The ‘Karamoja Question’: what is the best way forward and what would the opposition do?


Karamoja is in the news again as the theater of UPDF massacres. The ‘Karamoja question’ is neither new nor is it going away soon. The accusations and counter accusations give the opposition the perfect opportunity to enter the fray with thoughtful ideas on solving/mitigating/containing the ‘Karamoja question’.

Granted the opposition have offered to push federalism which would give Karamoja a say in their affairs, but Ugandans and I dares say Karamojongs who are fed up of being pathologized and victimized need to hear more about their programs/policies regarding what I called the Karamoja question.  What would the opposition tell the suffering Karamojongs at the hands of UPDF?  How would they approach the Karamoja question?

The other issue and it is a sensitive one-is that why the opposition has so far  stayed away-is the accusation that it is the forces led by the president’s son, Col or Lt Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba that are mowing down Karamojongs.  That could become a PR nightmare down the road since the issue could attract the media savvy Human Rights Watch sooner rather than later. The folly of deploying Col. Muhoozi could hunt the fist family since the Hon Janet K. Museveni is the minister in charge of Karamoja-prrof of  the Karamoja question?  Please do not laugh. The irony seems lost on the authorities.

The opposition has the rare opportunity of a triple, if only they gather the courage to frame the debate.  So, let us hear from the opposition on this sad episode.




5 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. john mukasa,

    The opposition has to be very carefull at this time and moment when the comander in chief is the one killing the karamajongs. Besigye has the test of this when he was arrested just before the election last time. I think surely its us lot who have to help by giving the gov’t some loud noise of there crimes to karamajongs. Its also important the karamajongs to fight back like one of thier Mps did. NRM might think its simple ,but this issue is listened to by every one in the world who supports development and human rights in africa as a whole.
    The opposition should request the gov’t for freedom of speech and movement in the country ,and its the gov’t responsility to make sure they are safe as citizens of uganda. We also think its very wrong for the same family members to be dealing in such a sensitive issue like karamoja. Who of these people Mum and son will give a bad recomendation if anything went wrong. This is a very simple matter to see by NRM gov’t ie if your asked a reference,it should not come from any one from your family members. Unless they want to tell the whole Ugandans that Uganda belongs to the Kaguta family.
    Funny though,Mbarara used to have cows for milk mostly,but now also wants the humped bulls for meat by force.Museveni has done alot of sad things but karamoja will be his down fall.No one in the world will believe him,except his family with their very sad idiology.

  2. kasaija,

    minus freedom of press for opposition in media and to public, they can’t achieve much other than complaining of bad treatment.
    we don’t need opposition to open our eyes we are already awake.
    God bless us 2011!
    SUUBI must reign.

  3. Ngoya John Bosco,

    Hi colleagues, are you surprised that in the heat of the Karamoja disarmament question the UPDF are beginning to reshuffle the spokespersons with Akiiki taking over from Obbo? This begs the question on whether the UPDF assumes that the hard realities being documented by Hon. Kiyonga and discussed by David Pulkol while the other leaders of Karamoja chicken out is a matter of Public Relations or an Operation gone terrible amiss?

    Who will save Karamoja from this self rule threatening to wipe away the very people it seeks to vote for it? Don’t forget that the roads to Karamoja as I talk are impassable with lorries, busses getting stuck at Lorengecora everyday.

    My fellow Karimojong, don’t be duped to vote this government back to power after all this tormentous 24 years. LET US DEMONSTRATE THAT WE ARE MORE THAN VOTES OR CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES BUT HUMAN LIKE ANY OTHER UGANDAN GROUPS!

  4. People are focusing on the alleged killing of innocent Karamojong by the the army. This is a pity because no one is talking about the innocent people in Teso, Sebei and Acholi whom the Karamojong are killing. The Karamojong believe that they are the only people who are entitled to keep cattle, anyone else has no right to keep them.
    A Karamojong Moran (warrior) who undertakes successful cattle rustling is highly respected by the community. His esteem is enhanced further if during the raiding he can prove that he killed the owner(s) of the animals.
    Even if I disagree with Museveni on a number of issues, I totally support what he is doing in Karamoja. His government is trying save Karamoja from itself and to save millions of other Ugandans who, for no fault of theirs, happen to neighbour Karamoja.
    Some of those Karmojong who are quick to accuse the army of atrocities against the rustlers are the major beneficiaries of the raids. May God save their miserable souls!

  5. Ngoya John Bosco,

    Hi Sheme Masaba, I love your passion for the peace in Karamoja but certainly the means doesn’t justify the end. To kill in order to disarm, at worse the innocent civilians, is to act the Alshabab way striking terror on the innocent. Restore and empower institutions to deliver the peace and development and sure as the day follows the night you will succeed. Let us not behave as though every Karimojong you meet deserves the venom or is it the bullet, infact a majority of them are the victims. Fellow country man arise above the stereotypes you have been fed on! If only you knew how many people suffer indignity because of the problems in Karamoja – the street families, the increasing number of destitute families in Karamoja you will for heavens sake spare the bitterness and think your solutions to the problem. Lets listen to the voice of reason!

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