12 June 2007

Uganda: King Iguru Opposes Basongora Eviction

Kampala — THE King of Bunyoro, Solomon Iguru, has protested the eviction of the Basongora herdsmen form Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Speaking at his 13th coronation anniversary celebrations on Monday, Iguru said it was a gross violation of their rights and that the area was their native land, which was "maliciously" turned into a national park by colonial administrators.

"It is painful to see that the Basongora, who were the indigenous people of that area, are being subjected to terror by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The Basongora were uprooted from their ancestral land by the colonial administrators because they helped Kabalega fight British imperialism," Iguru said.

"The Government has a constitutional obligation to correct the historical injustices in Busongora and Bunyoro as one way of promoting social harmony.

Government is also advised to educate the ill-educated staff of the Uganda Wildlife Authority to respect people's rights. They should also learn the history of the victims before acting the way they are doing."

Three Bunyoro district chairpersons, Fred Lukumu of Buliisa, Masindi's Stephen Birija, and Kibaale's George Nyamyaka, issued a joint memorandum, urging President Yoweri Museveni to seek for another term of office as president.

Reading the memorandum on their behalf, Lukumu criticised people who are urging Museveni to groom a successor, arguing that presidents are not just taught.

The function was attended by ministers Henry Kajura, Kakumba Matsiko and Matia Kasaija. Mps Stephen Birahwa, Kiiza Rwebembera, Mable bakeine, Barnabas tinkasimire and Beatrice Mpairwe also attended the celebrations at Karuzika Palace.

It was also graced by Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki, the Ssabaruli Mwogeza, the prime minister of Tooro, Stephen Irumba and the three Bishops of Bunyoro.

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