As a result of a long history of conflict and violence in Kasese district caused by economic and cultural injustices that were practiced by previous governments’ management and jurisdiction on the issues of land distribution to the majority tribes in the district (Bakonzo and Basongora). Bakonzo is cultivators and Basongora are Pastrolists which makes these communities different in lifestyle but also competes for the natural resources available. There have been several violent clashes between these communities over years each blaming the other of miss use of shared resources like water wells, rivers, springs, and land as Bakonzo blame the Basongora of damage caused by their cattle on their crop gardens even when they (Basongora) have the biggest land compared to their counterparts (Bakonzo).
This has led to the loss of lives and property over time, the most recent ones being in March 2016 where both Bakonzo and Basongora lost their people in different clashes around the district, houses were set on fire and other people injured. It should be noted that it’s the Youth that is mostly engaged in such violent fronts by indoctrinating them and creating a feeling that it’s their culture that deserves it all. The Perpetrators of such violence have managed to capture Youth due to the huge numbers of Youth unemployed around Kasese and Uganda as a whole.
It’s against this background, therefore, that the GLPC together with the Rotaract Club of Kasese in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Kasese initiated a project that would and has to supplement the government’s efforts of ensuring peaceful coexistence of these two Cultures/communities in Kasese through the “Culture for Peace Project.” The project is aimed at bringing together the two communities in focused group dialogues at the community level mobilized by Parish Priests, Local Council leadership, security organs, and Youth for intergenerational exchange, involvement, and mentor-ship to change attitudes of youth but at the same time have the two cultures discuss freely. These dialogues were also aimed at voicing out community concerns, trues, building cohesion, reconciling, and building community-led action plans that both cultures are meant to implement together.