November 24, 2020


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Why Uganda is inching closer to deadly tribal violence, worse than anywhere in the world

3 min read

By Gordon Opiyo via Facebook
For 30 years, Museveni has been able to keep Tribalism out of Ugandan Politics.
He tactically allowed Kiiza Besigye to be his main challenger for nearly 20 years.
Besigye and Museveni come from the same region and tribe. They were friends and former comrades at arms in the fight to remove the Luo leadership from power. In fact, it was rumored that they shared girlfriends when they were young men.

So, technically, the fight was about people who basically came from the same village, so to say.
In addition, many Ugandans in Central, Eastern and Northern Uganda never invested much emotion in the fight between Museveni and Besigye. This is because, there is silent dislike for the Banyankole. They are perceived to be the major beneficiaries of the Museveni 35 years in power.

So, when Robert Kyangulanyi aka Bobi Wine, a Baganda who grew up in the slums of Kampala started making waves… The entire system was shaken.

Never had a Baganda politician presented much trouble in Uganda. The rise of Bobi Wine saw Kiiza Besigye retire and leave the ticket to Patrick Oboi Amuriat, a Teso. The Teso are a huge voting block in Eastern Uganda and occupy about 10 districts in Eastern Uganda. And it is rumored that they often come to Kenya and vote in Busia. In fact, the next Governor in Busia is obviously going to be a Teso.
Back to Uganda….. The violent eruption of chaos is unprecedented. Yes, there has been chaos every time Bobi Wine is arrested. But what the media is not reporting is that there were tribal clashes in the past few days. Right from Busia Uganda, Jinja, Iganga (where Bobi Wine was arrested) to Kampala…… Demonstrators were attacking Businesses belonging to the Banyankole….
This is unheard of. The sad tribal politics has finally caught up with Uganda….
And it is getting bloody.

The only safeguard against such things is ensuring that Counties are fully functional and have sufficient power and resources. Not like the Tigrays in Ethiopia, but enough to keep everyone busy like in Nigeria.
When Counties thrive, attention is diverted from National Government to Counties.
Tribalism is also reduced since kila mtu ana rudi kwao.

There are enough jobs for the educated elite. And everyone is busy building his or her own County.
Competition between Counties also makes people elect the best brains.
This is what BBI should have developed. I thought that the BBI would recommend 50 50 sharing of resources and functions between National and County Government. Instead, we still have Nairobi based ideas like 70 more MPs, like more Senators etc. And the 35 % revenue is not accompanied by more functions devolved.
In other words, BBI is still the same old game of Nairobi and Central Kenya elite trying to take everything to Nairobi and surrounding areas.

For true peace, everyone must be seen to be developing.
There should never be murmurs that some people are developing and others are stagnant.
Having “arranged and tamed” opposition like Raila and Besigye is also very dangerous since one day, a Bhangi smoking hero like Bobi Wine can pop from nowhere. Or a radical hardcore like Miguna Miguna can pop from nowhere.
So, before we reach where Uganda is, let us seriously talk about sharing the National Cake fairly and developing areas like Siaya, Pokot, Mandera and Turkana without thinking about Nairobi and surrounding areas….