Dear Joe

Thank you for your comment on Tutsi Empire project that appeared in my remarks in Observer this week. The idea of Tutsi Empire is not new. It has been raised at national, regional and international levels. If you have been following the debate on this subject and history of relations between Batutsi and Bahutu and Bahororo and Bairu you will understand why the possibility of Tutsi Empire is alarming.

The donor community has expressed concern about this project. Problems between Museveni and the West (donors) began when Museveni dreamt of a Tutsi empire and together with Kagame invaded DRC. The donor mood towards Uganda changed (Business in Africa April 2001). President Mugabe was drawn into DRC war primarily to prevent the establishment of Tutsi Empire in Middle Africa (J. N. Weatherby 2003). During my mission to DRC, Rwanda and Burundi early this year, the region was full of talk about the imminent establishment of Tutsi Empire and I reported this in my article in Observer. Many commentators are of the view that it will be achieved by military, political or economic means. So when Museveni pushes the E.A. Political Federation many think he has Tutsi Empire in mind. And Museveni has not denied it.

Those of us who have lived under Tutsi leadership (Bahororo are Tutsi from Rwanda) in southwest Uganda and now at the national level for 25 years do not want a repeat of that governance system in the great lakes region. That is why we have also raised the question of the reappearance of Mpoproro kingdom in south west Uganda including Ntungamo and possibly Rujumbura. Rujumbura was never a part of short-lived Mpororo kingdom. Bahororo came to Rujumbura as refugees 90 years after Mpororo kingdom had disintegrated.

On arrival in Rujumbura around 1800, Bahororo quickly subdued Bantu communities because of their fighting experience in cattle rustling. Together with Arab slave traders Bahororo participated in slave wars and defeated Bantu tribes were sold into slavery. Since that time local communities that were dubbed Bairu (slaves) have been systematically impoverished which I wrote about in an article that appeared in the Observer titled ‘How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished”.

Until Batutsi and Bahororo have officially denied the possibility of creating Tutsi Empire this topic will remain in the news.

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