Tribal conflicts engulf Rwenzori in 2012
Posted Thursday, January 3 2013 at 02:00
New Year prospects. Criticising the media for telling lies and the opposition for sabotaging growth, the President said the focus this year will be on industrialisation.
Rwenzori region registered several tribal conflicts, which saw a controversial formation of several cultural institutions. In June, a wave of tribal tensions hit the region, with minority tribes calling for a breakaway from the Toro and Rwenzururu kingdoms.
This, however, resulted in more friction in the region since the two cultural institutions could not cede their territories to minority tribes.
On June 30, the Rwenzururu King, Charles Wesley Mumbere, visited Bundibugyo District and set up a shrine in his home area of Kirindi, Busaru, Bwamba County.
On July 6, Mumbere’s visit sparked off clashes between the Bamba-Babwisi and the Bakonjo, leaving one person dead, property destroyed and hundreds of Bakonjo displaced.
As the region was still looking for how to contain the conflict in Bundibugyo, the Basongora in Kasese District crowned their king, Rwigi IV Rutakirwa Ivan Bwebale after 49 years. The Bakonjo opposed the emergence of another cultural leader within Mumbere’s kingdom.
Pro-Rwenzururu youth allegedly attacked the Basongora at Muhokya palace and confiscated the royal drum and the flag. Hardly a month after the Basongora incident, the Banyabindi, one of the minority tribes in Kasese, secretly installed their cultural leader, Isebantu Elisa Mugisa Entare ya Banyabindi.
Tension continued, eventually degenerating into violence, with reports of an unidentified armed group attacking Muhokya Police Station where a police officer was killed and two civilians injured.
In July, the Batuuku in Ntoroko District blocked visits by King Oyo of Toro and King Charles Mumbere of Rwenzururu. They went on to ban the singing of the kingdoms’ anthems at public functions and in schools.
The Bamba-Babwisi in Bundibugyo got a green light from government in October when President Museveni Okayed the Baamba cultural leader.
Maj. Martin Kamya, nominated to be cultural head, was permitted to resign from the army and be crowned to head the Baamba in Bundibugyo. The installation is slated for February 2013.