08 Apr

By Stephen Twinoburyo

From time to time, I have seen debates mainly on social media, but sometimes in mainstream media, referring to Uganda’s ethnic groups and this has often turned fiery whenever the discussion has been about the ‘ruling’ Bahiima ethnic group. The most recent hullabaloo concerns comments attributed to an NTV presenter.

I, as a Munyankole, and having partly grown up in a predominantly Bahiima area, Nyabushozi, wish to give my own opinion/analysys with reference to Bahiima viz-a-viz transition from the traditional pastoralists to the national role-players.

Most of my blood relatives live, or used to live, in the Kazo-Kiruhura area in the former Nyabushozi, after my great grandfather migrated into the area according to the history presented by my father in his book “Ruganyirwa’s Grandchildren”. Following on his ancestoral belonging, my father acquired land in the then very rural Kiruhura and went ahead to develop the land i.e fencing it, clearing the shrubs, digging a dam and building the first tile-roofed house that I knew then in Nyabusozi. Most of this happened in the early 1980s when President Museveni was then in the bush. Much as this should have been a good development, the Bahiima neighbours were infuriated that this private land had been developed and fenced off. I remember one time a group of Bahiima pastolists standing by the roadside gazing at my father’s farm and saying “Ekyata kyomwiru eki kikurize obunyatsi! (i.e this mwiru idiot has really nurtured pasture!).

That farm became a nightmare to us as a family, mostly after President Museveni’s NRA took power. Countless times, the pastoralists would cut the fence and graze their cattle within my father’s farm, armed with spears, and later guns. While my father had troughs for properly watering the cows, they would push their cows directly into the dam, hence causing damage to it. This became a hot issue often with people that were then said to be ‘connected’ to State House ‘backing’ the pastoralists and in fact issuing threats. Eventually my father, on our advice for our safety, abandoned his farm, being bought at a throw-away price by an afande (army officer). We were by then no longer living on it due to threats to his life and he in fact survived death at one point from a group of Bahiima by a whisker. Our family left Kiruhura and hopefully I will never live in Nyabushozi again. President Museveni kept promising to meet my father over this matter and resolve it but like many things he has promised, this remained that – air. My father not being a person used to the almost gutter-level lobby environment that has been established around Museveni, let the matter pass. I, a while back, sent a letter to President Museveni to remind him of these events.

So why am I narrating all this, especially making reference to the events surrounding my family? According to history, Bahiima were purely pastoralists and according to them all grazeable land belonged to them. Any place with good pasture was open to them and they had a right to graze that land. Possibly our Bahiima neighbours genuinely felt entitled to the results of my father’s work. After all he was a Mwiru and by default meant to sweat – for them. In the old times, a Muhiima man was recognised according to the number of cows he had and some Bahiima believed that all cows belonged to the Hima race. There was in fact a joke that when the Bahiima were being taken to Teso and Karamoja to fight after Museveni came to power, they were told that the purpose was to recover their ‘stolen’ cows. This traditional belief of being ultimate possessors may in a way have given some Bahiima a nortion they had a right to possession of anything good that belonged to a non-Muhima. In fact some did not consider a non-Muhima to have a human status. For instance, when a Muhima would enter a bus full of people and see no Muhima among them, he would exclaim “egi baasi ketarimu muntu!” (i.e how come there is no person in this bus!).

My narration here is not meant to denigrate Bahiima in any way but to rather give perspective to some of the behaviours I notice. I have close Bahiima friends, some dating from our childhood days, and have had family linkages with Bahiima.


The Bahiima have largely immigrated from these cows but some of their traits seem to have remained.

Over the last two decades most Bahiima have immigrated from their pastoral traditions into modern means of living and in the process taking on other skills, for instance, in governance, commerce, the military, professional services This is very commendable because any government needs to develop its citizens. However my analysis winds down to reports we hear that under Museveni, Bahiima occupy all top resource areas in the country. They are said to occupy all top army or security positions and those who have acquired wealth, have acquired it massively such that they may not even know what they have. The wanton plunder of national resources by those in power or those connected to them has reached unprecedented levels. There is a belief among some people that those who are in positions of authority don’t care what happens to the country but are rather interested in plundering it as much as they can irrespective of how much they already have and what poverty levels the rest of the Ugandans will sink to. Most of society seeing this as the trend of the rulers seem to have adopted it as the modus operandi and it’s the default position of almost any youth raised in Uganda in the last 30 years.

This brings me to the question that came to my mind and motivated my writing: Did some Bahiima carry their traditional traits onto the national arena?


Did some Bahiima carry their traditional traits onto the national arena?


Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs


12 responses to “Did some Bahiima carry their traditional traits onto the national arena?

  1. Twino Speaks

    April 8, 2012 at 13:15

    This article was originally posted on facebook on 07 April 2012 and below is the discussion so far:

    Facebook link:

    Thomas Ruhigwa Mugwisagye
    Can a true muhima give us info abt the Hima culture pls
    21 hours ago · Like

    Nina Mbabazi
    What do you mean true Muhima? Does Stephen Twinoburyo’s experience seem less authentic because he is a Mwiru? The problem with this entire debate I think is that people seem to want to hear what they want to hear. But just to add to this Syephen, the Bahima are very divided in culture. The Bahinda don’t behave like their fell Bahima. I found it interesting understanding how Kashari Bahima are different from Nyabushozi Bahima or Kazo. I will say that those in your Kiruhura area have not changed.
    20 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Charley Makmot
    Its unfortunate what happened to your family, Stephen. It is such an experience, and several others like it, that motivate me to keep on struggling to bring change to this nation.

    We, as a nation, shall bring justice to your family and to several other families across this country who cry out for justice for crimes & offences committed from even be4 Uganda was independent to date.
    20 hours ago · Unlike · 5

    Juliana Lokileng ·
    Stephen,it is sad what happened to your family, but it is also commendable that you can speak about this things in publlic space. In reading about the ethic behaviour of the Bahima, I am forced to ask why the same Bahima ridicule the lifest…See More
    19 hours ago · Unlike · 7

    Ococi Upol Denis
    Ever since the inception of the so called “Fundamental Change” the denigration has gone deeper. As suggested by many at various fora, our nation Uganda has some old wounds turning to scars hence some bad memories n’ even blood amongst folks. Twino’s is one out of many within the same Ethnic lot whereas elsewhere in the country, similar – worse occurrences n’ experiences await being told / narrated. The truth n’ reconciliation set up has still failed to gather moss either out of the fear of exposure of certain ills / atrocities committed by various groups n’ individuals or just pure naivete. The African saying goes: ” When u’ shit under water, by the time u’ resurface – the shit is on u’r’ head” since it’s more buoyant. The truth however masked will thus surface n’ the perpetrators stand to lose big time if reconciliation isn’t initiated soon n’ very soon.
    19 hours ago · Like

    Diana Babirye Semwogerere
    Many people say one should not discuss tribalism issues what if the problem is tribalism how do you discuss it then??????? Just wondering ……………
    18 hours ago · Unlike · 8

    Ococi Upol Denis

    Talking of the possibilities n’ ear music / eye candy is the norm that does not seem to take us anywhere ( Vicious cycle ). We have to venture into the uncharted territories aka Ethnic – socio-political – tribal talk in a reconciliatory way / manner. Let’s try the impossible since all else is stagnating our openness to progress….Enough said. Thanks Diana babirye Ssemwogerere.
    18 hours ago · Like · 1

    Charles Kivumbi

    what happened to your family is very unfortunate and indeed regretable! i just simply wonder why this sort of behaviour is uncommon in other areas where they do have communal land!!!also get puzzled as to why some tribes may think that they are more superior than others!!is it not a matter of opprtunity?time and time again it has been proven that a child from a poor background given the opportunity can excel just like those in a privilaged one. which brings me to my thinking that we as a nation aught to give every child equal opportunity esp in their developmental stages when they are most vulnerable
    18 hours ago · Like · 1

    Mary Grace Ssuuna
    Amazing how some people behave. I am not surprised that some of this behaviour is exhibited in offices. ST, thanks for sharing.
    16 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Amos Kasibante
    Thanks for your honesty, Stephen. To the extent that we can discuss the Baganda as an ethnic entity we can also discuss Bahima. For example Nina says that the Bahima have several division amongst themselves. Are these divisions such that certain clans of the Bahima won’t marry from other Bahima clans?

    Is it like Buganda, which has about 50 clans and where Baganda are divided into groups such as Bannakyaggwe, Bannabuddu, and Bakooki? Yet the Baganda are spoken of as a collective. Another example, not all Baganda were anti-Obote.

    In fact many Baganda were UPC, some ministers in Obote’s governments. Some Baganda were members of UPC Youth who terrorised the population between 1981-86. Yet people speak of the Baganda and Buganda as a collective: Baganda this and Baganda that.

    So why not speak of the Bahima as one? Was it by accident that until about a year ago the top-most cadre of the UPDF were all Bahima? I want someone to answer to this.
    15 hours ago · Unlike · 8

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Important points you raise Amos!
    15 hours ago · Like · 1

    Diana Babirye Semwogerere
    Thomas Ruhigwa mugwisagye what if that muhima was born abroad and knows nothing of his /her culture ??
    13 hours ago · Like

    Joseph Tumushabe
    Its true with visible actions. From occupation of Teso swamps by gun weilding Bahiima, to Buliisa, to Kyankwanzi to Salim Saleh’s plan on northern Uganda. Now to the Acholiland and Bunyoro land. When you examine the ethinicity of the occupying forces, it has Bahiima ethic signatures written all over. The big question is though is Museveni using the Bahima as a shield or are some Bahiima using Museveni?
    13 hours ago · Like · 2

    Diana Babirye Semwogerere
    Good Question Joseph Tumushabe !!
    13 hours ago · Like

    Ococi Upol Denis
    I see a Pandora’s box opening here…..We have lot’s of questions with less responses trickling in. This is one they ” usual suspects” seem to not wanna discuss openly but, Twino has flaunted it bare n’ taken it to them….Good questions ladies n’ gents. We await the verborrhoea….
    11 hours ago · Like

    Joseph Tumushabe
    Bad leaders never want to go down alone. My view is that one here has been busy recruiting people to go down with him. This has been effectively managed through the patronage system characterised by a job appointment here, a business rise there or the collapse of a rival somewhere. Commonly through a peap in your accounts at a bank to ensure an early recall of your loan, then the pressure to revive that case against you if you dare! Some through carefully arranged marriages to Bahiima girls and gifts of Statehouse employment, then the State scholarship scheme in State house sitting rooms etc. However, nothing has been as deeply disturbing or widely managed as designs smarking of land grabbing. Will the greed exhibited in this scheme ensure the big man’s survival or will the beneficiaries jump the titanic on its way down and ask the crucial questions of who is this man, where does he belong and is he worthy sacrificing for?
    7 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Mbabazi Sherurah
    It is sad what has happened to Stephen Twinoburyo. ST is my cousin and his amsestral land which they owned is right next to ours. 30 years later, we returned with merge resources to develop. My elder brother and his wife put up a house, the rest of us are constructing a bigger double storied house. We planted a banana plantation that is doing very well, we also planted a forest of trees 7 years ago. We fenced off the land but our Bahima neighbors were angry they could graze. This became a going on concen and one night last month, burned evrything to the ground save the houses. We went to police and the LC chairmen so investigations are underway. Was a family, we were devastated. The Bahiima want us to leave the place. We are determined not too. The land STs father sold to an Afande at give away price and all the land round us is fenced off, but Bahiima land is never touched. It only seems to be Bairu land especially the strangers who have recently come back. I therefore ask th question that the whole thread is asking, are the Bahiima here to own all whole the rest of us own nothing? The most fearful thing is this, when a change happens, I hope I will not be bandwagoned for slaughter with then Bahiima. I have never eaten government money, everything I have done, I have struggled to get bottom up. When I ask for something, am told I cant get it because am a Munynkole just fornthe next five Bahiima right after me “breakthrough”. But I know God is raising Daniels in Peria. And am o e of them. Am just in training.
    April 8 at 8:34am · Unlike · 9

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Thank you Mbabazi for that post you’ve made. It goes to show that while many people think ‘Banyankole are in things’, there are number of things that are not known and for long other Banyankole would be castigated for trying to raise them. It’s time we face up to these facts.

    As Mbabazi has mentioned above, she is my paternal cousin. Our great grandfather, Ruganyirwa, that my father wrote about is buried on the land where the Mbabazi’s are which borders the land my father owned and the grave of our great grandfather being in the area was the motivation for both my father and Mbabazi’s to live in the area. It’s not just us but even the other Bairu in the area were living under constant aggression and it seems my father’s biggest problem was being able to stand up to them hence the immense friction that involved ‘people from State House’.

    These are matters Museveni is well aware of. Him and other leading Bahiima that take themselves to be builders of unity should stand up openly against the actions of their compatriots otherwise they seem to be complicit in these actions and are deeply rooting seeds of division that will live long after them. I’m suprised that more that 20 years after we left, the Sherurahs are still facing similar problems.
    3 hours ago · Like · 1

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    Stop being tribal!!! The aggregate inteligence quotient of the participants on this thread seems to be a lot higher than any required standerds of wisdom. Bahima do not run this country. Ugandans do!!
    3 hours ago · Like · 1

    Mary Grace Ssuuna

    Patrick Kateihwaho, I would appreciate if you came out with facts to prove that the issues ST and Mbabazi Sherurah are raising is not true. The ills of our society should be pointed out with a view that they should be corrected. I grew up in the most ethnically mixed place in Uganda (Bugerere) but I do not remember anyone being attacked because of his ethnicity. I really do not understand why people speaking the same language are this segregative. It must STOP. Sherurah is right to get concerned. Mobs do not reason and do not ask questions. I remember reading a story of a young girl who was charged with infanticide and she told the police that she did it because she does not want to look after a Mwiru’s child!!!!
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    Mary Grace Mary Grace Ssuna. Those are teething problems that come with any societal transformation Any process ( Unlike an event) involves a gradual devolution of any sentiments that defined competition among groupings. As you correctly say In Bugerere you had a rainbow of tribes that had settled there and assimilated to the point where competition became constructiive. Eg how many cows did each familly add to their stock or assets etc. On the other hand Competition based on Tribal differences is destructive since one cant change DNA they resort to killing and maiming and looting to define success in competition. That is why i am telling the intelligencia on this thread that the actons of a few who have been left behind in THE transformation CANNOT define the debate of the majority. It is regressive
    3 hours ago · Like

    Joseph Tumushabe
    This is a deeply disturbing thing. The Baganda have for decades been complaining about the grabbing of what they term “ebyaffe”. The people of Teso lost all their cattle, land and limbs under the watch of Museveni’s government. The people of Lango were a few months back complaining about soldiers taking over large chucks of land that belonged to a school and giving this to the army whose army commander is Nyakairima and C-in-C is Museveni. Acholi’s are paying a heavy price for being on land that has suspected oil. The less I say about Bunyoro and the military generals the better. Now Banyankore are daring to say the “unsayable”. These are interesting times!
    3 hours ago · Like · 1

    Mary Grace Ssuuna

    I donot believe in sweeping issues under the carpet. These ills must be exposed and not left to fester or else we are sitting on a time bomb. Uganda has gone through a lot and we need to advance but we have to examine the issues that are holding us back. Why in these days people still think like they are still in stone age??????
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Patrick, as you may have noticed, we are calling for unity and fairness, not retribution.
    2 hours ago · Like

    Joseph Tumushabe
    Patrick Kateihwaho, it is rare that I agree with you, but this is the rare moment I do. We should stop being tribal.Do the Bahima rally want to go down with the croocks in their midst? The only thing that can save the tribal label however, is for you and I to be courageous and honest. Let us list the sins of our brothers, cousins , uncles and selves. Let us re-dress the errors committed. Let the sinners, grabbers, thieves apologise and return what has been stolen and unjustly destroyed/gotten etc. Covering up under the guise of keeping harmony will only breed more resentment and the worst things that can happen under the labels of what you and I hate. This power thing will not last for ever. The World is awake.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Mbabazi Sherurah

    Patrick. Stop being sentimental. Ugandans, yes! Especially Ugandans, are so good about devaluing someone else’s experience. So, do you want me to say what really happened did not happen? Should I say that 40 acres of trees I personally planted in 2007 with my hard earned money instead of spending it on beer and gossip in a disco didn’t really happen? Should I say that we are the only Bairu in Kiruhuura and so others came 100 miles away to burn the trees and other crops and then go away? Did I act emotional? No. I used the law to fight. I drove to Kiruuhura, asked the farm manager to go to police and open a file of which he did. So Patrick. Save yourself some dignity. Do not try to validate my feelings. Tribalism is real. Its happened to me and its destroyed my crops!! My financial future and taken me a few steps back!! But we tarry on. BTW, ST did not know this until he put up this note. I never got the chance to tell him.
    2 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Nina Mbabazi

    Until we can talk freely about our experiences, then we will not fix these tribal challenges that exist today. I find it absurd that one has to be a “true” Muhima to comment or that talking about their experiences using a tribal connotation is silly and unUgandan. The issue that Stepehn is raising is simple. It is theft of property by an ethnic group using their customs and culture. What Mbabazi Sherurah is saying is that the theft was not isolated to Stephen Twinoburyo family but at this particular time people feel that Bahima are segregating against Bairu because their fellow Bahima sealed off their land and nobody burned a thing.It is that segregation that makes them conclude, that the Bahima of today are no different from the stories they heard of the Bahima in the past.

    I would like to say that these experiences affect the empathy of people towards that particular ethnic grouping. It is not a shallow debate, but it explains why when Minibuzz makes derogatory statements about an ethnic group, people will not cry out in outrage. The principle then of can we save ourselves from calamities such as genocide arise. Can Bairu living in Kiruhura come out and defend Bahima when their customs and culture are used to harm them? 26 years after NRM took over, one would think these wounds have healed but they have not because that culture of looking down on people still exists. It is not a tribal policy and it seems to change shape with education levels but it exists.

    I would like to give another example to those who think that this is not a serious issue that affects people’s perceptions. I am a Mukiga and very proud of it. Once, some Muhima called me a Muhutu in a derogatory way. I of course asked why they thought I was a Muhutu and the person said, there is no difference between Bakiga and Bahutu, they are all sub-human. It is difficult for me to think of that person as having come out of the 15th Century. Their mind is still polluted with old fashioned customs and one does not need to be a Muhima to see that. Nevertheless, with these challenges, we need to sit back and ask ourselves, why would we allow Minibuzz to say something derogatory about one ethnic group? Are we not being silly? The thing about the Rwandese genocide is that decent people like you and me stood by and kept quiet. They were minding their business but when the genocide came, even they were killed, raped, maimed, lost their property, etc. Minibuzz needs to be made aware of the kind of raw emotion that still exists so that they can be careful about what they say.
    about an hour ago · Unlike · 2

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Thank you very much Nina for your comment. You’ve tackled the issue very eloquently and I agree entirely with you as well as many other people that have commented – we need to raise these matter, discuss them and find lasting solutions for harmony otherwise we will be deceiving ourselves that all is well. What motivated me to write this was a desire to openly tackle these issues because for long we’ve been told that to mention these issues, we would be promoting ethnic hatred and tribalism. In my writing, I am not making wild allegations but rather stating events that happened, and as we see from the comments above, are still happening. I looked at the behaviour at the national level and wondered whether this was not an expansion of what originally occurred at a traditonal level. We need to confront these matters and deal with them. It’s even much more easier for Museveni and those in power to deal with them now when they are in power rather that other people dealing with them when they are out.

    Tumusiime Moses

    Nina Mbabazi, Joseph Tumushabe, Mbabazi Sherurah i fully agree and admire yo courage… I have lived among Bahima and we have had various quarrels and fights over farmland(am Amunyarwanda).. I don’t want to go into the details but atleast we all know that there are many others who have gone thru Twino and Sherurah’s experiences….like joseph says it wouldn’t help sweeping these issues under the carpet but rather let us discuss them honestly and openly..
    24 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

  2. Ucan Freedom

    April 9, 2012 at 09:04

    Wow. We knew, we know, we shall always know the cultures, traditions etc and their good, bad and ugly areas. The knowledge should help us for the future. Can we in this 21st century look at ourselves as a Muiru, Muhiima, Muganda, Acholi, Muteso etc then a Uganda. M7 has mastered this art, divided and ruled and has fooled Ugandans for years. Or rather look at ourselves as Ugandans, then a Muiru etc. For Uganda to develop, we must have a common entity; and that is that WE ARE ALL EQUAL, and PROUDLY UGANDANS in OUR DIVERSITIES. When the INSTITUTIONS of the RULE of LAW are in PLACE, ALL THOSE DISPOSED of their PROPERTY/IES MUST be FAIRLY & JUSTLY COMPENSATED & WRONG DOERS EQUALLY PUNISHED before and under the LAW. No group of Humans should ever, ever take advantage of other HUMANS.

  3. omwiru kashushu

    April 9, 2012 at 13:20

    Thank you twino for your article but its very unfortunate that we still have people like you in this world that didnot learn from what happened in rwanda in 1994 during the tutsi & moderate hutu killings and still sowing such seeds of hatrade btn the bahima and beiru! Twino you did not choose to be a mwiru neither museveni did to born as a muhima, but God created u and him separetely from different ethinical background! So as alawys every mwiru wishes to be a muhima but no muhima has ever wished be a mwiru bse of being inferior! So don’t blame that to any person it was created like that and it will never change! Omwiru aryaguma ari omwiru nagamba busha it will never change bse its an inheritance from their great grand parents! The bahima and their cows is like a mwiru with his hoe!
    So however much you under rate the bahima they will alawys be above beiru bse God create them differently in all aspects! So put your blame to God who created u as a mwiru and leave abahima alone!

  4. Twino Speaks

    April 9, 2012 at 17:13

    You are entitled to your opinion and belief Mr Omwiru Kashunshu.

  5. Twino Speaks

    April 9, 2012 at 17:41

    More comments on the facebook discussion:

    Bright Anthony
    Alice Ruhindi, I invite you to go through this thread. we have had a similar discussion and I can see one element coming out here, I can now tell that there is a difference between Banyankore and Bahima! hope u understand what I mean
    23 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Mbabazi Sherurah
    Please Note. Am not a Muhima hater and I don’t want to incite any hatred and violence. All I did was recounted an experience that related to me. I have Hima friends. Some have helped me. I have helped many others. I just want to point out. There is something going on. And I pray we find a meaningful and peaceful way to address it right up to the national level.
    23 hours ago · Unlike · 4

    Daniel R Ruhweza
    Tx for sharing guys. I admire the honesty on this thread. Like Juliana Lokileng mentioned above, ” untill all ethnic group acknowledges and accespts the plunder and role they have played in disintegrating this country, we shall continue living in fear of one another. We need a national reconcilation framework and a citizen drivien diaoluge to sort of intra-tribal and inter tribal differences even before we can talk of national justice.”[sic]
    19 hours ago · Unlike · 4

    Drew Ddembe
    I recently posted something related to this on one of muhiires notes.

    This land grabbing thing by people in uniforms is not restricted to Ankole.

    All along the cattle corridor through sembabule, Ngoma, Nakaseke, Buruli and into Bukedi/Teso land has been fenced off by Generals and their kin. Pastoralists armed with guns or army connections have grabbed land from previous bona fide owners.

    Of course there is the topic of the rights of pastoralists versus those of cultivators which is relevant too.

    The conflicts that some of these land grabs have created will demand redress at some point and given our history, it would not be surprising if there were reprisals.

    I first came into contact with a true “bush” muhima at the age of 6 or 7. Arrogant. ill mannered. He was an employee of a relative on a ranch in the cattle corridor. He came home to ask for food from his boss. she gave him some cassava and potatoes -but he arrogantly told her he did not dig nor did he eat potatoes like a ‘mwiru”!

    I was shocked for the word mwiru to me sounded like the word muddu in luganda. I was told that indeed it was the same. i couldnt understand how comes the servant was calling the master a slave!

    So she got a hoe, went to the garden and dug up the food for him, tied it up and gave it to him. interestingly he had come with his wife who also just sat while their employer got food (free) for them!

    Even at that age I could not fathom such arrogance! i have since had occasio to witness similar behaviour that confirmed that i did not make up my childhood story -ie people scornfully and arrogantly being treated like dirt because someone thought they were “bairu” even when it was obvious their staion and socioeconomic circumstances were superior!
    19 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    I like Daniel’s suggestions above regarding national dialogue on these matters whose resultant sentiments are apparently simmering below the surface. I think it’s important that people come out and write about/share their experiences in a frank and open manner so that we can seek ways to solve/forgive/address/redress these matters.

    By the way, may some of the matters we’ve raised above explain why almost all senior Banyankole Bairu that came with NRM/A in 1986 have left both government and army – even the party? Amanya Mushega, Miria Matembe, Kiiza Besigye, Kyakabaare etc. Others can expand the list for me. It’s only Otafiire among the Banyankole Bairu that came with NRM that’s still holding a senior position in the party and govt. Of course there’s also Mugisha Muntu.
    18 hours ago · Like

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    ‎Drew Nina Mbabazi Stephen Twinoburyo Mbabazi Sherurah Drew This is shockingly appalling!!! How do all of you on this thread REFUSE to acknowledge the importance of your limiting your outlook to the transgressions of a few idiots with negative Tribal dispositions vis-à-vis the urgently needed creation of Institutions?

    Mbabazi Sherurah does not know it but her experience is actually the guiding light on resolving these issues. Why? Because she employed the use of institutions and the LAW to stop the inundation of her investment which investment had been challenged by its geographical location in “Hima” land.

    I don’t need to remind you people on this thread that you represent the top 5 percentile of the possible future leadership of this country and therefore cannot afford to delve in” subjective” delusionisim when forming your opinions on the way forward for this country.

    As one of those who know well the effects of subjectivness” when it comes to unifying different peoples for the purpose of development It is very painful to see Nina Mbabazi… The hero who fought… and won… the intellectual battle with President M7 over ring-fencing in Bunyoro Delve into the murky depths of her experiences with “elements” of Backward Bahima ( Every Tribe has its own idiots… Ask Drew Ddembe) and draw conclusions based on this, which conclusions now form a critical part of her view of a future Uganda. When she says “Until we can talk freely about our experiences, then we will not fix these tribal challenges that exist today.” She is abdicating her responsibilities she inadvertently acquired during the ring fencing debate she had with President Museveni of fighting for institutionalism, while retaining the authority she acquired during the same debate.

    You all know what Authority without responsibility means…

    We have it in all our civil servants and that’s why political oversight in our Govt is dead. What we wish Nina Should be saying as an accomplished fighter for the creation of institutions is that although these tribal slights do exist, Mbabazi Sherurah’s example of taking them on institutionally is what we should follow and all empowerment should be directed to Mbabazi Sherurah’s example.

    Tribalism is real as Mbabazi Sherurah reminds me in her missive. But it is also on the decline!!!! Education being the principle driver. This is evident in this thread especially by how many participants on different sides of historical DNA are in agreement… however wrong!!!

    My argument is why you intelligencia are trying to reverse this decline.

    Focus on the way forward!!! Don’t delve into the regressive path of denigrating your selves by putting top of the agenda you personal reaction to backward dispositions of un educated individuals you have met along the way. An idiot burning your investments in Kigezi, Acholi, Kiruhura, Sebei, Transvaal, Alaska etc is an issue of the law as Mbabazi Sherurah and many others examples around the world have shown and not a debate for any political platform. ……..A crime is a crime.. period!!
    Stephen Twinoburyo started this thread and diatribe for reasons he and I know very well but it is time to move on. The Muhima( M7) you are looking for will not be hurt …or even butt an eyelid … if you continue to delve into these depths. A win win situation would be if you limited your arguments to Universal( Ugandan) devt. Issues. He would both have to Succumb and get serious … or your platform would win an election. Both are good for us!!! But tribalism at this level is rubbish…I insist
    I cannot end without pointing out my old and very intelligent friend Drew Ddembe… hiding in the bushes of extreme tribalism…. Nudging on with glee the intellectual collapse of Mbabazi Sherurah, Nina Mbabazi et al on this thread. You need to understand that in the 21st Century tribalism and Feudalism the latter being your ultimate goal have NO role and are even illegal the last time I checked with the ICC

    Let us not allow to be high jacked by silly side sentiments. Many have transformed and the attendant new dispensation needs the arguments to be based on institution building not fighting imaginary tribal hegemony. Otherwise we shall end up like Libya. Rich Developed but very far from being a Nation
    18 hours ago · Like · 1

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    As evidence of what i am sayin some one….so scared to post on this thread inboxed me and said….Thank you Patrick, I have been following the debate on that thread by Steven Twinoburyo about Bahiima. If indeed him and Sherura have been having land wrangles with neighbours thats very common in all parts of Uganda. The difference is that their neighbours happen to be Bahiima because its in Kiruhura. They need to stop tribaling land wrangles, I have land in Bushenyi and in Buganda but am always in court with my neghibours due to encroachment and it has nothing to do with their tribes…… He cannot post for personal reasons being a Muhima but i put this on the thread to show how you guys are abandoning your responsibility towards CONSTRUCTIVE DEBATE
    15 hours ago · Like · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Patrick Kateihwaho, I think you are very assuming and probably condescending in your argument. I’ll start with my part where you claim that both yourself and I know why I started this thread. I definately know why I wrote this, and I’ve stated it above, but don’t assume you know my understanding beyond all else that are taking part in this thread. Further, don’t attempt to lessen the harm that was done to my family. You are telling me what I usually hear whites that benefited or participated in apartheid telling black S Africans “let’s forget the past”. So you are telling me the wronged to take the matter lightly rather than going on a campaign to educate those that are perpetuating these acts that their habits don’t fit in the modern age. In fact you should jump in your car, go & camp in Kiruhura. You further on go to assume that those that do these acts are uneducated. I think it would have done you better to educate yourself of the situations and advise from a position of knowledge. You also make an assumption that anybody is looking for M7. If some of you spend most of your efforts trying to attract the attention of M7, it’s not the same with all of us. Also, I guess if you guys had been so concerned about ‘developmental issues’, you’d not have spent 20 years talking about the ‘wrongs of the past’.

    I’ll leave them to talk for themselves but you try to assume that Nina and Mbabazi Sherurah don’t know what they are talking about or that their reasoning level is only rated by your understanding. Rather than thinking that Nina has intellectually collapsed by pointing out a wrong, she has in fact elevated herself further away from your thinking. I don’t know how you connected Drew’s post to Nina. Patrick, please read.
    14 hours ago · Like · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Patrick, in my post and the entire discussion on this threat, it seems you and your Muhiima friend have only seen land.
    14 hours ago · Like · 1

    Patrick Kateihwaho ‎
    Stephen Twinoburyo let me make this Abundantly clear. Your case is sad, deplorable, illegal and should not have happened to your familly,or ANY FAMILLY . Any retribution (lawfull) that you may need to undertake has my un conditional support. However your mischevious attempt to tribalize and politisize a criminal act i will not support!
    14 hours ago · Like

    Patrick Kateihwaho

    Take a leaf from Mbabazi Sherurah…./…….Court!!!!!
    14 hours ago · Like

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    And eh Patrick, Bahiima are free to come here and raise their side of the debate. They are not forbidden to make a contribution here. I have seen Bahiima on several occasions debate these issues so since when did they start fearing? Please tell your friend to come and debate. Let Bahiima come tell us their side if they think the assertions on this thread are not true or what role they think they can play to help eliminate those that they think are true.
    14 hours ago · Like

    Patrick Kateihwaho

    The issue is that land grabbing is NOT tribal and is NOT limited to Bahima. All people,,,, Bakiga, Bakonjo, Chinese, Acholois.Zulus et AL have the same problem. Your insistence on the Bahima example as an aggregate indescretion is what i find disturbing whether a muhima contributes to this thread or not
    14 hours ago · Like

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Patrick, I think you haven’t read my post clearly. What court are you talking about? And for your information, I’m not looking to live in Nyabushozi again. If you read the heading of my post, and also take time to read my post again in case the first time you did it hastily, you will know why I narrated the story of my family – something that happened more than

    By the way Patrick, why do you guys always see politics in anything that points out errors on your side?
    14 hours ago · Like

    Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga
    We cannot fruitfully discuss Uganda’s (our collective) condition and its (our) future by papering over its political history. Uganda like every other African neo-colony was established by white men to serve European interests. We, the Baganda, Ma’di, Banyoro, Banyankore, Acholi, Langi, Sabiny, etc., were absent at its creation and only present in the minds of its creators as savages and subjects to exploit. As a result, it is in the DNA of the Ugandan state, indeed every African neocolony conceived of European colonialist rape, to do what it was established to do, even when nominally run by some of our own. Only a few outstanding upright Africans, like Julius Nyerere and Thomas Sankara, recognized and tried to change the genetic makeup of the African neo-colonial state they were in charge of. But even they were unable to fundamentally change the nature of this beast. Museveni, given what we now know if him is never going to help us do what we need to collectively do to transform the logic of the neo-colony. And we cannot do what we must do by avoiding to talk of tribe because the so-called tribes are in reality the pre-colonial states and nations that the British took over by trickery and violence.

    Whether we like to admit it or not, these pre-colonial states are still with us. Day in, day out, direxctly or indirectly they inform and are very powerful influences on our daily cultural, political, and economic decisions and practices. Some of these states or nations like Buganda are still strong enough to re-assert themselves on the Ugandan political economy. Others are in varying stages of zombified atrophy. None of them can really help us face the challenges of surviving and thriving in the 21st century. But we can neither ignore nor wish them away. One of the catastrophic failures of post-independent African political elites, including especially intellectuals, has been to carry on as if Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, etc are the equal of the Westphalian state. The pre-colonial states, so-called tribes, must be brought into the political equation. To get to the point where our politicians and intellectuals base nation-building on concrete realities rather than some textbook formulas xeroxed from european political theories, we must talk about tribe or nationality (Kataifa), as I prefer.

    Since independence, we have leaders such as Museveni preaching Ugandan nationalism during the day, but falling back on the loyalties that most of us still invest in the pre-colonial states to consolidate their grip on the levers of the neo-colonial state. we will be in a better place if we work tirelessly to take Uganda the nation-state in the making beyond its colonial genetic make up and beyond the limitations of our pre-colonial states or nationalities (kataifa). The reason Museveni and his fellow bayaye find it so easy to take power and resources from us is because that’s precisely what the (neo)colonial state called Uganda was created to do with ruthless efficiency. The laws, the instruments of coercion (police, prisons, army), education system, language(s) and other institutions of the (neo)colony are designed to alienate and disenfranchise. We can wish otherwise but that’s the nature of the beast.

    We need to have more, not less, of the types of conversation that Twino has started on his Facebook wall. The Banyankore, especially the Bahima, cannot afford to have Museveni manipulate their common ancestral or cultural heritage to amass power and wealth at the expense of the majority. It will not end well for them and the rest of us. Ethnicizing and/or personalizing power is a recipe for disaster. Last year I visited home. I happen to come from Moyo, just 10 minutes ride from the border with South Sudan. The biggest unease among my kith and kin was being caused by arrogant gun-toting Bahima herding their cattle on Ma’di land. By some coincidence, these pastoralists appeared in my district at the same time that the National Forest Authority has been throwing people off their lands. But strangely the armed pastoralists and their cattle have the freedom to roam as they see fit. These were/are the only civilians in my district allowed to carry AK 47s. Another strange coincidence is that these pastoralists showed up at about the same time with the start of geological prospecting for petroleum in Obongi, one of the counties in my district. Museveni personally campaigned to have the MP from this area Mr. Fungaroo (FDC) defeated because he (Fungaroo) is big-headed and a loud-mouth. Guess what? Salim Saleh and others associated with the president’s office are going about this prospecting very secretively to the point that they put a brand new ferry on the Nile in Obongi and are constructing a new road so that people and equipment can be moved quickly (often in the dead of night) to avoid the local population looking too closely at what’s really going on.

    But I tell you what, people are adding two and two together and concluding that the rumors they used to hear from Buganda, Teso, Lango, Acholi, Bunyoro, etc are actually true. These are some of the things we must speak about.
    14 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    ‎Stephen Twinoburyo …. And for the record you are becoming annoyingly incorrigible
    Note the following for the avoidance of doubt:
    1. Do not limit the transgression of land grabbing to a particular tribe. This I resist!!!.
    2. I agree with you that going on a campaign to educate those that are perpetuating these acts that their habits don’t fit in the modern age is correct.
    3. I wish to add that you do this ACROSS the country and desist from giving this campaign a tribal disposition
    4. I assume that you know the difference between being learned and being educated and will withdraw this particular sentence from your diatribe
    5. That by stating that “anybody is looking for M7” in the same sentence as “If some of you spend most of your efforts trying to attract the attention of M7, it’s not the same with all of us. Also, I guess if you guys had been so concerned about ‘developmental issues’, you’d not have spent 20 years talking about the ‘wrongs of the past’. You are admitting the main target of your warped attack on land grabbing
    6. That my very rare disagreement with Nina is really about what I think is a temporally derailment from her usual National out look.
    7. That your puny attempt to tribalize a national issue that is land grabbing is an attempt that must at all costs be resisted

    I am willing to debate this as a criminal issue whose only relationship to the debate on our national politics should be the faliure of the Judicial and or Police system and not who drinks milk and who eats Malokwang
    14 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Mbabazi Sherurah
    Patrick Kateihwaho, you make very intelligent points of which I have noted but note one thing, Stephen Twinoburyo brought up his experience in remote Kihuhuura that brought up poured responses of land grabbing by a an ethnicity. You state that we should look more at nation building rather than nation breaking of which I have also argued with many on these walls; however, these few examples state that a law is flawed and weak and needs strengthening. A law comes about by experience. That’s how we get a Constitution.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga
    Patrick Kateihwaho, you make very good points. But the “national outlook” you prefer is a fiction whose loudest proponents are usually beneficiaries of the ethnocentric political status quo. Please read my post, which I don’t think you had the opportunity to look at before you wrote yours. There certainly is the widespread perception of a Bahima dimension to the (mis)management of the Ugandan state under the Museveni regime. From Nyabushozi to Nyawa, Ssembabule to Soroti, indeed all four corners of Uganda, Bahima herdsmen, many of them carrying military-grade weapons, with the knowledge and/or patronage of the man in State House, are part of a process of nationwide land alienation.

    It’s impossible to live in, let alone run, a multi-ethnic nation without paying attention to the “natural” political fault lines that result from our plurality. It is equally futile to attempt to transform a neo-colony such as Uganda into a pluri-national institution that all Ugandans in their multiple identities feel sufficiently invested in without acknowledging the make-or-break role of ethnicity in whatever political equation we offer as a remedy to business as usual. Although Museveni was a C-grade political science student, he has lived long enough to know better not to engage in these cynical manipulations.

    Like I said in my previous posting, it will not end well for the Bahima/Banyankore and the rest of us. So, if Museveni is unable to change course, we who will have to deal with the mess he has created, long after he has left this world, must find the courage to start a national conversation about what the abuse of power under his rule appears and feels like to all walks of Ugandans.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga. I am very comfortable with most of the points you raise. I also acknowledge from your writing that you have taken a lot of time and evidently had personal experience in the politics of our country in General and the cattle corridor in particular.

    It is also clear to me that like the framers of the American constitution you hold these truths to be self evident… , That all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    By ending your statement with “the rest of us ‘ you are also a nationalist. I dare say this arises out of YOUR experiences derived from the 1979 war when misconceptions about The people from west Nile being responsible for the perceived indiscretions of Idi Amin were promoted as truths by the incomplete and immature politicians of those times many still in Government today and the resultant genocide that took place after UNLF troops entered the region. Am sorry but By your name I assume your hometown is in west Nile. Forgive me if I am wrong.

    I was a baby when Idi Amin came to power but I was old enough to see In real time the actions and the consequences of bad governance between 1977-1985 the wars of 78-79 and 81-86 included ( I have a photograph somewhere seated on Amin’s Lap when he visited our school) and this is the real foundation of my views towards politics.

    That said I disagree with you when you say… and I quote… It’s impossible to live in, let alone run, a multi-ethnic state without paying attention to the “natural” political fault lines that result from our plurality.

    From history it is NOT the recognition of the natural fault lines ( which are not political but tribal)that should form the basis of governance but the LAW and its blind implementation. Where land has been usurped by marauding herdsmen inconsistent with the law injured parties should use the courts, They would be surprised by NOT ONLY the return of their land but also by the monetary compensation they would get IF INSTITUTIONS were allowed to grow and operate independently.

    How would any one go against any other grouping in the 21st century unless we as Citizens allowed it.

    My arguments are based on this and not the further balkanization of tribes to the interests of a few wannabe politicians at the expense of constructive engagement for development. Imagine how developed the west nile region would be if there was universal acceptance of the singular citizen of the Republic of Uganda as a productive unit that needs to be protected, enhanced and defended for the greater good of the country as opposed to the tribal differentiation I am seeing and resisting on this thread!
    12 hours ago · Like · 1

    Wafula Oguttu
    Patrick, is it only you who still does not know that an alliance of a few Bahima families run our country as their private property? They do but subtly using their “subhumans ” to do the bad things on their behalf. Can you tell us why only Bahima cattle keepers have the freedom to forcefully ,using guns, appropriate all the once upon a time communal grazing lands in Uganda apart from those in Karamoja? Why have they made fellow citizens feel so dominated and oppressed, so deprived and discriminated and so filled with burning anger? Yes, if we want a peaceful change, we must openly discuss those things which hurt us. Otherwise, the transition from Museveni rule will be very gloomy.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Patrick Kateihwaho
    Wafula Oguttu So you are saying we shd Kill them ??? That disposition of yours ,,,,especially seeing that you are an elected leader of this country … is illegal. You as a leader should be resolving these issues in a nationalistic way ’cause i assume if and when you are voted as a group into power you will remember that Bahima are recognized as a tribe of Uganda.
    Raise the issue in Parliament…especially in regards to why laws and institutions like the police and Judiciary are not doing their job. You will surely get more mileage least from me /… than making it a tribal issue and also that walk to work adventure of yours.

    Also i need to remind you that at your level of recognition in Ugandan society it is extremely dangerous for you to express such sentiments in Public fora seeing that you are principle in a group that seeks national authority to run Government and the universal acknowledgment through the creation of the international criminal court that such sentiments by community leaders like yourself always lead to crimes against humanity
    11 hours ago · Like

    Mbabazi Sherurah
    Wafula Oguttu, Patrick Kateihwaho is rights. Let’s fight within the law. Hatred, anger and bitterness won’t get us to win any cause.
    11 hours ago · Like · 1

    Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga
    Patrick, I don’t think Wafula is advocating killing anyone. And yes I come from West Nile. Even if I didn’t, there is no reason to apologize, for it isn’t a crime, shameful, or denigrating to associate or be associated with my region. We are probably about a few years apart in age because I also was in primary school during Idi Amin’s regime. It is difficult to quarrel with your nationalistic outlook. Your heart appears to be in the right place. But I think your head is in the sand. Uganda is a failing state not because people refuse to think nationally. It is failing because successively, without exception, the reigning ideology of the factions of the Ugandan political class, who have taken their turn at the feeding trough, is talk-national, walk-sectarian.

    Now, I try as much as I can to refrain from using the words tribe, tribal, tribalistic, or tribalism because those words entered into our political lexicon as racist, legal evasions of the facts on the ground. And they obscure and stigmatize rather than explain the complex histories and realities of a plurinational state. The sovereign states that the European imperialists encountered when they were blithely partitioning Africa were not Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, etc. They were centralized kingdoms and confederate chieftaincies, such as Buganda, Bunyoro, Busoga, Ashanti, Zulu, etc. Only with a few exceptions such as Rwanda, Burundi, Lesotho, and Swaziland do the (neo)colonial boundaries coincide with the pre-colonial national boundaries. But in all cases, the (neo)colonial state was founded not to serve the indigenous people but to dispossess, oppress and exploit them. For that reason, Uganda’s political and legal institutions are still primarily best suited to dispossessing, oppressing and exploiting us.

    So, how do Ugandans resist the (neo)colonial state that has savaged them for as long as it’s existed? The overwhelming tendency (which I called “natural”) is to withdraw into the pre-colonial political units that you and most educated Ugandans, in keeping with colonial tradition call tribe. For 26 years Museveni and his fellow travelers have squandered every ounce of goodwill and political capital that flowed liberally from all sectors of our country. Wafula Oguttu will tell you if you care to ask him how at The Monitor newspaper during the 1990s we had raging discussions about the state of affairs in Uganda. Then, Wafula was a staunch movementist who defended Museveni, arguing as you do that the corruption and unlawful acts were that of undisciplined cadres.

    The late Ogen Kevin Aliro was the most consistent critic of the Museveni regime, arguing correctly that the ethnicizing of the control of key political institutions (the army, police, judiciary, intelligence services, etc) and corruption were deliberate efforts by Museveni to personalize power. The chutzpah of it is that Museveni was presiding over this across-the-board ethnicizing of state control while simultaneously making it illegal for Ugandans to point out that state power was being concentrated in the hands of people from the same ethnic group. In the face of such political bankruptcy and hypocrisy, people lose faith in the state institutions that you insist they should go to to seek redress. A smart political theoretician/scientist/strategist or activist would have to recognize the reality of Uganda’s multi-ethnic composition and character and factor it in his/her thinking/action, rather than attempt to wish it away even if he/she genuinely abhors and aims to change it. But back to the Hima question, until Museveni, a Muhima, came to power, no Bahima pastoralists roamed the length and breadth of the country with AK 47s intimidating or terrorizing much less connected individuals and populations. In fact, in places like Lango, many Bahima settled among the natives after peacefully and politely asking for permission. As for my own neck of the woods, before the 21st century, there were no Bahima pastoralists in Moyo District, armed or unarmed.

    It’s impossible for kalashnikov-wielding pastoralists to cover more than 500 miles and cross the Nile with a large herd of cattle without the army, police and intelligence services allowing them. In fact, the Karimojong, who share some cultural traits with the Bahima, and live a mere 300-something kilometers away from West Nile wouldn’t dream of herding their cattle up to the savannas of Lefori -precisely because the Karimojong do not control any levers of state power to pull off such a politically explosive feat even though they have guns aplenty. The majority of Ugandans may be poor and politically disenfranchised but they are not stupid. It’s not lost on them that the power of the (neo)colonial state is fully behind the phenomenon of Bahima alienating land all over the country. Even our national newspapers have reported cases of the president using tax-payer funds to buy land for Bahima in Buganda (and perhaps other places).

    We need to discuss this and other national issues in every available fora, not confined to parliament. It doesn’t help to ascribe less than patriotic motives to people who raise these issues.
    11 hours ago · Like · 3

    Daniel R Ruhweza
    Vukoni, i agree with you. Once we ”ostrichize”(hide our faces.heads in the sand) and pretend all is well, we enter the very same waters that the Kenyans did and boom!! I serously advocate for a national dialogue on these issues and a people sensitive government to respond to them!!

    ‎Mbabazi i think what Wafula is saying is that ‘we must openly discuss those things which hurt us’ as a way forward. I think that will resolve issues faster than the courts. I know how long, tedious and frustrating the court process can be. Even when a judgement has been given in favour of a party, it does not mean that such party will immediately realise a relief sought. More frustrating is the fact that some judgements favour third parties to the huge disadvantage of the aggrieved. I woud opt for faster mechanisms like having policies made which are then implemented across the board .
    11 hours ago · Like

    Nina Mbabazi

    Patrick Kateihwaho – either you never understood what you were commenting about, or you came here to offend our intelligence. We are not tribalist and have no interest in promoting such sentiments. We are analyzing like everyone why Minibuzz behaved the way they did and how it got to that point. Stephen actually did not think of M7 at all when whe was commenting, he just thought that the noise on Minibuzz was getting too pretensious.

    First of all, there is nothing wrong with us analyzing the culture and customs of a group that give them distinct behaviour even if the leader of the land is from that group. Let us not pretend that it is offensive now that we are analyzing Bahima. We analyze Baganda everyday without anyone taking offense, we analyze Bakiga and nobody takes offense. When I am with Bahima we analyze their culture and customs and nobody takes offense, so I am not about to stop now rather since Minibuzz has become a serious issue, we need to understand how anyone could have gone on air with such sentiments.

    It does not negate what I was saying when I asked President Museveni NOT to call us Bafuruki because that word has special meaning among Bakiga and it invokes painful memories. So since I can talk about a sensitive topic among my own people (Bakiga), I will go ahead to talk about it among my other own people (Bahima) Maybe I can start with a joke that we (my people and I) shared yesterday. This joke was the central ribcracker at a wedding in Nyabushozi a few weeks ago;

    The MC said; there was a Lion that terrorized a village here in Nyabushozi, first it ate a goat, then it ate a cow, next it ate a Mukiga. The people were then afraid, they said,….”If the lion has eaten a Mukiga, next it shall eat a human being”. I laughed because I understood the humour. The Bahima were laughing at themselves and their biases. They had found a way to make fun of their culture that thought Bakiga are not “abantu”. There was nothing uncomfortable about the joke. I thought it was actually quite interesting that they are themselves laughing at their biases and thinking oh no, we couldn’t have behaved like that?

    Mbabazi Sherurah raised the question of Hima attitude because they themselves when razing her trees and land said a Mwiru can’t fence off their land. So she immediately got into the Bahima/Bairu mode. Her experience actually shows that despite NRM trying to get rid of that mindset, it still exists.

    Stephen raised the issue as well as an example of divisions in ankore, however, YOU have turned it into a negative conversation. I have many Bahima friends and Bairu and I can make the distinction because everyday they make the distinction themselves. When you try and pretend that this does not exist, I wonder if you understand Banyankore or if your relationship with them is not superficial? My advise, let us not try and skirt away from the topic but we discuss it with open minds. You can’t build a nation on a lie and to try and push ethnicity under the carpet will be diasstrous.

    For example, I keep saying that we are going to have a serious problem in the future with ethnicity because of the whole Kony war and the toll it has taken on Northern Uganda. If you read my wall a bit you will see that sometimes when we get into arguments, that anti-westerners sentiment comes through. I have been so bold to ask one if they are a Kony supporter and they have never denied it. To them westerners are responsible for the disaster of Kony in the North. While it is hard to see how a fight between UPDF which is national in character and Kony can imply westerners, you see that more and more some leaders there are stereotyping westerners because of teh top brass of the army. I am sure if we are to discuss that, you will jump and call it tribalism and hatred of one ethnicity and it is not. We would simply be acknowledging that there is a problem that will manifest itself as an ethnic problem in the future if it is not discussed and solved.

    That is what Drew Ddembe, Sherurah, Stephen Twinoburyo are saying. That our experiences may be wider and may cause a lack of sympathy towards Bahima and is probably the reason why Minibuzz behaved the way it did. Contextualizing the discussion is important.

    Wafula Oguttu, is also mentioning that there is anger out there although it seems his is from the perspective of other peoples complaints and his anti-M7 sentiment. I am sure you have read how the Balaalo had to be evicted from Buliisa by Tinye- sorry Gen Sejusa because it was causing tribal tension. It was their custom of normadism that got them in Buliisa. You remember when they went to West Nile? Again it was the custom of seeking pasture for cattle. One thing that came out was that we need to have open discussion about these issues. People who try and forcefully sweep them under the carpet, are just wasting their time. I found it offensive the way you are trying.

    With regard to crimes against humanity I think you mean genocide, but it is people like you who lead to that because you do not want open discussion, so there can be no healing of wounds. I watched a brave lady (Adong) ask on anti Minibuzz page why they were offended over the stereotyping of Bahima when for 26 years, Northerners have had to live through NRM calling their leaders “swine”. If that Lady was a genocidiare she would have kept quiet, but she opened up because she wants everyone to understand each other and to heal. Stephen here has done the same (brave) by opening up a new thread but you label it tribalism? Perhaps that shows how deeply buried your head is in the sand and you do this for a reason. I am sure if we got down to why you do it and you answered honestly, we would find an interesting story there. That would not make you tribalist, it would simply mean it is your reality.
    11 hours ago · Like · 4

    Drew Ddembe
    ‎@Kateihwaho, since I wrote the message below, it has become more and more apparent to me that you cannot hold a debate without trying to turn it into a tribal issue!

    May i invite you to read it again!


    Patrick, I believe we have already discussed Ssuubi. You have distracted me from writing to your sister in law Nina today. Am sure Nina will be happy for the reprieve.

    Am not quite sure what your obsession with Ssuubi is as you keep bringing it up. I see no evidence that it is a national player nor has pretensions at being so. As far as am concerned it is just a lobbying group. Lobbying groups are acceptable ways of applying political pressure to achieve the goals of single interest groups and minorities. Museveni’s government pys lobbyists in Washington for that purpose. As such Ssuubi can deal with any political group that is willing to offer a quid pro quo.

    I have not seen its presence in these W2W protests and neither have I seen any recent prominent headlines or comments attributed to it.

    The fact that you keep trying to associate my stance with Ssuubi is interesting as the only link between Ssuubi and me is the fact that they are Baganda. I have never read their manifesto nor really followed their activities. And during the time that you knew me, I never even attended any Ganda activities including Nkoba zambogo.

    But your obsession with them does tell me more about you. It suggests to me that you may have changed and no more be the Patrick that I knew and grew up with. That you are now wont to view everything with tribal lenses and are even willing to overlook the fact that in well over 1000 notes that I have written on FB, none deals with or mentions Ssuubi and that I only discussed it when you kept repeatedly bringing it up. In many ways it detracts from whatever point you may have been trying to make.
    Letter to Nina -if the Museveni of 1986 met the Museveni of 2011, he would have him shot on sight.
    10 hours ago · Unlike · 1 ·

    Drew Ddembe
    The land grabbing debate is not restricted to kiruhuura! this was a recent comment in another forum.


    Coming from a family that has had an interest in cattle going back several generations, I know for a fact that there are no cows reared exclusively in the north and the west that are not reared in other regions.

    I know that on my relatives ranches one could find Ankole longhorns, short horned “Karimojong” cattle zebu and all manner of other cows.

    The ranching region around Masindi and kiryandongo exttends rough bulemezi -buruli and Luwero and communicates with Lango and Bukedi.

    It also communicates with other parts of Buganda’ “cattle corridor” through Nakaseke and Ngoma and down to Sembabule.

    The cattle areas south of Lake Kyoga have been going through climate change for the last 50 years and are fairly dry and semi arid. This dryness together with rinderpest have decimated their cattle. Ever since the NRM cme to power there has also been a quarantine on cattle from Luwero/Bulemezi/Buruli due to rinderpest! This lasted for over 2 decades and was viewed by locals as sabotage by the government favouring cattle keepers from the west!

    Ranchers and smaller cattle keepers have for generations been crossing Lake kyoga with their cattle during the dry season and grazing in Lango and Bukedi! Some have even bought land on the other side of lake kyoga so that they can keep their cattle there!

    Bahima and Banyarwanda nomadic cattlekeepers roam the cattle corridor and are very mobile. They move all over this area from Ankole and Sembabule through Ngoma and on to Buruli, Masindi and kiryandongo as well as bukedi and Lango! They were squatters on the ranches but many have now bough their own land. Many who had no cattle of their own came as employees but they were always careful to demand payment in milk and calves rather than cash. this way they build up their own herds!

    There are some who were thieves and given the fact that they were very difficult to track down having friends and relatives over a very wide area, one was well advised to keep track of their cows closely. Nevertheless there were many who were faithful and became respected members of their communities!

    The issue of children of squatters coming back after the war with guns and intimidating their hosts and grabbing land was not restricted to Acholi. They also used their new found power (of the gun) t force their diseased herds onto ranches. Can you imagine a rancher who has invested in dams and vaccination as well as dips and spraying being forced to have his cows cross infected by nomads diseased herds forcing access to their pasture nd water?

    It was a problem in all of the cattle corridor including Ankole itself! Certainly in the cattle keeping areas of Luwero it was a problem! People like Byanyima who owned ranches in western Uganda were robbed of land or threatened before Museveni officially robbed them of their land using the Ranch restructuring scheme chaired by Pulkol! this scheme dispossessed ranchers and distributed them to squatters!

    In many ways it is therefore simplistic to say that because some types of cows were seen in the west that are not indigenous to the west they were stolen. Thats not to mean that no cows were stolen. They were. There was a whole war industry selling cattle including stolen goods and Musevenis officers were part of this business as buyers and sellers.

    Many of these Generals own ranchland in all these places in the cattle corridor from buruli to Masindi to Nakaseke and Sembabule and more than likely stocked them from cheap cattle stolen or bought cheaply from war zones!
    March 16 at 7:15pm
    9 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Balmoi Steven
    then the bahima and k’jongs are birds of the same feather, we the Acholi people lost our cattle purely because of that same mentality.
    9 hours ago · Like

    Drew Ddembe
    In Buliisa, a group of Bahima herdsmen was suddenly “squatting” on a oil rich land! They must have had a GPS for oil!

    But when Tinyefunza forcefully removed them after they started a mini war with the locals, he transferred them to kyankwanzi where apparently there was ‘free” land!

    Then there was the whole Bakiga -Banyoro fiasco where the presidents judgement was seriously impaired!

    And the mailo land issue in Buganda where the state created new laws to cover for the fact that many people involved in land wrangles and evictions are connected to the state, the army and specifically presidents office! There is no law or court in the land that is binding on these people!

    One could go on and on listing these events but the common thread is guns, pastoralists, presidents office and people related to the ruling NRM party suborning the law and using coercion and force!
    9 hours ago · Unlike · 3

    Frank Asiimwe Rubabinda Jr ·
    Land wrangles are in every village. I herd the vice chancellor of Gulu university talk about land grabbing in Gulu, by locals with money & the IDP returnees; I hear the Argentineans quarrelling with the British about the Falklands, I have heard about the Indians & Pakistanis quarrelling about Kirshmir, I have read about the Bakassi peninsula between Nigeria & Cameroon. My father quarrelled and settled issues with 2 of our neighbours and I have [since his passing] also had to settle disputes with 2 others. It is unfortunate if we we tribalise or nationalise village quarrels. Issues of land / boundaries must be settled amicably [like my family has done in the 4 cases I have mentioned] or taken to court for redress. The banyankole say, ‘Ija tuturane niyo ija tutongane/twangane’ [neighbours often quarrel as a result of their close proximity]. Unless, you want to label a particular ethnic group as ‘devils from hell’ which is not the purpose of this thread [I hope], Mr. Twinoburyo & your cousins kindly go to court and your issues will be addressed.
    9 hours ago · Like

    Drew Ddembe
    Revision module on Balaalo and land issues in Buganda/ Uganda!
    7 hours ago · Like ·

    Frank Asiimwe Rubabinda Jr

    There good neighbours and there are bad neighbours in every community, Mr. Twinoburyo if you and your neighbours were not getting on very well, try to dig deeper on why and instead of selling off your land and run to face book to spread ethnic hatred. YOu should have stayed and solved the actual issues. I have 4 water wells and on almost weekly basis my neighbours cowsor goats will kweribatira [trample] one of them and should I also mention that once in 2-3 months, my cows are captured by one of my neighbours. And we sort these things out. That is village life for you my brother and it is in every village, nyabushozi, Katikamu, Bukomansimbi, Pakwarch, Kenya, India, South Africa, isreal, Egypt, brazil, in the Amazon, Karahari etc. It is village life for you my brother. It is a little worse if you are the richer one in that village cse you will have better pasture, better water, better everything [and you are the one with access to face book to make your case and bias the whole country]. Of course there are some details you are not telling us here. I was born & raised in the village and I know how rich people [those with the only tiled house] behave towards their not very fortunate neighbours and how these poorer neighbours try to get back at them [been there, seen it & done it]. Many times it has nothing to do with pple’s ethnic differences unless these issues were responsible for the acquisition of that wealth. Tell us the whole story since you have chosen to go public or hold your peace.
    6 hours ago · Like

    Nina Mbabazi
    Thomas Ruhigwa – as a true Muhima you say they have to live their culture. I think I needed to read it twice to understand what you were saying. Culturally, all land is communal among the Bahima. I think this is what Stephen didn’t understand when he was young. It is that failure to understand this that led him to believe that his family was being victimized or I’ll treated. If he formed wrong conclusions from an early age, these wrong conclusions need to be talked about so that he can find healing/understanding because It is what shaped his mindset.

    Those that speak of court are not understanding that this was a clash of cultures. Like I said earlier, the Bahima are not homogenous in culture. You find the Kashari group different from the Nyabushozi group. You find that those who have fenced off their land are the educated, middle to upper income kind. This is the same in Karamoja I think, or Acholi where land is will not find it among Bakiga because every man owned his own land. If the debate can be about clash of cultures and how they affect us, well and good. Anyone trying to hide from the topic is also free to, but let a debate about customs and cutlre not turn into a legal debate or a tribal one. I am sure we can keep our heads out of tribalism for a second while we discuss the clash in cultures.
    6 hours ago · Unlike · 4

    Drew Ddembe
    The clash of the pastoralist versus the cultivator.
    4 hours ago · Like

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    For a while I have been away but I think I can now add my half a cent.

    Patrick Kateihwaho, I am wondering if there is a post of Wafula Oguttu that I missed because I’m struggling to find your reference to your remark: “Wafula Oguttu So you are saying we shd Kill them ??? That disposition of yours ,,,,especially seeing that you are an elected leader of this country … is illegal.”

    Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga, yes Patrick is in our age bracket because when you and I were in Lumumba, Patrick was also at campus (Livingstone). I remember those days we would share a drink or happy moments at Wandegeya and he never seemed to have an interest in what people usually call ‘politics’. I don’t remember when he transformed into this defender of the system to the point of rigid blankness to socio-reality. I agree with you that regarding Patrick’s nationalism, his heart is in the right place but his head in the sand.

    In calling for a frank discussion on these matter, we are actually trying to brainstorm the problem and hopefully come up with suggestions for lasting solutions. I fully agree with you Vukoni on this : “We need to discuss this and other national issues in every available fora, not confined to parliament. It doesn’t help to ascribe less than patriotic motives to people who raise these issues.” The S African situation has taught us that sweeping pertinent problems under the carpet, especially the type that tend to evoke powerful emotions is not a solution. The best remedy is for matters to be brought to the surface, people own up and communities forge a way ahead with a general understanding. Saying that people are not supposed to talk about these matters will not solve anything and will not wash them away. We cannot also hope that by people going to school, some of these behaviours will disappear. There are two main kinds of redress as we’ve sen applied in different countries: punitive as has happened in Rwanda or Nazi Germany and reconciliation as happened with the TLC in S Africa. In my opinion, the SA model where the aggressors and the victims hugged each other is a better option. Of course this was not an overall panacea but it has helped immensely.

    My post above should be looked at in its frank approach. The responsibility should not merely be on us to keep quiet about these acts but rather on the morally upright among the Bahiima to educate those amongst them on the correct way to live with others. There are of course very many morally upright Bahiima that cringe at some of the actions of their compatriots and it’s important for them to play a role in curbing this. Leading whites in S Africa played a crucial role in forging reconciliation.

    Meanwhile Nina Mbabazi you’ve given me a good Easter Monday laugh, Shiew! Now that the lion has eaten one of you Bakiga, next it will eat a person…. Ha ha ha! I of course assume it had eaten many Bairu but this had been considered normal and virtually not noticed – like eating an antelope.

    You are correct Nina that this had started as a genuine look at Uganda’s riveting issue of ethnicity and ethnic behaviour but Patrick turned it into a negative conversation. I really hope Patrick has got not one, but many points from your address to him above.

    I have never studied sociology but sometimes ones traits or trades that are associated with particular groups. Even if foreign countries, one often finds people from particular countries having particular things they do differently or with specialty, leaving me to wonder whether some groups are good at doing things well or badly (even in soccer – Man U vs Arsenal). This goes back to my question: is there a bad trait that could have been grown out of Ankole onto the whole country?

    @Frank Asiimwe Rubabinda Jr : “Many times it has nothing to do with pple’s ethnic differences unless these issues were responsible for the acquisition of that wealth. Tell us the whole story since you have chosen to go public or hold your peace.” There was no wealth acquired from Bahiima and as you can see from the post above, it was more than just village squabbles.

  6. Twino Speaks

    April 12, 2012 at 21:24

    More comments: Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga An addendum to the final portion of my last post. When the Mukura massacre happened in 1989, there was at least one newspaper report that many of the soldiers the NRA deployed in Mukura were from West Nile. In fact, more precisely that these soldiers were Ma’di. That piece of information shocked the Ma’di community because since colonial times my people have tried to avoid becoming tools in the subjugation or extermination of any other community. We did not hide our heads in the sand. People talked about this openly in Ma’di community meetings and reaffirmed our time-honored traditions of not shedding innocent blood. Since the community did not have the forensic capabilities nor the state power to launch an independent investigation into the newspaper allegations, it did the second-best thing. Within the community, a serious attempt was made to appeal to all the Ma’di people in the NRA to resist following orders that involved committing atrocities and other crimes. Our people believe in bad karma (leke) and how it can affect the whole community. Hence there is an obligation to avoid incurring leke. Externally, I believe a statement was issued through one of the Ma’di NRC members (most likely the late Agard Didi) condemning the acts at Mukura and dissociating the Ma’di as a community from perpetrating such acts. The Bahiima may wish to borrow a leaf from how my community, consciously aware of how the political scales can easily tip against us, address any unsavory entanglements between ethnic interests and the trappings of state power. Monday at 6:28pm · Unlike · 3 Patrick Kateihwaho ‎ Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga It seems you have been un truthfull . I just got this please respond…..Patrick Some people are making very untrue statements, 1.That the people who were invading wetlands in the East and North and west are Bahiima, thats very false, they are Banyarwanda and Moses Tumusiime knows that bcoz he says he is a Munyarwanda. 2. That they carry guns, this very false, we all remeber when Musa Echweru caned them kibokos, how can someone armed to teeth like Vukoni claims be caned Kibokos. 3. Its Gen Tinyefuza a muhima who was heading the operation to remove Balaalo from Buliisa district. Monday at 6:44pm · Like · 1 Frank Asiimwe Rubabinda Jr · Mr. Twinoburyo, I insist there is more to your story than you have painted it. Monday at 7:07pm · Like Thomas Ruhigwa Mugwisagye We can do things bse of poverty,lack of information,culture,greed,poverty,above all state power or influence is the thing most pple will not take lightly Monday at 7:09pm · Unlike · 1 Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga Patrick it is quite possible that in instances people conflate Bahiima with Banyarwanda, especially in West Nile, the north and north-eastern Uganda, where the cultural and linguistic differences between the two cattle-keeping groups are not that obvious. But I think it makes more sense to point out the specific instances where these identity mistakes were made, rather than dismissing entirely as false this disturbing phenomenon of openly armed pastoralists roaming around the country causing tensions and spreading veterinary diseases in their wake. I am not going to respond to the issues raised by people who are not brave enough to speak for themselves on Facebook but you can ask them if they are able to speak directly to the issue of armed pastoralists in Moyo district. Assuming you and they are interested in getting to the bottom of this phenomenon, I am ready to communicate with you guys on the phone or any other way outside of Facebook. Monday at 7:09pm · Like · 3 Patrick Kateihwaho Any way my i reaffirm its safer to be a nation of laws and not of men. Yet to meet an argument that is as encompassing when dealing with matters of Governance. It seems we were in the same year at Campus. I just went through your pics and saw one with Patrick Oyulu .I was in the GRC in my first year and the only first year GRC members at that time was Me David Jamwa Chandi, Odrek Rwaboogo and Joram Tukah. Stephen Twinoburyo is wrong when he alleges that i am only recently cutting my teeth in Politics. Also i remember vividly that i was on the first Commitee that set up the Uganada Young Democrats (UYD) together with Mabiike et al. That was before it became nauseatingly tribal Monday at 7:12pm · Like Juliana Lokileng I have read every post on this thread. Personally, I have never known the small divisions amongst the Bahima, just like no one would know the small divisions in Karamoja. However, we in Karamoja welcome and are not hostile to any settler as long as they dont steal our cows:) They can develope their commercially or customarily acquired land and even fence it of-of course it shouldn’t stand in the middle of communal land. I am not trying to make an excellent shade of white in favor of my tribesmen against the Bahima or to cleanse our already spoilt What I can sense from this thread is that, so many people (atleast at our levels) are willing to talk about the things that upset them about the other ethnic groub or clan(s). As a conflict Specialist by proffession, this is an excellent indicator that people are ready for ‘peace talks’ or negotiations or at least recognize that there is a problem and they are tired of keeping quite or remaining complacent. In light of this, can I therefore suggest that we organize a one day consulltative meeting to craft a citizen driven national reconciliation framework? So that each ethnic group can go back home and listen to the hurting voices and come up with a local solution in consultation with professional and traditional reconciliation experts? We can talk about all the details in the meeting. The meeting doesn’t have to involve funds because people can come with own drinks and food (?), and we can each contribute a coin or two to pay for the venue and public address system? We can also make sure it is a simple venue (not sheraton type) so that many concerned people can come? Would be nice to have all regions represented. The reason I suggest this is that, all these discussions on facebook might not help much-apart from evoking sympathy-if we do not create a platform for a face to face discussion. If anyone on this thread thinks this can work, let us know…but then again, may be I am too optimistic by suggesting this??? Monday at 7:21pm · Like · 3 Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga I was at Makerere in 1991-94, Patrick. Yes I agree that “it’s safer to be a nation of laws and not of men.” But laws are not fully made in heaven and delivered on stone tablets to men — except perhaps in Jewish mythology that I am aware way too many Ugandans are spellbound with. Laws develop in particular political economies. The problem with the laws in Uganda and other (neo)colonies is that they were made not to protect our interests but that of a tiny minority, initially of white men and their brown and black sidekicks. Our laws still largely coast on that inertia. To become a nation of laws, we must first reform those laws to reflect more accurately the will and interests of all Ugandans and appoint custodians who will fairly enforce the reformed laws. Our land laws, even as “reformed” under the Museveni regime, do not address their original colonial intent to dispossess us by alienating vast expanses of land as vacant and ownerless (the infamous terra nullius principle). Monday at 7:27pm · Unlike · 4 Stephen Twinoburyo Patrick, don’t you think that response you gave to Vukoni, in which you pour blame on the Banyarwanda is more divisive and unfair to Banyarwanda than what you are blaming me for? I actually find it unbelievable that you could make such blatant accusation against a group of people well knowing that they are not capable of defending themselves on this wall. Could this have been the same method used by the NRM regime in putting all blame onto past govts well knowing that they were not in a position to defend themselves? By the way, why don’t those people that post through you do so on their own? What do they fear or have to hide? As for politics, I now recall your participation in campus politics. Your new found veracity within the ruling political fraternity definately comes to me as a suprise, but of course that’s perfectly fine, my major disagreement with you being in some of the positions you defend with exceptional tenacity. Frank Asiimwe, why don’t you tell us the truth? You seem to know a thing or two that I may not know and if you are from Kiruhura, your insight the reasons behind the actions I mentioned in my note above may be invaluable. Vukoni, I must say I have been greatly enriched, in knowledge and understanding, by your posts. Good suggestions Juliana. But will Patrick agree to go to a simple place as you suggest? Monday at 8:26pm · Like · 3 Tumusiime Moses PATRICK KATEIHWAHO its common knowledge to most of the people participating in this discussion, that bahima and banyarwanda living in the cattle corridor almost… have the same traits. some have acquired land legally and there are those who are still moving around with there animals to north and N.E uganda. so i guess this debate covers that other group you want to expose (banyarwanda) because as u have already observed Drew Dembe mentions the Balalo who were evicted by an GEN. SEJJUSA(an army man).SO PLEASE FREE TO GIVE WHATEVER INFO U HAVE ABT THE BANYARWANDA.thanks. Monday at 8:38pm · Like · 2 Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga Hey Patrick, were you a resident of Lumumba Hall? Although regretfully my small head has its retention limits, I remember many fellow Lumumbists, as well as other students who were active in guild politics. Monday at 8:54pm · Like Mary Grace Ssuuna Rubabinda, am I seeing the ‘blame the victim’ attitude? Where on earth do you think that the neighbours have a right to attack a hapless neighbour and destroy his/her property like Sherurah pointed out for you to allege that it happens in all villages. I never saw such a thing happening in my ethnically mixed area of Bugerere. People respected each others property and those that owned cattle, in case they strayed in neighbours gardens, they would make all efforts to compensate the neighbour or come in person to apologise to the aggrieved neighbour but not to continue doing the same the way ST described his neighbours to have done. Katweihaho, for you to allege that it is the Banyarwanda that are invading people’s land with guns is an insult to our intelligence. For example in Buganda, people can easily tell the difference between the Banyarwanda and Bahima because during time immemorial, the Banyarwanda lived among us. I would be surprised if a person in for example Kyankwanzi failed to distinguish between a Muhima and a Munyarwanda. Monday at 9:12pm · Unlike · 4 Juliana Lokileng I do not think it is logical for anyone to run away from the tribal debates. That is what is eating us, however much we deny it. Of ccourse ethnicity in itself inherently a problem, unless one group is dorminant and has previleges over power and resources to exploit and create a minority over others. This is apparently the case in Uganda-where a few people have unquestioned access to resources. These few are everywhere, even in Karamoja, Acholi, Teso, etc we have those who by virtue of being born into an elevated status or are affiliated to an elevated group have the power to manipulate and belittle others. Each disgruntled ethnic group, tribe or clan is a victim of ethnic differences that have coincided with the gap between the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak, etc. However, for any meaningful national reconciliation framework, the discussions must start at clan, tribal, ethnic,regional and eventually national level. There is no way we can run away from this set up, and we cannot replicate the South African TRC as some people have already suggested above. Of course the South African TRC gives us a benchmark and a few lessons to pick up. There grievances were based on race, white, black, Indian and it had nothing to do with African cultures, but white hegemony! In view of this, each group in Uganda, I suppose, has a reconciliation mechanism that speaks to its cultural norms and commands the respect of its natives. Unless the Bahima can shed off their internal bigotry, they will have no legitimacy to reconcile with the banyankole, bakiga, etc. Same with the Karimojong, we cannot talk about reconciling with the Iteso, Acholi and all the neigbors whose cattle we have stolen without sorting our own tribla conficts (amongst the Jie, Dodoth, Pokot, etc). This is the ethnic debates we are talking about, and not in sense that divides the country along ethnic lines. At an intellectual level, we will be unfair to rate our standing against International Legal Instruments such as the ICC which has its own weakness and lacks legitimacy or late, but we can tailor all our discussiona, and eventually institutional instruments in line with international legals instruments+customary laws! On another note, the conflict which in this case-stephen’s: is about land grabbing. The next wave of conflict in the coountry is largly going to be driven by natural resources, land inclusive. To this, we need a clear land policy, and one that speaks to the traditonal structures. We need to legally recognize customary land tenure-which speaks to 90% of the population, and people can register their customary land with the registrar of land titles. those that want to go statutory can also do-they are the 10%, but what I am saying here is that a land policy that weeds out traditional laws that are historically discriminating is what we need. Having said that…we should not trash out Stephen’s experience vs his opponent as some two people who want to extend their family grudges into the public domain. The more this thread goes on, the more we actually realize that there are so many Stephens and Patricks, and Mbabazis. This definitely means there a a lot more people with these hurting feelings perhaps secretely against the other group (sometimes out of ignorance of the operation of traditional institutions or an actual genuine concern). I find it sad that when someone comes up with a story, other people want to own that story and tell it in their own perspective. Let us leave people to own an explanation of the things that hurt them, and if we have or know a diffferent version, bring it forward! Monday at 9:16pm · Unlike · 6 Stephen Twinoburyo By the way, if I may make a clarification, my original post was not about land grabbing though from the ensuing posts, people have given various reports involving land grabs. My original post used the experience of my family, of which land was not grabbed in the real eviction sense, to examine/ponder the reasons that may be underlying plundering nature of some of the people that hold levers of national power. My family experience was just a case study in exploring this problem but as we are seeing from the various posts coming through, this is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed – though Patrick wants to convince us otherwise and some people want to view it as Bahiima hatred. Does it mean if one feels wronged by people that happen to be Bahiima, it shouldn’t be mentioned because it may incite hatred? Monday at 10:00pm · Like Ucan Freedom Wow. We knew, we know, we shall always know the cultures, traditions etc and their good, bad and ugly areas. The knowledge should help us for the future. Can we in this 21st century look at ourselves as a Muiru, Muhiima, Muganda, Acholi, Muteso etc then a Uganda. M7 has mastered this art, divided and ruled and has fooled Ugandans for years. Or rather look at ourselves as Ugandans, then a Muiru etc. For Uganda to develop, we must have a common entity; and that is that WE ARE ALL EQUAL, and PROUDLY UGANDANS in OUR DIVERSITIES. When the INSTITUTIONS of the RULE of LAW are in PLACE, ALL THOSE DISPOSED of their PROPERTY/IES MUST be FAIRLY & JUSTLY COMPENSATED & WRONG DOERS EQUALLY PUNISHED before and under the LAW. No group of Humans should ever, ever take advantage of other HUMANS. Monday at 10:02pm · Unlike · 3 Patrick Kateihwaho Ucan Freedom Wow Monday at 10:20pm · Like Daniel R Ruhweza Juliana, i agree with you – starting with the last point on ‘truths’. Our nation needs fora to confront the differing truths that are being discussed all over the internet and the nation. We have a choice here: we can either infer bad motives on those in this thread who have laid these issues to bare and therefore do nothing under the guise that it happens everywhere so what is the big deal or they have other motives of doing this etc OR we can take the road less travelled – the one that is reminiscent of Australia, Canada, South Africa or New Zealand – a step of faith in engaging in these discussions soberly and squarely- with the hope that we can remedy wrongs, identify falsehoods and past wrongs( some of these falsehoods include ”Otherising” (Us against them), other falsehoods include generalising different groups of people and heaping blame on them while ‘sanctifying’ the stories of other groups, individuals etc. It is better that we identify common truths say that land grabbing actually exists and needs to be corrected, that the colonial laws did more harm than good,that the concept of capitalism does not work in certain cases where communal land is prevalent and people still survive on subsistence farming etc. Thus, for us to move on from this thread, we must ENGAGE (in soberness and respect) what Vukoni clearly describes as Uganda’s (our collective) condition and its (our) future by papering over its political history” as well as the realities on the ground. Monday at 10:23pm · Unlike · 4 Patrick Kateihwaho ‎ Stephen Twinoburyo That was a copy paste from my Inbox. Some Muhima SOOOOOO scared by your tribalistic attack on land grabbing. I think poor guy was trying to get his message across given the impending pogroms elucidated in your missive that started this thread. You know me I do not like debates where the variables are those mutually exclusive positions that cannot happen together for greater good like tribes and religion. Stephen you are well aware that my upbringing never exposed me to such tribal differentiations and the seriousness with which some people took them until much later in life I remember campaigning for Kawanga Semwogerere in 1996 in Mbarara ( You know we used to stop only at trading centers) Our campaign Manager one Tuhumwire Caleb during the night brain storming sessions advised us to side with the “Byata” against the ‘the Bitooma” because the latter had more numerical strength. Being a novice in ANKOLE politics I raised a query (it did not very much that my parentage is from the area and is reflected in my looks) cause from the looks I got in that meeting it was clear that I had just made a fool of myself for not knowing that differentiation. This meeting took seriously Tuhumwire’s Advise and for the next month we were treated to a Democratic party platform that based its manifesto in Ankole on the same premise as the cunning and very bright Milton Obote had done when he abolished Kingdoms and got one of the groups with Numerical numbers to back him Anyways as you all know we (DP) lost that election as the numbers did not materialize primarily in my view because more and more of the demographic has transformed and our platform then was Myopic. This byata-bitoma orientation was again brought in 2001 elections by you know who and again in 2006. By 2011 it was universally acknowledged by voters as an obsolete notion. This is why I am castigating all you intelligencia on this thread. Precedent has shown that this ideal of mobilizing according to tribe is obsolete. You guys must acknowledge that our politics is stuck in this myriad of “invariables” sustained only by our intelligencia and challenged by a man (M7) who knows very well how to beat it. Only a challenge on real issues affecting the day to day lives of our people will wake him up and the ensuing debate will either make him a better leader or provide a new administration of our Government I continue to be appalled by Nina Mbabazi, Drew Ddembe , Wafula Ogutu etc wrapping up the top five percentile of our Intelligencia and proudly leading it to the Dogs with this insistence on promoting the differentiation that is tribe… a mutually exclusive concept since I and Vukoni can never be of the same tribe…. In the competition that is politics designed to marshal all of us into one productive unit that is Uganda. This is day dreaming at its worst. This is my position on All countries that have progressed have based planning and by inference politics on the maximization of the productive capacity of the individual and the attendant aggregate of productive individuals has been marshaled to create national development. No country that has succeeded has based its policies on the rubbish I have been seeing on this thread …and No country will willing fully do so. The apologists for tribalism have witnessed the routing of this platform 4 times. If I may add I personally saw it happen in 1996 and will not ever countenance being dragged into it. Monday at 10:44pm · Like Patrick Kateihwaho For the avoidance of doubt we should strive to be a nation of Laws ….Not of men Monday at 10:49pm · Unlike · 1 Juliana Lokileng Wow Wow! Patrick Kateihwaho, great post. however, I tend to think that you are intellectually arrogant if you can call what several people have spent their intellectual energy to illuminate, “..the rubbish i have been seeing on this thread…”!! Having said that, I am not sure about which ‘…all countries that have progressed…’ you are talking about and whether they are in Africa. The single African country that has progressed is South Africa, which we all know had to undergo the painful journey and acknowledgement of the uglies of the same rubbish you want swept under the carpet, although it was racially based. Nigeria which seems to do well is every now and again screwed up in the ‘ethnicity trap’ which essentially determines the voting pattern-Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, etc. Our immediate neigbor, Kenya did exactly what you are saying and in 2007, ethnically hidden disdain manifested and blew up the country in what almost became a genocide had the situation not been salvaged swiftly. It is ethnicity that defines the existence of the Mungiki in kenya and also defines the political landscape I could go on and on to elaborate why facing ethnic facts saves future explosion. The western countries that have progressed did not do the ethnic dialogue, true. But do they have these ethnic divisions, is ethnicity a problem to them? No. so why must they talk about what is not a problem? Their society is basically divided between rich or poor, Educated or lowly educated, democrat, or republican, conservatives, etc. I could go on and on, but what I am saying is that WE should desist from being copy cats and using a framework that is entirely relevant to another country. Just because some country that did not have ethnic difficulties progressed is not reason for us to sweep it under the carpet, especially if a cross section of the country believes it is a problem. If about 30-50% of the country believes in this, even if they had no concrete basis, you think it is not an isue worth exploring? By looking at the underlying issues, no one is a tribal apologist. I do think it is important to have an integrated approach to national issues, and if one of those issues is within the contours of ethnicity, we can’t ignore it. We cannot talk about a national framework if the country is continually fractured along ethnic lines. The ethnic debates that we talk about here is not for economic development or progress, but for national co-existence which of course is an mportant parameter in economic development/progress. And if we cannot speak together as a nation, it becomes difficult/impossible to dismiss unjust policies. I doubt that anyone on this forum/threat wants to promote tribalism except that people should acknowledge where things have gone wrong, tak about it, and see how to avoid similar scenarios in the future. If that wrong was committed by an ethnic group, iit should be talked about. There is no point in having a very rich country where people are not talking to each other. Overall, let us use a ugandan approach to uganda’s unique problems and not other coountries’ Tuesday at 12:54am · Unlike · 3 Amos Kasibante If there’s anyone I know that hates to engage in tribal talk, it’s me! But then many people in Uganda deny that they are guilty of ‘tribalism’, although few would deny the experience of ‘tribal (sic) feeling’, which is not the same as ‘tribalism’. It is also good that while most of us having ‘tribal (sic) feeling’ were are quite of being in empathy with members of another ‘tribe’ (sic) or ‘gender’. We can and do often transcend our own experiences and interests to consider the plight of others. That’s why all right thinking people express revulsion at the genocide in Rwanda or the suffering of our people in Uganda’s hospitals (non-hospitals) irrespective of their ethnicity or gender. That much at least we can concede and it means that as fellow Ugandans we can transcend our immediate identities, families, language group etc and embrace or do serious business with others. Therein lies lies some hope for the future of Uganda. Against all this background, however, it would be unwise of the Bahima to turn themselves into victims and see those who point out their dominance today as motivated by malice or a resort to scapegoats. They need to do some serious self-exam. And I speak as one who has had many Bahima friends and as a recipient of a cow from one dear Muhima person, althought it was looted during the war! I have posted here before that until a year or so ago the top-most cadre of the UPDF (at the level of General) were all Bahima. Can anyone contradict this? Was it an accident? Tuesday at 2:00am · Unlike · 2 Daniel R Ruhweza ‎ Amos Isnt being a human being enough to qualify you as one who can speak(whether you have friends or not)? isnt the Ubuntu philosophy enough f0r us to qualify as people who can speak out? Let me quote the words of a great man ….. ”it should be enough to say that i speak … because my conscience leaves me no other choice…. “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” ”Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy … Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world…” ”… some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak….” ”… We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak… Martin Luther King: A Time to Break Silence (Declaration Against the War in Vietnam) Complete text and audio of Martin Luther King’s Declaration Against the Vietnam War Tuesday at 3:42am · Unlike · 1 · Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga Patrick, judging from the conclusion you have made, I think I have been wasting my time trying to put across a point of view that reflects certain facts on the ground. The only way Uganda will become a functional state is when we respect our diversity. Respecting that diversity means making an honest attempt to actually listen to what other people are saying. You’ve not yet made that attempt. Museveni, who you support with all the zeal of a neophyte, is as sectarian (or tribalist, to use your favorite term) as they come. He is corrupt, incompetent, nepotistic, and increasingly idiotic. Believe the sister from Karamoja when she tells you honestly that “The next wave of conflict in the coountry is largly going to be driven by natural resources, land inclusive.” Unless you who surround Museveni listen carefully and convey to him the level of anger and grievances that are building up, there will be an explosion. And it will be ugly. Don’t tell us that we didn’t warn you! On the question of nation-building, the biggest problem I see with the political class in Uganda and other parts of Africa, is its inability to recognize the unique challenges that face our countries and to meet them with the required level of intelligence and statesmanship. We are a nation of many nations (that African politicians and intellectuals prefer to call tribes in the European colonial tradition) shoe-horned into a single polity without our consent. That’s where all the tensions come from. But guess what? We can make it work. Tension, torque, friction, many moving parts; that’s what makes machines run, if you only know how to harness the opposites and multivariate energies. Look at India! Multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual, messy, massive, motley, sectarian, etc, but they’re not wasting their time pretending they are Europe, China or the United States and wishing away their unique set of challenges. Comparably, our challenges are of a more modest scale but we’re behaving like the idiot who goes shoe-shopping and on finding that none of the shoes fit his big feet decides to mutilate his toes to make the shoes fit. Since you’re an ardent Museveni supporter, I would like you to find a lecture on the same topic delivered by the late Dr. Justus Mujaju, in defense of his professorship, when we both were at Makerere. Perhaps you and Museveni can gain some wisdom from it. We can still build a plurinational state, based on the equality of all citizens before the law. But not before our politicians, especially the president, develop a Nyerere-esque humility, honesty, intelligence, integrity and foresight to make all Ugandans feel included, irrespective of their ethnic origin. This is my final post on this thread. I got books to read and papers to write. Peace. Tuesday at 4:15am · Unlike · 6 Stephen Twinoburyo A response by a Muhiima: Thank you twino for your article but its very unfortunate that we still have people like you in this world that didnot learn from what happened in rwanda in 1994 during the tutsi & moderate hutu killings and still sowing such seeds of hatrade btn the bahima and beiru! Twino you did not choose to be a mwiru neither museveni did to born as a muhima, but God created u and him separetely from different ethinical background! So as alawys every mwiru wishes to be a muhima but no muhima has ever wished be a mwiru bse of being inferior! So don’t blame that to any person it was created like that and it will never change! Omwiru aryaguma ari omwiru nagamba busha it will never change bse its an inheritance from their great grand parents! The bahima and their cows is like a mwiru with his hoe! So however much you under rate the bahima they will alawys be above beiru bse God create them differently in all aspects! So put your blame to God who created u as a mwiru and leave abahima alone! Tuesday at 8:20am · Like Patrick Kateihwaho Juliana Lokileng. I am very sorry and appologise for the “rubbish” comment. I still aver that tribalisim and or any platform that uses that diffferentiation has and will always continue to fail. The list of faliures is endless. Kabaka Yekka kicking DP candidiates out of Buganda.. DP concentrating on Buganda and forgeting the rest of the country and shouting their heads of when UPC’s Appollo Milton Obote Trounced them in 1980, Semwogerere ( me included) repeating the same mistake in 1996, the 2001-2006 byata-bitooma issues. A litany of faliures when tribalisim is athe core of debate. It is only in 2011 that at the national level it was not about tribes. So given this precedent it is going to be easier than before especially given that even the people on this trail of contributions are not really tribal but using it as aplatform to convince…and this is most laughable ….. a community called Uganad which has advanced in Education and is preoccupied (tHE MAJORITY) With the basket of goods they can take home. We are on the verge of classes …and not tribes…. forming the competeing ideologies that will form the real political parties competitive debate has strived for since 1962 Tuesday at 8:25am · Like Stephen Twinoburyo ‎Patrick Kateihwaho, that’s very good of you and I give you applause. It’s very rare to get an apology from a true NRMist and I now truly believe you joined NRM in the later years. Tuesday at 8:34am · Like Patrick Kateihwaho It is with this hinsight that i repeat what i first said on this threadl. How do the top 5 percentile of Uganda’s intelligencia abdicate their role of leading this society on the way forward and regress into tribalisim when Economic classes are entrenching themselves. The same thing happened in 1994-1997 in the way business is done in Uganda. Those who remember the days of Mafutamingi Drew Ddembe David Bikaako Stephen Twinoburyo and Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga to mention but a few will attest that because the economy had collapsed the mafutamingi syndrom of smuggling and air supply of tenders created a situation where money was Finite. … For one To make money anothaer had to loose. When the world bank practices set in after 1996 making money changed from the finite envelope to the tricledown and multiplier that we see today. Those that refused to accept ( The Mbiires and Mulwanas of the mafutamingi era) this retired to Uganda house cannan retaurant and slow boat(Including some very close relatives of mine) where even to today you see them remeniscing about “the good old days” when they were Mnaging directors of Parastatals with free benefits and pionting out how the economy has been “destroyed” Move with the times my friends tribalisim is Obsolete as a tool of governance. These young kids i see in town dont even know it!!!! I dont want to meet my friends Drew, Nina, Vukonie and Stephen Twinoburyo…. et al 10 years down the road in a much more dyanamic setting than we have today isolated and remieniscing about ” the good old days Tuesday at 8:40am · Like Patrick Kateihwaho ‎ Stephen Twinoburyo in refference to …. A response by a Muhiima:….i repeat ” categorically” every tribe has its idiots. That is why i said in the beginning this kind of debate is below and beneath you Tuesday at 8:56am · Like · 1 Stephen Twinoburyo ‎ Patrick Kateihwaho, you still fail to accept one thing – that what we are trying to do here is address the issue of tribalism and ethnic intolerence. Your argument that we shouldn’t discuss this matter at all is not helpful. All that people are saying here is that we need to address these matters and move ahead with a common understanding as Ugandans of different tribes and ethnicity. Nobody is disagreeing with you on your dislike for tribalism and we all share the same sentiment with you on that. I agree with you Patrick about every tribe having it’s idiots and that’s why I didn’t give that chap above a response. Tuesday at 9:15am · Like · 1 Patrick Kateihwaho Dont discuss it …use the law. Tribalisim is used as a vehicle to transmit transgressions (unlawfull ones like land grabbing, theft killing etc). Strenghen the law and wait for the citical mass in society to get educated…not through school but through the trials and tribulations of getting ahead in life socially and economically. They will die out because of their increasing irrelevance Tuesday at 10:15am · Like Norman Lakayana Will come back to this thought provoking post later.Yes i need to peruse through all the postings first.Let the debates rage on;lets get it on……..thanks eversomuch bro Stephen Twinoburyo for this one,may God bless you and everyone on this link.Amen. Tuesday at 1:35pm · Like · 1 Godfrey Kahangi I feel it is counterproductive to frame the problem as being a Kihima issue. I agree that emotionally, there has to be a fall guy, and while in other places the fall issues would be framed around the economy (the rich poor divide), in our case it is ethnic. When anyone, even me a Mwiru, says that Bahima are at fault, we ignore the body of evidence that suggests that there are many Bairu who have benefitted from this NRM regime. It also ignores the fact that there are many non-Banyankole who have benefitted. This is why, though I understand Stephen’s note, to an extent (emotionally), I do not think it is in very good taste. I agree with the personal analysis, but when it jumps from that specific context to the national stage, it distorts the truth. While we can even agree that there may be some evidence that those of Kihima descent may have permeated some sections of the political strata like a bad virus, the same may not be true for the civil service which is responsible for the loss of 500B annually, according to the World Bank. In addition, we have a corrupt legislature that is not made up of Bahima. I do not recall the speaker of parliament ever being a muhima, yet they have shown their deep corruption and acquisence all through the ages. If we are going to frame the issue around Bahima (even as a mwiru), then is there any difference with those who frame the national problem as banyankole? We are just promoting the same ethnic hatred, to some level. And what is true is that when this all goes down, the country will not differentiate between Muhima and Mwiru. Both will get their asses kicked. It does not mean that we must not self preserve. It just means that, at the end of the day, the country is not going to be sensitive to the ethnic divisions intra Ankole. They are just going to react across board, much like the country reacted on Obotes departure against the North, or when Amin departed against Nubians. Truth is, any attitude that trys to show that an ethnic group is at fault only stokes the fires of the eventual apocalype Tuesday at 3:54pm · Like · 1 Godfrey Kahangi I think Juliana Lokileng makes a valuable suggestion regarding the national discourse to discuss this tribalism problem. I do not agree with Patrick, when he says that we should avoid the discussion. Nonetheless, I have wondered about the true dimensions of this issue. Recently one friend in Kampala told me that when the NRM regime goes, I should duck for at least two months, while the dust settles and the body count is made. It was an ominous thought, but it underlined the feeling of the common man on the street. It will not matter if one has been a sychophant of the regime or not. During the day of reckoning, those deemed to be part of the deposed regime are going to face the music. I can only say that it is not the fault of the tribe, that the tribe is going to suffer. It is the fault of individuals who have arrogantly brought this to ourselves. It is also unfortunate that the tribal fires were fanned by both opposition and ruling party, to serve their selfish ends. At the end of the day, whatever the change, however the change, Uganda will have to reckon with this tribal and ethnic focus Tuesday at 4:05pm · Like Stephen Twinoburyo Thank you Godfrey for your contribution above and I appreciate the balanced view it presents. In fact in your writing, you’ve made great strides in answering the question I asked. I simply asked whether traditional conduct has been transformed onto the national stage and you’ve given an empirical reply arguing that the answer is no. It’s of course true that corruption is rampant across the spectrum. It’s also true that parliament is unashamedly corrupt but there is also the hand of M7 to consider in the matter of corrupting parliament though this is not done by virtue of his heritage as a muhiima but rather him as a person. Discussing these matters is necessary, as we are doing. Tuesday at 4:50pm · Like · 1 Rama Isibo Funny, if you wrote this in Rwanda, you’d be in prison by now. But in UG, tribal politics is all the rage. Steve is cloaking this in educated language, but the visceral ancient enmity is there. Here is the crux; even if a certain number of Bahima are in powerful positions, not all of them are, I see poor tall brown people walking in Mbarara. Nonetheless, you paint a picture of all Bahima being millionaires which is false. In Rwanda, this is how the Genocide started, people misinforming, generalising, separating, dehumanising, juxtaposing, and the result is death. I feed Ugandans are so tired and out of ideas that they are starting to hate DNA, I went to a Chameleon concert in Coventry and some man walks up to me and says “you are too tall to be Ugandan” then points his finger about how “you people” have destroyed Uganda. Lastly, has the Hima political class eaten alone? Hasn’t money been spread around all groups? Aren’t ministers from all groups? To say corruption is intrinsic in Hima culture is wrong Tuesday at 7:38pm · Like · 2 Stephen Twinoburyo Rama, I in fact like the dialogue and appreciate the space that we have to discuss such matters. My story does not generalise over all Bahiima but simply ponders the question if there are SOME that have carried the mentioned traits forward. If there are, it’s then what we need dialogue on and it’s something that needs to be addressed. From the posts that have appeared here, and many other comments that I have seen elsewhere before, a perception, rightly or wrongly, exists. It’s not helpful to assume it doesn’t exist and the best way is to deal with it. I don’t believe that running away from a problem helps. I’ve liked Godfrey’s analysis and Juliana’s suggestion. Tuesday at 11:54pm · Like Rama Isibo · if you read your piece, it mentions Bahima as a general term, not refering to the M7 elite circle, you are prescribing a generalisation as a means of explaining corruption, and saying the Bahima have a misunderstanding of basic property law, which is wrong. Please refer to the specific elite class and DO NOT generalise. There is a Kinyarwanda saying “Only a person who lived through the night can tell the story” In Rwanda we went through hell, your narrative and the genociders narrative is one and the same. Substitute the word Muhima and Tutsi and you have 1991 in Rwanda, before they called for outright killing but were busy pointing out differences and stigmatising people. You are like a child playing with fire in a grass-thatched house, waiting to see what happens. All I got from this article was your extreme hatred of Bahima motivated by the disrespect shown to your father decades ago. Yesterday at 12:12am · Like · 2 Stephen Twinoburyo Rama, I think you read the article with one perspective and the only thing you saw in it is hatred which is not the case. Of course by ‘some Bahiima carrying it onto the national scene’, I was refering to Museveni’s elite and you’ll see that clearly in the article. I know a number of Bahiima that are struggling too like many other Ugandans. The issue of Rwanda was terrible and it’s that country that has given us lessons to discuss such matters. It’s unfortunate that at the time the Tutsi were not in power otherwise they would have used the available space to quell this perception and educate/show the masses otherwise as they are doing now. Those in power in Uganda can too learn from the current Rwanda leadership. Yesterday at 12:32am · Like Rama Isibo Do not kid yourself, M7 has not eaten alone, this is like when people accused Mobutu of stealing and banking $20bn but the truth is that he shared it with all the political class and banked little. Stop leaving all the blame to M7 and by extension Bahima, all Ugandans have some blame in how corruption has spread. To equate it with tribal customs is wrong, then why are Baganda, Acholis, Basoga, Batoro, Langi, Teso also corrupt? Did they learn it from the evil Bahima? Yesterday at 12:39am · Like · 1 Stephen Twinoburyo I think you are being simplistic Rama in analysing my article. It doesn’t mean that if I mention the corrupt elite, I need to mention all groups in the country that are corrupt. I was only analysing the behaviour of some of the people holding the levers of power based on some of the reports we hear. We cannot run away from the existance of these behaviours. Yes, I agree with you, there are many who are corrupt and there are various writings on this. This has in fact already been alluded to on this thread. Yesterday at 1:11am · Like Rama Isibo I could have save you so much hassle, the answer is not inherent in their culture but numbers. As a minority they have to share with politicians from other groups, and more resources = more power/influence. It is simple as that, if the Bakonjo were in power, their small numbers would mean they need resources therefore corruption because their power doesn’t come from numbers or votes but from controlling and redistributing resources. SIMPLE AS THAT Yesterday at 1:17am · Like Apollo Kakwenzire Stephen, I tried to desist from commenting on this unfortunate post b’se I felt that it was misguided, ill-intentioned, venomous & malicious. However, ur consistency in feeding ur wolokoso-hungry audience with this venom leaves me no choice but to tell ur good listenership what type of person your father was and what he did in Kiruhura. Since u have decided to make ur father the subject of discussion, let all and sundry know what exactly happened. Let the world know why out of so many bairu in Kiruhura district (the bairu constitute about 60% of the population of Kiruhura district), it’s only ur father who would be racially profiled and singled out for all the injustices. Details will be given later. Yesterday at 1:50am · Like · 1 Rama Isibo Let me guess, he was one of those UPC chaps with Rwakasisi and co, they made life for us hard, rounding up Rwandan and sending them to the border to be killed when most were born in Uganda. There is always more to the story than simple victimisation Yesterday at 2:08am · Like · 1 Stephen Twinoburyo What an analysis Rama! I was always wondering where the Kiruhura boy Apollo Kakwenzire is. Being one that never shies away from debate, I could not explain his absence on this matter. I guess you are now compiling a dossier. It may help me get a better understanding of what the intentions were, you being a Muhiima and coming from Kiruhura. I’l definately answer you where I can. In your dossier, I hope you will also answer the national question I asked which was the main theme of my article. No Rama, he wasn’t a a UPC. He was just a mwiru. In fact he was hounded many times in his service during the UPC era on suspicion that he was a UPM and hence ‘rebel’ sympathiser. Yesterday at 7:57am · Like · 1 Daniel R Ruhweza Recently, a young man called Trayvon Martin was gunned down in the USA. Alot of pressure has since pilled up on the police for having failed to bring the killer to justice. While some were challenging the work of the police(which led to the Police Chief’s stepping aside) others decided to dig up all the dirt they could on Trayvon Martin and basically give the already dead boy bad press. This however did not stop the agitation for justice. I see a similar trend here. We have been asked a question in the last sentence of the write up above. It is now up to us to either pretend such a situation doesnt exist or attempt to answer anything untrue in this statement/question. If we dont think it is true, simply say No and give reasons and then direct the debate into another angle that gives a better presentation of the facts. I request you to soberly read the comments by Vukoni and Juliana who both come from communities that had earlier been perceived in a certain way. Look at what their experiences have taught them but do not fall into the easy trap of justifying perceptions by the way we respond. Compare the response of Martin Luther to Malcom X to understand who had a more lasting solution and benchmark on that. There are many bad governance in this nation starting from our own families or better still, the way we manage our own monies and that permeates through society – where have we learnt this from? We might broaden the dicussion to include all peoples of Uganda but the question above cannot be wished away and it still deserves a sober response. FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY Yesterday at 10:06am · Unlike · 2 Thomas Ruhigwa Mugwisagye I agree with Daniel 100% ,we should be sober ,accurate and stop tribalising the issues, let us educate each others on issues that can build this nation its not abt my Dad is stronger than yr Dad. cheers Yesterday at 11:14am · Like Nina Mbabazi I am sure Stephen Twinoburyo that at some point you expected the debate to degenerate to this no? It always does among Bairu and Bahima. Tutsis and Hutus. My mother in law who is a Muhinda (one class above Bahima in the Nkore class structure, so I have been told) she once told me that if Ankore was a nation like Rwanda, there would have been genocide already. It is the addition to Uganda that saved you people from killing each other. This is the sad reality. That is why when you ask a simple question about the traits of leaders being carried to the national scene, you get such vulgar vitriolic responses like Isibo and Sandes. I think people should not derail, and I will give another example to show how customs and cultures are carried onto the national scene. In the 50s or 60s, when Nganwa was the Prime Minister of Ankore, you had an unwritten custom where the King was a Muhinda naturally, and so you gave the primeministership to a Mwiru to balance. The king of Rwanda Kigyeri visited Ankore and the women and men sat separately when eating food. Now the Men got on quite well and they cracked jokes and laughed heartily. King Kigyeri hid his sectarian tendencies, but on the side of the women, Kigyeri’s wife protested and said she can’t eat with a “dog”. She was of course referring to Mrs Nganwa the Prime Ministers wife who then threw a tantrum and had to be cooled down by the Omugabe’s wife who was her good friend. Luckily Mrs Nganwa who always used to hang out with these Bahinda knew that it was not their policy to segregate. Why I bring up this story is to emphasize that these traits are carried onto the national scene, but that each person is different. Kigyeri and his wife showed the difference. I know this story because it was told to me by someone who was there and is my relative now through marriage. I would also now like to take this out of your Bairu, Bahima confrontation going on on this thread. Everyday for the last five years, you have all heard complaints from MPs saying the Prime Minister is arrogant. Well, I think that is very much a Kikiga trait and it has been carried to the national scene. There is a certain level of pride that Bakiga men have that others find too much, they then call it arrogance. But it comes from the custom of totally ignoring someone who you think is a total fool. A Mukiga man will not give you the time of day when you slight him because for us we draw the line and once you cross it, there is no going back, you are out once and for all and we take it to the grave. I like that trait very much and I praise it as a Mukiga. I will not in anyway shy away from that fact. Stephen here was talking about the trait of communal land and what happened when his father fenced off the land. This trait has become a national issue because as you have seen Baraaro have been migrating looking for pastures and they believe all land is communal. But the migration causes problems as General Ssejusa found when he was evicting them from Buliisa as well as in West Nile among others. This is a custom that becomes a national problem. Do the cattle belong to some senior government people/officers? Oh yes they do, so by that alone you can conclude that some leaders have carried their customs and traits to the national scene. It (nomadism) is a custom that can easily be solved and i believe the President has been trying to solve it by asking Baraaro to change to diary cattle and building diary factories in Ankore so that they can make an income from near. So to me, if the whole head of state is trying to solve a customary problem that threatens national unity and is caused by customary traits, I will not come forward and pretend that it does not exist. Maybe Stephen here and his family have some problems with regard to relations with Bahima, but I dare you to give me the name of one Nkore family where there has been no ancestral problems related to the Bahinda, Bahima and Bairu issue? Just one family and I will consider the topic that Stephen raised irrelevant and redundant. Who does not know President Obote’s General Makaru who persecuted Bahima while he was married to one saying that this world will be better off without them? Didn’t he carry his bad manners to national level?. Did he kill his wife who was a Muhima? No but his bad manners were noted. Who does not know the Bahima families that Rwakasisi helped during Obote regime? I remember reading Uganda newspaper and he was saying Bahima are good people, it was just the NRA bandits that were a problem. Now someone dares to bring him up in a discussion as though history is not written about this? Rwakasisi felt he was killing bandits. He also killed Col Sam Katabarwa, one of NRAs early commanders who was a fellow Mwiru. He just hated Bandits (guerillas). With regard to Isibos call to not generalize, if you read properly, Stepehen used the word “some” and he was referri g to their customary/cultural mannerisms. Instead you do the generalization for him, why? Did you not understand what he was saying? With regard to some, I would like to say, ALL have carried their customary traits to national level, but what is being discusses now is whether or not some of them are I’ll mannered. Yes, there are some Bahima, some Bakiga, some Acholi, some Basoga, some Ateso, etc, that are bringing national shame and people think that maybe it is how they were brought up. I believe it is not. These are just ill-mannered individuals. Yesterday at 11:16am · Unlike · 6 Thomas Ruhigwa Mugwisagye ‎@ Nina thanks for the info standing up for what u belief in like the Bakiga is the honest way of doing things though it takes time for ppl to understand Yesterday at 11:33am · Unlike · 2 Stephen Twinoburyo Thank you very much Nina. This is the kind of argument I have been looking for and something Daniel R Ruhweza has been imploring us to get to. We can indeed learn a lot from what you have presented and if anybody reads your contribution as well as that of others like Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga, Juliana Lokileng, Godfrey Kahangi very well, then one sees that clearly these issues exist and we need to see the best way to handle then and there is no better start than a dscussion. In fact Amos Kasibante posed some questions above but nobody answered them. You are right Nina, I never expected this article to be a Sunday School reading. I knew it would raise emotions, lose objectivity, attract insults and even increasing my rating on the enmity scale but nevertheless these matters have to be discussed. The gist of my question was: does the way people behave at a micro level reflect itself when they advance to a macro level? That’s why I brought in the family experience to analyse the behaviour of some at the national level. Sometimes some of the things people get used to in their immediate neighbourhood can be carried onto larger spheres. And that’s what I am asking: are some people behaving the way they are at the national level because of what they learnt or got used to at the cultural level? Yesterday at 11:52am · Like · 1 Nina Mbabazi Thomas, I have just remembered going to one of my best friends weddings in Mbarara. My friend is a Muhima from Kashari and his only sister and last born was getting married so of course I went with my mum. We sat next to Jovia Saleh and such people. Now the uncle to the guy she was marrying stood up to give a speech and he says yebaaaaaaaare, yebare kishaija. Ninyenda ku siima Ruhanga munonga. Omutabani weitu N******, waturetera omuhara murungi. tiwa turetera Omukiga nari Omwiru. I was in shock, my mum was in shock, we looked at each other and all those sitting near us just bowed their heads in shame. That boy was a senior officer at URA. So will he not carry those traits to the national level? But when he carries them, he does not represent all those who bowed their heads in shame. When he commits such a crime as to repeat his uncles sentiments, people will not look at him as an ill-mannered guy. They will ask what tribe? You know how shallow “some” of those out there are who analyze issues. Imagine now if Stephen Twinoburyo was an Acholi, his title would have read, did some Langi carry their traditional traits onto the national arena? Then you would have seen fireworks here between the Acholis and Langis. Let us not pretend that these things don’t exist. We must acknowledge them and then find solutions the way President Museveni is finding solutions to the dilemma of Baraaro. Yesterday at 11:58am · Unlike · 4 Amos Kasibante Just a suggestion: those writing long posts should ease our reading by cutting it into manageable paragraphs. Please. Yesterday at 12:15pm · Like Stephen Twinoburyo ‎Amos, since when did you become a lazy reader? Nina, you know how to bring laughter to this thread. First it was “if this lion could eat a mukiga, next it will a person”. Now it is “yebaaaaaaaare, yebare kishaija. Ninyenda ku siima Ruhanga munonga. Omutabani weitu N******, waturetera omuhara murungi. tiwa turetera Omukiga nari Omwiru.” These things exist and we cannot shy away from them. If this uncle had a responsible position at national level, how do you think he would behave? Yesterday at 12:23pm · Like · 1 Amos Kasibante ST, I was told that by an editor who wrote something I had written for publication! Yesterday at 12:26pm · Like · 1 Nina Mbabazi Amos – that editor was reflecting the readership of today. I am only allowed 600 words in my Sunday column because people don’t read. Imagine that Yesterday at 12:42pm · Like Stephen Twinoburyo That’s actually very true. People don’t read nowadays and probably that’s why twitter is a hit. Yesterday at 12:50pm · Like · 1 Thomas Ruhigwa Mugwisagye Thanks Nina for being consistent .Hope ST will not teach u bad manners !!!!!!!! Yesterday at 12:53pm · Unlike · 1 Christine Lubwa Oryema Lalobo Well what can one say…The rest of the country say it is Westerners, the Westerners say it is the Banyankole, the Banyanykole say it is the Bahima and the Bahima say it is all of us….! Patrick should assure that individual who is too scared to post on fb preferring to inbox him that in Museveni’s Uganda there is Freedom…Which cave has he been living in all these years? All tribes have their angels and their rioters devils. Acholis have been blamed for everything that went wrong in Uganda and we got herded to IDP camps you guess by who and I think will be blames for the sad story that engulfed both Stephen Twinoburyo and Mbabazi Sherurah families as we struggle to deny and tell the country that it is not all of us…The Bahima might join and all we shall say at that point is that that welcome to the club! There you have it from someone who has been on the other side of the podium! Yesterday at 2:27pm · Unlike · 5
  7. Twino Speaks

    April 12, 2012 at 22:17

    More comments:

    Drew Ddembe
    I have taken leave of absence from ST’s debate so I have no doubt i will have hundreds of posts to wade through.

    I generally try to stay away from overtly tribal debates.

    To begin with i will confirm that Patrick Kateihwaho quoted me right when he said that I believe that every tribe has got its idiots!

    ST, gave his personal story. He also asked whether some Bahima in places of power may have carried “Bush Bahima” practices into office! Essentially the practices I identify with a bush muhima is the practice of dividing humanity into us and them and treating all others as dirt and referring to them as slaves or Bairu!

    Stephen has got a right to tell his story the way he saw and experienced it. It is upto the rest to debate it with sensitivity to both stephen as well as to the whole Bahima community.

    It is also relevant to consider to what extent that this may have been a conflict between pastoralists and cultivators or pastoralists and modern farmers who own and fence off land that nomadic pastoralists may already consider to be cultural property.

    Pastoralists do have a right to their own lifestyle which unfortunately is under increasing attack by modern farming. this brings with it its own conflicts. Can Bahima and Karimojong be settled? Should they be settled or allowed to continue living their age old lifestyle roaming over an increasingly wider territory with their animals, spreading disease and conflicts?

    Byanyima who is himself a muhima was very angry when Museveni’s “Ranch Restructuring Scheme” under the chairmanship of Pulkol forced pastoralists onto his ranch with their diseased herds to take advantage of his investment. As the owner of a ranch and modern farmer he had invested in fencing, dams, pasture and vaccination and spraying which his neighbours with the help of the government forcefully took advantage of. He was not compensated and remains bitter to this day towards Museveni.

    It is dangerous to extrapolate the actions of individuals to a whole tribe. It is very easy to misinteprete ST’s question as a blanket indictment upon all Bahima. Like all other tribes, Bahima have their own idiots! Unless one can demonstrate that these traits are cultural and practiced by the majority of Bahima, one cannot really condemn all of them.

    The fact that Runyankore has got a word for a part of its society that denotes servant or slave is troubling however. Are there Bahima who truly believe that all non Bahima are beneath them and no better than slaves or even dogs? I have had as well as heard and experienced anecdotes of Bahima who refer to non Bahima contemptuously as Bairu and even go so far as to state that they are sub human! They will not share a space with them nor eat or drink with them!

    It is therefore relevant to ask whether a bigoted half literate or even literate Muhima with these ‘bush manners” could if occupying a national or public office carry his discriminative practices there.

    We all have heard stories about Bahima sectarianism in the URA, in the army, in business and in government contracts and scholarships under Museveni. How true are these stories? Do we have figures? Are these the result of a culture that practices sectarianism, where children are taught that they are human and all non Bahima are subhuman and no better than slaves? Can these things be discussed in a controlled environment rather than throwing cyber stones on FB? Do we benefit from pretending this genie does not exist?

    Words have got power. And words can kill! We have got to be very careful what words we use to label a whole community else we end up committing the same crimes that the Bahima referred to anecdotally here are guilty of.

    In saying all of this we should not ignore the fact that there have been land grabs in uganda under the NRM. We should also not ignore the fact that those land grabs have many times been facilitated by the use of power either that of the gun or political power. Thus anecdotally i can claim that employees and cronys of state house and the presidents office have been over represented in land grabs reported in the media. One can also say anecdotally that in many cattle corridor areas, Balaalo have been overwhelmingly involved in land grabs involving coercion and intimidation using soldiers and guns!

    But do anecdotes amount to evidence? Can anecdotes be used to draw conclusions about a whole culture?

    In this environment couldnt this debate be misused to unfairly label and target individual Bahima for future reprisals?

    Of course those of us who consider ourselves rational will argue that we can seperate the issues between individual culpability and collective responsibility particularly when it comes to retribution! unfortunately xenophobia once let out is very difficult to contain!

    Does this mean that such topics should never be debated? I think that these things should be debated but whoever opens the pandora’s box has got a responsibility to moderate them.

    Better still a national debate framework and maybe even a national conference and even think tank could be created to debate these issues in an academic environment where there is an emphasis on evidence rather than on anecdotes and emotion. Ms @Juliana Lokileng could even be the convenor.

    Quite frankly in a country like Uganda we ignore tribe (I too prefer nation) at our own risk. in a country as diverse as ours where tribal sensitivities run deep, there is no way that we can ever hope to create a nation from our disparate nations without debating these issues, identifying our differences as well as our similarities and emphasising our common history and goals.

    Only when we agree to practice unity in diversity could we ever hope to really ever hope to ever become a nation. until then the nation that Patrick Katihwaho and others wish to emphasise remains a fiction only real in the minds of those who happen to be eating at that particular point in time!!!
    Yesterday at 2:45pm · Unlike · 3

    Stephen Twinoburyo

    ‎Christine Lubwa Oryema Lalobo, it seems we have all been there or may all end up there so the best thing is to discuss.

    Drew, that is very well written and a great message you convey. You could not have argued the point better and I hope we surely take a leaf from what you say.
    Yesterday at 4:32pm · Like

    Ruhweza Patrick
    If Ugandans cannot talk about our affairs, then we are pretenders and bound for disaster. I have noted slowly but sure that mentioning a phrase “omuhima” is becoming as though sinful and “tribalistic”. Well, who has not talked about Baganda, Acholi, Langi, etc with all the stereotypes. We have a responsibility to openly refuse a group of people isolating themselves from the rest of us just because they are this or that. The days of name calling in the dark are long gone as people who bring topics of this nature are genuine with a spirit of brotherhood. If Bahima as a group think they are special or more Ugandan than others as shown here, then it is a matter that calls our attention.

    Failure to discuss our differences is what breeds hatred and victimisation……why don’t those who feel are being misjudged participate in debates like this?
    Yesterday at 4:56pm · Like · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    In fact if we are to be truthful, the Baganda have borne the brunt of being talked about. We haven’t heard them causing alarm or predicting doom but they have instead come out, defended themselves and cleared the air. In fact even in Ankole, if one talked about Bairu, they would come out and defend themselves with facts.
    Yesterday at 5:12pm · Like · 1

    Amos Kasibante
    Friend, no I have no problem with the length of the post(s). Only suggesting you introduce paragraphs the way Drew Ddembe does.
    Yesterday at 6:38pm · Like

    Juliana Lokileng
    It is a shame how debates such as this are deliberately dragged down the tribal line to automatically alienate others. There could definitely be more to Stephen’s story but the fact is, his narrative speaks to what is commonplace in most parts of the country and any objective person should pick up what this story carries in terms of national weight. We all at least know the pain of negative stereotype and historically discriminating attitudes, evident in actions passed from generation to generation and that it is important to neutralize this intergenerational inferiority-superiority complex.
    I also know that, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to support it or see the sense in cross-country dialogue. I also know that beneficiaries of the structures or norms, cultural and legal practices that are perceived to be detrimental can’t be expected to support any attempt to bring an end to such

    what I can gauge from those who do not support ethnic dialogues is pessimism based on the efforts of others. “…any platform that uses [the tribal] differentiation has and will always continue to fail” says Patrick. I would appreciate if the contest was based on the approach, because I doubt that a million approacches to this issue have been exhausted. I think past dialogues have largely been used as tools for harnessing political capital, which yes, led to their failure. I also doubt that the citizens at the time largely realized how negatively ethnicity was being used to the detriment and indignity of others or if they ever knew something called globalization was evolving and it came as some kind of cobweb in which the Bakiga or Baganda or Iteso would no longer live as islands. It was an generation that was recovering from colonial hang over and the successive trubuent political regimes that had used ‘tribe’ as a doormat for their political gaiin.This unconsciousness made dialogue nothing except an object of ridicule and stiff resistance. Which single Mukiga ever even imagined in the 60’s 70’s even 80’s that they would have intermarriage with Acholi or Bagisu? And which muhima ever thought they would sit in the same office with a muhiru, or marry a Mukonjo or establish a business in Soroti? Times have changed! We need each other for so many reasons including for our individual prosperities. That is only possible if people understand and appreciate the value of each group, through cross-cultural dialogue to comb a common ground for tolerance. We can’t change some things, but we can create a neutral ground in light of the current generation. I still do not imagine that in this generation , some people will not appreicate the value of dialogue. I understand that dialogue comes with some humiliation and trading off some pride in order to accomodate everyone, and that is the hard part, and i believe this potential trade off is what some ethnic groups or individuals do not want to find themsleves in!!!

    If indeed dialogue is not the best option, I would love to hear the alternative options. I first would be happy to know how ethnically motivated hatred and misrepresentation of narratives/stereotypes can be talked about without ever directly tackling it by the horns! I would love for patrick and Ramo, etal to explain to me how a conflict between the Iteso and the Karimojong can be sorted without speaking about the bad manners of the karimojong, or the negative atttitude of the Iteso, and why the all need to come to an understanding and craft some norms within which they can work. I would love to know how else any conflict that involves two groups can be solved without actually involving those two groups in dialogue. I would love to know howelse national tolerance can be acheived if we dont talk about issues that upset us, from all angles, and if those issues are tribal, we should have aplatform to air them out.

    I am tempted to conclude that you are basically singelhandedly looking at economic and political capital without the knowledge that they depend on the social fabric of the country. Our unique and universal African trait is the social richness.

    A lot of other people such as Ramo Isibo have brought in the genocide debate, with emphasis on Rwanda as an example. I can strongly say NO genocide will take place in Uganda. Our silence to ethnic bigotry is the start of future genocide. Rwanda was fertile ground for genocide because of its explicitly binary ethnic characterization: hutu and Tutsi (and some Twa) that coincided with political and economic marginalization and negative propaganda to create ‘good’ versus ‘evil’ No genocide will take place in Uganda orchestrated by ethnic dialogue, but the suppression or avoidance of ethnic dialogue will excellently nourish it, or at least people will move with bloated thoughts against each other while waiting for an opportunity (as was the case in Rwanda). But there will be conflicts here and there whose dynamic could be manipulated by those with power to take a genocidal route.

    I want to assume from Stephen’s story that his narrative is a lie and partial, and other versions–of Patrick Kateihwaho et al are right. Of course I do not know any hidden details about this story. If Stephen indeed edited out the facts in his narrative, do we not think a dialogue can expose Stephen as the bad person trying to spread words of hatred against the bakiga? Wouldn’t the bakiga be happy to come forward in dialogue to correct the negative stereotype that has built up in the minds of so many Stephens? Wouldn’t Stephen’s tribe/clan not be happy to disown stepehen’s judgement as his own and not representing what all of them generally think about the Bahima? By going the dialogue way, do we not think future Stephens who may want to take the route of badmouthing other ethnic groups based on individual family conflicts will be stopped early in advance?
    By brushing this issue under the carpet, are we not giving a fertile environment for whoever is disgrunted( the Stephen’s of Uganda) to promote negative ethnic propaganda for their selfish interests?

    If I have to be intellectually sarcastic, I would say, Uganda is blessed a free classroom of ethnically driven conflicts in the neigborhood.Eg: Rwanda (at the time: tutsi and hutu), Kenya (Kikuyu vs Luo, and other ethnic groups have rallied behind the two prominent groups), Sudan (Muslim north vs Xtian south) South Sudan: largely land (natural resource) driven conflict in south kordofan etc, etc.This free learning envrionment from these countries should give and sane Ugandans hindsight and authority to craft a way of avoiding a build up of future ethnic explosions, and there is no charm that could do the magic like dialogue–coupled with education and fair distribution of resources on the one hand! This with laws that aredesigned to protect all citizens and not just a few can build a strong country!!!!!!!
    15 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Thank you Juliana for that analysis. I like your closing remark that we have a lot in the region to learn from and chat a way forward that avoids ethnic/tribal conflict. As you have read above, many people have been giving your earlier suggestion a thumbs up. I suggest you take the lead in this dialogue. I am ready to join you in this.
    13 hours ago · Like · 1

    Drew Ddembe
    Bahima debate -Is the word “mwiru” benign?

    by Drew Ddembe on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 8:20pm ·


    I like the way you take my comments and add value to them and move the debate to another plane where I was hoping it would move away from the emotiveness and rancour in which it appears to have sunk!

    Stephen asked a question. when he first asked the question, i kind of shied away from it. it was almost by instinct. in my experience in cyber debates, the Bahima debate tends to attract some of the most basic and primitive responses. The only debate that attracts mpore primitive responses is when Buganda and Baganda are being discussed as that tends to become a free for all! As for discussing northerners, because they happen to be the victims for now, that debate tends to happen in private but there is no doubt that there are still lots of negative baggage around that will have to wait until they are the oppressors and the eaters again!

    You see opression in Uganda is a vicious cycle. With its twin brother retribution, this wheel moves from one region to another. the only region it has skipped so far has been the east save for Teso whose men were junior partners to the northerners when they were the political overlords and populated the Special Forces of Obote II! those who have not held dominant political or military power at any times are the ones that have been spared -in general. this is not to say that insecurity did not affect them for when the dung hits the fan and they are looking for Waganda, there is little to distinguish the mugisu and the musoga who will get caught in the cross fire!

    Ditto the munyoro who may at times wish to be a westerner to get as far away from being a muganda as possible but quite frankly the similarities between baganda and banyoro save for historicval enemities are skin deep! We know for a fact that many modern day Baganda are actually banyoro one or two centuries removed! The basic culture and customs as well as the centralised kingdoms with standing armies were very similar as was the empire building!

    “The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me” is only half right — words can and do hurt. Words can be used as weapons, and the mouth can pack a powerful and lasting punch to the self-esteem. It doesn’t matter if the verbal taunts or gossip is true; true or not, it’s painful when someone says things about you that are spiteful or downright cruel.

    Verbal bullying starts at a very young age and is popular with both boys and girls.”

    “Virtually any behavior can become a habit, and even without the reinforcement of laughing peers and ineffective tsk-tsking of adults, kids can fall into a cycle of abuse. On the other hand, subtle encouragement or even the absence of discouragement can serve as powerful reinforcement to continue the behavior.

    The difference between a four-year-old’s taunt and a seven-year-old’s taunt is the intent. Hopefully, a four-year-old learns by the time he’s in first grade that taunting other children is not acceptable, and that it hurts other kid’s feelings.

    So when this type of behavior continues in the later grades, you can be certain that the child who taunts is doing it with the specific intent to hurt the other child’s feelings.”

    Both of these are quotes from the same article.

    Verbal Bullying by Deborah Carpenter with Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D.

    To get to the point, we need to debate certain issues and pick out from what stephen is doing. We should be able to learn from it and use the knowledge to add to future conflict resolution. As a multicultural society brought together in an involuntary marriage by colonialist we continue to behave like a forced bride even after the marriage has been consumated. And like the groom in a forced marriage we have got to continue sleeping with one eye open lest our bride who was really raped while we consumated the marriage will lose no time in slipping us a poisoned chalice or slipping a knife between our blades if we so much as close both eyes!

    Essentially we do not trust each other and continue to have this unproductive struggle for supremacy and one upmanship that from time to time degenerates into a deadly free for all!

    If i were to pick one word fromk the acres of verbiage we have already devoted to this topic, it would be the word “Mwiru”!

    What exactly does the word mwiru mean? Are we misunderstanding it when we translate our understanding of it into our own languages and in the context of our cultures?

    Is it an insult or is it simply a noun whose original meaning has been lost in translation? Does it mean the same thing that it means in other interlacustrine Bantu languages? Is it used in the same manner to insult and denigrate? Does it cause rancour, resentment in the person referred to?

    My personal experience of its use is that it is not simply a noun. Its not used simply to define a cultural group like one would say that one is a muganda or an Acholi.

    whenever and almost invariably when it is used, it is used in a derogatory sense to belittle, to debase, to insult. I have seen smart, intelligent well educated and otherwise successful people put down and embarrassed deliberately when referred to as “omwiru”. whenever i have heard it used, it was used to deliberately connote lowliness, slavery, servitude, subhuman, ill mannered, uncouthness and a lack of culture!

    The idea that some uncouth narrow minded ill mannered pastoralist can with one word reduce the self esteem of a grown man or oman from a self respecting, intelligent and respected member of society to dirt with one word, should give reason to pause for thought!

    If my experience with this word is correct, then there is no doubt that this word is not benign! Those who use it at will should understand its import and be taught that it is not acceptable in a modern society for them to go around calling people Bairu. It is a form of psychological bullying backed by hundreds of years of domination and abuse! It suggests some form of caste system that has been carried over to modern days. it certainly does not contribute to peace.

    I have always believe that if Banyankole (Bahima and Bairu) had their own country like Rwanda and Burundi, they would have long ago been at each others throats and massacred each other.

    I have not bothered to look up any linguistic and qualitative studies looking at the import of the use of this word in Ankole and what effect it has on cementing age old enmities. certainly if there are no qualitative studies, i would say that that’s an opportunity for Juliana and Daniel to write a paper on the subject as well as any other person with the research and academic skills and training to do so!

    I do know for a fact that any muhima who decides to call me a mwiru to my face would be well advised to watch their back. In this respect, I understand why Otafirre would have gone native and pulled a gun on the late wife of Sam Kuteesa when she called him a mwiru to his face! the fact that he resigned as he should have in a way tells us about the power balance between the Bahima and the Bairu (Otafiire is actually a mukiga though I have heard Bahima refer to non Bahima as Bairu even when they were not Banyankole)

    It appears from various testimonies here that a section of the Bahima consider non Bahima to be inferior and refer to them as servants or slaves or Bairu. they not only call them Bairu but treat them as such -like dirt and dogs! They actually refer to them as being subhuman and will neither eat with nopt share a space voluntarily with them. regardless of their station in life or what achievements they have achieved as individuals, they devalue their self esteem by cutting them down to size with the word mwiru and by so doing emphasizing their own superiority.

    That Bahima reportedly control the economic and political as well as military resources of this country, makes relevant the question that Stephen asks.

    Could some of these ethnic Bahima have been brought up in this retrogressive culture and carried their bush habits and culture to the national stage? Is there any evidence that this behaviour still exists and is the driver for the reported dominance of bahima and their cousins by numbers in certain strategic areas of the government and military?

    Of course I do not have the answers to these questions but they should be asked and dealt with in an academic environment that places emphasis on evidence rather than emotion.

    And the result of that study should then be used to guide future interventions and conflict resolution.

    It should be very sobering to many that this particular subculture has been involved major massacres and wars in Burundi, Rwanda and Congo in which millions have died.

    In Uganda we have an opportunity to study the phenomenon in our very own cultural laboratory and prevent a repeat of these travesties.

    Uganda is a marriage of convenience where those in power preach republic and unity while practicing sectarianism and looking after their own! For it to become a nation, we have got to ask the hard questions formulate hypotheses, gather the evidence and take the next step to intervene and actually practice unity in diversity in an environment where we respect each other!

    You see this name calling starts at home from a young age and is carried onto the national stage! Bahima parents themselves have got to be aware of the connotations of this practice and intervene at a young age in order to prevent future conflicts and reprisals against their community!

    They cannot just demand that the debate be buried while refusing to acknowledge the effect that that malignant word has on those its applied to!

    The old Stanford prison experiment explains how people respond to how they are treated by others and how the dominant people are themselves transformed by their position.

    Stanford prison experiment – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The effect of labelling a whole people as “inyenje” in Rwanda which in effect reduced them to the level of a bug or infestation to be eradicated made it much easier for neighbour to turn upon neighbour without feeling guilty -for they were not killing human beings!

    They were simply eradicating a bug or a pest!

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    You couldn’t ave explained it better Drew! There are of course many good and bad people in each tribe, many good and bad traits by SOME people in each tribe. It’s important to point out traits that are not helpful to broader society. In fact some of the perpetuators may not be aware of how such traits affect others until they hear from those that they affect.
    Yesterday at 7:05am · Like · 1

    Tumusiime Moses ‎
    @sande deborah, as u can see this discussion has has helped people speak out, and thats all i advocated for. i believe any one can tell who is being honest and who is not. if u think ST has been biased in his submissions, please try looking at Nina Mbabazi,godfrey kahangi, Julie lokileng,ruhweza patrick and many others who i have not mentioned. i find their contributions to this debate quite impartial.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Juliana Lokileng
    ‎Drew Ddembe, I particularly like your two last posts in which you give a little more explanation into the concept of ‘Bairu’ and instantenously relating it to the after effect o Kahinda Otafire’s gun incident. Obviously, I would imagine that, that particular incident would have led to a nationwide call for caution and dialogue on stereotypical pronouncements, by people such as the Late Mrs. Kutesa, and whether indeed Otafire was justified to draw his gun. We can only see that if severlal people (wanainchi) among the banyankole had guns, they would be killing each other.

    It is actually even more intriguing for me to get more understanding on the etymology of ‘Bairu.’ Not being from western Uganda myself, I had no idea that that ‘Bairu’ was some kind of status stratification concept that determines who deserves what treatment. I just thought it is some tribe like we have the Jie, Pokot, Dodoth, Bokora etc-without any status attached to the name.
    I tend to have a feeling names carrying negative or caste like meanings particulary defines interrelationships amongst the Bantu ethnic group.

    It would indeed be interesting to craft a national alternative dispute resolution strategy based on these inheritences of inferior/superior statuses, and how if affects the broader cross-ethnic relations, and relative peaceful co-existence nation-wide. I would be very interested to team up with someone from western Uganda to do this kind of study and gather some literature!
    10 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Stephen Twinoburyo
    Here is what a colleague says in another forum:

    This debate has been fantastic in many ways. Like Drew, I had also kept away from it for similar reasons, but perhaps also a reluctance to grapple with issues that are often much more complex than we care to admit. It is one definitely one ripe for debate – thanks to Stephen.

    I agree on the significance of ‘language’ and use of ‘labelling’ in shaping our prejudices against others. It is often the reason why legislation around such ‘labels’ is a necessary response.

    Just to take you back a bit:

    I would point out that, to be fair to Stephen, I don’t think his view is that Bahima have a ‘genetic disposition’ to the sort of conduct him and others describe. Not even that some Bahima have a ‘genetic disposition’ to such conduct. Unless I didn’t understand him well or I might have missed some of his submissions.

    There is now an almost universal acceptance of psychological and sociological theories which contend that our attitudes, beliefs and behaviour as adults are shaped by the parenting we received in early life, and other varied life experiences. Why then shouldn’t we attempt to decipher ‘why’ our leaders conduct themselves the way they do? This, whether they are Bahima, Baganda, Batooro, Acholi etc? And why can’t it be asked or suggested that their ‘upbringing,’ and the messages they received as children, their culture, environment etc would have an impact upon how their conduct themselves as adults in public life?

    If a child were raised in a household that exposed him or her to ‘poor values’ around respect for others and diversity in society, then unless there were other intervening factors in later life, it is likely that as an adult he or she will espouse similarly poor values.

    So, Stephen can by all means ask his question, in my view. I think, as has been rightly pointed out by others, the ‘danger’ is in the ‘meaning’ we might attach to Stephen’s question. Or imputing some sort of negative ‘motivation’ for him doing so, as many on the walls have chosen to do. These are points that others have explained very well, and I should not be repeating.

    One other dimension that might interest a psychologist, or sociologist, and indeed ourselves, is whether some of our leaders have the capacity for [positive] change given the sort of parenting/other experiences they might have had – again, be they Bahima, Baganda, Batooro, Acholi etc.

    Nina offers an anecdote of her experience at a wedding. If I understand the issue she and others are raising in this respect, what is being said about Bahima is that, allegedly, they may not wish their son or daughter to marry a Munyankole, Mukiga, Muganda etc because of all sorts of judgements they have made about these groups – including, crucially, the mistaken belief that as a result of ‘biological differences’ these groups are ‘inferior’ to the Muhima.

    On the other hand, the Munyankole (I am not using that other M’ word!) may not wish their son or daughter to marry into another language group but the premise for this would not necessarily extend to the ‘supermacist’ notion.

    Prejudice or discrimination on any basis, and for whatever reason, is wrong, and should be tackled by any society looking to benefit from its diversity. However, where prejudice or discrimination is premised on inherent superiority, then that surely is the much worse problem?

  8. Fritz Goldmeier

    June 11, 2012 at 16:16

    Could this observation probably offer some insight into why the regime posesses stick-wieldin’ paramilitary goons aka Kiboko Squads that evidently wildly spank peaceful demonstrators in Uganda as if they were metin’ out some sanction on pieces of cattle on some grazin’ field ? I have also been able to see with amazement columns of soldiers on Kampala streets wieldin’ big sticks along side their AK47 rifles and have all along tried to find an explanation for this! I mean, at the risk of soundin’ rather cliched on an antire ethnic group, there certainly appears to be an ethnic carry-over of the excesses of this group right from the width and breadth of their ethic cultural background into the entire national fabric of the country!

  9. Mugabi Robert Craig

    June 29, 2012 at 11:26

    Stephen….its so sad that u still hold that at the back of yo mind,let mi hope yo not trying to start agenocide\ an ethnic revenge, well where i come from we have the BAYIRU’s as the majority and they used to burn pasture during the dry season @ nite on our land but one couldn’t complain,they did this so that we wud give them free beef wen the animals died. In the wet seasons they would come at nite still and open the craal and open the gates of there gardens so that they would give fine price tags to the owners of the cows….so wats that?? they even now argue that,”that is not for livestock,it is for cultivation and u can’t manage u sale and go to KIRUHURA……” ANY way all pipo seem to be like that, and it depends on hw one is raised so……STOP SAYING BAHIMA b’se it does define the level of analyst u are.

  10. stephen Mugisha

    July 3, 2012 at 15:16

    I was at the Nganwa lecture on Sunday and some of these issues were addressed. What struck me most is that the older generation felt it was important to be a munyankore . The younger people all distanced themselves from this like a disease, The would say things like I am a Ugandan , East African or African my father is a munyankore.

  11. stephen Mugisha

    July 3, 2012 at 15:53

    My understanding we have two issues here
    1. Fighting for resources. This is not peculiar to the hima or banyakore or to Uganda it a human trait so the land grabbing oil wars are here to stay in one form or another. I think this bickering is healthy but unfortunately there is always collateral and no one wants to be that.
    Listen to the kalenjiniand luo and kikuyu and you will hear the same stories.
    2. It is always interesting to note the level of respect people have for other. The lack of respect of a group and its cultures makes this a mine field. When some says munyakore I get several meanings. a) westerner -Bunyoro to Burundi. b) current rulers regardless of tribe c) the people of Ankole d) the bantu people of Ankole. It depends on who is talking. But more to the point if some one tells me I am a muhima I should respect him and accept this same as should tell I am a munyankore he should do the same. There are some two gentle men that I know in their ninties
    both were born in Ankole but are great grand children of migrants one from Bunyoro the other from Toro . they are ever saying that they are Banyoro or Batoro .Unlike the rwandes in nkore They do not know the language never lived there in fact their decendants never claim to be anything but banyankore. However we respect their wish to be Banyoro.

  12. Twino Speaks

    July 3, 2012 at 22:20

    Good take Stephen Mugisha.


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