Religious leaders and academicians from East African countries have decried the rate at which tribal, religious and political conflicts have continued to manifest within communities.
PIC: Religous Leaders Academicians in a group photograph at Lake View hotel in Mbarara. (Credit: Adolf Ayoreka)
By Adolf Ayoreka
MBARARA - Religious leaders and academicians from East African countries have decried the rate at which tribal, religious and political conflicts have continued to manifest within communities, thus hindering peace and development.
This was revealed last week at the wrap up of a two-day regional ecumenical conference for East Africa under their theme; “Unity for diversity” that was held at Lake View hotel in Mbarara town.
They argued that the intensified conflicts in East African regions have attracted many players in trying to find solutions which have remained elusive.
The conference was attended by religious leaders and academicians from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and special guests from Romania.
Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa of Ankole diocese noted that they have recorgnised with concerns; that conflict has continued to manifest within the contexts of political, religious, tribal and ideological differences among others and need to forge a way on how to avert this social problem.
Mwesigwa attributed this to the post-colonial governments despite their well intended efforts, they failed to address the problem of political and religious disunity.
“For Uganda despite the NRM ten point program that aimed at addressing the problem of national unity in Uganda there has been resurgence of ethnic and religious identity over and above national identity, corruption and unequitable share of resources has resulted into public outcry hence generating endless conflicts,” Bp Mwesigwa noted.
He adds, “Politics of poor governance are greately responsible for disunity in society especially where proffessionlism and intergrity are not upheld, religious leadership has fallen prey to the same problems that affect political leaders such as nepotism and personal grandisement.”
He called upon the Inter religious council to put much attention on the wide spread of conflict rather than stopping at holding workshops and conferences in big hotels without effecting any implementation.
“Conflict resolution cannot be solved by only holding conferences in Kampala in big hotels, we need to stretch it to the grass root, we have not heard any campaign against this vice.
"I think we need to check our selves otherwise this vice of disunity and conflict is eating away our culture” Bp Mwesigwa prayed.
Marrie Odette Ndahiro Kansanga an academician and researcher from Kigali Rwanda asked the organizers of such conference to always invite representative of political leaders if possible heads of states, she says if they are not invited the substance of the message on political conflicts will elapse.
Prof. Christopher Byaruhanga from Uganda Christian University noted that higher institutions of leasrning have a pivotal role in grooming their students into responsible citizens with knowledge on conflict resolution within their respective socities.