Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tribalism……..the full time bomb which African people are neglecting.

Monday, another lovely day of the week went. How do you spent it? Well a lot happens every hour around the globe but am not going to take that route. I spent it in town (Kampala city) doing almost nothing. These days am not working and honestly am looking for a job. What kind of job…? I don’t know but I must proudly say I can do any kind of job from driving to office attendant to those jobs you know as “odd jobs”.

As the day progressed, I decided to go to the Ugandan Immigrations office on Jinja road. I had applied for a renew for a new passport on March 19.In 2003,applying for a passport was much more easier(well it was for me).It took me three days to have a passport then but now it almost took me a month but thankfully, without mentioning all that I went through, I got it yesterday. Nothing changed apart from my date of issue and expiry in addition to my passport number.

I arrived at the immigrations at 9:45am. I immediately went to room 10 to complain on why it’s taking long for me to have my passport. I choose to go to this place for one reason, I previously came to have my passport and after hours of checking, they got back to me with the receipt and no passport and sent me to room 10.This is why this time I chose to go there first, the official in room 10 told me that, he couldn’t help me know whether the passport was out or not because the internal computer system was off. It was then that I decided to face the front office and after 47 minutes, the official from front office read my names and I felt happy for getting it this time. But when I stood up to have my book, he told me to go and line up for in what he called “line one” I did exactly that and all other people did the same

As I was standing on the first position of line one, the official attending to that line called me. “tell all other people to have their Identity documents and a pen ready, then wait me to call your name for passport signing” he shouted.. I have seen this official almost all the 100 times I have visited this place for various reasons. He questions almost everyone, your tribe, your dead grand parents, whether there’s anyone in your clan who is not a Ugandan and the questions are just too many. In 2003, he told me to name four grand parents of my genealogy

I was the first person to be called. He handed the passport very quickly and I signed it without asking me anything. As I was leaving, almost stepped out of the door, the official called me…..”Look, you look like a munarwanda (Rwandese) yet you are carrying “ganda names” why? I told him that “Yes am a Muganda because my father is. My mum is a Munyoro, whose mum was a Ugandan of Rwandese origin” then he said “Okay” go its okay”. To tell you the truth, am tired of tribalism in Uganda and am tired of being judged by my tribe.

The frustrating thing comes when you are born of several tribes like me. Baganda disowns me simply because I resemble those people from Western Uganda and the Ankole and other western tribes disregard me because I speak fluent Luganda yet I hardly speak any language from Western Uganda.  Uganda has more than 51 tribes.

This issue of rampant tribalism almost cost my life during the September 11th 2009 riots in Kampala. It’s this issue that prevents me from attending any public function because I cannot know what fate will bring on, you cannot predict how the day will end in Uganda. You simply have to watch out your steps. I have been to hospitals and Doctors, instead of examining my healthy problems, they start asking me my tribe, it’s the same thing with the police and almost all Government offices where office attendants expect you to speak their language because you are brown or not and when you don’t do what they thought you will do to affirm your tribe ship, then you can be ignored and if you are not lucky, you face verbal abuses.

In 2007, without giving you details, I was put in Morakatipe Prisons where I spent 5days. My fellow inmates almost killed me simply because Iam Muganda. The judge took on my case with tribal prejudice and I was charged unfairly just like all Baganda inmates in upcountry prisons.( Muganda = singular  and  Baganda= Plural)

On several occasions, we hear President Museveni spitting fire on tribal issues mostly targeting Baganda whom he indirectly refer to as “Tribalists” and from all his prejudice against us, we strictly examine his remarks always but as you know “ actions speak louder than words” .President Museveni is on record advocating for districts demarcated on tribal lines and also he publicly said that some tribes shouldn’t stand for any political and public office in some districts (this action is mostly known as ring fencing”) where all positions of leadership including religious ones are left for indigenous tribe. You recall his orders in Kibaale district yet when it comes to Buganda Kingdom; this same President denounces and curses his ring fencing idealism   expanding a room of his double standards and maxims. Am not defaming  Mr.Museveni. What he has done through his tribalistic governance is very clear and visible. Outside Buganda Kingdom, see how his regime had crippled Busoga region by making it extremely poorer and how his influence there almost wiped out that region from the Ugandan map.

Have a closer look on how he destroyed Northern Uganda by prolonging the  Joseph Kony insurgents yet he proudly say that Uganda has a strong trained army with all the resources available, if his regime failed to protect the people of Northern Uganda, why can’t he resign? The defense ministry is the most funded directorate and its funds are not supposed to be question by anyone, not even the Parliament of Uganda.

He had a top secret agenda of making Uganda a state for his tribe, all the other tribesmen and women working in his regime are being used like condoms and later dumped, the worst part of this is when the majority of Ugandans fail to penetrate and see this secret agenda. While almost all regions cannot send their kids to school, Statehouse under his influence is busy giving scholarship from that tiny village where he comes from, if you doughty me, simply request the scholarship list and see if there are anyone from any other village. Its true that there’s Universal  primary and secondary school but look at the system itself, students are busy buying exams to pass, they cannot critically examine anything, so President Museveni’s regime’s is busy painting Uganda’s future black. Ask yourself, how many of their kids or grand kids attend any Universal school even those ones which were prestigious before they grabbed state powers?

Few years ago, Minister Amama Mbabazi was quoted by the press telling the country that “ ……..they prepared to rule Uganda for 50years”,given the situation that we cannot afford being in classes yet they distribute state scholarship to themselves, their dream will be possible and then when they die, their kids will be able to start from there and no dought, our children will never afford to oppose them simply because they are un-educated hence cannot challenge an intellectual. This is very dangerous for the future of Uganda. Equal educational opportunities must be made available to every Ugandan citizen--starting right now!  To have an educated ruling class will only cause violence.  People with no formal education are not dumb people.  From amongst the poor, an intellectual leader will arise to fight the ruling class.  Violence is always destructive.  What was built will be destroyed--as an expression of rage from the oppressed.  Then, what is the point in building in the first place?  A free society is one where citizens are equals--a lesson that's so difficult for people to understand.  

To continue showing you how tribalistic this man can be……..recall his remarks in 1996 when he said “One Indian investor is better than 500 local people” and to prove this, Uganda Government didn’t even waste a single minute mourning for the 350 people died in Bududa landslides but if these people were in Ankole, until now, Uganda would have been mourning. Do you recall that Ugandan Government mourned for Noble Mayombo who they believed was poisoned? And have done the same for all its Ankole political elites?

Let me get you another example. Do you know who is forcing people in Kayunga sell their land and later its distributed to some folks well known as “balaalo” (cattle pastoralists ) and this is a problem only to Buganda where we see these people migrating  in almost all Buganda Kingdom districts and the state cannot explain where they come from, instead they are given AK47s to guard themselves from who would be attackers  (Indigenous land owners). We even don’t know who gives them these guns.

The brutality of Kenya 2007 post-elections and 1994 Rwandese genocide had their wrath rooted from this tribalism and ring fencing idealism mostly promoted across African Continent. Nothing on this continent can change until nepotism and tribal differences are rendered a non-issue, religion is made powerless, and dictators, rulers, and kings think of their people before themselves.

This shouldn't discourage us from doing everything we can to change this state of affairs. We can change Uganda…We can change Africa…. And We can change the globe. Start playing your part now.


Anonymous said...

Well presented

Jozef said...

yes indeed we can change this our country...points well stated....i was so moved as i read through this article...personally i see these things and i know they are happening however we need voices of reason to stand up and defend this our country, save it from the ditch it's about to fall into....who will save us when the upcoming generations are denied REAL education, press freedom is censored, races are turning up against each other, religion is dominating and affecting people's decision making (including the unspeakable)....if we dont rise up now n say NO.

Quitstorm said...

Yes Jozef,i hear your voice,and i again say,WE MUST stand up and the time is now.I must caution you that this journey will not be easy but this shouldn't be the reason to give fear a chance to dominate our future.

kamugisha simon said...

i listened to your views but please dont fall into the same bracket as you have stated.....the tone you imply in this article in one of bitterness and anger. tribalism is broader than we think,instead of talking the way u have my friend, we should look for a way forward rather than point fingers to a specific tribe...as a muganda, people mistake you to be a munyarwanda, but why should that affect you,.....in general even this article you have posted here is nothing less than tribalist and ethnic gesture