Great Lakes region: Incredible but true stories

UDU: Civic education end-of-year report

Personal remarks

When I officially joined Uganda politics, I made a statement regarding three principal areas.

First, I joined politics to acquire and use power. Some acquire power to enrich themselves, their families and their kith and kin as we have seen in Uganda. Some use it to improve the standard of living of their fellow men and women. I belong to the latter group. The deterioration of ecological and human condition especially of women and children in Uganda is so shocking that it compelled me to do something about it. I have realized as have many others that talking and writing is necessary but not sufficient. I have already written ten books and created a blog to share information with a wider readership. Ugandans are now sufficiently informed about the causes of their dehumanizing condition. Action is now needed but we can’t act without taking power from those that have caused the suffering.

Second, I have dedicated the balance of my life to the second liberation of Uganda. The first liberation was against colonialism. The second is against Tutsi hegemony. Uganda belongs to all and must be provided with equal opportunity to develop and use their talents to improve the quality of their lives. I will advocate for peaceful change of NRM regime but in case of self-defense other means won’t be ruled out. I will work with our friends and well wishers in pursuit of this noble cause.

Third, I have and will continue to tell the truth based on facts at that moment. Telling the truth is very difficult in large part because it is very risky. However, you can’t solve a problem without understanding the root cause, meaning seeking and finding the truth. My parents who shaped my early life told me to tell the truth only when I am sure based on the information available that it is the truth. I was also inspired by courageous men and women including Socrates, John Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Bartolome De Las Casas, Abe Sieyes and Emmeline Pankhurst. They struggled for the common good and some wouldn’t trade their principles for mercy, some were arrested and imprisoned, some went on hunger strike, some fled into exile and others lost their lives to make life better for humankind.

In 1997 a fellow Ugandan and retired Bishop Misaeri Kawuma commended Dr. Dunstan Nsubuga and Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga for telling the truth at a very difficult time. He said that like the two Nsubugas, he also told the truth in spite of obvious threats. With reference to one sermon, he said “I do not know where I got the courage to say what I did during that sermon but I believe it was an inspiration from God”.

He added “Though the spiritual leaders [in Uganda] spoke critically, they were saying the truth and had no malice in their hearts. They were not against the political leaders as such but their policies and wrongs they committed against the people [of Uganda]. The religious leaders differentiated between the political leaders and their bad ideas – one had to love the leaders but hate their bad ideas as a Christian principle” (Recent Magazine Jan-April 1997).

I couldn’t have said it better. I have also followed this Christian principle of telling the truth about the Great Lakes region history, loving leaders but criticizing their bad ideas and policies that have caused massive death, dispossession and extreme suffering.

Civic education on the Great Lakes region

Definitions: We have defined the Great Lakes region to encompass southwest Uganda (former Ankole and Kigezi districts), Burundi, eastern DRC and Rwanda. We have used Batutsi generically to embrace Batutsi, Bahima, Batutsi/Bahororo and Banyamulenge. They are Nilotic cousins. We have often used Bahutu and Bairu interchangeably. Bahutu and Bairu are derogatory words that refer to Bantu people as slaves or servants of Tutsi people.

What we have learned so far

1. There are two major ethnic groups in the Great Lakes region: (a) Nilotic Batutsi and (b) Bantu people. Bantu people entered the Great Lakes region from the Nigerian/Cameroon border. They brought short horn cattle, goats, sheep and poultry as well as (iron) technology. They grew a wide range of crops, hunted wild game and harvested wild fish and collected wild fruits and vegetables. They ate adequate and balanced diets. The population grew into settled communities that required law and order. Systems of governance developed. There were kings, chiefs and clan heads with titles. Hutus called their kings Mwami. Some kings lived in palaces and were wealthy. Inter-communal disputes were largely settled through negotiations and diplomacy. Contrary to popular belief “Bachwezi were not Bahima or Luo: they were a Bantu aristocracy who emerged in western Uganda in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries” (B. A. Ogot 1999). Bantu therefore were not stateless people before Batutsi arrived. Batutsi people are Nilotic. Their ancestors were Nilotic Luo-speaking pastoralists who lived in Bahr el Ghazal region of South Sudan, not in Ethiopia as originally presented. The mistake was made by Speke and Grant. Before coming to Uganda in 1862, the two explorers visited Harar region of Ethiopia in 1854 and found pastoralists who looked like Batutsi/Bahima they found in Uganda. They erroneously concluded that Batutsi came from Ethiopia. There is no cultural and/or linguistic link between Ethiopians and Batutsi.

2. Luo-speaking people adopted Bantu local names and local languages but remained ethnically Nilotic because they strictly prohibited intermarriage between Bantu and Nilotic people until recently when Batutsi women began marrying potentially or politically and economically outstanding non-Batutsi men who are then tutsified or become adopted Batutsi as junior partners and for all intents and purposes abandon their kith and kin. These marriages are purely for political control purposes as spelt out in Batutsi Covenant. “Offer them [non-Tutsi men] our girls, and if necessary, do not hesitate to arrange marriages with them. They will not resist our daughters’ angelic beauty” (Covenants of the Tutsi Dynasty August 6, 1962). Batutsi men to this day do not marry non-Batutsi women. They avoid being spied on but spy on others so they are in political control of others. Although linguistically the same as Bahutu and Bairu, Batutsi are ethnically different: they are Nilotic people.

3. Based on Hamitic Myth, it was believed that Batutsi were white people. This myth has been totally discredited (Philip Curtin et al., 1978). Batutsi are black and darker with thicker lips than Bantu people. Also, since there are no people called Hamites, there can’t be Nilo-Hamitic people through Nilotic and Hamitic intermarriages.

4. As nomadic people always in search of pasture and water and living in temporary structure of branches and grass, Nilotic Luo-speaking people entered the Great Lakes region without civilizations except long horn cattle. They adopted Bantu civilizations such as the Hutu king’s title of Mwami. The earthen works in central Uganda were constructed by Bantu people, not Batutsi. The earliest sites contain crop residues such as millet, sorghum, grinding stones and harvesting knives etc which Batutsi don’t possess as well as animal bones underscoring mixed farming which Bantu brought from their home base in Nigeria/Cameroon border. By the time they settled at Bigo bya Mugenyi, Bantu had specialized in cattle herding. In suitable areas “many of the Bantu settlers switched [from grain cultivation] to animal husbandry as a primary source of food, herding cattle, sheep, and goats” (E. J. Murphy 1974). Therefore categorization of Bahutu/Bairu as pure cultivators is wrong although still used. In southwest Uganda by the 1960s, Bairu had more cattle than Batutsi.

5. Contrary to popular belief, the relations between Batutsi and Bahutu/Bairu were not symbiotic but extremely antagonistic and exploitative. With fighting experience and in collaboration with foreigners including Arab and Swahili slave traders and later Europeans, Batutsi were able to defeat Bahutu and Bairu. Many of the survivors were sold into slavery or converted into crop cultivators and cattle ownership became the specialization of Tutsi people (the categorization of crop cultivators and cattle herders was created by Batutsi to exploit and marginalize Bantu people). In Rwanda, all land was taken away from Bahutu who stayed on to work it and produce food for their new masters in return for protection (not clear against what). As food consumption by Hutu and Bairu declined in amount and quality, their growth was stunted. It is believed that Bahutu/Bairu short stature owes a lot to poor feeding because of Tutsi exploitation. Bahutu and Bairu children that eat well are as tall as any other.

6. When Bahutu or Bairu worked for Batutsi for payment, they were given unproductive cattle such as infertile or sick cows, bulls or meat when a Mututsi cow died, the idea being to prevent Bahutu/Bairu from accumulating wealth. Many times they were never paid or paid say one month salary when they worked for three months.

7. When Bahutu/Bairu people were recruited in the army, they were generally not allowed to fight. Their job was to carry luggage, cook and bury the dead. Fighting and commanding troops were monopolized by Batutsi.

8. Socialization between Batutsi and Bahutu/Bairu was strictly prohibited. The two ethnic groups never ate or drank together. When a Mwiru was lucky to have lunch or drink with a Mututsi, it was the Mwiru who paid. When a Mututsi chief and his team stayed at Hutu or Bairu homes they took charge of women and all male had to stay somewhere else including in the bush. According to Batutsi culture, women were supposed to remain virgin until they got married. Meanwhile, Batutsi male youth were given Bahutu girls to have sex with and when children were produced Batutsi men disowned them. So, Bahutu women were burdened with unwanted children. These children were called Abambari (half castes). As punishment for wrong doing Batutsi would spit in the mouth of Bahutu and Bairu (it recently happened in Buliisa district in Uganda). And when being punished however severely, Bahutu and Bairu were not supposed to shed tears or scream. When carrying a chief on a stretcher and one got tired, the chief would drive a sharp metal in the leg or foot as punishment. Relatives of chiefs and their luggage were also carried by Bahutu and Bairu for free. I recall students at Kinyasano primary and secondary school running in all direction when a Mututsi arrived at school looking for students to carry his/her luggage.

9. When a Muhutu (singular for Bahutu) raped a Mututsi (singular for Batutsi) woman, he was executed but when a Mutusi man raped a Muhutu woman the matter was settled between the families. Given the power of Tutsi over Hutu, one wonders whether negotiations took place.

10. Batutsi believed and still do that they are intelligent and born to rule. Bahutu/Bairu are considered stupid or empty tins and born to labor and be ruled. That is why brilliant Bantu people doing wonderful things but are kept at a low level because to Batutsi Bairu/Bahutu are supposed to continue to labor. If they are promoted then who will do the donkey work.

11. Colonial administrations maintained these exploitative relations between Batutsi and Bahutu/Bairu. Through the indirect rule system Batutsi were made chiefs with responsibility to maintain law and order, collect taxes from Bahutu and Bairu and force them to work for free on public projects such as constructing roads and buildings in addition to paying tributes to the chiefs and tithes to the church. Bahutu/Bairu were caned or imprisoned for any commission or omission when the chief was not happy about something however minor. In my county, I witnessed men caned for failure say to dig a latrine. They are still caned occasionally on construction sites and other places.

12. Education and jobs in colonial and church administrations were reserved for the children of chiefs and relatives who got educated ahead of Bahutu/Bairu children. Education was opened to Bairu in the 1940s. The myth of Batutsi being more intelligent than Bairu was completely shattered as Bairu boys and girls outperformed their Batutsi classmates especially in science and math subjects.

13. In southwest Uganda educationally and demographically Bairu have an advantage over Batutsi but NRM AK47 has kept them down and poor. As independence approached, Batutsi were sidelined. The same was happening in Rwanda and Burundi. That is why they have resorted to military means of governing so-called democratic Uganda and Rwanda. M23 is trying to do the same in eastern DRC.

Post independence Uganda

14. What many Ugandans don’t understand is that political struggle in Uganda has been among Nilotic people who originated in South Sudan. As explained above, Bantu is a linguistic classification, not an ethnic one. People in southwest Uganda must be categorized according to their ethnicity into Nilotic Batutsi and Bantu Bahutu/Bairu. Ibingira (RIP) and Museveni that have dominated the politics of southwest Uganda and Uganda in general are Nilotic Batutsi from Ankole, not Bantu people.

15. Militon Obote (RIP), the first prime minister of Uganda and later president was a Nilotic from Lango in the northern region.

16. The first political struggle that led to the 1966/67 political and constitutional crisis was between Nilotic Grace Ibingira from Ankole and Nilotic Milton Obote from Lango district.

17. Nilotic Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin a Nubian from West Nile whose ancestors came from South Sudan, possibly in the same region as the Nilotic ancestors of Obote.

18. Nilotic Okello Lutwa who overthrew Nilotic Obote II regime is from Acholi in northern region.

19. Nilotic Museveni from Ankole waged a guerrilla war against Nilotic Obote from Lango.

20. Kony and Museveni who fought each other for two decades are both Nilotic people murdering their own people – very sad indeed.

21. The four major political parties in Uganda namely NRM, FDC, DP and UPC are led by Nilotic people, two from Acholiland and two from Ntungamo district in former Ankole district. Bantu people while the largest group have not played a significant role in Uganda politics. Yet they have suffered as when two elephants fight each other in a forest that they level to the ground.

22. The Luwero Triangle war was fought by two Nilotic groups, one led by Museveni and his Batutsi mercenaries and another by the national army that was Nilotic dominated.

23. Since 1966, Uganda politics and government have been dominated by the military and therefore Nilotic people. Amin hired mercenaries and Museveni hired mercenaries that have caused too much damage. Regarding the killings in Luwero Triangle, a reporter has written that “It is significant that Museveni never once claims in his autobiography that Obote killed the people in the Luwero Triangle, because Museveni is the one himself who carried out these atrocities” (EIR Special Report 1997 page 15). In the same report, it is stated by another writer that “We know that what took place in 1994 [in Rwanda]: Fifty percent goes to the RPF and the rest, to the other side” (EIR Special Report 1997 page 71). These allegations need to be investigated before definitive positions are taken.

Batutsi in Uganda

24. Batutsi from Burundi and Rwanda and later from eastern DRC have been entering Uganda since the early 1920s originally in search of work. As pastoralists they worked in areas where there is cattle herding. Therefore they are scattered in many parts of Uganda where cattle are found. Some went back for good. Others went back, got married and returned to Uganda and settled for good. Others married Batutis/Bahima/Bahororo women in Uganda and stayed for good as well. Nilotic Batutsi men don’t marry non-Batutsi women to this day. Therefore they are pure Nilotic.

25. The independence disturbances that started in Rwanda in 1959 and then Burundi and Congo, resulted in Batutsi refugees many of them entering Uganda with their cattle. British authorities decided to minimize refugees in camps in part to reduce expenses but also to minimize the political significance that could have compromised the independence of Uganda already set for October 9, 1962. It was decided that refugees that had relatives or friends in Uganda should stay with them, implying absorption if they so wished. By December 1963, some 35,000 refugees with 15,000 head of cattle had entered Uganda from Rwanda. “One-third of these refugees appear to have settled with relatives in Uganda [in Ankole and Kigezi] and never became a serious charge on the Uganda government. … It was also agreed that “The aim [of settling refugees in Uganda] should be to absorb the refugees and transform them as soon as practicable from the objects of charity into productive units by resettling them on the land principally as agriculturalists” (B. L. Jacobs 1965). Economic and political factors “pressured local UPC establishment in Ankole to ask the government to enforce the law of the land by keeping the refugees out of local and national politics. Some Banyankole, both Hima and Bairu, also demanded that the refugees be relocated from Ankole because they were taking away land, jobs and social services from the host communities” (H. Adelman and A. Suhrke 2000). These complaints exploded in 1982 and subsequent massive recruitment of Tutsi refugees in NRA, many of them recruited in the Luwero Triangle where they worked mainly as herders.

26. A combination of politics and population pressure forced refugees and their cattle to move. “They moved to other virgin areas [where tsetse flies had been destroyed] in the new districts of Ntungamo, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Rakai, Masaka, Mubende, Luwero and even beyond the Nile River to Apac, Lira, Kitgum, Soroti and Kumi. Within five to eight years, the refugees had mingled within the population in the countryside and in urban areas and their presence started to raise questions in political circles” (Dixon Kamukama 1997).

27. When Museveni, who had planned to govern Uganda by military means, joined the office of the president as research assistant, he was posted to the refugee department. There he located all Tutsi refugees whom he later called upon to join NRA and change the government and take over the country. So when Museveni says that NRA and his government have recruited from all tribes, ethnic and religious groups you shouldn’t take him at face value. From these groups Museveni picked Batutsi who have adopted local languages and local names but have remained Tutsi because they don’t marry non-Nilotic women. Museveni recruited some of the best historians as his advisers to trace Tutsis in Uganda and elsewhere for recruitment and training so that he has a critical mass to run Uganda without needing Bantu people. These Tutsi are employed everywhere strategically in the civil service, security forces and in the private sector. They are prominent in Uganda embassies. They have a sizeable representation in parliament, district councils and in the judiciary. But they are still few and that is why the tutsification exercise is in high gear. Real or potentially outstanding political and economic non-Batutsi men are being targeted for arranged marriages with Tutsi women as stressed in Tutsi Covenant. The Covenant says “Offer them [non-Batutsi men] our girls, and if necessary, do not hesitate to arrange marriages with them. They will not resist our daughters’ angelic beauty”(Covenants of the Tutsi Dynasty August 6, 1962). This may explain in part why despite our so-called representatives in national and local legislatures, non-Batutsi people have no jobs, poor children can’t get lunch at school, are getting poorer and hungrier in a country so well endowed and a recipient of generous donations to the tune of over $30 billion and our representatives don’t complain at all. Museveni is using his Tutsi and tutsified people to impoverish non-Batutsi people, dispossess them especially of their land, dump them in urban slums where he can easily pick them up and throw them in jail. To keep Uganda under his control Museveni is in the process of militarizing all aspects of Uganda life. To silence dissent, intelligence officers are everywhere in homes, churches, schools, hotels etc as well as in the diaspora. But military and intelligence strength is not enough. The country is about to implode from NRM internal decadence, poverty, corruption, sectarianism, cronyism and mismanagement of public assets. Ugandans are gathering courage and are dissenting in the open demanding relief. What is needed is the weight of churches that have kept quiet for so long. Religious leaders since the English Peasant Revolt of 1381 and possibly earlier have played critical roles in fighting for the rights of ordinary people mistreated by their leaders. Father Gapon in Russia, Cardinal Sin in Philippines, Archbishop Romero of El Salvador and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa etc have played commendable roles and forced military regimes to step down. We also need patriotic security forces in prisons, intelligence and the military to join their suffering brothers and sisters so we have a Glorious Revolution without shedding blood. Under such pressure Museveni will have no choice like his counterparts in Latin America but to step down.

28. Sadly, some Ugandans are still in denial, believing that what we are saying isn’t true or we are simply trying to incite sectarianism or genocide. Some are pure surrogates throwing reckless insults around, not realizing they are undermining their character, if they had any. The information compressed in these pages has been researched and there is truth in it. Where there are doubts we have called for more investigation. Those who have facts to challenge this report, put them forward and we shall be more than happy to debate because the primary goal of this civic education is to give Ugandans a true picture of what happened, is happening and is likely to happen in the Great Lakes region so they take informed decisions. We, Ugandans must wake up, organize collectively and take our country back from Tutsi leaders who falsely believe they killed a beast or defeated Ugandans and now own Uganda and can do what they want with it including distributing indigenous peasant land to rich foreigners because there are few indigenous rich people, change national borders and push Uganda into a borderless East African community being crafted to constitute the core of Tutsi Empire which is Museveni’s mission.

Happy Holidays to you all.

For God and My Country

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