By Prof Mbambutsya Ndebesa
The Banyankore have a wise saying, or is it an idiom, that says “ekyeba juba n’obworo n’obugumba.”
This is loosely translated as “the most quickly forgotten past conditions are poverty and barreness – that is to say after you have overcome poverty or barreness.
Now, president Museveni who comes from a humble peasant background makes a public statement that in his new term he is officially going to implement a policy of employment discrimination by favouring the children of the middle class parents at the expense of children of poor backgrounds.
He supports this policy by arguing that children from poor backgrounds are more prone to corruption than those from middle class backgrounds. Really?
This stereotyping and stigmatising people from poor backgrounds is not a progressive ideology.
It is also against the spirit and letter of the Ugandan constitution which prohibits discrimination based on one’s economic standing.
I thought the president himself who comes from a poor background would be vouching for a policy of affirmative action in favour of children from poor backgrounds!
What will then happen to poor regions such as Eastern Uganda, which UBOS found out was the poorest region, and by extension of reasoning therefore has few middle class parents?
Won’t the children of that region be permanently condemned to unemployment?
And to stigmatize children from humble backgrounds as the most corrupt is also not good.
The writer is a political science lecturer at Makerere University
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