President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday used Uganda’s 57th Independence Day Celebrations stage to call out groups of people that have over the years sought to create divisions amongst Africans using tribal and nationalistic sentiments.
The president, without naming countries, condemned such divisions, calling on the pushers of these sentiments to leave the African continent.
The Independence Day celebrations which took place in Sironko district were graced by Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa, whose citizens were among those attacked during the most recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, which saw over nine lives lost as well as scores of businesses owned by African migrants targeted by looters in Johannesburg.
“The 1.3Billion people of Africa are indeed relatives, contrary to the position of the reactionaries, whose spectacles never see the similarities among the African people,” Museveni said.
“Yes, there are many tribes and clans in Africa. However, all these tribes and clans, using linguistic classification are only in four clusters; the Niger Congo, Nilo-Sahara, the Afro Asiatic and Khoisan groups of Southern Africa.”
He added, “When you ask the Shona which is where President Mnangagwa comes from, what they call a woman, they say it is Mukadzi.”
“Those people who cannot see these similarities need to leave us and go somewhere else.”
Speaking at the event, President Mnangagwa praised “sister countries” such as Uganda for supporting his country during difficult economic times.
“Zimbabwe is a country in transition; we are under sanctions for 20 years. However, because of solidarity and support, political and material from our sister countries like the Republic of Uganda, we still survive.,” he said.
Mnangagwa also stressed the importance of Uganda’s independence in 1962, to other countries, saying, “Your independence inspired us in Southern Africa; we were inspired that it was possible to remove colonial power from our countries.”