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Eyewitness 24

Eyewitness 24

Unmasking the hidden truth

Deborah Amanya, the Principal Immigration Officer has dragged Frank Gashumba to Court seeking a gagging order against him!
His crime; criticizing her about her continued discrimination of the Ugandan Banyarwanda when it comes to applying for passports!
It should be noted that  Banyarwanda is one of the tribes in Uganda and they're found in all regions of the country.

However, they continue to face discrimination at the Immigration offices and mistaken to be Rwandans yet they're Ugandans.

A source at Immigration who preferred anonymity tells us that it's becoming practically impossible for a Munyarwanda born in Uganda to acquire a Ugandan passport.

The Constitution of Uganda recognizes the Banyarwanda as tribe number 24 out of the 56 tribes in Uganda. Most of the Banyarwanda who are denied passports, are Banyarwanda who hail from middle and lower class families.
Statistics show that  there are over 10 million Banyarwanda living in Uganda.

We contacted one of the applicants that was denied a passport, and her story is shocking!
When she went for the interviews at the immigration, the source who chose to remain anonymous was told to come over with both her parents and graduation tax information of her grandparents. After three months of being tossed at the immigration office, she was told to naturalize - basically to buy citizenship.

She has vowed not to buy citizenship in her country and she is among the many I contacted who are challenging Deborah Amanya's behavior.
The Council of the Bavandimwe wrote to the immigration with an intention to sue due to this continued discrimination but the Principal Immigration Officer Deborah Amanya has responded by dragging Gashumba to Court.

A source at the immigration confirms to us that this has been her behavior for long and when Gashumba came out openly and publicly to challenge her; she chose to run to court. It should however be noted that she is a public officer who by virtue is accountable to the public!

Many people especially the Ugandan Banyarwanda (Bavandimwe) turned up in numbers at the High Court (Twed Towers) to share their experiences to the Judge on Tuesday 24th August 2021 but the Judge wasn't available and the case was adjourned to Monday 30th August 2021 at 2pm.

EyeWitness24 will keep you posted on the developments of the case.

By Arnold Kalema

As the country is gearing towards yet another Museveni swearing in ceremony following the 2021 Presidential elections, questions abound.

How did a political novice, an upstart (such as Robert Kyagulanyi) who had barely lasted 3 years as a member of parliament, and whose political party had not been existence for even a year, manage to defeat a strongman like Museveni?

 In Buganda region for instance, where Museveni has been in politics longer than Kyagulanyi's entire life span, and at a time when the whole coercive state machinery was bent on using Covid to frustrate him at all costs?  

As I pondered that, it dawned on me that, aside from Museveni 's overstay in power, and the youth demographics, the role of Banyarwanda as king makers of Ugandan leaders needs to be examined.

Interestingly, while most naive, chauvinistic, xenophobic albeit uninformed political commentators merely dismiss Banyarwanda as "foreigners,” Charles Onyango Obbo wrote in the Daily monitor newspaper is quoted as having said,
"In the 1928 household census, Banyarwanda were 138,000 compared to the indigenous Baganda whose figure was, 108,000. Going by the scientific fact that population numbers double every 10 years, Banyarwanda outnumber Buganda in Uganda"

Another writer, Joachim Buwembo, wrote in The East African newspaper of April 05, 2018 under a title; "Are Banyarwanda Uganda's biggest tribe? Look around, they could well be"

In that article, Buwembo referred to a study done in 1962 which found that a fifth (20 percent) of people in Buddu county (now called Greater Masaka) of Buganda kingdom, were ethnic Banyarwanda. He went on to state that, " It can be assumed that today, it is only a fifth of Buddu people who don't have Banyarwanda blood. Much of rural central Uganda is inhabited by Banyarwanda, and trying to find out who has no Banyarwanda blood in Buganda, is a purposeless waste of time; even the first-born son of the Kabaka and his sisters are born of a munyarwanda woman; a prominent one at that.

Similarly, Prince Nakibinge, Prince Karifani and Prince Wasajja are all married to Banyarwanda women.

Joachim Buwembo further declared that there's enough circumstantial evidence (which I have been encountering in recent years) that Banyarwanda could be Uganda's biggest tribe.

 They are omnipresent, and Banyarwanda blood probably runs in most Ugandans veins"
With both seasoned writers Charles Onyango Obbo and Joachim Buwembo quoting studies and population censuses to assert the fact that Banyarwanda are the biggest tribe in Uganda, comes Banyarwanda identity politics and its bearing on Ugandan leaders from Milton Obote to Museveni.

It is an open secret that what informed Milton Obote's xenophobic desire to expel Banyarwanda to Rwanda, was their numbers and the fact that, approximately 85% of them were catholic, something that gave Paul Ssemwogerere a numerical boost come the 1980 elections which the latter decisively won.

 The results were however rigged in favour of Obote.

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Nonetheless, when Museveni declared a guerrilla war to fight Obote, Banyarwanda identity political interests and the looming threat of expulsion to Rwanda by Obote, compelled them to join Museveni's bush war where they formed the bedrock of Museveni's NRA fighters.

This formed a comradeship and an alliance between Museveni and the Banyarwanda fighters that trickled down to the Banyarwanda communities everywhere in Uganda, and this was visible each time Museveni and the NRM went for elections.
 Banyarwanda were very loyal to Museveni throughout the years. They always voluntarily mobilized and voted for him (as a block) in their large numbers, and clearly, from voting for Ssemwogerere in 1980 to voting for Museveni throughout the years up to 2016, every Presidential candidate that Banyarwanda endorse, wins.

In the recent past however, the erstwhile excellent Museveni-Banyarwanda alliance developed cracks and fault lines. All of a sudden, there was a change of attitude towards Banyarwanda in Uganda. For instance, Banyarwanda were getting sidelined and marginalized when it came to appointments in government and promotions, while others were turned away during military recruitment.

In all opportunities and employment, Banyarwanda were getting side-stepped in preference for Banyankore.
Ironically, the rest of the population thought Banyarwanda had "fallen into things" (bebali mu kintu) yet in reality, they were just hustling and nowhere near the privileged class but were nonetheless shouldering the blame and burden for whatever goes wrong in Museveni's government; from corruption, brutality, excessive taxation, overstay in power etc., it is not the favored Banyankore that were getting demonized, rather the Banyarwanda.

Matters got to ahead and things fell apart when Nira and the immigration department started openly denying Banyarwanda national ID's and passports, thus rendering them "illegals" in Uganda.

 That was the deal breaker, because in Uganda today, to deny someone a national ID, is to economically cripple and disempower such a person.

As a result, the Museveni-Banyarwanda alliance caved in under the weight of the pain and anguish of the resilient, long suffering Banyarwanda who could not take it anymore.

Since the Banyarwanda are the biggest tribe (a fact recently acknowledged by Museveni when he said that  majority of the people who call themselves Baganda are actually  Banyarwanda) Banyarwanda expressed their dissent in parts of Lwengo, Greater Masaka, Luweero, Wakiso, Mpigi, Mityana etc., by electing their fellow Banyarwanda as mayors, MP's, councilors ie Joseph Sewungu, John Katabazi etc.,

 But when it came to President, they cast a protest vote against M7 by voting Robert Kyagulanyi, not because they felt he was the best for the highest office in the land, it was a statement that they had felt let down by Museveni.

Museveni needs to work on repairing his alliance with Banyarwanda by mending fences with them ahead of the next election to avoid another upset, because we seem to be headed to the Kenya-style politics of block votes.

Henceforth, because Banyarwanda are the biggest tribe and most dominant tribe in Uganda, any serious political contender for the top office must ally with them to succeed.

By Charles Rwangombwa

I read with profound interest Kelly Rwamapeera's open missive to Frank Gashumba  albeit I was disappointed to find that Rwamapeera's piece, while espousing bits and pieces about Rwanda's history, it was thin on substance (regarding whether Ugandan Banyarwanda should rebrand to Abavandimwe) hence his write up was offside and irrelevant to the debate. Here is why.
Rwamapeera postulates from a point of ignorance that; "Many Banyarwanda  have succeeded in not being identified as Banyarwanda without molesting the whole tribe that has endured challenges for hundreds of years in the region." For starters,  absolutely no one is "molesting the whole tribe." The tribe and nationality of Banyarwanda in Rwanda should continue in existence totally unmolested by the name change proposal from Banyarwanda to Abavandimwe, because it doesn't consern them at all. The idea of rebranding from Banyarwanda to Abavandimwe,  is only for those among Ugandan Banyarwanda who embrace the idea of name rebrand to Abavandimwe, therefore Rwamapeera's accusation of "molestation of a whole tribe" is not only inappropriate choice of words but is also misconceived, to say the least. Interestingly, it is sheer hypocrisy for people like Rwamapeera to be up in arms about the name change proposal,  yet prominent leaders and personalities in the Banyarwanda community (for instance, Donat Kananura (the leader of Umubano) and DCJ Richard  Buteera official citizenship documents indicate they claim to belong to Bafumbira and Banyankore respectively. Why would prominent Banyarwanda like Richard Buteera and Donat Kananura claim to belong to other tribes clearly for purposes of safeguarding their citizenship, if the idea of name rebrand isn't necessary? Isn't it sheer playing the ostrich,  that defenders of Banyarwanda heritage, actually don't even name their children Banyarwanda names in preference for Banyankore and Bakiga names such as; Mugisha, Tugume, Tumwine etc!?


A case in point is that of the Bafumbira. Everyone knows that the Bafumbira are Banyarwanda, and it is only until recently that they chose to be referred to as a distinctive tribe independent of the Banyarwanda, for the same reasons that Ugandan Banyarwanda now feel they should rebrand to a name that does not relate them to a country called Rwanda when they are citizens of Uganda. Perhaps Rwamapeera should enlighten us just how the rebrand of Bafumbira from Banyarwanda "molested" the whole Banyarwanda tribe. Besides, supposing the name rebrand isn't important, how come Bafumbira passport applicants easily get their passports and National ID's approved when Banyarwanda are tossed up and down for months and finally told to naturalize? How come Bafumbira are never told to go for naturalisation?


I also wish to dispel Rwamapeera's lame duck attempt at legal reasoning, where he spelt doom for the registration of Abavandimwe as an organisation. Rwamapeera states that, "The Bavandimwe organisation shall not be registered because the 2016 NGO Act bars registration  of any organisation where the objectives of the organisation  as specified in its constitution are in contravention  of the laws of Uganda" he goes on to propagate a totally unresearched view that is clearly based on hearsay as follows; Endevouring to remove Banyarwanda  to replace them with Bavandimwe where theres no tribe called Bavandimwe but Banyarwanda..." Just, who told Rwamapeera that the proposal for Ugandan Banyarwanda to rebrand from Banyarwanda to Abavandimwe would delete Banyarwanda from the constitution and replace them with Abavandimwe? When Bafumbira  got listed in the constitution as one of the tribes in Uganda, did that remove Banyarwanda from the constitution? How about Bahororo? Don't they speak Runyankore and practice Nkore culture? Did the listing of Bahororo in the 1995 constitution remove Banyankore from the constitution? Don't Banyoro and Batooro have the same culture and same language aside from just a slight accent difference? Don't they both feature in the constitution? Before committing pen to paper, I would have expected Rwamapeera to do some research to avoid merely spreading speculation and hearsay.
As for the view that Abavandimwe organisation won't be registered, I don't see why that should be any of Rwamapeera's cause for worry, seeing as no one is asking for his help to register the Bavandimwe organisation, but for his information,  the Abavandimwe organisation (as he calls it) is a fully registered organisation and it has not violated the Ugandan constitution or any other law of the land, rather it is merely calling for debate of a mere proposal,  though it seems clearly apparent that the likes of Rwamapeera are  clueless  that freedom of speech and freedom of expression are constitutional rights.


Rwamapeera further erroneously claimed that by advocating for name rebrand, it has the effect of "degrading the nationality of the Banyarwanda constitutionally recognised" oh dear! That statement clearly demonstrates that Rwamapeera confuses tribe with Nationality where Banyarwanda are concerned.
Rwamapeera further justifies his opposition to name rebrand entirely "...because it doesn't make sense in the face of the fact that our fore fathers never tried it.." Well, it's common that leaders who have no solutions to people's problems,  only cite history, instead of prescribing up to date solutions to current problems. Rwamapeera's fore fathers never used wifi, so should Rwamapeera not use wifi? They never flew in a plane either nor did they use any of the modern amenities. Every generation faces unique challenges and it's up to the leaders that emerge to come up with solutions to surmount the challenges rather than reciting that tired line of fore fathers. For instance, if the fore fathers of African Americans were slaves, should the present day African Americans be slaves too!? Nowhere in Uganda's constitution are Banyarwanda listed as a nationality, rather as one of Uganda's indigenous tribes. As for alleging that a name rebrand proposal is "degrading", perhaps he should look up the meaning of the verb "to degrade" before using it in such a context where it is clearly off base.
Finally, since he's so enthusiastic about maintaining Banyarwanda identity at all costs, perhaps Rwamapeera should care to tell us what the name Rwamapeera means and its significance to Banyarwanda cultural heritage.


Banyarwanda came to this country as economic refugees,  some were annexed to Uganda as part of border demarcation that took away  Rwanda territory and annexed it to Uganda, while others moved to Uganda because in pre colonial times there were no borders and no boundaries, and kingdoms expanded and at times contracted, leaving some of their populations. Be that is it, it is up to us to generate constructive ideas to safeguard our citizenship rights and those of our grand children.
 In conclusion however, if we have never seen you in any of our struggles, it means you have no interest for advocating for the equal rights of our people. You should therefore not make suggestions to those of us who do. If you have not been a victim of denial of a job, denial of a national ID or a passport due to tribal discrimination because you are a munyarwanda,  you clearly don't understand the pain and suffering of our people who continue to suffer quietly. Its better for you to shut up in your comfort zone than make a mockery of the suffering of our people.

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Busoga University was closed by NCHE in December 2017. The council said the university did not meet the minimum requirements to offer degree courses such as having enough qualified lecturers.
 
Busoga University was ideally set up by the Busoga Diocese to address the educational gaps in the region. Even when Kenyan leader Raila Odinga visited the university, he was happy to note that Kenyan students in Uganda didn’t have to travel as far as Kampala to study since there was university close to them.
 
At the time of its closure, Speaker of parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga was the chairperson of the university council. However just like in her other offices, Kadaga brought divisions within the university staff.
 
Even after university staff complained about the different grievances they had, they feel on deaf ears and this is why most of them left and eventually the university license was revoked.  
 
She also fought off Professor Frank Nabwiiso as Vice Chancellor and replaced him with a foreigner from Rwanda who clearly had no knowledge about how to operate the university.  
 
As a person, what she says goes and anyone that challenges her is her enemy. Her selfish interests to build her ‘Kadaga brand’ got in the way of a University that was going to be a great fountain of education in Busoga and in Uganda at large.

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This day of March 15, 2021, the Banyarwanda Council in Uganda has announced the  rebranding of the council to Abavandimwe.

The rebrand is targeted towards getting a new face for the council.
In business terms, rebranding may be termed as "a process of giving a product or an organization a new image, in order to make it more attractive and successful"

The Council for Abavandimwe have outlined many reasons as to why this rebranding is necessary.
In their press statement, they explained that this name comes from tradition of ‘Ubuvandimwe’, which celebrates the bond of brethren.

“Members of our tribe are being denied access to the National Identity Cards and Passports, which are some of the most important documents that every Ugandan should and must have” the statement reads.

It goes on to explain that; unlike our fellow Ugandans, our tribe is being systemically locked out of the economy and public service of this country. Some of us cannot get phone sim cards, open bank accounts, acquire loans or even exercise our patriotic duty to join the police or armed forces.

When someone introduces to you a friend and make an additional statement that is a Munyarwanda, what automatically comes in mind that they are a “foreigner”.

Therefore, it’s better you rebrand to wash away that notion though it may take some time for all people to appreciate that change.

Why is it important to rebrand?

When you focus on new aspects of your business and promote them correctly, people will take notice. It will create a stronger voice and bring about the stakeholder value or reenergize the Association.

Contradictory opinions exist regarding the process of rebranding. Some believe that rebranding should be avoided yet others want to erase the previous brand image and establish a fresh one.

In the case of Abavandimwe, they should take the gradual restage because it requires a low budget, but a considerable amount of time, and should be done on a continuous basis.

It will improve on the facelift and credibility because the council will be believable and expand demographic focuses.
According to the statement released earlier this morning, the rebranding was done after thorough research that indicated  that right from the 1900 National Census done by the British Colonial Government, it should be clear to all young generations and all those who may not be aware; that the Banyarwanda have always been part of this country’s indigenous tribes.
This day of March 15, 2021, the Banyarwanda Council decided to announce something new that they are rebranding to have a new name of The Council for Abavandimwe.

This should never be viewed as getting a new name but it is only getting a new face. In business terms rebranding may be termed as "a process of giving a product or an organization a new image, in order to make it more attractive and successful"

The Council for Abavandimwe have outlined many reasons as to why the need to rebrand. In the place statement they explained that this name comes from tradition of ‘Ubuvandimwe’, which celebrates the bond of brethren.

“Members of our tribe are being denied access to the National Identity Cards and Passports, which are some of the most important documents that every Ugandan should and must have” the statement reads.

It goes on to explain that; unlike our fellow Ugandans, our tribe is being systemically locked out of the economy and public service of this country. Some of us cannot get phone sim cards, open bank accounts, acquire loans or even exercise our patriotic duty to join the police or armed forces.

When someone introduces to you a friend and make an additional statement that is a Munyarwanda, what automatically comes in mind that is a foreigner.

Therefore, its better you rebrand to wash away that notion though it may take some time for all people to appreciate that change.

Why is it important to rebrand?

When you focus on new aspects of your business and promote them correctly, people will take notice. It will create a stronger voice and bring about the stakeholder value or reenergize the Association.

Contradictory opinions exist regarding the process of rebranding some believes that rebranding should be avoided yet others want to erase the previous brand image and establish a fresh one.
In the case of Abavandimwe, they should take the gradual restage because it requires a low budget, but a considerable amount of time, and should be done on a continuous basis.
It will improve on the facelift and credibility because the council will be believable and expand demographic focuses.
According to the statement released, this rebranding was done after thorough research because it shows that right from the 1900 National Census done by the British Colonial Government, it should be clear to all young generations and all those who may not be aware; that the Banyarwanda have always been part of this country’s indigenous tribes.

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It saddens any normal human being to look at an old man with grandchildren like Mayiga dancing on someone’s grave!

 The death of sheikh Nuhu Muzaata left many questions unanswered. Both technical and morally.

At the technical side medics can help to answer as many people were wondering as to why there was no immediate release of the postmortem report.

However, let me concentrate on the moral side as I was left wondering why Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga never attended Muzaata’s burial whether in Kibuli for the funeral prayers or at the burial ground in Kigoogwa Wakiso district.

 He instead sent the minister to represent him and deliver the Kingdom’s condolences yet Mayiga has on many occasions attended less important (ebyekisiru) functions that can be equated to Embaga y’embaata the drama show that used to take place at Batt Valley.

This man on the same day Muzaata was buried, he is seen launching his building building and Supermarket located at the New Taxi park in the Central Business District, which he constructed using Ettoffaali money.

 Really Mayiga you have to think twice and behave like a leader.

We know it very well that sometime back you had misunderstandings with Muzaata since he opposed your projects you used to exploit people more so the poor Ugandans.

Muzaata came out clearly to oppse ETTOFFAALI and later KYAPAMUNGALO.

 Fortunately Kabaka realised it was a gross mistake to leave you rob Ugandans in bload day kight and stopped Ettoffaali.

Mayiga used it to collect money deceiving that was for Buganda projects yet he had self-centered interests.
Basing on his personal motives that surrounded collecting this money, our realiable sources can reveal that Mayiga has used part of this money to construct arcades in the city center like the one he launched and open up business that benefits his family directly.

In doing all this, he deceives the Baganda that he was launching Kiyimba Freeman’s business.
Though Kiyinba was a member of Ettoffaali committee and the majority shareholder of BBS TV, this time round the supermarket launched is owned by Mayiga.

Shame on you Mayiga for dodging Muzaaata’s burial and you opt to launch your businesses.

The world knows it very well that you reconciled with Muzaata when you met in Bukomansimbi at the late Muft Ahamed Mukasa’s burial in Bukomansimbi.
World over, Ugandans in different corners mourned Muzaata a clear expression that it was a great loss.

If you reconciled and you really meant that, why do you show the public that it’s settled and you keep it at heart!

Muzaata was both  an extraordinary Sheikh and Muganda , if could find time to go for the commoner’s weddings why not sparing sometime to attend Muzaata burial.

Even a smallest village in Uganda mourned Muzaata, all Ugandans from all religious denominations mourned the most powerful cleric in Uganda.

We know you are a hypocrite but as a leader it’s better you cover up on some misunderstandings and you do what is right at the time.
December 4th was Muzaata to breath his last and we don’t know who is next, angle Arimauti can also come for you anytime, do you expect others to behave in the same way you did.
The two of you had misunderstandings but resolved, when you met at the late muft Ahamad Mukasa in Bukomansinbi you shook hands and reconcile.

Mayiga ozze weetaba mu bingi eby’kisiru naye lwaki tewaziise Muzaata.
Instead of attending Muzaata Burial he appeared on his supermarket launch.
Kitalo

 

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The confirmation of the death of Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata, the director of Dawa and spokesperson of the Kibuli Muslim faction.

His death remains a mystery before an official postmortem report but there has been talk he had been arrested while some other sources indicated he had been suffering from hysteria.

But in press confereyon Wednesday where the Supreme Mufti, Sheikh Siliman Kasule Ndirangwa, told the nation Sheikh Muzaata in stable condition, he also said the cleric was suffering from normal illness.

Muzaata was rushed to the International Hospital Kampala two weeks ago. He tested negative of covid19. His body still in we in that hospital mortuary.

A number of people have taken to social media and paid tribute to Muzaata who they said was an outspoken figure.

He has controversially attacked government over its human rights credentials and at the same time he was critical of Buganda kingdom premier Charles Peter Mayiga for his handling of kingdom land issues.

At a recent burial of another  cleric, Ana's KaliisaMuzaata offered himself to take the care of NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi instead of government harrasing him.

Residents of Lwanyonyi-Kirangira in Nama  sub-county, Mukono district have held a feast to celebrate the death of their landlord, Israel Dickson Banoba. The late Banoba, who has been  feuding with the residents over land for the last 30 years, suffered a  heart failure on Monday last week.


The residents have for  years, accused Banoba of forcefully evicting them from their land and corruptly dragging them to court.  On Thursday, about 80 residents led by Umalu Ssebuyonjo  slaughtered a cow and roasted the meat on the contested land to  celebrate Banoba’s demise. The residents also mockingly installed a puppy as Banoba’s heir.

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