Weeping for Rubanda, the district of beauty and heroes

Sunday August 11 2019


By Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

In its craze to increase the number of supporting mechanisms, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leadership has embarked on an illogical exercise of creating very expensive but hardly viable organs, and tiny government units which make no sense at all.

During recent general elections, the party leadership has been compelled to create many districts, some tiny hamlets with no economic prospects, for the only reason of keeping NRM officials and cadres in office in perpetuity.

This is at a colossal expense in order to exclude Opposition parties from ever winning or replacing the NRM, and the rest of the country from ever enjoying and exercising their democratic and constitutional rights.

In its efforts to remain the only source of power with a monopoly to own and distribute the national cake, NRM has created, per capita, the largest parliament in the universe.

This is occupied and controlled by its own cadres whose major function is to act as a rubber stamp to validate any decision of its leadership that cannot tolerant criticism and questionable loyalty.

This is in exchange for incredible benefits for those cadres, their family members and friends at the expense of other Ugandans and the country’s goals of development.


The NRM system has deliberately abandoned nationalistic and developmental goals of the country in the quest to balkanise the country into tiny constituencies which collectively are a monster consuming all the national resources.

These districts are like premature babies with no future prospects of their own, but which depend almost exclusively on national resources and money dished out by corrupt and greedy officials who share the rest of the national cake.

It is fed by starved regional and local administrations known as districts .These are born with no future prospects or developmental concepts of their own, but depend almost exclusively on the resources of the districts.

Rubanda District, one of the recently created geographical units and now represented by three Members of Parliament, was once a small county of Kigezi District, one of the smallest districts in Uganda at Independence.

Since the NRM government took power, the districts in Kigezi have multiplied, first into the districts of Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri.
Today Kabale has been further divided to form the minute districts of Rubanda and Rukiga, and Kabale Municipality, as a result former Kigezi is now represented by 18 Members of Parliament.

Rubanda, which prides it’s self as the most beautiful and scenic part of Kigezi, which I can call the ‘Switzerland of East Africa’, is the home of heroes such as the late Canon John Bikangaga, Joseph Bitwari, a liberator and political martyr, Prof George Bazirake Byarugaba, the inventive marker and exporter of processed foods and beverages, not to mention this columnist once described by the Principal Judge as one of the most brilliant legal minds in history.

They are many other distinguished Ugandans who originate or have close ties with Rubanda.
For all this we weep for Rubanda District.

Prof Kanyeihamba is a retired Supreme Court judge.