I woke up this morning to the news of riots and death in Kampala. The Baganda youth protesting the decision by Police to block the prime minister of Buganda to enter Kayunga ahead of the Kabaka’s visit sent Kampala ablaze.
I am not a sympathiser of most of Buganda’s demands and moves but I don’t think the government can keep the Kabaka hostage in his own country. He is free to visit anywhere as long as there are his subjects in that part of the country. The minority Banyala as much as they have a concern for them to ask Kabaka to seek permission from their leader means that cultural institution have power to choose who enters their kingdom or not. The power which I believed the constitution puts in the hand of government through the police and courts. I think it’s hard to see kingdoms in Uganda right now in terms of territories. It’s like the Kabaka for instance can’t meet Baganda in UK without permission from the Queen of England instead of the police of the area. The Police in this case is the institution to allow the Kabaka to visit his subjects in that part of the country. The question that Museveni didn’t forsee was the terriotorial issue of that comes with kingdoms. Should the cultural institutions be observed only in historical territories amidst a modern Uganda where many Ugandans live outside their Kingdom. Is this to say that the Alur King cannot meet the Alurs in Kampala unless he asks permission from the Kabaka? The riots are just a symptom of tribal divisions in Uganda.
Back to the riot why should Ugandans die in a riot that could have been prevented? This reactionary behaviour of the government in Uganda has must be checked. Ugandans must seek explanations for the loss of lives and property in the riot. The government is basically failed to protect citizens from destruction.
But this is not to exonerate those who orchestrated the riots. For the youth to resort to riots which cause losses to traders who are already struggling is not logical. And using violence against the state many times is counter-productive. Burning government cars when you and I are the ones who pay taxes to buy them is like being disappointed and you burn your own house. Anyone behind this movement to oppose government decision regarding the Kabakaship should know that when you fight alone your cause is likely to be lost. I think if you want a certain status you have to do so much to win others who don’t see the self-governance in the same prism as you.
I have covered riots in Kampala and what I know they tend to actually lose grip on what direction they should take. There more about attention and leaders often think causing property loss attracts attention, which it does, but this is just being myopic. I believe if one has a cause worth fighting for they should do a lot of planning and try not to cause loss to those who have nothing to do with the state of things. Often the demonstrations have turned into looting which really blurs the intentions of the demonstration.
But still government could have prevented this by dealing with the situation in a different way. But when you have a government that doesn’t care about the losses of many struggling ordinary Ugandans it will take decisions that incite violence other than resolve matters at hand.
I don’t think the Kabaka poses such a threat to the regime and the Banyala that he has to be made a prisoner of sorts. And if he doess, there are better ways to address this. And no Ugandan life should have been lost in the name of blocking a king from visiting another part of the country.