Col Shaban Bantariza( him or alias) has the Ugandan Court of Arms on his Facebook address instead of his face. This is one aspect of misusing national symbols. The other abusers are UTODA, who have their business cards with the Court of Arms as if they were a government department. Let us learn to separate and respect institutions from individuals or private businesses. And talking of which, I have business cards common for lecturers at public universities to have double-faced business cards: one face reading Makerere University or MUBS, the other face reading the lecturer’s private business: a school, a consultancy firm or other company. Even civil servants do the same thing. These two are separate. They must be separated.The practice is rampant because individuals are allowed to make their own business cards. Business cards, like letterheads are property and representative of the organisation and must be controlled and managed.

Secondly, the Observer issue of ‘tribalism’ misleads, when it headlines ‘tribe’ but dissects regions. Western Uganda is not a tribe, as the usual labeling of Westerners eating overshadows the facts. Kiyonga, Bucyanayandi, Bageine, Mbaguta, Otafiire, Mwesige, Nasaasira are from the west but belong to seven different tribes, whatever the argument. The PS for Health is from Western but a Muganda…which is which???

MP Matthias Mpuuga is quoted by The Observer, remarking that western Uganda’s fortunes are traceable to post-1986. This is myopic from a national leader, and more specifically, dangerous for his region, Buganda. The general dominant erroneous talk is that western Uganda is eating because M7 is in power. This idle talk is fed into the innocent people by self-seeking politicians, who dupe their voters with promises of good life once we take over power. The other malaise of Buganda is the historical question,which leaders have refused to lead their people from, namely that westerners are meant to come to Buganda to do manual and menial jobs, which Baganda cannot do. This was a stage in the evolution of society. The ‘bapakasi,’ ‘mbwazirime’ had a vision: this should end with me, not to go into my children and their children. The universal liberator and equaliser is education. Okupakasa is a normal, noble way of earning a living. If you cannot kupakasa, either you steal or you beg. We all kupakasa. A friend from a very humble family even by his village standards, now a PhD holder, owns large swathes of land he bought from descendants of the very first chiefs in Buganda. Different backgrounds, but equalised by the universal equaliser: education. This very PhD man tells me he was recruiting workers for his farm/school, and many idle Baganda young men in townships around his estate sneered at him: egyo emirimu gilina ba nnyinigyo… ( that’s not our type of work), capped with ..eky’ebbeeyi kiba kya bbeeyi, Omuganda takola bwa Securiko…while they idled playing luddo, cards and eating wild ffene. Buganda can rise and shine again, with its own efforts, its own people. The resources that drove the ancient glory are still there. The energies idling in towns can resurrect this glory, the way those who used to work here have done in their regions. Leaders like Mpuuga should instead be urging their people to emulate those guys who came with nothing here, worked, went back and became wealthy. Simple. The West had latent wealth before 1986. The same with any region in Uganda. Northern Uganda for example today has the capacity to be the economic power house of Uganda, given its vast fertile lands and neighbouring markets. But what do we hear from the leaders there? Westerners are coming to take your land…..!!! Take only 1000 Bakiga in one subcountyn there and in 5 years, you will see a different scenario. This is what is happening in Kibaale.

The truth is: Uganda has two classes, the haves and have-nots. These are spread across the country, variations notwithstanding. All regions of Uganda can develop if the leadership is sincere and genuine. Cheap talk wont help anybody, save selfish politicians who ride on the emotions and ignorance of peasants to advance their individual ambitions.

Sandra Birungi



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Ssenyonjo,

    If we are going to talk about a national symbol……. At least get the terms CORRECT…
    It is a “COAT of ARMS” not as stated court of Arms…. Liberal use of google or Wikipedia might help

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