If It Isn’t Tribalism, What Ideology Is This Current Ethnicity Rotation Presidency Debate?

Hussein Lumumba Amin
By :
Hussein Lumumba Amin

I am open to people speaking their minds, but when I saw at least three respected Ugandan opinion leaders from different regions openly discussing which tribe/region/ethnic group the next president should or should not come from, I questioned if anyone really understands what tribalists are?

Because beyond this debate being outright tribalism in broad daylight, it was a clear indication of the calibre and limitations of this country’s political thinking capacity no matter what.

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This seemingly mild tribalism is being freely perpetuated unchallenged in the public domain, including by the local media which claims to hold the higher moral ground on what is permissible or not in this country’s public/political discourse.

The otherwise respectable individuals are not only discussing as if ethnic rotation is a relevant and legitimate intellectual topic, others are even saying it is a very pertinent question. One might not think that violent tribalism has never started with a person mentioning no tribe in particular versus an entire regional ethnic group.

Worse still, nobody is calling it out. Not even the scholarly professors, or the multiparty political leaders, or political scientists, not even civil society which should be better equipped in analyzing such utterances under their socio-political microscopes, since they claim expert knowledge on matters promoting democracy, inclusiveness, freedom and human rights.

First of all to clear any ignorance, this tribal rotation debate is simply outright bigotry. And secondly, it shows that the vast hidden majority of individuals in privileged leadership positions have obviously all learnt nothing from our history and the cause behind the decades of hell and human skulls that they were wallowing in from Luweero to Acholi and other areas around the country between 1980 and 2006. Therefore given the opportunity, they are knowingly or unknowingly predisposed to summarily throwing the country back into mayhem for failure to even understand the full extent of dwellng in baseless long held ethnic rotation beliefs.

Let us be very clear that there is not a single law or article of the Constitution that this ethnic rotation debate is based on.

Furthermore, I thought you guys said Uganda is a democracy! A system where every citizen is free to present themselves to the electorate. A system where the best candidate wins. And a system where the president is actually supposedly chosen by the people of Uganda. A selection process based on a candidates political, social, and most of all, economic development agenda, and their capacity to unite the country rather than split it into regional preferences.

If it is not tribalism and sectarianism behind this ethnic rotation topic, what ideology is it exactly?

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How does anyone want to determine what the ethnicity or religion of the next president should or should not be?

As I said at the beginning, it’s just bigotry that has been going on unchallenged and undiagnosed for decades despite being at the root of all the ills and immense suffering to the people of Uganda, especially since the Yusuf Lule/Binaisa/UNLA/Obote II/Bush war/Kony days.

It is also quite telling which political affiliation the individuals leading this discussion belong to. Confusingly, they are all from the same party. The one that claims to own all the philosophy and political ideology from both the developed and non-developed world simultaneously, yet also claims to stand against tribalism and sectarianism in Uganda, and declares that those ills are the beliefs of other governments, not them. Now what is all this public hullabaloo in broad daylight all about?

Lumumba Amin is a son to former Ugandan president, the late Idi Amin Dada

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