We are all Bafuruki

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<This article was originally published in the WorkZine issue of 22 September 2009 – ED>

It is with utmost shock that I pen this…a topic so big, So what up with the ‘Bafuruki’? I mean, who does that? Here we are condemning the IAAF for the racism/injustice (apparent) against Caster yet we have the same occurrences
in our backyard, only this time it’s not about athletics but about land, leadership and other rights inherent of Ugandans. Who under the sun can call a fellow Ugandan an immigrant within Ugandan boundaries? What is the logic behind this? Was any thought put into this? I do hope the chaps that make English dictionaries can add Uganda to the synonyms of words like hopeless, bleak and doomed for the future. Gosh!!! Were the years spent on the Odoki commission and the Constituent Assembly (CA) wasted ones? I always pride myself in the fact that I was alive when the current Ugandan constitution was
promulgated and the fact that a member of my family was part of this elite team made the spring in my bounce even more pronounced…and now this???

Then to crown it off, a government minister comes up and says that the Bakiga should surrender their hard-earned land to the Banyoro for redistribution. For those that know me, I come off as a committed Old boy of my school, I pride myself in the white shirt and grey trousers that are uniform in THE COLLEGE that Kisubi is. For once my head was bowed in awe at my OB’s pronouncement, a person that the young boys in school look up to, one of those that is a VIP in our society. I surely hope he doesn’t make for our reunion dinner this Friday, or perhaps he should come and so we can have the Brother Headmaster intercede and come to his aid. According to the Banyoro leaders, the bafuruki are the bakiga that are in the Bunyoro region. How did they get there? Well, during the 1950’s, or is it earlier?, they were relocated to the region by the colonial government with the approval of the Omukama of Bunyoro, Sir Winyi, owing to the land shortages in Kigezi. Some say the land was grabbed by the colonialists and given to the bakiga, some say there was a agreement.
Nonetheless, years later, the Bakiga were absorbed into and became habitants of this area. Owing to their industrious, they were able to prosper as they made good of what they had. Now when the indigenous, a very inappropriate definition, banyoro woke up to smell the coffee, it was too late. The Bakiga had taken over the local governments, town businesses, gardens and are now a major economic/political force to reckon with in the region. Who can blame them? They only, with their backs against the wall, did what they had to do, they worked hard! Now you want to take that away from them? This Bafuruki on-going is in bad taste and we as the youth should come out and make our stand known. We should not let this bigotry go on unattended to, we have every right to task our government to resolve this, to put the Banyoro leaders (do they qualify as leaders?) in check.

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