There are again new allegations and old pledges from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and its local problems it create. The political patronage and possible benefits of certain creations of districts seems harder by the day, as the share numbers of district is sky-high. Not to think about the already carved out counties and sub-counties inside each district. Therefore, the vast patronage already created through these sort of arrangements cannot be easier when carving out more districts.
It seems like a hard bargain to make a Budama District in the Tororo County, as the Adhola Community meeting today in Kampala spells out. There does not seem to be reachable, unless there is significant plans whey they sufficiently think of the new boundaries, considering there have not come the other planned in Mukujju district back in 2005. So it is not like pledges from the President before has become reality for the Adhola community. They have been left behind in the past. Therefore it should be important for the state to listen to one part of the meeting resolution, which stated: “2. The Japadholas never asked for the district, so no district shall be accepted by the Jopadholas” (Adhola Community, 12.07.2017).
Therefore, when you read the Annex of the meeting, you will see the sentiment and the no-need for a provision of a carved out district. Unless, there political patronage and promises not kept from President Museveni. Someone from the area shielded him during a battle in the 1980s and he has to pay it off now. Since he still can pay him!
New Vision reported back in 2009: “The Iteso, on the other hand, do not see why the name Tororo should not be dropped. Etyang states that the people of Tororo county have been agitating for this for the last 10 or so years. â€œThis decision leaves West Budama alone whether or not the Jopadhola have asked for a district,â€ he argues. He says it is virtually impossible for Tororo municipality to remain with West Budama because it was part of Tororo county before the municipality was created. For this reason, the new Mukuju county has the right to have its headquarters in Tororo town. War over wealth: If the split finally goes ahead, West Budama will lose the most in terms of property. It will lose the key industrial town of Tororo, which has become a hot cake following the discovery of huge phosphate deposits, the revival of Tororo Cement factory and the planned construction of an inland port” (New Vision, 2009).
So the promises and thinking of the carving this area into more districts has alreay been into the minds of people for a long time. Paul Etyang is also clear of the lines and the values in doing so. Also, the ramifications that we’re in 2009, which would be similar today. There we’re talk of West Budama and not East Budama, which it we’re in the meeting today. But still proof of the sentiments that was already there.
Enough talk, but if you want to understand it more. Read the annex. Peace.
Annex Meeting Protocol:
MEETING OF ADHOLA COMMUNITY IN KAMPALA HELD TODAY 12TH JULY, 2017 AT NATIONAL THEATRE.
CREATING BUDAMA DISTRICT ON PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S PROPOSAL FOR JOPADHOLA AND GIVING TORORO DISTRICT TO ITESOS:-
2.Why change from the previous positions where Mukujju district was granted to the people of Tororo County (Itesos).
It is a well known fact that we Jopadholas, are scattered all over the Country, we have MPs representing different groups in many Constituencies, but we have never claimed ownership of those constituencies or districts, like is the case in Buikwe, Mayuge, Bugiri, Namayingo and Kayunga.
We also warn our Members of Parliament that should they fail to defend this, we are recalling all of them from Parliament by invoking the Constitution.
New Vision – ‘Is it time up for Tororo?’ (26.06.2009) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1210608/tororo
“Security has been beefed up in kabarole district as a joint operation of the police and UPDF continues a search for dissidents believed to be in the hideouts in the hills a day after eight were killed in a shoot out
Bodies of those killed have been retrieved and guns and machetes recovered” (NTV Uganda, 2016)
“Drama ensued in parliament when Tororo County Member of Parliament Hon. Geoffrey Ekanya attempted to undress and commit suicide after learning that Tororo County had not been granted District status. #9thParliment” (NBS TV Uganda, 2016).
Minority Rights Group International (MRG) expresses grave concern about recent clashes between the Bamba-Babwisi and Bakonzo communities in the Rwenzori region, and calls on the Ugandan government to investigate the root causes of the conflict. The violence has left at least 33 dead, 10,000 displaced and 366 houses burnt.
The first attacks broke out following the declaration of local council election results on 27 February, although many brushed them off as simply post-election violence. However, despite heavy police and military deployment, the killings have continued, with victims including a 13 year-old in Kanyansiri village in Bundibugyo district.
Addressing a press conference, President Yoweri Museveni told media that although his government had never deployed the army to quell a tribal conflict, he was going to now do so.
‘While we understand the President’s urgency to solve this problem, a military solution treats the symptoms not root causes. There is need for genuine dialogue among communities in conflict, mediated by a team of experts,’ says MRG Africa Office Manager, Agnes Kabajuni.
The events playing out in Rwenzori replicate a scenario in 2014, when violence between communities claimed 72 lives.
According to MRG, the causes of the current conflict in Rwenzori date back many decades.
For instance, to solve the Rwenzururu war, a guerilla campaign waged by both the Bakonzo and Bamba to gain recognition and secede from Toro Kingdom, then President Idi Amin negotiated a settlement to create Rwenzori District for the Bakonzo, Semliki District for the Bamba and Kabarole District for the Batoro.
The Rwenzururu Kingdom, now comprising Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts has since the 1980s established itself as a movement which has continued to pose a serious threat to central government control. In order to calm the ethnic tensions in the region, the government in March 2008, after a ministerial committee recommendation, endorsed the Kingdom of Rwenzururu as a cultural institution headed by King Mumbere.
However, the decision to endorse Rwenzururu Kingdom was done with no prior and adequate consultation of both tribes in Kasese and Bundibugyo, pre-empting demands for recognition of other tribes like Basongora, Banyabindi and Bamba.
‘It is telling to see two groups, which have long co-existed and intermarried, now fighting with each other. At a political level, the government has to facilitate a genuine mediation process involving the Bakonzo under the Rwenzururu Kingdom and the Bamba cultural institution in order that they may peacefully co-exist once more,’ says Kabajuni.
‘As a long term strategy,’ argues Kabajuni, ‘the government has to address the economic marginalization of the communities in the Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko Districts, caused by historical injustices relating to land, equality, decision-making and economic opportunities for all tribes.’
Notes to editors
Mohamed Matovu, Media Officer, MRG Africa (Kampala, Uganda)
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