Nine ethnic groups seek inclusion in Constitution
What you need to know:
- During an engagement with the representatives of ethnic minority groups in Kampala yesterday, the EOC Chairperson, Ms Safia Nalule Juuko said there is a need to include the nine groups in the Constitution.
The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) yesterday called for amendments to the 1995 Constitution so as to recognise nine indigenous groups.
The EOC’s proposed groups are the Benet (Kween District), Bakingwe and Bagabo (Kasese District), Maragoli (Kiryandongo, Masindi and Hoima ), Haya (Rakai district), Basese, Bagaya, Masopike and the Meru.
During an engagement with the representatives of ethnic minority groups in Kampala yesterday, the EOC Chairperson, Ms Safia Nalule Juuko said there is a need to include the nine groups in the Constitution.
Ms Nalule added that once the groups are acknowledged, they will benefit from government empowerment programmes like the Parish Development model, which targets low income earners.
“We have realised that these indigenous groups are not recognised anywhere and they are forced to belong to the majority groups which is not fair in terms of gender and equity compliance because they have their rights as Ugandans to be registered in their respective tribes,” she said.
Ms Nalule said the unrecognised groups are unique from the 65 indigenous communities that are recognised in the 1995 Constitution.
Mr Alex Niyonsaba, the Bufumbira South MP, said it was hard to lobby funds for the unrecognised tribes.
“Every citizen of Uganda has a right to survive, to access health, education, and other services, and therefore it’s important that the ethnic minority groups are recognised as it is enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda so that they also benefit from the government resources.
He added: ‘’Some of the indigenous people have failed to access services in their communities because they do not want to abandon their culture. These include the Batwa group from Kisoro who are not accessing education and other services.
Ms Harriet Nalukenge, the programme manager at the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, agreed with the lawmaker.
She said: “It implies that when it comes to allocation of funds from government for different projects they are left out because they are not in the database. This has forced them to forego the services and remain backward.”