To be Asian and Ugandan, and to be ‘Ugandan’ and Ugandan

Published: 27/Nov/2019
Source: The Monitor (Kampala)

By Charles Onyango-Obbo

A few days ago, Daily Monitor reported State Minister for Gender, Ms Peace Mutuuzo, saying Indians [Asians] in Uganda cannot be made a national group (tribe) because their “origin cannot be traced anywhere in Uganda other than in India.

“Their culture also is different from the diverse cultures of the indigenous Ugandan communities,” she said.

Her comment followed President Museveni’s suggestion earlier that Asians could indeed become a Ugandan tribe. It is something Museveni has said before, and Kenyans have resolved by doing exactly that.

On this, I am on Museveni’s side, my criticism being that he has not gone far enough, as there are other peoples – Filipinos, Congolese and so on – whose families have lived in Uganda for over a generation, and are still treated as “aliens”.

Still, we need to understand where Mutuuzo is coming from. A people will feel threatened when foreigners come into their midst, take root, multiply, and overcome them in numbers. No, they don’t just feel threatened, they react very badly. In the West, it is driving anti-immigrant feeling, and led to fears of the “great replacement”.

Read further:

Themes: Acquisition de la nationalité, Discrimination, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Ouganda
Year: 2019