KAMPALA – National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) chief Joseph Kizza Kabuleta has said suffering by Ugandans as a result of bad leadership and segregation is not only limited to people in other regions, but also some underprivileged citizens of Ankole sub-region.
Kabuleta, also a former presidential contender in 2020/2021 national elections made this shocking revelation, while addressing the media at NEED’s Headquarters in Kampala on Monday.
He disclosed that a considerable number of people in Ankole are holed in a vicious cycle of poverty, but a certain class of a few privileged people cover up the situation to make it look as if all people from Western Uganda are living a better life.
“Not all people in Ankole have benefited from the NRM regime, most of them are facing the same problems faced by people in other regions. The privileges are enjoyed by the Bahima and Tutsi people who control everything in the Sub-Region,” Kabuleta said.
He also revealed that from the inception of its leadership, the NRM which was majorly dominated by the Bahima and Tutsis hatched a 50-year grand leadership plan, which many Ugandans thought was a joke, and added that it is a reality and being executed to the present day.
“These people in 1992 came up with a 50-year master plan to rule Uganda. And part of that master plan was to give people their money to start a money lending business. They give you a rosy loan at an exorbitant interest so that you fail to pay back. When you fail, they take over your collateral such as land and buildings,” remarked Kabuleta.
He said that the current regime oversees a harsh fiscal policy, by drafting measures to keep the population poor, having it in mind that the poor are easy to control.
“The concept of Uganda is slowly fading away. We now have the Bahima taking over everything,” the politician added, as he called upon sidelined Ugandans to stand up and fight for what belongs to them before it is too late to rewind the situation.
“We fight because our children shouldn’t be turned into slaves. These people’s vision is to turn Uganda into a Tutsi empire…. We should not be superior or given privileges because of our ethnic background. We are fighting sectarianism and we are going to have justice anytime.”
Former Isingiro North Parliamentarian Ms. Prossy Ayebare told the congregation that the Ankole sub-region currently has two classes of people namely; the haves who are the Tutsis, Bahima (Masters) and the haves not, that is to say; Bakiga, Banyankore (Biru/slaves).
“The Banyankore and Bakiga are oppressed people, we have political, economic and social challenges. The Bahima and Tutsis are the ones who take decisions like who gets what job, who joins the army among others. They are a small group of people with a lot of powers,” Ayebare complained.
She urged Ugandans to desist from generalizations, by categorizing all Banyankore as superior people on the national level, which is actually wrong.
“It comes on a national level, you take us (All people from Western Uganda) as superiors but in actual sense, it’s not the case. We are not allowed to vote in elections, Hospitals lack medicines, schools have no proper structures.”
She further accused the Bahima and Tutsis of sidelining the Banyankore and Bakiga when it comes to empowering the people of Ankole economically and added that vices like land grabbing are sometimes also visited against Banyankore.
“Our animals are ever in quarantine. The Bahima/Tutsi do not pay taxes, don’t pay for water or electricity bills, the burden is always imposed on us the Biru,” Ayebare complained.
Edwin Akoragye, a resident of Biharwe in Mbarara city seemed to agree with the first speakers.
He said that the Bahima/Tutsi dominate all top posts in government, and are given consideration in terms of scholarship opportunities, to study in good schools in Uganda and abroad, plus placing them in vantage positions so as to control the economy of Uganda.
“If the whole country has gone to the dogs, why do you think it’s a different story in Ankole?” Akoragye wondered.
He further unveiled a conspiracy move by a small group of people in Ankole sub-region to own and control everything in Uganda and make citizens prisoners, paupers and slaves in their own homeland.
“There’s a plot in Ankole to plan for Kampala in the name of keeping it ‘clean’. They want to contract their people to peel all matooke from Rubindi. They want to supply already peeled matooke to Kampala. There’s an abattoir in Biharwe where they want all cattle to be slaughtered. They want to supply ready-to-cook meat to Kampala. These people want to control everything starting from coffee, matooke, milk among others.”
“The issue of land grabbing is everywhere, Ankole inclusive. In Rwenjeru Ranch, one person was given 500 square miles free of charge because he rears Ankole cattle. He is very close to power. This is done at the expense of the poor people who are starving and have nowhere to till,” Akoragye expounded.
“Ankole people are not sectarian, we are good people. We are not like how some people portray us to be. Some people taint us to be rich yet that applies to only a few powerful people.”
Asuman Odaka, the NEED National Coordinator said as a political entity, they came up with the idea of profiling each region in order to clearly show the whole world, the inequalities that exist in sharing the national cake regionally, and to demystify an assumption that some people in specific regions are well off than others.
He told the gathering that People from Bukedi and other areas in other regions of Uganda think that people from Ankole are well off, which is a myth.
He added that their work is directed towards focusing on every region, to show the world that the majority of Banyankore are also facing similar challenges, like the broader mainstream citizenry.