Religious leaders in the Rwenzori sub-region have called for tolerance and appealed to cultural leaders in Uganda to stick to their roles and avoid “instigating their loyalists to commit” acts of violence against minority tribes in their kingdoms.
The clergy under the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) Rwenzori chapter, a sub-region which experienced multiple tribal clashes in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko on July 5, told journalists in Fort Portal Town at the weekend that the rights of minority tribes must be defended.
“You should avoid imposing your cultural or tribal beliefs on other tribes. On the other hand, we appeal to people who don’t believe in particular cultural or tribal values to respect and give space to those interested in those values,” Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Rwenzori Diocese said.
The religious leaders also called for fair trial of the 170 suspected attackers of the police and army installations, civilians and a bank. The attacks left more than 90 people dead.
The Bishop said the 1995 Uganda Constitution, Chapter 4, Article 29 clause 2 (a) allows every Ugandan to move freely throughout the country and to reside and settle in any part of Uganda. “Those, therefore, who could have caused these attacks on tribal grounds should repent and desist from such a primitive and counter-development practice.”
They also appealed to the government to adhere to electoral reforms in the country and level the ground of participation. “We appeal to our political leaders and the Electoral Commission to ensure electoral reforms are made to level the ground for all intending political aspirants at all levels,” they said.
The Rev Constantine Mbonabingi, the head of the Orthodox Churches western region, said there is need for the government to make thorough investigations on the attacks. “Government has been silent all along, it has not come out publicly to show how far they have resolved the conflicts, for example Tooro Kingdom two months ago asked for its assets (which included a walk to Parliament) and government hasn’t shown how far it has resolved this,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor