Learn from 2009 Buganda riots
Posted Sunday, September 22 2013 at 01:00
In insisting on the visit, Buganda emphasised “the people,” after four years, it is time to ask what has changed in those people’s lives and what the two entities central government and Buganda are doing to help those same people live better lives.
This week marked four years since the deadly “Buganda riots” of September 2009 resulted from a dispute between the Central government on one hand and the kingdom of Buganda on the other.
To many, the Buganda riots set the real ground for persistent extreme expression of disagreement with government and extreme reaction from the authorities, use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians.
While the fourth anniversary passed largely quietly unlike in the past three years, it is important that lessons of that sad episode are not forgotten.
It is important that at least for now, the government and particularly President Museveni and the Mengo establishment are on talking terms unlike around the same time in 2009.
While no accurate accountability and or compensation has been given to those who lost their lives, it is important that a mechanism be found to settle disputes without resorting to violence. What is important is that both cultural institutions and the central government focus on the most important aspects such as delivering better services and working to improve the life of Ugandans.
In 2009, people died because the government had blocked their cultural leader from visiting a section of his kingdom and indeed part of this country to which he should ordinarily be free to visit. Buganda, in insisting on the visit emphasised “the people,” after four years, it is time to ask what has changed in those people’s lives and what the two entities, central government and Buganda, are doing to help those same people live better lives.
It would do tones of good if today, Mengo and the central government were discussing plans on how to improve the lives of many people still stuck in poverty.
Leadership at all levels should be evaluated on the basis of how much the leaders do to improve the lives of those they lead. Buganda and the central government have an opportunity to join hands to achieve that common objective.