Political control by any means necessary has some problems

There are many reasons why people join politics. There are those who join for fame. There are those who join because they have nothing else to do. There are those who join to make money. There are those who join to bring certain issues to public attention. And there are those who join to solve problems.

I joined politics very early in life. I joined student politics at Butobere School because I wanted to bring all students together to celebrate independence as one united group, not supporters of DP or UPC. I became president of Rujumbura Students Association to bring harmony among sectarian groups. I involuntarily joined Rukungiri UPC politics of meat eaters and vegetarians because I wanted to defend a civil servant who had been unfairly treated by the vegetarian group. I became president of African Students Association at the University of California at Berkeley because I wanted African students to have a common position on the Vietnam War. I became chairman of UNDP staff association in Zambia because I wanted harmony between locally and internationally recruited staff. I co-founded Uganda Unity Group in Zambia to bring Ugandans together and end sectarian politics against the Amin regime and I joined Amicale at the United Nations in New York so that Africans have a common position on matters that affected their welfare.

I believe a good politician should tell the truth and not run away when the subject under discussion becomes controversial. A good politician should remain consistent. A good politician should protect and defend the interests of vulnerable, powerless and voiceless people.

Developments in Uganda since 1986 are bothering me, to say the least. While waging a guerrilla war in the early 1980s, Museveni said all the good things Ugandans wanted to hear. He even signed off on the ten point program, a popular blue print for the development of Uganda and ending suffering in all corners of the nation. Ugandans reluctantly welcomed him although he had been rejected in his home district of Mbarara as leader of DP and Member of Parliament. Mbarara people knew him well including the role he played in removing Amin from power but they said no to his leadership and we didn’t take a hint. He has punished them in various ways including by denying them development programs. Consequently, poverty, unemployment, hunger and disease are increasing.

Museveni underwent military training and fought a guerrilla war in Uganda with one goal in mind: to restore Tutsi dominance in the Great Lakes region this time for good. He has therefore designed a strategy fundamentally different from the pre-independence period. This strategy he has called fundamental change or metamorphosis without elaborating. We economists wrongly thought he meant economic and social metamorphosis to ultimately turn Uganda into a first world nation.

Nilotic Tutsi domination of Bantu in pre-independence period was based on a combination of military monopoly, control and heavy taxation of Bantu as chiefs in colonial administration and strict separation of Batutsi from Bantu people. There was no social mixing including intermarriage. A Hutu man seen with a Tutsi woman would be severely punished. In Rwanda when a Hutu man raped a Tutsi woman, the punishment was execution.

However, when a king or his agent identified a Muhutu or Mwiru who distinguished himself and had potential to lead, he would be invited to the palace and offered a Tutsi woman to marry on condition the man becomes tutsified and joins the social rank of Tutsi but as a junior partner thus making him ineffective and depriving his people of capable leadership. Consequently, many Bairu communities lack good leaders.

In pre-independence days, the numerical superiority of Bantu people didn’t bother Nilotic Batutsi because with guns Bantu could always be controlled and would never challenge Tutsi dominance. Then came independence and elections based on majority rule and the tables were turned upside down. The numbers worked in favor of Bantu people.

In Burundi the king’s son, Prince Louis Rwagasore who had married a Muhutu woman won landslide elections and became prime minister designate, defeating his opponent whose support was purely Tutsi. Tutsi defeat could not be swallowed. The prince was assassinated within weeks of his victory by a hired Greek National.

In Rwanda, power transfer from Batutsi to Bahutu could not be tolerated. Some Tutsi youth assaulted a Hutu man who had been appointed a local chief. This assault sparked a Social Revolution of 1959 against Batutsi and subsequent defeat at the polls before independence in 1962.

In Ankole, Bairu trounced Batutsi/Bahima candidates and power shifted overnight from Batutsi to their former Bantu slaves or servants. Museveni could not take it.

Museveni and Tutsi refugees in Uganda realized that in the immediate future, they would not regain dominance through the ballot box. They chose the military option and rigging elections as we have seen in Uganda since 1996 and in Rwanda since RPF formed a government in 1994.

But they came up with a bigger plan of infiltrating Bantu people through intermarriage. Batutsi broke the centuries old tradition of restricting Tutsi women from marrying non-Tutsi men. They embarked on a strategy whereby Batutsi women aggressively chased non-Batutsi men and got married to them in large numbers.

In Rujumbura where I come from, this liberation was so revolutionary that virtually every educated Mwiru man got married to a Tutsi woman. Many thought this was one of the fruits of independence and seemed to enjoy it. Strangely enough, not a single Mututsi man married a single Muiru woman, reasoning that marriage is a matter between a woman and a man and they marry whom they love. But the truth surfaced recently.

While in a heated discussion about Rujumbura political economy, a frustrated Mututsi man who could not make a convincing case let the cat out of the bag by disclosing that there is no way Bairu will ever defeat Batutsi at the polls because they have been penetrated by Batutsi women and tutsified them. This means that tutsified men and their children will always support a Tutsi candidate over a Mwiru candidate. And this is true because there are cases where and when poorly educated or illiterate Batutsi have defeated well educated Bairu in parliamentary and local elections.

These arranged intermarriages for political control of Bantu people have spread to all Bantu-speaking areas. This being a sensitive matter many people are in denial and don’t want to talk about it. Meanwhile, these arranged marriages are gathering speed. Any Muntu man with education or good career prospects is being targeted and trapped into marriage. Some married Bantu men are being urged to divorce their non-Batutsi spouses and marry Batutsi women to get access to the corridors of power. It is reported that Batutsi women are now chasing Bantu men even in the diaspora. This development is going to cause some problems, I can assure you.

First, Bantu women who are unable to marry are already complaining about this Batutsi women “invasion’ of their territory. This happened in Kenya once when a Kenya women organization complained at the highest political level that Uganda women in Kenya were taking Kenya men and even triggering divorce. Also in Rwanda Bahutu women are complaining that Batutsi women are taking their Bahutu men while Batutsi men refuse to marry them.

Second, when Bantu men discover they were trapped into these political marriages and are being spied on they may react with unhappy consequences.

Third, Uganda society may be metamorphosed with Tutsified men and children dominated by Tutsi who refuse to marry non-Nilotic women and be pushed into East African federation where its identity may be lost. The Uganda/Rwanda decision to alter or abolish colonial boundaries is a clear sign of what is in store, now that the leaders of the ruling NRM and opposition FDC parties are Batutsi. This is a very scary development. Just keep your eyes and ears open for new policy announcements or look out for quiet developments such as foreign occupation of Uganda land.

Fourth, already major political parties and rising number of MPs and strategic public posts are dominated by Batutsi and/or tutsified men. That is why some of the decisions taken by representatives in parliament or district councils are going against the interests of indigenous people. Batutsi and tutsified men are well funded and are defeating indigenous candidates who are poorly funded. Once the truth sinks in and the public discovers what is hitting them, particularly if they lose their land to foreign or tutsified men there might be trouble. The prime minister is bent on transferring land from peasants to rich farmers without disclosing where displaced peasants will go. Isn’t this development something that should worry us?

I am a politician seeking political power not for my own sake but to address these challenges for the common good. My kind of politics is to tell the truth, commend the good things and reject the not-so-good developments. Contrary to what some detractors are painting me, I believe very strongly that all Ugandans must live together in peace, security, prosperity and happiness. To achieve this goal we must be honest to one another. Failure to communicate or communicate clearly has often led to unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts.