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Museveni Urges Bakonzo, Bamba To Re-unite

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ds of people, including many veterans who fought under the Rwenzururu Movement in the 1960s, at a rally held at the Boma grounds in Kasese Municipality yesterday, president Museveni said the NRM fought for peace which has now been restored and as such, the Movement does not wish to see any group of people in the country suffering due to lack of peace fanned by ethnic or tribal tensions.


“I kindly ask you to have a dialogue in the region and live together harmoniously. Where you need my support, I am available,” the President passionately advised the Leaders of Rwenzururu Sub-Region.


Mr. Museveni reiterated that the Rwenzururu struggle was a protest against the marginalisation of the Bakonzo under the Tooro Kingdom.


He thus warned that after getting the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu, supporters of that traditional institution should not fall victim to the same mistakes of marginalising or mistreating other groups living in the region.


The Bakonzo and Bamba people of Rwenzori Sub-Region had been integrated in Tooro Kingdom but in 1962, they rebelled against Tooro in a protracted skirmish.


However, the Omusinga, Charles Wesley Mumbere Irema-Ngoma announced that his people had reconciled with Tooro after more than 40 years of enmity.


In the meantime, the Bamba and Bakonzo in July last year clashed over a shrine built in Bundibugyo for the Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere.


The Bamba protested the installation of Mumbere, a Mukonzo, as their king and the Basongora actually installed their own cultural leader, Rwigi Agutamba Kabumba Rutakirwa Ivan Bwebale as opposed by Mumbere’s officials.


In that light, therefore, the president asked the two groups to sit on a round table and sort out their issues as diplomatically as possible.


“Just as the supporters of Obusinga protested the dominance of the Tooro Kingdom and wanted to exercise their rights, so are the others who live in Kasese under Obusinga. So give dialogue a chance to find a lasting solution,” Museveni stated.


Mr. Museveni said that when NRM took power, the people of the Sub-Region demanded for the Obusinga institution over which the Movement had no problem but the idea generated disagreement among the people leading to delayed restoration of the Obusinga.


“Now that the disagreements have been overcome, let everyone embrace peace,” he advised.


Mr Museveni then added: “When the installation of Omusinga delayed, selfish people used it as propaganda to portray me as one opposed to the Obusinga which was not the case. I never fight for restoration of cultural institutions and leadership but I neither oppose any group that wants their cultural institutions reinstated. Those who agreed, had theirs reinstated straight away.”


President Museveni, therefore, said that Uganda needs peace to embark on development.


He further emphasised that there is no need for any conflicts between citizens or between tribes noting that the best thing is to dialogue for a solution.


During the same function, the President received hundreds of defectors from the opposition, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who crossed to NRM.


He welcomed them to the Movement and said that their crossing was justifiable as the NRM was the only Party that can steer the country to development.


He, however, criticised some NRM mobilisers and politicians for failure to properly explain the NRM agenda which has bred supporter dissatisfaction.


The President performed the ceremony of handing over an agricultural tractor to the leadership of Obusinga and another to an NGO called “Give a Goat” that has been operating in the Rwenzururu Sub-Region.


He also gave a car to the mother of Omusinga and a pick-up vehicle to Kasese Catholic Diocese.

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