In his latest missive on the issue of tribalism, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has advised the public to leave the UPDF army out of sectarianism which he described as nonsense.
“The NRA, the UPDF are Armies of sacrifice, all the time for no pay or low pay. They (we) put their lives on the line,” he said.
“Therefore, leave UPDF out of the circus of sectarianism. Fighters, real fighters, never have interests in tribes or religious sectarianism; but in comrade-in-arms,” he added.
President Museveni said: If you are not working for the enemy, you cannot go on the social-media and demand that we publish the names of the personnel of UPDF, their ranks and their jobs.
“The only thing we can say and what you know is that recruitment into the Police and UPDF is by quota. Beyond that, leave our Army alone and I mean, leave our Army alone,” he added.
The president also warned against preaching sectarianism on social media
“Also preaching sectarianism on the media (social and otherwise), should stop. Although I am always ready to explain, also remember that such false allegations, carelessly or maliciously made, are criminal,” he said
In the same missive, the president also lashed out allegations of the public service being dominated by the Banyankore or the Westerners.
He said Jobs and wealth do not come from just being employees in the Public Service.
“Therefore, even if the Public service was dominated by the Banyankore, it may not help that community to be any better than the others,” he said.
“Besides, the claim that the Banyankore or the Westerners are monopolizing the 480,000 Public service jobs cannot be true although, of course, I have not yet studied that diversion from addressing the 4 sectors of wealth and jobs that I always tell you about: Commercial Agriculture, Industry, Services and ICT,” he added.
Here is the Full Missive.
On the issue of tribalism, especially referring to jobs of the Public Service, people who push that talk are wasting the time of our People and misdirecting them. Jobs and wealth do not come from just being employees in the Public Service.
During the colonial times and after Independence up to 1971, the Army and Police of Uganda was dominated by Acholis and Langi. In the interview Mzee Obote gave in Dar-es-Salaam, he revealed that the Uganda Army by the 25th of January, 1971, had been comprised of a total of 8000 soldiers, 4,300 of whom were Acholis, 1,300 were Langis etc. This was after 80 years of the Uganda Army being dominated by some of those groups.
What development had that domination caused in Acholi, Lango or West Nile where those People were coming from? Permanent houses, businesses etc.?
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Moreover, today, the majority of the jobs are from the Private Sector:
• Industry – 700,000
Services – 1,300,000
• ICT – 170,000
Agriculture – 11,965,200
Therefore, even if the Public service was dominated by the Banyankore, it may not help that community to be any better than the others.
Besides, the claim that the Banyankore or the Westerners are monopolizing the 480,000 Public service jobs cannot be true although, of course, I have not yet studied that diversion from addressing the 4 sectors of wealth and jobs that I always tell you about: Commercial Agriculture, Industry, Services and ICT.
Why and how would those Banyankore dominate the Public Service where the Public Service Commission was last held by a Westerner, the late Mzee Bikangaga from 1979 to 1990. Since that time, the Public service Commission has been headed by: Zikusooka, a Musoga, Muzaale, a Musoga, Ralph Ochan, an Acholi and the membership is always balanced.
The Education Service Commission was headed by Waggwa Lubega for a long time. The current chairperson of the Education Service Commission is Sam Luboga, a Musoga.
The Chairperson of the Health Service Commission is Dr. Pius Okong, a “munyankore” from Teso.
The leaders of those commissions mentioned above, are all very highly qualified People in their fields. If they recruit only Banyankore, those Banyankore must be exceptionally gifted. We shall get to the bottom of this nonsense.
In any case, being recruited into the Civil Service, Teaching Service, Judicial Service (this is the only Commission headed by Kabiito from Western Uganda) or Health Service is by both written and oral examinations.
How can it be that Westerners, much less the Banyankore, are the only ones that get recruited? There are promotional examinations for each level advancement once within the Service.
Coming to the Armed Forces, especially the Army, my advice to all of you, is that leave your Army out of that nonsense. The NRA, the UPDF are Armies of sacrifice, all the time for no pay or low pay. They (we) put their lives on the line.
Therefore, leave UPDF out of the circus of sectarianism. Fighters, real fighters, never have interests in tribes or religious sectarianism; but in comrade-in-arms. I became a comrade with the mad Ageta on the 17th of September, 1972, because we found ourselves together taking cover, while combating Idi Amin’s gigantic Sergeants in the ant-hills that dotted the area where the Coca-Cola factory is now, near the Mbarara Barracks.
When my small group crossed to the right of the Mbarara- Masaka road and got near the barrack’s fence, I found there another Obote fighter who became my comrade known as Opio. I worked with him thereafter until 1980 when I lost contact with him.
Ageta, whom I had not met before or since, was so happy with me that when the remnants of us went back to Tanzania, he appointed me a Corporal and a Section Commander for one of the 4 Sections that we got out of the 46 remnants that survived out of the 330 fighters that had attacked the Mbarara Town and Barracks that morning.
If you are not working for the enemy, you cannot go on the social-media and demand that we publish the names of the personnel of UPDF, their ranks and their jobs.
The only thing we can say and what you know is that recruitment into the Police and UPDF is by quota. Beyond that, leave our Army alone and I mean, leave our Army alone.
Also preaching sectarianism on the media (social and otherwise), should stop. Although I am always ready to explain, also remember that such false allegations, carelessly or maliciously made, are criminal.
The ideology of the NRM starts with the economy (market) and social interests (education, health, religion). I went to school, not mainly because of the Banyankore, but, actually because of some Baganda and one White man. How? In the 1950s, there were not many Banyankore business People.
Yet, some of the Baganda People had started doing business. Two of them, Walusimbi Mpanga and Bukyenya (Bukenya of Mbarara), were cattle traders (buying cattle for slaughtering in Kampala and Mbarara). These traders would periodically buy the cows Mzee Kaguta would bring to the cattle auction markets of Ntungamo or Rubaare or Kagarama, thereby getting money to solve his home money needs but also pay my school fees.
The other economically of ours was a Whiteman known as Shear, who had a home at Ishaka. He was buying cattle for Kilembe Mines workers.
In this relationship, you see three elements: economic complementarity (prosperity); education (school fees); and health (Mzee Kaguta could even go to private clinics run by Indian doctors that time-Patels etc.). Even today, those inter- community linkages are the most important for our People for economy, education, health, religion etc. Why don’t our tribal groups buy our surplus sugar, milk, maize, bananas, cement etc.? That ideology of sectarianism is pseudo and bankrupt and you should stop pushing falsehoods.
- One of the ways to solve the problem of surplus production is to struggle for the deeper integration of the East African markets and not to talk of tribalism.
- It is because of that realization, the realization that the different communities support one another by buying the products or using the services of one another, that I used the expression of not Kulinya mu sowani the Ugandans kwebalira.
The market of Uganda, the market of East Africa, the market of Africa are the sowanis kwetulira (the producers of products – agricultural, industrial, services etc.).
The producers prosper because of the purchasing power of Ugandans, East Africans, etc. I am prosperous because the People of Uganda buy my beef (bullocks) and my milk. The Arcade owners and other shop owners in Kampala have been prosperous because the Ugandans buy their products.
Our pockets make those Arcade and shop owners prosperous by us buying their products. The only problem has been that those shop owners were mainly selling foreign products that can be made here; thereby, sucking a lot of wealth and jobs from Uganda and taking them to Dubai, China etc.