One cannot talk about the history of Uganda without mentioning something to do with sectarianism and tribalism.
At one point in time, Uganda was governed based on sectarianism. President Yoweri Museveni frequently says that the problem of sectarianism made Uganda ungovernable during those days because nobody would get the majority support of all Ugandans hence conflicts.
Uganda is a country with different tribes and languages. Fortunately, those people have different things that they share in terms of culture and others. I think that's why it has been easier for Ugandans to live together in harmony even when there's confusion by politicians to take us back to the conflicts of tribalism.
Whereas Uganda has serious laws against sectarianism, most of these laws have been abused by people who are chasing after selfish political interests using sectarianism as a carrier. Those of us in our early thirties who didn't see the confusion and the conflict that was caused by politics based on sectarianism think it's actually a joke and that's why most of us usually make comedy and jokes about it.
It is something serious and dangerous that can send the country into flames within a short period of time. Recently, the Equal Opportunities Commission released a report which says that 47 per cent of the jobs have gone to western Uganda. I don't know what they meant by western Uganda because there has been a rhetoric that Banyankore who come from the western part of Uganda are the ones taking over everything.
This Commission forgot that western Uganda is made up of different tribes which among many include Bakiga, Batoro, Banyankore, Banyoro, Bafumbira and many others. Their report justified the confusion that most opposition politicians especially from the National Unity Platform have been preaching and no wonder immediately it came out the leader of NUP tweeted about it and said that the Commission was bold enough to release such a report.
We need to ask ourselves. How do people get jobs? Is it by appointment or it is by going through interviews and getting the best performer? So if people from different regions of the country sit for an interview and the one from western Uganda wins, should he be denied that opportunity because he's from western Uganda?
Won't that be tribalism in its own way? So let us be guided and avoid these sentiments that cause unnecessary anger to the public hence planting a seed of hatred within the communities. We should know that there will always be reasons to justify the confusion brought by the illogical politicians to mislead the public about tribalism and I think that's why it is always easy to convince the public that there's nepotism and tribalism in Uganda.
Even when we see mistakes, I feel it's not prudent for any patriotic Ugandan to fuel that confusion to result into conflict because the results are always dangerous and don't affect one sect. Unfortunately, even those who are not involved end up being affected. If someone goes to Rwanda today, you may find that the people who were affected by the genocide are not necessarily those who fueled that conflict.
Today, Rwanda has the burden of looking after the many orphans and widows whose parents and partners died in the genocide. The people who fueled that confusion did not take into consideration the outcomes of what they were doing, maybe at that time they had an interest that they thought would be fulfilled by using the confusion of tribalism that they successfully planted in the public.
That incident is actually possible in Uganda if we keep doing what we are doing. There should be zero tolerance for any form of practising tribalism or any form of politics based on sectarianism.
The writer is a deputy RDC Sheema district.