If M7 hears peoples’ grievances and acts, a revolution will be averted

Revolutions that overthrow long established regimes happen swiftly. But conditions leading up to them take longer to crystallize. Revolutions thus occur in countries where regimes are incapable of adjusting to the demands of the people. Revolutions such as those in France, Mexico and Russia occur in stages. They are preceded by enlightenment or reform movements whose suggestions are ignored, then the regime collapses followed by a full scale civil war. Countries where revolutions occur exhibit similar characteristics. In France, Mexico and Russia the respective previous decade was marked by famine and economic crisis. The three countries were also predominantly agrarian in which the peasants who formed the majority of the population were exploited and starving. The three elements of hunger, economic crisis and agrarian society define today’s Uganda.

Why ethnic tensions are intensifying in southwest Uganda

My career has enabled me to interact with many people from and outside Uganda and to hear many stories (many of them distorted) about who is who and who is doing well and not so well economically in Uganda. There is a general feeling that all south westerners are doing well at the expense of other Ugandans since Museveni came to power in 1986. In other words they think that all south westerners are Bahororo, Bahima, Batutsi and Banyamulenge (all represented in Uganda). This is the group of Nilotic Bantu speakers led by Museveni that has made tremendous progress in wealth accumulation. The other group of Bantu speakers known by the epithet of Bairu (slaves) or commoners in south west Uganda is extremely poor because of historical exploitation by the Nilotic Bantu speaking group since the two groups interacted about four hundred years ago.

I know some readers are not comfortable about this Bahororo and Bairu diatribe. I do not like it either. Actually it was dying out until Museveni came to power and re-established hostilities by suppressing Bairu through the implementation of structural adjustment that has pushed many back into poverty. Museveni is a divisive leader that seems to enjoy the suffering of others. This may explain why he has refused to support school lunches for kids from poor families but he has money for funerals – how else can you understand it.