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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Muhoozi: Why promoters of tribalism are on impossible mission

First son and senior presidential advisor on special operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is confident Ugandans are united and those sowing seeds of discord through tribalism are fighting a losing battle.

Recently, the arrest of members of comedy outfit Bizonto reignited debate on tribalism, nepotism and sectarianism.

Now facing charges of sectarianism over a controversial satirical video, the Bizonto, also staff at Radio Simba, had sought to highlight how people from the western region of Uganda had dominated key senior positions.

Charles Mansio Twiine, the spokesperson of Uganda Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Directorate, said Bizonto had had uploaded videos “with the potential of causing hatred and unnecessary apprehension,” and “threats of attack on government, and individuals.”

Days later, police also arrested Baba TV presenter Bassajja Mivule for uttering sectarian statements.

Read: Hostile relationship between the Ugandan state and media ahead of 2021 elections

With their arrest, debate on tribalism and nepotism ensued online, and across mainstream media channels.

First son and senior presidential advisor on special operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
First son and senior presidential advisor on special operations Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Courtesy Photo

But according to Lt Gen Kainerugaba, “all those who try to introduce tribalism into our politics and social life are fighting an insurmountable mountain.”

Kainerugaba believes that “our great grandfathers… Omukama Kabalega and Kabaka Mwanga II and our fathers like General Yoweri Museveni integrated us beyond reversal. Uganda ni Moja!!”

Muhoozi Kainerugaba on tribalism
Muhoozi Kainerugaba on tribalism

The issue of tribalism has dominated Uganda’s politics and social life since independence.

Even when British colonialists amalgamated different nation states (tribes/ and or kingdoms/chiefdoms) to form Uganda, some people to date continue to primarily identify themselves by their ethnic group.

With Uganda having over 50 tribes, almost all post-independence governments have faced accusations of favoring people from the president’s tribe.

Uganda is going to the polls in early 2021. Ethnicity is one of the factors that influence voters’ decisions on choice of candidates.

While Bizonto and Museveni government critics argue that it is high time the issue of tribalism got resolved, those in power say the opposition are stoking flames of division on ethnic grounds.

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