President Yoweri Museveni has Thursday urged the people of Kasese to desist from ethnic fueled hatred and endless fights which he said go against Biblical principles. He said that the fighting that rocked the Western Uganda district in the past brought agony to many people and it is time to embrace peace.
The President was speaking on Thursday as he presided over a fundraising ceremony for the completion of a multi-billion Better Living Centre project house by the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) Rwenzori Field Church in Kasese.
He used the event to condemn the tribal bickering that has existed between the Bakonjo and Bamba versus Batooro people who have since become separate kingdoms.
“I know that Bakonjo were for long oppressed by the Batooro but they resisted and finally freed themselves. You should not therefore turn your previous differences into vendetta and hatred on other tribes,” Museveni appealed to the people of Kasese most of whom are Bakonjo and Bamba.
Ethnic conflicts in the greater Rwenzori sub-region span from colonial times and the political clashes in the early 1960s between the Bamba and Bakonjo against the Batooro. When Tooro was recognized as a kingdom by the constitution of Uganda, the Bamba and Bakonjo were not represented in Tooro’s Assembly.
The tensions grew and subsequently, the Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu of the Bakonjo and the Obudhingiya bwa Bamba were also recognised. The two cultural institutions, however, do not agree.
On Thursday, President Museveni drew the congregation to the teachings in the Bible about love.
“God created man in his own image meaning that if you hate a fellow person, you are hating on God. There is no offense bigger than that,” the President said in his remarks, adding that “me i don’t segregate against Gods people. I have no problem with God’s creation because I have no authority over them”.
He blamed hatred on selfishness and egocentrism which he said reap bad luck.
“Leave God’s people. They were created differently for reasons only known to God. He [God] says that the greatest commandments are to love him with all your heart and to love your neighbor as you love yourself,” he said.
Earlier, the Kasese Municipality MP, Robert Centenary had lauded the President for the progress made in some of the ongoing projects like the excavation and de-silting River Nyamambwa, and the Mubuku irrigation scheme.
He also asked government to prioritize the issue of solving the long standing conflicts in Rwenzururu as well as expediting the judicial process for people who were arrested following previous clashes in the region.