KAMPALA – A section of members of parliament have rejected a plea by Indians living in Uganda to be recognized as one of Uganda’s tribes, accusing the existing Indian community of being discriminative against Ugandans based on their skin colour.
The MPs comments were in response to media reports that during a dinner at State House in Entebbe last week hosted by President Yoweri Museveni, Indians pleaded to the President to help them become one of Uganda’s tribe since this country has become their home and their grandparents lived here many years ago.
In response to their pleas, President Museveni promised to oversee the constitutional amendment process that would see Indians gain tribal status, however, his promise could have hit a dead end after MPs vowed to reject the proposal if brought before Parliament.
Leading the protest was Santa Alum (Oyam Woman MP) who wondered why Indians are hell-bent on being recognized in Uganda yet they have refused to assimilate with Ugandans, for all the time they have spent in the nation.
She said that Uganda is a very friendly country with very warm people and it is only upon Indians if they want to be part of Uganda to behave completely Ugandans, “The Indians have been here for a number of years, they have exited in our communities. But there is a big problem, yes they are with us but they want to associate with us to a certain limit. I don’t see intermarriages between Ugandans and Indians.”
Kato Lubwama (Rubaga South) said that Indians should stop only on getting citizenship and vowed to oppose the proposal if brought before Parliament.
He said, “If someone is born here, they become Ugandans but I don’t agree with having Indians recognized as a tribe because it would be the most discriminative tribe which has never occurred in Uganda. But for those born here, they should be given citizenship but the plea for a tribe won’t be helpful for national development.”
Lubwama added, “To show you how discriminative Indians are, in companies they secure slots for fellow Indians and no Ugandan can be appointed to those positions. They may plead for the President, but as soon as he leaves power, that tribe will be cancelled and it will be brought to Parliament, it will be us MPs to decide, we don’t want them to do the same thing they did recognizing Rwandans as a tribe.”
Some MPs warned Government against rushing to appease the whims of Indians saying the proposal if approved would be detrimental for Ugandans because the Indians are only seeking to push for their business interests and not concerned with Uganda’s development.