Monday, 16 July 2012

The Bakonjo, Bamba clashes: Looking beyond the fights

By Kasese Online News team “The people of Rwenzururu Kingdom should solve their problems amicably because any fighting contributes to insecurity. But such fights cannot be a chance for the enemy to recruit because what motivation do they have for someone who is fighting for cultural benefits?” Brig.Kankiriho asks. Need to reconcile Mr Peter Kamba Mupalya, 87, the only living member of the founding team of the Rwenzururu movement that successfully seceded from Tooro kingdom says: “We started the Rwenzururu Movement to secede from Tooro in 1962 after they denied us the position of premiership to rotate among them and us.” “Last year, I was asked by King Mumbere to work as an ambassador for Rwenzururu to create a new relationship with Tooro and other areas. I am coordinating activities of people within the region to work on repairing relationships,” Mupalya says. He adds: “For example I am an elder in Tooro Kingdom Elders Forum and I love the King of Tooro, we are looking forward to seeing people in the region reconcile because now we want unity and peace.” Mupalya says the establishment of the shrine should not embroil the residents into clashes for they (Bamba) are not forced to pay allegiance to the king of Rwenzururu. He adds: “The king (Mumbere) hails from here, Bwamba County, his father Mukirane was born here. I don’t see the reason why this should raise dust. He is free to do anything on his land. My argument is that let those who support Obusinga do it and those who don’t should not disturb peace.” Share This Story Share He urged the Bamba-Babwisi Elders Development Association members to use the right procedures not through fighting and inciting others. “They should let the king (Mumbere) visit his subjects in Bwamba, even the other Kings (Oyo) can come and visit Bundibugyo,” Mupalya reasons. “This conflict (in Bundibugyo) cannot be won by Bakonzo or Bamba because we are so intermarried, we need Africans not ethnicity,” says. Christopher Kibazanga, adding, “We (sons and daughters from Kasese and Bundibugyo both Bakonzo and Bamba living in Kampala) are sending a team to the area to investigate the conflict and come up with solutions” Although President Museveni is expected to meet the conflicting parties in Rwenzori any time, the conflicts in Bundibugyo and Kasese if mishandled or neglected or handled late, can result in severe clashes. “Government has nurtured ethnicity especially in Kasese District and will pay dearly for it. How can they for a example issue land at 3:1 ratio between minority Basongora and majority Bakonzo respectively?” Kibazanga asks. He adds: “The Bakonzo struggled for over 20 years to recognise their kingdom while the Basongora got it on a silver plate.” However, Mr Jimmy Kagoro Muzoora, the Spokesperson of the Busongora King, thinks the reconciliation move may be dented with flesh moves like taking away their royal drum and flag on Wednesday at Muhokya. “Such dirty moves dent the reconciliatory programme in which the president was asked by Mumbere to meet a delegation of the Bakonzo, Basongora and Bamba,” he says.