I am writing this story fully aware of the potential political cost. But the story has to be told in order to identify the cause of Baganda suffering and put the matter to rest for good.
Virtually every weekend you hear someone on Hollywood-based Radio Munansi complaining that Baganda are suffering because of Banyankole and when time comes the latter will pay a heavy price. I heard this narrative again when I was in London for the conference on federalism at the end of October, 2012.
I have written some articles on this subject demonstrating that Banyankole have nothing to do with Baganda marginalization and suffering. The majority of Banyankole are suffering like other exploited Ugandans under the NRM government. We also need to draw a distinction between Banyankole and the ruling Batutsi many of them Rwandese that have settled in Uganda particularly in Buganda (have adopted Luganda names and speak Luganda language) since the 1959 social revolution in Rwanda.
Discussing this subject of Batutsi in Uganda and their direct and indirect wrong doing has been made extremely difficult by anti-sectarian law and accusations of genocide promotion which Batutsi have taken advantage of to entrench themselves in Uganda and are in the process of taking over the country under the guidance of Museveni using most of the time Uganda citizens mostly Baganda in return for favors.
UDU premise is finding and telling the truth about Uganda and Ugandans in order to identify problems and recommend solutions that will benefit all. In our culture we have a saying developed before refrigeration became available that if you hide meat from fire it will rot. Either you roast or boil it.
When confronted with a difficult situation, we Ugandans have developed a habit of brushing sensitive issues under the carpet/rug hoping time will provide solutions. We especially politicians have therefore developed a tendency of saying what the audience wants to hear or skipping vital issues to earn popularity.
There is ample evidence that if discussions before independence had been genuine, Uganda would have avoided the situation we are in. But because they were rushing our negotiators made some blunders. They avoided the issue of the head of state and we ended up with a Governor-General which delayed the problem. They avoided the right solution to Amin problem and we all know what we got from him. They avoided the issue of ‘Lost Counties” and we know what happened and what still lingers on. The colonial administration simply handed over the problems it created.
If we Ugandans do not put our act together quickly, we are going to lose Uganda as we have known it. Museveni who began preparations as early as 1965 (Bahororo failure to get a separate district in Ankole at independence and political ascendancy of Bairu in Ankole disturbed him) came to power with a clear mission known to himself and his inner core of Bahororo people – (1) the ascendancy of Bahororo in Uganda’s political economy and great lakes region (Tutsi Empire), and (2) metamorphosis of Uganda into a new landscape.
Museveni was also aware that these transformations would take a long time to be realized. That is why he initially asked for a fifteen year mandate which has turned out to be inadequate. During an interview on New Year’s Day (2011), Museveni declined to indicate when he would quit Uganda’s political stage. The impression he gave left no doubt that he is still around for a while possibly by force should Ugandans refuse to re-elect him. What he has not admitted is that he thought (wrongly) that he would quickly trample on Ugandans through wars and impoverishment and reduce them to insignificant vulnerable minority and transform Uganda into a new landscape ecologically, economically, demographically and politically without difficulty. Ugandans have turned out to be resilient in the face of wars, pandemics, epidemics and impoverishment and are still kicking with considerable force that cannot be ignored.
Well placed people in Uganda and abroad who have watched Museveni’s rapid rise believe he has reached the top of a hill and has begun riding down a steep, winding and slippery road in a poorly maintained vehicle with unreliable brakes.
Museveni has had four reliable allies: western powers; Baganda and Catholics; NRM; and security forces. Museveni received strong western support for his willingness to implement the unpopular structural adjustment program (SAP) and to serve as a surrogate for one western group in the Great Lakes geopolitics. IMF and the World Bank wanted a place with a bold leader to develop structural adjustment into a development model for developing countries. Uganda was that place and Museveni was that bold leader who would not tolerate complaints about the harshness of SAP.
Many Ugandans have been disappointed by Museveni’s government in large part because they do not understand why he came to power. Museveni, like Mobutu and Amin before him, came to power at the height of Cold War confrontations between capitalism and socialism. The return of Obote as president in 1980 represented a return of socialism to Uganda which had been defeated in 1971 using Amin. Western powers and corporate interests were alarmed by the return of socialism to Uganda through the return of Obote as president after 1980 elections. Obote was still considered a socialist. Museveni, like Amin, was used by western capitalist forces to remove socialism by ousting its agent – President Obote. Since these western interests were not going to send European troops to the jungles of Luwero, Museverni appealed to disgruntled Ugandans especially Baganda and Catholics to join him in ousting Obote who had ‘stolen’ the 1980 elections although certified by the Commonwealth observer team that has certified Museveni’s victories since the 1996 elections.