LAND GRABBING VICTIMS IN RWAMUTONGA FORMED INTO A SUSTAINABILITY VILLAGE TO STRENGTHEN THE FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS

As a way of supporting communities to become active participants and advocate for their rights for better livelihoods, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has organized the communities affected by land grabbing in Rwamutonga Village, Bugambe Sub-County in Hoima district to establish a sustainability village.


The affected residents who were recently returned land after spending more than two years in Rwamutoga camp for internally displaced people following a brutal eviction in 2014 still live in fear of being re-evicted.


NAPE, therefore, found it imperative to organize them as an organized team through a sustainability village so that they can be empowered and informed on their rights so as to fight fearfulness, docility and complacency, according to Allan Kalangi, the Manager for NAPE’s Sustainability School Program.


While talking to the residents on June 11th, Mr. Kalangi said the communities can solve community problems when they are organized as a team with active team leaders ready to spearhead sustainable local level development and fighting for their rights while resisting forces that threaten them.


“When you are solving problems as individuals, you cannot be heard but when you work as one voice then you can be listened to,” Kalangi said.


Four people were selected to be Community Educators. The educators will be trained through NAPE advocacy trainings to know much about sustainable development, and sharing experience and knowledge from affected communities. They will then be able mobilize and sensitize other community members for better livelihoods.


Onzima Alozyous, the area LCI chairman, who was one of the selected community educators, hailed NAPE for supporting the affected resident ever since they were evicted in 2014. He said he was optimistic that sustainability village will help them become a strong community ready to fight for their rights.


“I am grateful to NAPE for their continued support. You gave us Green Radio as a platform to air our voices and we were indeed heard. With your continued support, I believe we have a better future,” he said.


STORY COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA

ANKOLE PREMIER DEMANDS FOR OFFICIAL RESTORATION OF THE KINGDOM AS HE GRACED EMPANGO CEREMONY IN BUNYORO

On 11th June, the Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I, marked the 23rd coronation anniversary where he was commemorating the day he was enthroned. He was enthroned on June 11, in 1994 after cultural institutions that had been abolished in 1967 were restored.


In attendance was the Ankole Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr. George William Katatumba who was accompanied by a delegation of youths from Ankole. Speaking to Community Green Radio shortly before proceeding to the function, the premier Katatumba expressed disappointment on government’s refusal to officially restore Ankole Kingdom as it has done to other Kingdoms and also failure to return its assets.


 Mr. Katatumba said failure by the government to restore the kingdom has negatively impacted on Banyankole cultural practices and language; calling for concerted efforts to actively advocate for the kingdom restoration.


“I am disappointed by the government’s refusal to restore our kingdom. We need to promote Ankole Culture like other Kingdoms in Uganda. However, this can best be done if the government returns the kingdom assets like the regalia which is a symbol of cultural heritage. That’s why I want my fellow Banyankole especially the energetic youth to join me in advocating for restoration and demanding for the kingdom property,” he said.


For 50 years now, the defunct Ankole Kingdom has been in dilemma of when to regain her kingship and recognition from government. However, the Kingdom premier is optimistic that the kingdom will at one time be restored since other kingdoms have been restored.


“As one of the measures to restore the Kingdom, we petitioned the constitutional court in 2010 to compel government to restore the kingdom as provided by the 1995 constitution and government to return the kingdom property like land and other cultural sites. The case is still in court,” he noted


Meanwhile the Omukama Gafabusa Iguru, while addressing his subjects asked also government to accelerate the process of returning all the kingdom properties like land, former kingdom county and sub county headquarters, and royal hunting areas among others.


This year’s coronation anniversary was held under the theme, “Culture for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental protection.”


Related to the theme, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has been working with Bunyoro communities to revive indigenous seeds and best farming practices for sustainable agriculture, promote culture and promote planting of indigenous trees for environmental protection in the era of oil production.


Mr. Frank Muramuzi, the Executive Director for National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) said cultural heritage is one of the best ways of protecting the environment.


“Any society with no culture is non-progressive society even in environmental protection terms. That’s why I cherish full restoration of Ankole Kingdom with its cultures,” he noted


STORY COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA