In an effort to ensure the Batwa understand, protect and promote their rights, RIC-NET conducted a consultative meeting with the King Nzito of the Batwa and their entire leadership of the minority group as part of the follow-up to the community meeting held on 24th March 2017. The meeting was held at the compound of the Batwa Palace on 20th April 2017. The meeting was attended by the RWECO coordinator Jimmy Odyek and the chairperson of Yesu Atubaliye women group a CBO that is promoting the rights of women.
Among the rights that were discussed are; the right to peace, stability and security, the right to equality, freedom of peaceful assembly and demonstration, the right of citizens to a demand accountability, transparency of the leaders, the right to food and food security, rights to ownership of property, rights to belong to culture and cultural institution, rights of orphans, widows and widowers, rights of women and children. All these were towards the economic empowerment of the Minority community.
King Nzito expressed his happiness to understand he also and his people have rights like other citizens of the bundibugyo to demand and benefit from government programs like others. He noted that, the leaders had branded them as people who can only be given for survival. The Batwa identified economic empowerment as away to help them realize other rights and freedoms as highlighted.In order for our identity to be respected we need to empower ourselves and demand for it from others” said Dangora Grace Leader of women.
They agreed to start marketing their handcraft products, Luta language, continue supporting their children with education to prepare them for the future. They re-affirmed their commitment to the Bye-laws against Alcohol drinking before evening time to ensure their youth participate in productive activities.