Opposition Democratic Party (DP) President has cautioned Ugandans against lumping an entire region or tribe and describing it as privileged.
Amid the ongoing government crackdown on people alleged to be spreading sectarian and tribal messages in the media, Norbert Mao warned today that while discussing these topics, Ugandans must avoid blanket stigmatization as it may revive the old bitterness that stirred up conflict in certain parts of the country years ago.
Mao was speaking on last week’s arrest of members of the comedy group Bizonto and yesterday’s detention of senior talk show host Basajja Mivule.
The suspects had put out content on social media in which they depicted the current government to be benefiting mostly people from Western Uganda where the president hails from.
Police says such messages which fuel tribal division will not be tolerated.
Speaking to press in Kampala today however, DP President Mao, whose mother, Christina Bitwababo was a Munyankore, says only a few and not all people from western Uganda can claim to be privileged.
“We don’t have anything against the Banyankole. My mother is a Munyankole from Isingiro. There are very many decent hard working Ugandans in all the tribes,” Mao said.
“There are good Acholis and bad Acholis. If you want to condemn the Acholi, name the bad ones and condemn them not the entire tribe.”
Mao went on to warn that condemning entire tribes has proven dangerous in the past.
“I don’t believe in stigmatization or collective guilt because most of us who are from Northern Uganda are victims of collective guilt.
Meanwhile, FDC’s Col Dr Kizza Besigye also warned today that the issues being discussed don’t rise to the level of tribalism.
“Some people are uneasy about some people talking about domination by a few people and they are translating it as sectarianism tribalism, it is ‘familism’, actually. We are talking about dominating the whole country with one family and not one tribe. Calling it tribalism is lifting it high,” he said at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
Earlier today, Presidential adviser Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba warned against trying to rekindle the danger of tribalism in the country.
“All those who try to introduce tribalism into our politics and social life are fighting an insurmountable mountain. Our great grandfathers… Omukama Kabalega and Kabaka Mwanga II and our fathers like General Yoweri Museveni integrated us beyond reversal. Uganda ni Moja!!,” he tweeted.