Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, commands reverence among his subjects. His ascendency to the throne added to the standing of his people. I, therefore, belatedly join subjects and well-wishers to welcome the Omusinga back to his kingdom and thank the Government for working out a soft ground for him.
It may as well be the best time for Omusinga to be back in his domain when there are serious security concerns in the area.
Without linking the Rwenzururu establishment to the ADF rebellion, there are many “Banyarwenzururu” among the ADF fighters. These hail from within the Kasese-Bundibugyo areas, and if there was a “return home all yee children of the empire,” we would see many laying down their arms and settling in like other normal people.
Apart from Banyarwenzururu in the rebel camps, others are from neighbouring districts (intelligence should establish the exact origins of these rebels), some with cultural institutions reigning and others without. Those with such institutions should use their platforms to mobilise their subjects to return home-and seek amnesty-and to “lose appetite” for criminality. It’s one area which was considered when these cultural entities were being reinstated; to rally subjects for peace, unity and development. Where the cultural institutions don’t exist like in Nkore, we have other partners to fill that gap, among whom are Government officials, security chiefs, religious leaders, opinion leaders, civil society and even children-who must fault for behaving uncivilised and destroying our beautiful, innocent world (I will write a deeper article on this subject soon).
On top of the regular ADF, there are other “ADFs” in our midst. These are ordinary people not belonging to organised criminal gangs; they have killed more people than ADF over the years. We must devise means to defeat both ADF-the regular fighting group-and the small “ADFs” in our communities, who use machetes, blunt objects, iron bars and even guns, to destroy the lives of other people of all age groups. As we point fingers towards Congo, we must pinpoint the other “ADFs” among us and deal with them. Omusinga’s hand is needed here, too, as well as the hand of other traditional leaders like His Highness the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi (Buganda), Omukama Oyo Nyimba (Tooro), Kyabazinga William Nadiope (Busoga) and Emorimor of Teso.
For effectiveness, these cultural leaders can institute a mechanism of sanctioning subjects found engaged in rebellion and high crime. That’s on top of having a pact with the Government to always cooperate with us on securing and developing society.
The bad elements when they kill people, these people are not only under the charge of the Central Government but these are subjects of the various cultural leaders. A good number of Ugandans identify themselves first according to their tribes and then nationality; although with time we are saying we are “one nation, one people”. Not to dim out cultural distinctiveness but to emphasise a common destiny despite our different backgrounds.
Some cultural institutions have the power and goodwill to send out emissaries to rebel camps and talk their children out of them, as well as religious leaders. Let us harness all these opportunities for the sake of peace because eventually if the guns do not fall silent, the dead will be from among us. Every member of the ADF group hails from somewhere-if not within Uganda, then from neighbouring countries. The different categories of leaders from neighbouring countries should then join our peace-building plan by talking their people out of rebellion, failure of which the hardened insurgents will all go six feet deep, thanks to the combined effort of Uganda’s and DRCongo’s fire power.
Peace building efforts would complement the heightened security operations ongoing in the Kasese area and outlying districts including Bundibugyo, Rubirizi, Mittoma, Buhweju, Kabarole and Bushenyi, where we have assembled revolutionary methods involving the local communities to see the last of ADF.
For Omusinga, among those children massacred at Lubhiriha, some were his subjects. It’s all the rage for him that his people were killed while he was away. He should seek to avenge them or assure the surviving that with him back in his kingdom, he will ally fully with the Government to ensure that no such other tragedy happens yet still, we lost tourists and a guide in Queen Elizabeth National park after he had been received back home. Either way, his presence makes a difference!
I have heard that the terms of his release are on probation basis, whereby charges have not been completely dropped but he is free on the understanding that the unfortunate circumstances leading to his arrest do not reoccur. If the king would join in the move to fully stabilise the Kasese area and mobilise his subjects against all acts of rebellion, the old would be forgotten and the new would take shape!
For God and My Country!
The author is the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Bushenyi.
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