The Plight Of Uganda Banyarwanda
In Present day uganda, Banyarwanda make up 6% of the total population. However, the Ugandan Banyarwanda are composed of Hutu, Twa and Tutsi. The Hutu have been quickly accepted as Bafumbira, the Twa remained Twa and the Tutsi renamed Nyarwanda/Nyaru. In general,the Ugandan society at large, has always been very hostile to Ugandan Tutsi. In fact, many have never been able to assimilate properly,they’ve always found themselves refugees in their own country.
The Twa are the most abused; displaced,neglected,discriminated,etc.
In fact there was a time when Uganda society had a belief, that “if you fuck a Twa woman, you get cured from aids”. As society see’s them as sub-humans, this resulted into mass rape, especially by UPDF soldiers.
In spite of their racists culture towards Black Africans, Asian nationals from Indian, Pakistan,Bangaleshi and Seychelles,that have come to exploit Ugandans, have more rights than Ugandan Tutsi.
A point of clarification, in Uganda, we also have another type of Tutsi, the migrant/Refugee. This later Tutsi is protected by UNHCR and their respective governments in Rwanda and Burundi[missions] that they might be working for.
They’ve not escaped the institutionalised banter, the derogatory xenophobic term for them is “Nyaru”.
However, just like in any society, when two people get into a heated-up argument, they tend to slag-off the other party.
In Uganda, when any westerner[Toro,Kiga,Nkore,etc] or a very light skinned (not mixed race) person gets into such an argument, the other party tend to slag them off, that they’re “Nyarus”-its like “Honky[honkie]” a derogatory term for a Caucasian person.
Though Uganda is still under economical and mental colonialism,during the first scramble for Uganda by the British imperialists,the Baganda tribe were the richest in terms of exploitation,because they produced cash crops such as cotton and coffee for their masters,and diligently played the role of colonial(compradors) sub-imperialists.
Its believed that at the time,Baganda never associated themselves with other tribes and that’s the reason we have the term in Kiganda(Baganda language) Tetwalyaaga Namwe(You were never part of us), we never used to share/eat with you.
At the time, western Uganda was a reservoir of cheap labour for the colonialists as well as their pathetic Compradors in Buganda. The tribes that provided the cheap/slave labour were mainly Hutus, today you could say Bafumbira and Bakiga-don’t forget that Hutus were the Elite Forces for the Buganda Kingdom.
Its the Hutu elite units that put up resistance to stop Chief Mirambo, a local warlord, turned the supremacy in long-distance trading and porterage into a political, economic and military system. This was achieved by uniting the numerous Nyamwezi clans into a powerful kingdom in 1870 with its capita) in Urambo.
Between 1876 and 1881 he undertook missions to make alliances with neighbouring rulers and led expeditions to Burundi, the Vinza and Tongwe in the West, the Pimbwe and Konongo in the South, the Nyaturu, Iramba and Sukuma in eastern Tanzania, and to Kabaka Mutesa of Uganda.
Using Ngoni mercenaries – the ‘ruga-ruga’ African Rifles Askaris- his rule extended from the Northwest Buganda border to Lake Tanganyika and covered the area south of Tabora down to Uvinza.
To consolidate his power he made an alliance with the sultan of Zanzibar but constant incidents led to the Sultan withdrawing his support, and Mirambo’s kingdom disintegrated after his death in 1884.
He is a Tanzanian national hero and a famous war song honours his memory; Iron Breaks the Head.
Stanley called him the ‘Napoleon of Central Africa’.
The armed forces of the colonial era were recruited mainly from the Luo and Sudanic speakers of the northern region. This specialisation along racial and ethnic lines is what has led to bloodshed in contemporary Uganda. Unsophisticated leaders like Obote, Amin and Museveni have exploited the politics of ethnicity and their historical imbalances to entrench themselves.
Just like in any society, the oppressors tend to give a name to their victims,during Obote’s time, Banyarwanda were referred to in a very derogatory way as “Nyarwanda”.
Today when you question the oppressors, why we have Nubians,Acholi,Kakwa,etc. tribes from Sudan and Uganda or Pokots in both Kenya and Uganda, and also referring them to the Ugandan constitution that says; Banyarwanda are a Uganda tribe, they then changed their tune to Balaalo “herdsmen” squatters, encroachers, etc.
Being a refugee in your own country is the most humiliating thing for any human being to go through as you’ll never have stability in your life. Thus, your opportunities are limited.
Believe me not, its a very painful experience-growing up as a Munyarwanda in Uganda, its like living in hell- Children and adults are abused and looked down at, by all sections of Ugandans.
However,the Ugandan Banyarwanda being a resourceful people by nature, have never let the hostility put them down, they’ve done manual work like cleaning toilets, collecting rubbish, cattle herding, etc. the money saved was used to invest in their own cattle and land, thus cattle and land ownership would guarantee them a descent investment. In fact, the investment paid off-you’ll find that Uganda Banyarwanda children are very educated and creative than their Ugandan counterparts, that’s if you were to consider the percentage of the entire Uganda population.
Although hostility towards Banyarwanda is not a new culture, it has varied in intensity for decades.
What the reader should understand is that; in present day Uganda,Banyarwanda of Tutsi background are not allowed to vote, hold public office, own a national passport, apply for a government scholarship and the right to freedom of opinion.
The Ugandan alcoholic president, Milton Obote, ordered the registration of all “people of Rwandan origin” in 1969, in what many believe was a first step towards their expulsion. Many changed their names to Musisi,Kato,Musoke,Kizito,etc.
What saved the day was the ouster of the alcoholic president in 1971 by Idi Amin Dada.
In 1982–1983 when back in power, functionaries of Obote’s ruling party, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC),caused the expulsion of some 75,000 Tutsis who had over the years settled in western Uganda (Ankole, Rakai, and parts of Masaka).
I have never seen a group of Ugandans more afraid for their safety like the Banyarwanda of tutsi Background are today!
What Yoweri Museveni’s errand boy, Gen. David Tinyefuza is doing reminds me when members of the “youth wing” of the UPC, and special forces of the police used to attack Tutsi homes.
Its an open secret that sometimes, the Uganda’s Coordinator of Intelligence Services, Gen. David Tinyefuza, ferries in Interahamwe from Congo(DRC) to terrorise Tutsi families living by the border areas.
Its also very common for vigillantes to come and set fire on homes, destroy farms and kill animals that belong to Ugandan Tutsi.
Just alone in Masaka District, five people were recently hacked to death in cold blood and the perpetrators are still at large and are always seen sharing drinks with security operatives.
The spin from the state agents has been that, “the attackers claimed the Tutsi will always vote back the incumbent.”
Please… how can someone vote for a person that has denied them their fundamental rights??
The government has taken no steps to punish the vigilantes, that have taken possession of land,homes,cattle,and other belongings of Tutsi families.
Just like a wicked devil advocate, the state that is supposed to protect the victims of crime,just shamelessly takes sides by saying that; Nyarwanda cows destroy crop fields that belong to cultivators.
But how can farms,homes that belong to Tutsi, destroy crop fields- where is the logic??
As it has become institutionalised to hack Tutsi with machetes, Tutsi school Children in some parts of Uganda, have dropped out of school for fear of being attacked with machetes.
The Intimidation of the Tutsis, accompanied by beatings and a number of killings, has resulted in large-scale displacement.
where are the so called Uganda Human Rights organisations?