plays and speeches at the international day of peace celebration in Boma fort portal.
Graced by Gen. Salim Saleh as chief guest, the celebration started with a walk through Fort portal Municipality, the NGOs show of documentation of their peace efforts and development work and presentation of Foot Peace Ambassador Youths.
Gen Salim Saleh takilng to Foot peace Ambosandor Mr. Abraham from BYEAH

“We the peace actors of the Rwenzori region including, security, religious, political, CSO and cultural leaders gathered here at St. Joseph's inn, Fort Portal, Kabarole district on this 20th Day of September 2018 in commemoration of the international day of peace celebrations; We recognize the continued existence of inter-ethnic tensions within our region anchored on struggle for political, social, cultural and economic leverage;
RIC-NET was among other CSOs that participated in the peace celebration by supporting 48 youth to attend and present songs, poems and memorandum on peace efforts and supporting the Batwa- as ethnic minority group to express their peaceful coexistence concerns.

M John Silco from RIC-NET presented the regional leaders Peace Week Communiqué; the communiqué stated that: "We recognize the intractable tendencies of geo-ethno-political tensions within our region due to deep-seated disagreements over governance issues relating to service delivery, access to and control over resources, creation of ethinicised administrative units and political intolerance; We recognize the complexities involved in upholding the respect for human rights for all and the much needed efforts towards furthering human rights for all; We are cognizant of tendencies of some leaders, elders and the elite in socializing the youth to hate and perpetuate acts of conflict and violence; We are aware of continued delays by some political and cultural actors in our region to embrace dialogue, reconciliation and mutual respect;

 AS We Commemorate the International Day of Peace, We Call Upon Leaders and all people in the Rwenzori region to value the inter-ethnic diversities of our region and uphold the right of every ethnic group to live and work peacefully in any part of the Rwenzori region; Local and central governments to commit to efficient and effective service delivery for the common good; All leaders and the general public to uphold human rights for all; Leaders and elders to respect the youth and mobilize them into acts of promote nonviolence; All leaders to embrace dialogue, reconciliation and mutual respect.

Finally on this day, we commit to use our available resources to further values of peace, nonviolence and respect for human rights in our region and country; Engage those who propagate violence, conflict and human rights violations in our peace building, violence prevention and human rights work; Engage government, cultural and religious institutions as well as other actors to further peace, nonviolence and respect for human rights”

Gen. Salim Saleh addressing people at Boma- Fort Portal for international peace celebration

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

NO PERSON IS FINE BUT SITUATIONS TEND TO BE FINE.


The community of Bubukwanga Sub County held a massive community meeting with the district leaders on 19th September 2018. The meeting was at Bubukwanga secondary school grounds. The meeting was attended by the CAO, RDC, district speaker, LCV, DPC, and DISO. Other was the representatives from Obundingiya Bwa Bwamba and Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu, LCIII chairperson, and many other local leaders in their different capacities.

community members presenting issues.
According the citizens challenges as were presented by Mr. Tibakunirwa Michael the LCI chairperson of the area, he mentioned that conflicts in the areas are looked at in an unequal distribution of resources, politics of favoring certain individuals and community.


 some leaders relating specifically with certain community and leaving others, radicalism among the youth a trait being forced to them by the leaders of cultural institutions basing on the environment and then the relationship between the security personal and the community especially when it come to arrests of suspects. 
Ill treatment, torture as well as segregate handling of conflicts make citizens loose trust in the security personnel thus taking matters into their own hands.

In responding to the matters raised during the discussing on conflicts and human rights violation in the community, the speaker hon. Bagambe Moses mentioned thus “each person should play his/her role either as a leaders or and as community member….no person is at peace when the neighbours house is on fire”.


Ms jesca from human rights commission mentioned that protection of life and property is the role of every citizens. Rights to life should not be tempered with in the pretence of defending cultural values. “Our problems should instead bind us together regardless of our cultural diversity”.

According to the DPC, citizens have misused their rights in engaging in actions that violate other people rights. He highlighted that youth are engaged in gambling and end up stealing or involved in crime, citizens are forced to confront the security personnel thus forcing the police and other sister security people to shoot at them. Shooting is first to scare but if the group is not scared then some force can be used to ensure calm is restored and the culprits brought to book.

It was agreed from the meeting that, community should continue reporting human rights violations and suspected occurrence of conflicts to police. Befriend the security people and report the correct information, avoid confront other people and the security, facilitate team work and invest in information sharing as key to improve human rights protection. Rev Bigumisa thanks the CSO for their role in unifying the different cultural faction though some radical leaders of institutions still exist.
members listening to the duty bearer on human right related violations at Bubukwanga ggrounds



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SCHOOL PEACE CLUBS ARE TRANSFORMING THE YOUTH ON CRITICAL THINKING.


Youth are considered as peacemakers and peace builders, or conversely, as troublemakers. They represent the future of the community. 78% of the Uganda population comprise of the youth and most of these youth are unemployed this pose a challenge to both the government, church and the entire community. In light of these youth in the school have been debating on role of the youth in peace process in bundibugyo district. 
peace clubs members of Kabango SS after discuion on role of youth in peace process

Debates had be conducted in the schools of Kabango, Bulambagira, three angels and Bubukwanga SS as well as youth out of school engaged in public discussions on how they can get involved in prevention of human rights violations.700 youth have been involved in these formal discussions.

It was realized that engaging youth in peace processes and socialization as peace builders early on is important. Bringing their perspective on the conflict as well as on how peace can be built, their experience and resources, not only help having access to a new set of knowledge but constitute an important experience of inclusion. It was revealed that the existence of supporting networks and communities by children themselves in those are that experienced bloodshed and a lot of human rights violations are key in healing process.
debating at Bubukwanga SS

It was learnt in the debates that discussion and interaction of children created supportive communities in time of need. Youth shared limited resources and created their own system of ideas governing the community. 

Youth provided each other with surrogate family and community, physical protection, and emotional support in ways that are also part of a peace building and human right protection.
debate clubs of Three angels and Bubukwanga schools

The youth called up their leader for proper guidance and encouragement, motivate them to work and provide platform that encourage participation in community decision making than simply talking about hatred and cultural values that are already segregating their friends. Relying on that experience and that potential in the peace building can be crucial not only for their own individual recovery but also for the benefit of their community.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

BUNDIBUGYO YOUTH FORM INTER-RELIGIOUS UNION ON PEACE AND CONFLICT ISSUES.


Bundibugyo is currently undergoing an intense debate about ethnicity manipulation and its implications for unity in the district. The trigger point for this conflict lies in the history of how the District was created in the manner the term 'tribe' or community or just reward without term during the Amin times. Today it may be was deployed by some citizens as a policy for 'divide and rule' in cocoa community and administering them beyond their ability to realize their worthiness in Uganda.
youth leaders from different religious institutions in sensitization meeting.
This was realized during the sensitization meetings for the youth from different religious institutions that was conducted by UNCIDA and MuSA the youth CBOs under community action to manage and prevent conflicts and human rights violations in the district. The institutions that were represented were the Catholics, Anglican church of Uganda, SDA, Pentecostal movements, Muslims and the Bisaka cult youth.
participants listening to each other during the open dialogue.
The 'tribe' is being used as a tool of mapping and controlling the population for exploitation and domination. The manner the 'divide and rule' policy being used is so intense that it is socialized in the consciousness of the youth political elite who will later became the rulers of post-conflict communities. 
This is the reason ethnic manipulation has become an important tool of political power and political control and political management of society in Uganda. The religious institutions have not been spared of these political manipulations; religious leaders have joined the war with state with ought knowing their mandate.
After intense discussion on the understanding the role of religious youth in the peace process, it was agreed that a union of all the Youth leaders from different denominations be formed and this was called “inter-religious youth council Bundibugyo chapter”. 
OC police bubukwanga sharing with inter religious youth
Leaders were selected among the participants and were given mandate to transverse the district sharing peace message among the youth. It was also agreed that religious leaders who are engaged in conflicts and human right violation should be brought to the book of shame by the joint action of the youth.
The meetings were also graced by some clan leaders and civil servants who too shared their experience working in a society where there is a lot of mistrust based on tribe and religious. They called on the youth to use the agreed platform towards unit

Saturday, September 8, 2018

RIC-NET ACTIVITIES FOR CELEBRATING THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 21st SEPTEMBER 2018

Every year, Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of Peace. 
Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.
The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70” The selection of this theme is against the background that the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) does not include the right to peace as a separate Article. This non-inclusion, in face of intractable globalized and localized threats to peace calls for candid conversations on what the right to peace means to us, both in our local and shared settings.

In the context of Rwenzori region, threats to peace anchor on social, political and economic injustices linked to several interwoven factors including; the management, use of and access to land and other natural resources; governance deficits and the growing culture of political violence; cultural and political extremism in the context of cultural and political pluralism that characterizes the region; corruption and the diminishing culture of accountability and; inadequately tapped potential of women and youth to influence the peace agenda with their communities.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Rwenzori region have a long tradition of celebrating a peace week preceding September 21st. In this tradition, CSOs value the uniqueness of the region and the need to domesticate and localize the international day of peace celebrations. In line with this year’s international theme, CSOs propose to pay special attention to inter-ethnic collaboration in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation.

During the peace week, CSOs seek to achieve the following objectives
  1.  To raise public awareness on social and cultural rights in the Rwenzori region. 
  2. To generate consensus on the respect for social and cultural rights in the Rwenzori region
  3. To amplify voices of youth and women using media and other spaces as avenues for engaging with key regional stakeholders on the pursuit of inter-ethnic dialogue and reconciliation.
ACTIVITIES
  • Interactive and informative radio talk shows in the Rwenzori region
  • District-specific dialogues on matters pertaining to peace, governance, social accountability, land and natural resource management.
  • Dialogue meeting among  the  youth from Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (OBR), Basongora, Banyabindi, Obukama bwa Tooro Kingdom, Obundighiya bwa Bwamba (OBB), security agencies and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MOGLSD).
  • peace caravan in Ntoroko District
  •  youth sports for peace football competition
  •  Civil society fair
  • inter-school peace gala to kick start the civil society fair
  • District Peace marathon 2018
  • Public celebration of the international day of peace

EXPECTED OUT PUTS
  1.         At least 1000 members of the public aware of social and cultural rights.
  2.      Generated consensus on at least one aspect of respect for social and cultural rights.
  3.     . At least 5 spaces created for women and the youth to interface leaders on aspects of interethnic dialogue and reconciliation.
  4.     At least 30 CSOs able to showcase their works to the public on aspects of good governance, transparency and accountability.