Colonial legacy and politics reasons behind Uganda bloodbath

This photograph taken on December 1, 2016 shows burnt houses in Kasese, Uganda that belonged to royal guards of the Rwenzururu Kingdom. PHOTO | BADRU KATUMBA | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Whereas President Museveni is seen as the instigator of the demand for new districts and kingdoms in the Rwenzori, the quest for tribal homelands is popular and comes from below.

  • This popular and subaltern quest should be seen as the legacy of colonial rule, which made tribe the basis for accessing leadership and resources like land.

  • Second, President Museveni’s mode of governance resonates perfectly with this popular pursuit of tribal territories and he is eager to recognise them.

  • Third, the violence that has ensued should not be seen as a result of tribal or cultural differences, but as the outcome of the manner in which Uganda has been governed in the past and the present.

  • Fourth, if the conflict is historical and political, it follows that the solution should be sought in politics, not in military onslaughts on palaces or prosecution of kings.

Kenyans were gripped by the arrest of KTN anchor Joy Doreen Biira last week during the conflict in Kasese region in western Uganda, but the recent tragic events are just the latest chapter in a complex and intractable problem.

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