Category Banyarwanda


By Dennis Nyondo


The Banyarwanda is a general name termed for the people who live in a country called Rwanda, one of the smallest landlocked and most mountainous and most densely populated country in Africa located in the Central Eastern side of Africa. It’s neighbored by Uganda from the North, Tanzania from the East, Burundi from the South and the Democratic republic of Congo from the West.

The size of Rwanda is 10,000 Square miles (25,900 which is the size of Maryland or Massachusetts both States in USA with 10,000,000 people prior to the war.
Rwanda has a population of about ten million people with only three ethnic groups, which are:
Batwa- the earliest inhabitant in the country which makes up the smallest group of 1% (1,000,000) of the nation’s population. Physically, they are short (pygmies) and small who live by hunting and gathering wild fruits.
Bahutu- is the largest ethnic group which makes up 85% (7,000,000 million) of the population prior to the war. It was the second to arrive in the present day of Rwanda. They are farmers and belong to the Bantu group of African people. The Hutu tended to have darker complexions and be stockier.
Tutsi-were the last group to settle in that region as they were looking for fertile grazing land for their cattle. They make up 14% (about 2,000,000) of the total population. Tusti warriors led the migration and protected the cattle against raiders. Generally, the Tutsi tended to have lighter complexions and be tall and slender.

Over time, a sort of aristocracy of powerful minority people arose, and eventually became to be known as Tutsi, a word that originally used to refer to someone who owns a lot of cattle. Everyone who was not a Tutsi became a Hutu.
The Hutu and Tutsi live mainly in Rwanda and Burundi with a smaller number of them found in the neighboring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Europe and America, with the total world population of 14 million people.
The three ethnic groups all lived together in the region for nearly 1000 years ago. They all share the same common social and cultural values including the national language (Kinyarwanda) a Bantu language. Although the Hutu and Tutsi live side by side throughout Rwanda and Burundi, and there has been a great deal of intermarriage between the two groups. The Tutsi play a more prominent role in business and public affairs in the entire region though they are small in number. In addition, both groups practice the Catholic and Protestant versions of the Christian faith. Throughout Rwanda’s history, however, the ethnic labels have been synonymous with social division, and in the 20th Century this division led to discrimination, violence, and political upheavals.

The Hutu and Tutsi who live in countries other than Rwanda and Burundi are mostly refugees who fled due to ethnic persecution. Hutu and Tutsi has been a problem in Rwanda since 1959, and the most recent of 1994 whose roots of the tragic can be found in the history and culture of the Tutsi and Hutu.

In early Rwanda, court historians handed down stories selected by the Tutsi royalty. In some cases, the stories were biased or based on myths that had been created by the Tutsis support their dominance Therefore, many stories that were considered “official” Rwandan history asserted the notion that the Tutsis were supreme and they had been chosen by the gods to rule.

One ancient Rwandan myth tells the story of Gihanga, the first Rwandan, who fell from heaven with three sons- Gahutu, Gatwa and Gatutsi. According to the story, Gihanga was to choose which son would succeed him. To find out who was the most worthy, he tested them. Each son was given a pot of milk to watch over during the night. When the morning came, Gihanga found that Gatwa had drunk his milk, while Gahutu had fallen asleep and knocked over his pot. Gatutsi, however, had watched over his pot the whole night. For Gihanga this means that Gatutsi was the most responsible and thus was meant to succeed Gihanga, As a result, Gahutu was ordered to serve Gatutsi.

Although the Tutsi were greatly out numbered by the Hutus, they used their physical strength and mobility to gain control of what would become Rwanda without much fighting. The beginning of the Tutsi dominance started with a single Tutsi clan, the Nyiginya which owned a large number of cattle and wanted to expand the cattle-grazing territory. This clan also achieved political dominance in Central Rwanda and overtime expanded by incorporating other clans and taking land from the Hutus. By 1500s’, the Nyiginya had established a small monarchy- the kingdom of Rwanda, based on a small area of modern day Rwanda, under their king called the “ Mwami”. The first king of the centralized monarchy was Mwami Mibambwe 1 Mutabazi. He was considered a divine being, owned all the land within the kingdom and was in charge land distribution.

Typically he awarded land to members of his Nyiginya lineage and to the more powerful Tutsi elite. In this centralized monarchy, most Tutsi were cattle herders, soldiers and administrators, whereas most Hutus were farmers. The Tutsi elite upper class enjoyed many privileges, and created a number of myths and legends to pacify the king’s status and Tutsi’s superiority. The foundation of this monarchy was a feudal system called Ubuhake in the Southern and central regions of the kingdom and Ubukonde in the North- that offered incentives to both to the Hutus farmers and landholdings the Tutsis. The Ubuhake was an oral agreement between a client (peasant) and a patron (lord) through which the client provided crops and provided services for the lord. In return, the lord gave the client cattle, offered protection from the threatening force, and allowed the client to use his land. Most of the lords were Tutsi, and most of the clients were Hutus. A person of lower status (usually a Hutu) worked for a higher status (usually a Tutsi) in return of protection and some rewards, including cattle. The two major key roles in the Rwandan feudal system were Shebuja (lord) and Garagu (Servant) or vassal. In genera, to be a rich lord meant that one was a Tutsi, and being poor meant being a Hutu. This feudal structure gave military power and land to the Tutsi and to the very few Hutu who managed to acquire wealth and cattle. A few became Tutsi. This process of becoming a Tutsi was called Guhutura, meaning to shed Hutu status. Likewise, a Tutsi who lost land and cattle lost his rank and became a Hutu. Status in the kingdom of Rwanda was fluid and flexible. A person who was born Hutu could work to become a Tutsi. A Twa, however, remained a marginal group who were largely ignored by others. Under colonial rule the class differences between the Tutsi and Hutu came to be viewed more and more as ethnic differences. Where a person’s status had once been flexible, it was now seen as fixed at birth by the person’s ethnic background. Later, ethnic differences led to terrible violence between the two groups in Rwanda, Burundi and the neighboring countries.

Status in the kingdom of Rwanda was based on the ownership of cattle. In order of a Hutu to acquire cattle, it was necessary for him to work for a Tutsi family for several years. At the same time, the Tutsi required the Hutu to provide products. These factors placed the majority ethnic group of the Hutu in Rwanda at a great economical disadvantage and pushed them into a lower class of society.

The Europeans formed a stereotype or simplified mental pictures about the Hutu and Tutsi people. According to their description, the Tutsi were elite, tall, thin light skinned well educated rulers and were said to be quit, reserved and relaxed. Yet some Europeans described the same qualities negatively saying that the Tutsi were secretive, arrogant, and lazy, also sometimes interpreted as wealth and power, as a result of shrewd opportunistic, unscrupulous behavior in their part.

Some Europeans even suggesting that the Tutsi, rarely speak their minds and so offer lies especially when dealing with a stranger.
Nevertheless, during the early colonial period, most Europeans believed that the Tutsi were natural born leaders. They saw the Tutsi as superior to the Hutu (majority) in all aspects and believed that the Tutsi were therefore, destined to rule the Hutu. Because the Tutsi were taller and more advanced than the Hutu, the Europeans believed that the Tutsi were descended from Ham, a person mentioned in the Bible and called them Hamites.
In contrast, the Europeans described the Hutu as short, stocky, uneducated peasants who comprised the general population and darker than the Tutsi. According to the Europeans the Hutu were servile, rowdy, gluttonous and undignified.

ETHNIX STRIFE: Ethnic conflicts can be caused by one issue or by a combination of factors. For instance, different religious, social, or political beliefs can divide people. Discrimination against people based on their ethnic identity, social status, ancestry, wealth, education level, or the language they speak can also lead to conflict. In Rwanda the Hutus and the Tutsis share a common language and a set of social values and have the same religious beliefs. The clash between the two groups has resulted from social and political power struggles. The Hutus and the Tutsis have a complex history. By early 1800s’, the Tutsis were politically powerful and held much of the best land in Rwanda. Meanwhile, the Hutus were mainly peasants, farmers, and unskilled labourers who had little political and social power. As a result, the Hutus and Tutsis were divided along class lines. However, the political system was complex, and some Hutus held positions of power. In addition, intermarriage between the Hutus and the Tutsis was common, and identities were common. Hutu families that acquired wealth would come to be regarded as Tutsi. Conflicts, when they occurred, cut across ethnic lines, uniting one faction of Tutsis and Hutus against another. During the colonial government rule during the Germany and s, they favoured the Tutsi and exaggerated the existing class differences. The favouristm allowed the Tutsis to gain greater control over the Rwandan society. Tutsis acquired land and received positions and business in the colonial governments by then. With the help of the colonial powers, the Tutsis were to crash any Hutu resistance to Tutsi dominance. During that time, the Hutus became the second-class citizen with little access to education and few means of improving their lives.
A change in attitude by the Belgian colonial authorities enabled many Hutus to gain access to education in the 1050s. This change not only allowed the Hutus to move upwards in social class but also gave them an increased awareness of their human rights as Rwandan citizens. From then on, fuel for the Huts-Tutsi conflict came partly from the discrimination many Hutus felt they had suffered under centuries of Tutsi rule and European colonization.

An outgrowth of these feelings was the 1959 revolution, which led to social and political advancement for the Hutus. After 1959 ethnic discrimination was reversed and turned against the Tutsis. Hutu leaders insisted that, as the majority, the Hutu people should rule the country. Hutus came to dominate economic and political life- a situation that remained in place until the recent conflict of 1994 which was speared by the Tutsi who were in exile in Uganda from 1959 under the umbrella of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a political and military organization created and organized by Tutsi exiles in Uganda. Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame , two Tutsi officers in the Uganda’s national resistance Army established the RPF in the late 1080s’. For your information, Paul Kagame now the President of Rwanda came to Uganda in 1959 when he was two (2) years old, until in 1994 after they invaded Rwanda and were able to return as refugees.

N.B This is part one of the entire story. More will follow in part 11.
After reading the introductory historical phase, what do you learn from it?

The Tutsi who now have become a major problem in the Greater lakes region of Africa, are trying to expand their empire to cover the East and Central African region.
Secondly, all what is happening in Uganda like the land grabbing, making the natives poorer is a master plan for them as they did and succeeded against the majority Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi.

What should we do from the above? Let’s all put out fist together, to unite as patriotic Ugandans to prevent what happened to Rwanda to again occur in Uganda. Prevention is better than cure.

Wait for the next Phase. This information is researched from various sources of books namely:
NRM esize obukyayi eri Banayuganda olw’obusosoze obwenkukunala n’obukyayi nga esinzira ku mawanga, endowooza ze byobufuzi neddiini. Awamu ne mu mbeera yebyenfuuna. Ebyo singa tebilabukilirwa mangu byandiletaawo akabasa mu maaso naddala ebigenda mu maaso mu Buganda, ne ku Baganda kati abalinyililiddwa eddembe lyabwe elyobwebange.
Singa ekyo tekilabukilirwa mangu, abantu bandyekyawa anti bwonyigirizza ennyo ennyindo, ogizaazza emize. Banayuganda bandyegatta nebatandiika okwelwanako okulwanyisa abantu abatono abalabika nga babatudde ku nfete. Ate banayugnanda abasing bakyalemeddwa okuyiga ebyafaayo bya Uganda naddala nga zi Gavumenti zikyusiddwa kukifuba, biki ebiba biddilira.
1 The Heritage of African Peoples- Hutu & Tutsi. Authored by Dr. Amiable Twagilimana. ISBN #0-8239-1999-4 Copyright 1998.
2 World in Conflict- Rwanda Country torn Apart. Authored by Kari Bodnarchuk. ISBN# 0-8225-3557-2
Copyright 2000.
3 Genocide in Modern Times- Genocide in Rwanda. Authored by Frank Spalding. ISBN # 978-1-4042-1823-9 Copyright 2009.


By George Okello Via UAH

I think a leader should be able express him/herself in their chosen language of fluency in an impeccable manner. They do not have to use English, because there are now translators who can do voice-overs. I don’t think Uganda can go on with semi literate leaders like Idi Amin, Tito Okello and Yoweri Museveni, whose mangled attempts at speaking English are just so embarrassing to our younger generation. Of Uganda’s leaders, only Milton Obote could speak perfect English. Therefore, why would Idi Amin not speak in Swahili, Tito Okello not speak in Luo and Museveni not speak in Kinyarwanda and then make use of voice-overs, interpreters and translators?

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, speaks good English and German, but when he is addressing international audiences, he speaks in Russian and his speech is translated because he does not want to be misunderstood. So does the new French President Francois Hollande who speaks both English and German but makes all his public speeches in French, which is his native language.

So why can’t Museveni speak in Kinyarwanda and make use of interpreters and translators and voice-overs, instead of embarrassing Ugandans with his very poor grasp of the English language?


By Robukui

The 1960 Control of Alien Refugee Act

This Act required refugees to reside in gazetted settlement camps.They would only be allowed to leave the camp with permits for specified purpose and duration. Only a few were allowed to live in urban settings i.e those with security concerns, health care, pending resettlement to third countries and those with proven self sufficiency. At the time and throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, Uganda was host to mainly Rwandese, Congolese and Sudanese refugees. However, despite that restriction of movements policy, many Rwandese Tutsi refugees left the camps and settled among the locals, acquired local names, property, and jobs both in government and the private sector. This way they went as far as enlisting into the host country’s security services and participated both in the defence and overthrow of the Iddi Amin regime. During the post Iddi Amin governments, Rwandese refugees played a key role in fighting the UPC government alongside Museveni’s NRA and brought him to power. Having been at the helm of the country’s military and political power base, they organised/planned the invasion of Rwanda that culminated into the 1994 Genocide. After taking over government in Rwanda, those who wished to return to Rwanda did so and those who wished to stay remained. However, RPF combatants who opted to desert the army would flee and settle with their relatives in Uganda and the government could not identify them. The inclusion in the 1995 Constitution of the Banyarwanda as one of the indigenous tribes of Uganda automatically cancelled their refugee status. The Congolese refugees who had earlier fled the political turmoils of the 60s and 70s had long returned to their country. Its the Southern Sudanese refugees fleeing the then SPLA war against Khartoum that dominated the refugee situation in Uganda during the 90s.

Refugee Management in Uganda

The Refugee Act of 2006 that repealed the 1960 Control of Alien Refugee Act created a Department of Refugees (DOR) under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and a Ministry of Refugees. There are in place a number of traditional refugee camps like Nakivale and Oruchinga in Isingiro district, Kyaka II and Rwamwanja in Tooro, Kyangwali in Hoima, Kiryandongo in Masindi, and then in West Nile and Nothern regions there is Paralonyo, Rhino Camp, Mvebi, Madi Okollo and the integrated camps of Adjuman district. Unlike the usual overcrowded refugee camps, settlement camps are designed in such a way that each house hold is allocated a plot of land sufficient enough to cultivate and sustain it food requirements and even sell the surplus. Refugees in the settlement camps share with the locals the same social services provided by by the government. The government provides civil servants, drugs, health workers, teachers and security officers to the camps. A good number of local and international NGOs supplement government in providing for these refugees.

Currently Uganda has about 400,000 registered refugees originating from DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Eritrea and Ethiopia. South Sudan provides the highest number followed by DRC and Somalia. Majority of these refugees live in settlement camps about 50,000 registered refugees live in urban settings more especially in the capital Kampala. There are about 5000 so called returnees who were expelled from Tanzania in 2013 that are accommodated at an ungazetted camp at Sango Bay. Their status is not clear but government is planning to resettle and issue them with national IDs. There are former Congolese M23 combatants who are accommodated at the Bihanga military camp and whose status in Uganda is not clear. These are foreigners inside a military camp where a citizen is restricted from accessing!! While majority of refugees in Uganda are registered, there are thousands out there settled among the locals without the knowledge of the authorities.

Refugee status determination process in Uganda

For those who upon entry into the country are received by the authorities and taken to the settlement camps, it is the Settlement Commandant who carries out their registration. For the asylum seekers who upon entry into the country they proceed to the capital Kampala, they are required to report to the Crime Intelligence unit at Old Kampala Police Station for registration. At the Police station they are issued with a Registration Card and instructed to proceed to the DOR in the Prime Ministers office. At the Prime Minister’s office they are registered and given an appointment for an interview. Each registered house hold is issued with an Asylum Seekers Attestation renewable after three months till a decision is made by the Refugee Eligibility Committee. The asylum seeker returns to the Police station for another interview. Successful applicants are issued with Refugee IDs by the OPM and given the option of either staying in the city or proceeding to the settlement camp. For those whose applications are not successful, they have the option of appealing and the appeal interview is conducted by the Police’s Crime Intelligence Unit. For majority of refugees in Uganda, they do not go through this process but simply qualify under the Prima facier (on the face of it) arrangement or automatic recognition. Imagine with the outspoken corrupt tendencies by the Uganda Police, such sweeping powers are prone to abuse thus serious security breach.

Urban refugees

In 2009 the UNHCR released its urban refugees policy. In October 2009 while addressing the organising committee of the AU summit on Refugees, Museveni advocated for urban refugee settlement. He argued that: “…….. why cant we think of refugees outside camps because land will not always be there.” About 5000 urban refugees were registered in Kampala alone by the department of refugees. They have established residential zones i.e Kisenyi for Somalis, Katwe Kevina, Old Kampala and Massajja for Cogolese, etc. They come to the city either from escaping the hard life in the settlement camps or directly from their home countries and in some rare cases from third countries of transit. They form associations, set up own schools, establish own born again churches, initiate group projects etc. At Old Kampala Primary School, out of the 900 pupils, 400 are refugees. A good number of local and international NGOs work with urban refugees in Kampala city. The urban refugees are involved in all sorts of business enterprises to make ends meet and of course including crime.They have their own community leaders and well set out networks whereby they receive and help the new arrivals to access the refugee status process. In July 2012 a visiting top US diplomat commended Uganda’s policy on urban refugees but during the function the Mayor for Rubaga Division decried the behavior of some of these urban refugees describing them as a security threat thus: “some of them come with pistols and sharp objects. They are very uncooperative and do not respect hygine of the places they live.” The Refugee Department carried out a massive registration exercise in 2014 for urban refugees in the city before issuing them with one year renewable IDs. In the West Nile and some parts of northern Uganda, a good number of South Sudan refugees who fled the the recent insecurity simply rented houses in urban centers. In November 2014 Refugees Minister Hillary Onek directed local authorities to register all such urban refugees.

Refugee freedom of movement

Refugees have a right to travel documents, access to employment opportunities, freedom of movement and to own property. In return they have the obligation to abide by the laws, maintain public order measures, not to endanger state security, not to engage in political activities etc. The Uganda government relaxed rules to enable refugees make a living in the country; find work and settle. The government argued that refugees who contribute to the economy through generating wealth should be able to travel freely out of Uganda without being locked in one place. On top of issuing IDs, the government unveiled the Refugee Passport in 2014. It was aimed at assisting them seek , study, do business and access medical opportunities abroad. The 32 page Blue passport booklet is titled: “Republic of Uganda, Convention Travel Document. It is issued by the Passport Control Officer at the same cost like a normal citizens passport. Inside the front cover it is clearly printed that it is issued in the name of the President of the Republic of Uganda who is requesting and requiring all those to whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to affords the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.” It is valid for ten years as long as the refugee status still holds. The bearer enjoys visa free travel privileges extended by signatories to the 1951 refugee convention.

Whereas a normal UN Refugee Travel Document is issued in accordance with Article 28 of the UN Convention of July 1951, the Uganda design bears the July 1967 Convention. The Uganda model is a unique design to suit the sinister designs of the regime.

Refugees or immigrants

The Great Lakes, South Sudan and Horn of Africa regions have experienced conflicts that have left millions displaced. Refugees are identified by the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. For decades South Sudanese sought asylum in mainly Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Somalis have been dominant in Kenya with a few ending up in Uganda in recent times. Rwandese Tutsi refugees were dominant in Burundi, Tanzania, Congo and Uganda. Burundian Hutu refugees were prevalent in DRC and Tanzania. Following the take over of power by Tutsis in Rwanda, it was the turn of Hutus to flee to mainly DRC and Tanzania. Burundian Hutus who would flee the Tutsi dominated governments were initially hosted by the former Hutu dominated government of Rwanda, Congo and Tanzania. Following the take over of Tutsis in Rwanda and the subsequent invasion of , the Burundian Hutus relocated to Tanzania. Following the independence of South Sudan, its refugees repatriated in big numbers only to return following the recent conflict. Rwandese Hutu refugees were forcefully repatriated from Tanzania in 1996. Recently Tanzania granted citizenship to thousands of Burundian refugees of the 1972 lot and repatriated thousands of the 1993 lot.

Following the armed conflicts in DRC following the overthrow of Mobutu, Congolese from the eastern region have sought asylum in Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Although a number of Rwandese Hutus were repatriated from eastern DRC, thousands still remain there among them those bent of fighting the Kigali regime. When the going gets tough for these Hutus in Congo, they relocate to either Tanzania, Uganda but pose as being Congolese. Even Burundians who did not want to go home from Tanzania claim to be Congolese. The same applies to Rwandese Hutus who had earlier sought asylum in Tanzania claiming to be Burundian had to relocate to Uganda while claiming to be Congolese. Genocide suspects and other innocent Hutus haunted by the frequent threats from the government in Rwanda find safe heavens in Uganda. Those who have the means move further south in countries like Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa. In Uganda some immigrants don’t even report to the authorities but simply settle among the communities. Lack of land in Burundi and Rwanda has also contributed to the migration of their citizens to Uganda by first claiming refugee status before melting into the communities and settling down, That way they acquire land and then arrange to have more of their friends and relatives to join them too. In Uganda, Rwandese and Burundians take advantage of their closeness to the Bafumbira of South Western Uganda by claiming and being viewed as Bafumbira while seeking to settle in other areas of the country including urban settings. This arrangement has been exploited by criminals who escape justice.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has an arrangement whereby it helps to resettle a small number of refugees from the country of first asylum to other countries overseas like the US, Canada, Australia and some European countries. Thousands of Rwandese, Congolese, Sudanese, Somalis etc refugees residing in the Great Lakes region have benefited from this arrangement. Like is happening in across the Sahara desert in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe by those from the horn of Africa, there are irregular movements withing the Great Lakes region in pursuit of the same. Those who are already refugees are reluctant to repatriate in anticipation of being resettled overseas while those seeking better economic prospects just pack their bags before crossing the frontier to claim asylum in order to try their luck on being relocated by the UNHCR. For the economically hard hit Rwandese Tutsis from inside Rwanda, the false claim of being Banyamulenge qualifies them for refugee status. That is how you find a particular refugees is registered in a number of countries in the region but under different names and nationalities. They have overtime mastered the art of articulating false claims that convince the authorities who handle refugee status eligibility. Owing to the above, there is a lucrative business involving human trafficking revolving around the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region and connecting to Southern Africa regions and the French Islands of Mauritius and Mayote. The other Somali youths rounded up in Kampala last year and indicted for terrorism including two girls could be victims of such irregular movement of the so called refugees. Also, that is how many of them are always visiting their home countries to check of families and friends, attend weddings and burials or get holidays when the school term ends. In so doing they manage cross-border illicit trade in precious minerals and other merchandise.

Israeli’s African refugees swap

In 2014 it started as a rumour that Israeli had reached a secret deal the Kampala regime to receive and keep Eritrean, Ethiopian and Sudanese refugees repatriated from Israel. The deal was alleged to involve receiving and keeping them in the country or helping them to transit to their home countries. In return Israeli was to supply Uganda with arms and agricultural support. The regime in Kampala vehemently denied the existence of such a deal but shortly after an Israeli arms dealer was arrested at Entebbe over illegal importation of arms into Uganda. In court the suspected arms dealer claimed that it was the government of Uganda that was importing arms from the Israeli Weapons Industry. The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence of Uganda owned the arms but there was no trace of any payments for the arms made by Uganda nd the matter just ended there. Investigative Journalists traced two Ethiopians Barahawa Fransa and Jamal Nesredin Hassan as two Ethiopians residing in Kampala who had already been dumped in Uganda from Israeli under the arrangement. Earlier in 2011 Museveni had made frequent visits to Israeli and currently there is a big group of Ugandans undergoing training in Agriculture in Israeli. It is only last week that Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged the presence of the arrangement thus: “….. this matter has been raised before us, and since it is getting serious, we should look into it.” This followed Israeli’s announcement that 2000 African refugees were ready to be dumped into Uganda and Rwanda. Under the arrangement, the government of Israel gives the affected refugees 7000 US$ to the affected refugees in return for accepting to leave Israeli voluntarily. The Kampala regime could be attracted by those few dollars that the refugees are bringing with them.

It is not by coincidence that the following incidents involving people who are not Ugandans have take place of recent:-
– The star state witness in the trial of the 2010 terror attack in Kampala,a one Mugisha Muhamad claims to be a Ugandan citizen born in Rwanda in 1983. That he relocated to Uganda in 1998 for fear of reprisal attacks by genocide perpetrators. That he stayed in Nakivale camp though he was not a registered refugee in Uganda and had no refugee status. That while at Nakivale camp he converted to Islam and left the camp later to South Africa, Kenya and Somalia where he trained with Al-Shaabab. His cross examination continues in court and we are yet to hear more shocking revelations.

– In June 2014 15 armed attackers on a Pentecostal Church in Kyegegwa left three dead including a Police Officer who had rushed to the scene to intervene, One of the victims Beata Mukashaka bears a Congolese Tutsi or Rwandese name but was found to be a resident of the area that has historically had no Rwandese. Three suspected attackers i.e Hakizimana Abdu Salim (the Imam of the local Mosque), Hassan Mubarak Awera alias Sazimana Silvester and Niyosenga Ibrahim Tulole mysteriously died in Police custody. They had been part of the 18 suspects rounded up by locals and security agents as they emerged from a sugar plantation where they had been hiding. Later on the army ambushed and killed a one Abdul Aziz and captured James Muhamad Kahungu. The army Spokesperson said: “These people are known in the area. Even the one killed was identified by the father. They are Islamic extremists and they have been telling people to convert to Islam.” Police also arrested and paraded the commanders of the group they had arrested from Ibambala Forest whom they claimed had revealed vital information in which the group had been recruiting and training under the guise of spreading the Muslim faith. Top leaders of the group were identified as Yahaya Sharif Kalemba from Kanungu and Abdurahim from Kabale. Some of the above names of the suspects sound Rwandese; could they be part of the groups who just sneak into Uganda, acquire land and settle?

– It is alleged that when Kagame’s former bodyguard Lt Joel Mutabazi fled Rwanda and sought asylum in Uganda, he sent for his firearm that he had left hidden in Rwanda. Once delivered in Kampala, he used it to stage manage an attack on himself so that the government could speed up the process of granting him refugee status and eventual relocation overseas by the UNHCR. Indeed following this incident, his personal security was enhanced by putting in place police guards and accommodation in a Hotel. It is said that that firearm was later thrown in a pit latrine in Kampala but maybe it is out there doing damage to Ugandans. How many arms are brought into the country by refugees?

– In 2011 dissident Rwandese Journalist was shot dead in Kampala and the following day is when an alleged stage managed attempt on the life of Lt Joel Mutabazi was made. Six months later another Rwandese refugee Jerome Ndagijimana had his throat split open in Kampala. In another incident a Rwandese refugee alleged to have been kidnapped by agents of the Rwanda government, tortured and dumped in the city council mortuary. While it is true that the Rwanda government sends hit squads to harm dissidents, it is also likely that some criminal refugees stage manage or carry out real harm against one another in order to enhance the much craved for relocation overseas by the UNHCR.

– In January 2015 three suspected government drugs thieves were arrested. The three, Ruisagara John, Ntale Sunday and Nyiringirimana Jean Piere confessed to stealing and selling the drugs and other medical equipments to neighbouring countries. Given the fact that all the suspects bear Rwandese names, it is also highly possible that their stay in Uganda and free movement to run their drug syndicate is under the guise of being refugees.

Uganda’s liberal refugee policy is healthy on humanitarian grounds. However there may not be in place sufficient safe guards to ensure that the system is not abused and exploited by criminals disguising as refugees. The regime is bent on tapping the huge donor community funding for refugees and improving its international image without minding much on national security. Museveni in particular is interested is managing a scheme of selective resettlement of certain communities in Uganda.

On 7th February 2013 Museveni chaired a cabinet meeting that passed the National Land Policy. Among the major highlights of the policy is a section dealing with CROSS-BORDER POPULATION MOVEMENTS. Under this section it is argued thus: “Cross-border population movements are frequent as a result of conflict,ecological and environmental stress or interactive accommodation among cross-border communities sharing common heritage and culture. A significant proportion of these populations sometimes end up being classified as either refugees or internally displaced persons. Settlement or resettlement of such populations often leads to severe strains on resources and/or serious environmental damage. Government will develop a framework to regulate, manage and mitigate the negative consequences and maximise the positive impacts of cross-border population movements. Government will respect the regional and international conventions governing the settlement and treatment of refugees and internally displaced persons. Negotiate protocols for the reciprocal treatment and settlement of mass cross-border movements and jointly implement with neighbouring countries, measures for effective border management, control and supervision.” From the above it can be said that according to Museveni, there are no refugees in Uganda but cross-border communities sharing common heritage and culture.



By Mayimuna Nabagereka

Because he delivers and because he does not lose sight of the prize! Another thing I admire him for is because he started from scratch and built the country up to where it is receiving international recognition. He is a realist! He started with what was in hand – the resources, the knowledge and here I mean indigenous knowledge, and then made sure every citizen knew that they had to work hard and that everybody’s effort and commitment counts! He made sure everybody bought into this vision! Once the top leadership instills a sense of urgency, focus, discipline, action and accountability (consequences) everything else can and will fall into place. He is very smart; he makes sure development in one area leads to or propels development in another area. Simple logic but somehow not so logical in some circles I am afraid.I was reading somewhere that Rwanda is currently averaging a growth rate of about 7%…that is the same as TZ at the moment, no?This from a country that literally fell to the ground just over 20 years ago.

Ugandans, on the other hand, are stuck with a useless president who now wants to buy another chopper for himself. Please God help us!

President Kagame makes it his business to be involved. He is like ‘Big Brother’! Trust him to know everything that is going on and to do something about it. I once attended an international conference on performance-based financing in health care and the Presenter from Rwanda told us how he, President Kagame, reviews quarterly reports from dispensary level all the way up. Now, one might find this similar to going into the kitchen, but he is sending a message. He had to occupy the driver’s seat to set the tone and direction. Long live Kagame!

Anyways, enough said… He does fall short in terms of human rights violations and others but that is another subject altogether.

Do not create a national ID in our country

Do not register Ugandans and do not create a national ID in our country.United States did not register its citizens 50 years after independence. Just think this through sir, at the removal of Obote two government, Acholi soldiers hunted down every known Langi and killed them, all way to Soroti Mbale Tororo was so bad to be identified as a Langi. Just imagine if Acholi had a national registration of all Ugandans and were hunting down Langis. They would go and kill one and tick him off the list and hunt down a next one. We survive violence in our country by blending in sir.You are setting up our people for a clean genocide. Leave the registration alone gentlemen.Just imagine if there was a national identity in Rwanda, naming the names addresses and tribes. Just think about that scenario. A very difference between Ugandans that read about Uganda violence and those that have lived through it.

Joseph Kony has been collecting people and instructing the women to un strap their babies off the backs, slam them on a wall and kill them. This is not historical as killing the Abajulizi in Namugongo, this is a very current issue. Just imagine the damage Konny can do if he had a national register in his hands. We are still as savages as they show up and now you want to collect all of us and pile us with our numbers, age, place of birth and tribe?

On the corruption you have in Uganda who will have access to that list but who will protect it from abuse?We are at a verge of Museveni departure, watch what will happen then you will realize that Uganda’s problem is actually much larger than we think. Don’t list people.

Leave that topic alone let us fight malaria.We need pit latrines instead of using public crappers start on that one.Start with life and death issues, and achievable issues, clean water access, health care access.There are districts in Uganda with no single pit latrine. May god help me achieve that as you guys are struggling to register the savages that shit on grass all over the place.




The ongoing speedy and controversial trial in the High Court of Jackie Uwera is a clear demonstration of the influence and special status enjoyed by Rwandese in Uganda. The accused is facing murder charges involving the death of her husband Juvenal Nsenga. The accused caused death to the deceased inJanuary 2013 when the car she was driving rn over her husband at the gate of their family house in Kampala.The deseased was a son of Donat Kananura – an influential Rwandese tycoon in Uganda. Donat Kananura has a country home at Butogota in Kanungu District. He owns a chain of powerful business entities in Uganda under KENTRACO (U) LTD which he jointly owns with another influencial Rwandese tycoon Faustin Mpundu. He played a major role in the financing of the RPF invasion of Rwandato topple the Hutu doinated regime of Habyarimana.

The deceased fell in love with the accused in Nairobi when she was 17 years (defilement) and they married two years later. She is a Rwandese and a cousin to Angella Kayihura the wife of Museveni’s powerful Rwandese Inspector General of Police, General Kalekyezi Kayihura. Recently Museveni named him as one of his two most trusted cadres (the other one being General Aronda Nyakairima – the Minister of Internal Affairs). When the accused’s car caused the death of husbans, it was a tragedy that engulfed the entire Rwandese community in Uganda. Among them were two big shots at the helm of law enforcement in Uganda.These are the then Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Richard Buteera and the Inspector General of Police General Kalekyezi Kayihura. Richard Buteera is a relative of the deceased’s father Donat Kananura. He is a cousin to the late Patrick Karegeya who was an Intelligence chief in Rwanda. He was detained by the Obote II government for supporting Museveni’s bush war in the early 80s. When Museveni took over power, he appointed Buteera as the DPP – a position he held for over 24 years. On the other hand General Kalekyezi Kayihura marries the cousin of the accused.
Amidst the tragedy the issue of management of the deceased’s estate arose. The deceased’s family held that the accused widow had murdered their son and they sought to deprive her of the big estate. The deceased’s brother a one Joseph Kananura openly threatened to kill the accused. According to the accused, her brother based in Kigali alerted her about the impending danger from Joseph Kananura. The accused has told court that Joseph posted these threats on Facebook adding that she knew Joseph had a gun that he had ever used before. Because of the influence and rope pulling of the big shots, nobody bothered to investigate the alleged threat. Instead, General Kayihura placed his accused sister in law under special police protection in the dreaded VCCU/RRU headquarters in Kireka Barraks. Kayihura tasked the Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation and Intelligence, Geofrey Musaana to take charge of the accused’s security and overseeing the investigations into the death of the acused’s husband. On the other hand the deceased’s family ganged up with the DPP Richard Buteera to press for murder charges. The police investigations made a finding of a much lesser offence of causing death by a rush and negligent act as the possible criminal charge against the accused. The DPP Richard Buteera objected to the finding and directed that Murder charges be preferred. The Police (Gen. Kayihura) stuck to their guns in order to save the sister in law. At the end of the day, the DPP on behalf of the deceased’s family prevailed over Kayihura and charges of murder were brought against the accused before the High Court.

Museveni was caught between the rock and the hard surface. He has historical connections with the deceased’s family and Buteera on one hand (prosecution) and needed his most trusted cadre Gen Kayihura (defense) on the other. One of the deceased’s brothers (Innocent Bisangwa) is a senior NRA officer. During the bush war Bisangwa hijacked the government plane from Entebbe airport and took it to the NRA liberated zone in the west. The plane and the hostages were only released in exchange of NRA’s Serwanga Lwanga who had been captured by the military junta in Kampala. Since Museveni captured power Bisangwa’s role has never been clear. He featured in an international arms smuggling scandal in the Americas around the early 90s. Most likely, these arms were for the RPF war against the then Rwanda government. Since then Bisangwa’s role has never been specific only that what is clear is that he is always engaged in Museveni’s highly classified international security errands. After sanctioning murder charges against the accused,later Museveni moved Buteera from the DPP and appointed him as one of the Cadre justices of the Court of Appeal.

During the trial, Prosecution has been mindful of IGP Kayihura’s strong hand in the the bid to save his accused sister in law. In this regard it decided to forego ethics of criminal Prosecution by not calling the investigating officer Geofrey Musana as a prosecution witness.Instead it is the defense who called him to testify in favour of the accused. It is a grand norm that criminal proceedings are instituted by the state. The key players in law enforcement (DPP and Police) being part of the state work closely to protect the public against wrong doers by securing a conviction against an accused. A prudent State Prosecutor mindful of the chain of evidence, parades his witnesses in such away that the investigating officer is the last witness to give evidence before the closure of the prosecution case. It has never happened anywhere else other than in Museveni’s Uganda where a police officer in the service of the state leave alone a whole Deputy Director of CID testifies on behalf of the accused!!!!!!!Geofrey Musana was the officer in-charge of torturing and killing suspects during the notorious Operation Wembly – a quality that earned him the current top position. By testifying against the state, Musana was compelled by Kayihura but at the same time he wanted to demonstrate his loyalty to the rotten system. The DPP is overwhelmingly financially supported by the government of the Netherland to build capacity. Such a development is not only embarrassing but a disappointment to their generosity. For Ugandans who are benefiting from the rotting government under Museveni, such a development goes unnoticed.

With these irregularities, during the trial the defense irreparably punched holes into the prosecution case. But even if the accused is acquitted by the High Court, the state(deceased’s family) will appeal to Court of Appeal where Richard Buteera and Nshimiye (both Rwandese and Museveni’s cadre judges) are strategically positioned to overturn the High Court decision. Therefore the music is just starting.

Cry the beloved country!


Rwandaphones and the Question of Citizenship in the Great Lakes Region: Arms vis avis Dialogue

In last two decades or even longer in some territories of the Great Lakes Region of Africa the peoples answering to the description of Rwandaphone have often found themselves in predicament in relation to citizenship in the territories of what is modern day Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Almost invariably when the question of citizenship comes up for discussion in those territories it’s the Rwandaphones (Kinyarwanda speaking people who are collectively known as Banyarwanda a noun also associated with Banyarwanda of Rwanda who are Rwandan or Rwandese) who take most of the flak arising largely from ignorance and prejudice (the two are co-related, prejudice is largely conditioned by lack of information) against them. I say so because as one who belongs to the Bafumbira ethnic grouping of Kisoro (one of the Rwandaphones in Uganda) I have witnessed firsthand this predicament rather than hearing it from other sufferers. Many Rwandaphones feel terribly discriminated and this has given fertile ground for extremists and militarists to thrive and set the agenda for responses to injustices faced by these persons and in the case of the DRC has given rise to rebellions and counter-rebellions whose victims are the very persons whose human dignity they purport to restore! To this I will return later.

Two foremost writers on Rwandaphones in the Great Lakes Region- an American based social anthropologist Jan Vasina in his treatise “Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom” and Prof. Mahmood Mamdani’s “When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda” give the extent of the Rwanda Kingdom at the height of its power under Umwami Rwabugiri (1867-1897), as reaching Bumpaka in present day Busongora in Kasese, Karagwe in present day Tanzania, Bushi and Butembo covering the present day Nord (North), Sud (South) Kivu and a few in the present day Maniema province of the Eastern DRC. These areas have “indigenous” (this term is used loosely as issues to do with indigenousness in Africa are not as clear cut a Aboriginal groups of the Americas and Australia in that sense) Rwandaphones populations. Later day immigrants from what is present day Rwanda started in the early 1900s following introduction of cash-crops in Buganda and Tooro (they came to work as wage earners) for Buganda and in the case of the DRC, there was an influx of immigrant Rwandaphones between 1900-1960 to Shaba (present day Katanga) Province following opening up of mineral production in the area and opening up of the rail links by the Belgian authorities. Other immigrants found their way to the European Plantations in what is now known as the Kivus. These later day immigrants, though lawfully acquired the status of citizens in the two territories of Uganda and DRC are not to be confused with the indigenous Rwandaphones.

In the Republic of Uganda- the indigenous Rwandaphones mainly occupy the districts of Kisoro (Bufumbira County), Kabale District (largely in Kamwezi Subcounty) and Ntungamo District. Though these groups continue to identify themselves as Banyarwanda- there are many Banyarwanda from Bufumbira who resent the nomenclature and have opted to identify themselves as Bafumbira largely arising from the confusion from the noun Banyarwanda being descriptive as persons from Rwanda! This comes as an irony, persons from Kisoro were enumerated as Banyarwanda in the 1959 1969 as well as 1980 Uganda Population and Housing Census were enumerated as Banyarwanda and when it came to the 1991 Population and Housing Census the same people were enumerated as Bafumbira as their chosen identity following a storm over introduction of the Kinyarwanda language on the then Radio Uganda resulting into a callus led by the Council Member (CM) for Bufumbira County for recognition of Urufumbira as a distinct “language” from Kinyarwanda and the same CM did represent one of the three constituencies of Bufumbira in the Constituent Assembly thereby ensuring the same identity gained recognition in the 1995 Constitution as an indigenous group of Uganda.

The other Banyarwanda also did gain recognition as being indigenous. More ironically or perhaps not so ironical, the said Council Member is quoted in the parliamentary hansard of 1990 when the National Resistance Council was debating the Mugerwa Report on the Commission of Inquiry into the Nkore (Ankole) – Masaka Ranching Scheme as responding to queries of other members as to the nationality of some Banyarwanda who had been re-allocated some ranches by asking the house not to confuse Rwandan Banyarwanda and Ugandan Banyarwanda like himself! The Banyarwanda who are native to the territories of Uganda as those of Bufumbira became part of the then Uganda Protectorate under British dominion after the Brussels Convention of 1910 and the immigrants became indigenous owing to the “magical” date of 1st February, 1926 being the date of the last border adjustment to what became known as the territory constituting the Republic of Uganda. This recognition was attained without firing a shot!

Enter the DRC, some Banyarwanda there continue to suffer rejection and in many instances have been denied voting rights by the rest of the Congolese populace. The DRC like Uganda has both native and immigrant Banyarwanda and the former are often confused with the later. This is further compounded by attempts by the successive Kinshasa administrations to craft definitive laws on Rwandaphones and citizenship largely based in subjective rather than objective realities on the ground. In one instance a later day Rwandan immigrant into DRC of 1960 had gained prominence at the court of Gbadolite as Chef de Cabinet- Principal Secretary of President Mobutu and influenced the same to pass a decree in 1973 to recognize those immigrants as of 1960, though it was never take effect. Just like the Banyarwanda of Bufumbira chose to identify themselves as Bafumbira in connection to the geographical location of their dwelling place the DRC Rwandaphones too adopted a similar approach- thus you will hear them identify themselves as Banyamulenge (from Milenge Hills), Banyejomba (from Jomba), Bashi (from Bushi), Banyerutsuru (from Rutshuru) and Banyemasisi (from Masisi) etc.

The trouble here is that there are other ethnic groupings from those areas and exclusively identifying oneself as being of that area often times causes tensions with other communities resulting in ethnic clashes that draws in other militias and the Kinshasa forces. This is coupled with constant suspicion against those Rwandaphones serving the national army who suffer discrimination a result of which they fear serving outside their localities. In one instance, the Kinshasa administration introduced the policy of “mixage” in the army (serving outside ones are of birth) but a few but critical mass of officers rebelled and took to the bushes to protest this alleged discrimination. Here lies the challenge- do one always have to take up arms to enhance one human dignity when where it is obvious the victims of the armed rebellion will be the very persons you intend to protect? The recent M23 rebellion and previous clashes in the Kivus in the past bear testimony to this suffering. This writer, thinks open dialogue based on objectivity (there is heavy presence of Civil Society in the area) ought to be the starting points to address problem at hand and it is incumbent upon all of us Rwandaphone elites to “hijack” the processes from the militarists and set this agenda.

The writer is a native of Kisoro District and practices law with Karuhanga Tabaro & Associates.

The Banyarwanda Citizenship Question Revisited: There is Need for Inter-Community Dialogue

By, Edgar Tabaro

On the 10th of November 2013 I did pen on this page a missive entitled “Rwandaphones and the Question of Citizenship in the Great Lakes Region: Arms vis avis Dialogue” to inform and deepen the debate on the question of citizenship of the Banyarwanda people who straddle across the territories of what is now modern day DRC (Sud Kivu, Nord Kivu, Maniema, and Shaba/Katanga Pronvices), Tanzania (Ngara, Karagwe- Buhanganza), Uganda (Bufumbira/Kisoro, Kabale- Kamwezi Sub County and Ntungamo Districts). The said missive went into fair detail on the history of the Banyarwanda people in those territories and as to how they became bonafide citizens of the said territories. To my utter shock and consternation, a senior journalist and editor at one of the leading dailies in an ill-advised diatribe wrote on his facebook wall vulgar vituperations against the Banyarwanda Community- labeling them refugees in Uganda who ought to be deported back to Rwanda their alleged country of nationality. The said journo did comment in passing on the KFM Friday panel of journalists on 29 November 2013 where he appeared together with Onapito Ekomoloit, Nicholas Ssengooba, Timothy Kalyegira and James Tumusiime wherein he admitted to making uncharitable comments on facebook that have put him in a spot of bother. When the going got tougher as a result of the backlash from mainly Banyarwanda and Banyarwanda sympaithisers he changed the script to “his facebook account had been hacked into”.

I did post a comment on my facebook timeline calling for fellow Banyarwanda to forgive the said journalist and instead educate (this is on the assumption that he is poorly informed) him on the subject as to how Banyarwanda like any other community (the said journo is believed to be an Itesot- the same are found in Kenya as well) of Uganda can be found domiciled as natives of other countries as well. What followed was utterly shocking, persons I hitherto regarded as enlightened (my assumption is based on the “elite” schools they attended, the religious assemblies they attend and the somewhat cosmopolitan work places and friends they fraternize with) and my friends re-echoed the same opinions of the journalist totally ignoring the message I had put out. The bigotry and phobia against Banyarwanda citizenship is deep and largely based on prejudice itself arising out of ignorance or obscurantism. The same challenge is faced by Congolese Banyarwanda! The questions they posed, were mainly- how can we have Rwandan Banyarwanda and Ugandan Banyarwanda? That Banyarwanda are divided into the tribes of Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, so who are those Banyarwanda in Uganda, and that Banyarwanda in Uganda regard the rest as subhuman and it is the reason they dominate in all spheres of life in Uganda thereby suffocating other communities. It is my intention to throw some light on some of these issues.

Firstly, the stratification of Banyarwanda into Hutu Tutsi and Twa is not tribal or ethnic- it is socio-economic. The class system developed in response to the mode of production prevailing under the pre-colonial epoch in the ancient kingdom of Rwanda. Thus, the cattle keepers became Tutsi and the cultivators became Hutus and the hunter gatherers became Twas. Over the years, depending on one’s means of livelihood there would be mobility between the socio-economic strata. Because cattle keeping was considered nobler than the other economic activities there developed mannerisms associated with this class, perfection of language, poetry, dance and drama, and marrying into aristocracy thereby ensuring the progeny of this class looked a lot more different from the others (I am reliably informed that the present generation of the Chinese population is taller than the previous one owing to improved socio-economic conditions). When the German colonists and later the Belgian ones took over Rwanda, bewildered by the organic composition of the Rwanda Kingdom, they formed the opinion that tribal (etymology connotes primitive grouping) Africans could never have developed sophisticated systems of statehood and as such the aristocrats in Rwanda were a lost community from Europe thereby solidifying the so-called racial theory. Over the years political divisions crystallized upon this false premise hence the Hutu Tutsi rivalry that has been wrongly prescribed as ethnic.

Early recorded migrations of Banyarwanda to Uganda in their hordes was at the beginning of the first decade of the 20th Century when cash crop production was introduced by Mitchel Cotts- the successor to the Uganda Company (incorporated 1896) itself a successor to the IBEACO that had a royal charter. This early migrants are mainly in areas of tea production Namutamba and Tooro areas where they worked as wage earners and a good number took up other menial jobs in other counties of Buganda where their descendants continue to live.

In 1910 the Anglo – German – Belgian conference was held in Brussels, which resulted in an agreement on Volcano Sabinyo as the tripoint of the territories of the three states, delimited the present Congo – Rwanda and Burundi – Congo boundaries, and delimited the parts of the Congo – Uganda and Tanzania – Uganda boundaries adjoining the tripoint. This Convention between Belgium and Germany confirming the Agreement signed at Brussels, May 14, 1910, settling the Boundary between German East Africa and the Belgian Colony of the Congo. Also signed at Brussels, on August 11, 1910 was a Protocol between Great Britain and Germany describing the frontier between the Uganda Protectorate and German East Africa signed and another at Kamwezi, October 30, 1911. Memorandum attached to the Protocol List of Boundary Pillars on the Anglo – German Boundary, Sabinio to River Chizingo, with approximate Co-ordinates. These two legal documents transferred territories of Rwanda Kingdom’s Provinces of Bufumbira (present day Kisoro District), and Ndorwa (present day Kabale District) and areas of present day Ntungamo District that were inhabited by native Banyarwanda communities to Uganda. It is worth noting that these are the persons referred to Banyarwanda as an indigenous community of Uganda as per the 3rd Schedule to the Constitution. Though the ones of Bufumbira assumed the identity of Bafumbira (the column of 10th November 2013 explains the basis for this) arising mainly from the same prejudices the journalist showed on his timeline, they nevertheless are of the same realm of identity.

For a long time under both colonial and post-colonial administrations in Uganda, the areas inhabited by the Banyarwanda communities did not benefit from any form of affirmative action a result of which the community was heavily impoverished. In fact, it was deliberate Government policy to reserve the areas as a cheap source for labor for the plantations and other richer agricultural regions. However, over the years descendants of these people have been lifted out of the shackles of poverty and ignorance. Many are well integrated and live in harmony with their neighbours but prejudices die hard.

To this end, the constitution of the Republic of Uganda under article 10, reads:

The following persons shall be citizens of Uganda by birth—
(a) every person born in Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926, and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; Uganda’s indigenous communities as at1st February, 1926 which forms the date to the last border adjustment to the Protectorate of Uganda that transferred the Easter Pronvice to the Kenya Colony which is now the Rift Valley upto Lake Rudolf (Turkana). This 1926 adjustment is at the centre of the conflict over Migingo Islands! In this regard, the question of the Banyarwanda citizenship should not arise in the first and reiterate my earlier stand to forgive the journalist and furthermore foster dialogue between communities so as to forge a peaceful way forward. In conclusion, the great majority of Banyarwanda are citizens of Uganda consequent upon the partition of Africa. Incidentally in Rwanda itself the region of Byumba in the North is inhabitated by Bakiga who provided a President for Rwanda at one time.

The writer is an Advocate with Karuhanga, Tabaro & Associates and can be reached on

Museveni is the biggest promoter of tribalism in Uganda!

No greater in the history of Uganda has ‘tribe’ become more significant, than under Museveni. Some of you may be living in your own political closet, unaware of the feelings among the people, but it is an open secret that the people have developed this distinct hatred for certain tribes. We are sitting on the powder keg. The pictures of C.A.R, South Sudan and other similar conflicts based on tribes keep coming to mind.

There is no class in Uganda as we understand this section of society in economics, but just a small bedrock of evil individuals (common thieves) whose sole interest is to steal resources from the nation.

‘Mwana w’ani’, ‘mwan w’eng’oma’ is what a real Muganda wants. The ordering of society worked for us for hundreds of years to become a better organised society, than the one from which come from. Attacking it as age-old nonsense is a choice of words to demean the worth of Buganda and reduce it to your relatively less organised society. This is the usual Buganda bashing tirade.

Museveni gift to Buganda and Uganda has been murder and worse government since independence. He makes Idi Amin look like Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In the place of ‘Mwana w’ani’, ‘mwan w’eng’oma’, it is now Munyarwanda, Mututsi, Munyarwanda, Mututsi. He is using the Banyarwada’s old enemy (Banyankole) as the vanguards of dictatorship. In the 1980s the Banyankole made these Banyarwanda march back to Rwanda. Museveni may be using them, but surely he is a dimwit to forget what the banyankole did to the Rwandese. It is a marriage of pure convenience to accomplish the subjugation of the entire nation.

If there is a chink in the behaviour of Mengo, it should be no surprise, as this wouldn’t be exclusive to Buganda, but is the society’s norm. Who isn’t touched by “nfunirawa” mentality? The dictator has ‘farted corruption’ pervading society’s air. We all smell and breathe it. Some of us have constantly highlighted this problem as a means that Museveni is using to stay in power. Are you the blind one who has not seen the dictator carrying around of sacks and brown envelopes of money to big favours.

Museveni has purposely distorted the systems to ensure that he rules until he is forcefully pushed or dies. Accusing others as incapable of leading is hollow and unfounded. Is it not ridiculous to suggest that one can’t cook when the tools to do so are denied him/ her? Mengo would be happy to be out of the political chaos prevailing in the country, and manage it’s own affairs.

Kampala Uganda.

What is happening between Rwanda and Tanzania is sad-

These are two members of the east African community that share a common border and have been working on realization of the East African political federation under one president in the shortest time possible. Now they are at each other’s throat. This has resulted in Banyarwanda being thrown out of Tanzania with many of them entering Uganda with their cattle and causing tremendous problems especially at a time when Uganda is facing serious economic, social, financial and environmental challenges. The increased pressure on dwindling resources is likely to result in agitation by adversely affected Ugandans which will likely be met by brutal force from NRM security forces.

Preventing peaceful assembly and association of more than three Ugandans under the recently passed Public Order Management bill will likely push Ugandans against the wall. Ugandans that have been arguing that peaceful means of resolving the current political impasse have failed will have an excuse to call for armed struggle against the NRM government.

Let us be very clear: rushing into war without consultation with and clearance by leaders in the Great Lakes region, then African Union and finally UN Security Council attacking NRM government first will not be received kindly. The opposition will be blamed and Museveni will get the excuse he has been looking for to hunt down real and imagined enemies and liquidate them with impunity.

Outlawing demonstrations by the NRM government does not alone constitute grounds for launching a military attack against an unpopular government. We must move cautiously. Museveni sees his Tutsi empire project on fire and he is like a wounded animal ready to jump at anyone that makes a wrong move. His vision 2040 was rejected on the day it was launched. The Agreement with Mengo is likely to end up like vision 2040.

What Ugandans need to do now that assembly and association have been prohibited is to stop cooperation with the regime. Should the government use force to restore cooperation, we shall then have a case to use other means necessary in self defense which the African Union and the United Nations will go along with.


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