Open letter to Anne Mugisha
Dear Anne, I thank you for having the courage to fly back home and engage in active politics. Many of us opt to stay in our little London homes and specialize in being armchair political critics. Uganda needs more of people like you.
I shall however reserve this posting in response to your message explaining your reasons to Ugandans on why you’re contesting for the MP’s seat of Nakawa Central. Yes, in Buganda we need more pro-Buganda MP’s. We’re a region devoid of political power and the reason for this is because many Baganda MP’s have gone on the take and abandoned their own people. Today Buganda is politically weaker than any other region despite having the largest number of MP’s in the national parliament. Why?
Because as you pointed out, Buganda is welcoming. Your family came to Buganda in 1972 and you were born, raised and now love Buganda. No Muganda has ever stood at Hoima road or Jinja road or Masaka road with a big stick and told any Ugandan that ‘atali muganda tayingira wano’ (if you’re not a Muganda don’t enter here’). Taking you back to your family and where they came from is a region of Kigezi which would have been in present day Rwanda if Baganda did not accept that it becomes part of the Protectorate Uganda. Baganda agreed the same to many regions surrounding her boarders. Therefore your assertion that Baganda should stop being ‘parochial’ and start accepting people from other regions is wrong ungrateful and in fact insulting. Not only have Baganda welcomed everyone, they enabled the formation Uganda as it is today in the first place.
If Baganda were unwelcoming, how then would Fred Ruhindi become the man you want to replace? How would your family been able to live in Buganda all this long? Therefore Anne, as you go on the campaign trail, try and manage your oratory so you don’t sound like known Baganda haters who include Ofwono Opondo, Yoweri Museveni and Marry Karoro Okrut.
Anne, Buganda does not need isolation; it needs allys from all corners of Uganda. But we have also learnt from recent history that allies can easily become the biggest enemies. Yoweri Museveni fought his war in this ‘unwelcoming parochial Buganda’ but who is the Kingdoms biggest enemy today? Freddie Ruhindie campaigned as our ally but then went and started kicking us in the teeth when he got ‘there’. When General Tinyefuza was in trouble with President Museven he ran to Mengo in a ‘Kanzu’ and sought refugee. Today, General Tinyefuzza is one of Buganda’s hardliner tormentors. Anne, without forgetting that Baganda are Buganda’s biggest enemies, I must advise that you may be in for a hard time because this time Baganda are going to vote wisely. Forget Wafula Ogutu’s advise that he’s lived in Nakawa and that its cosmopolitan nature will win you the seat on an IPC ticket. Believe me, you can get all the people from other areas of Buganda in that division, multiply them by three and still Baganda will outnumber them by three to one.
Anne, you have flown all the way from America and I expect you to have a soft landing in any part of Uganda. However, you can easily crash land in Nakawa not because people hate you but because people like Ruhindie have taught them a lesson.
Without wasting time, you need to pay a visit to MP for Rubaga North Beti Kamya, quickly join Uganda Federal Alliance and declare your support for federalism. You will have to sign a commitment. You need to miss CBS radio so much like many folks in the division. You need to press hard for the release of 800 Baganda Prisoners of September Kampala riots, many of these people rotting in jail are from Nakawa Central Division. You need to assert the Kabaka’s right to travel to any part of Uganda. Where do you stand on the looming Kampala Bill? You need to be aware that ‘Akenda’ or the 9000 sq miles of land belongs to people in those slums of Namuwongo. NRM Bigwigs have confiscated this land and divided it among themselves. You need to visit the remains of Kasubi tombs and remind people that the people who committed this crime have never been caught. You need to make sure that Buganda is paid her rent arrears In addition to many other national issues.
Having done that, you need to join former Katikiiro’s Mulwanyamuli, Mulika and Suubi2011 project. You need to make friends with Betty Nambooze, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, Haji Hussain Kyanjo and pay a visit to Katikiiro Walusimbi in Mengo. Stay clear of Nobert Mao and his ‘mafia gang’. You need to make clear that Kayunga, Nakasongola and Kooki are as Bugandan as Bulange and that Buganda is Buganda and not the Central Region as Baganda haters like to call it.
Anne, talking of “Buganda parochialism” or referring to Baganda as people whose minds are restricted to merely their region makes you sound like one of Opondo’s. For us, anyone who stands for our values and respects our culture will do, regardless of where they come from or which party fronts them. I wish you a soft landing.
The Writer is Publicity Secretary for DP-UK Chapter