Politics of tribal loyalty & bribery
Today is the fourth day of Presidential campaigns in Uganda. I’m currently in Lyantonde-Western Uganda and it’s very cold inside my room, as I type this. Despite the low temperature, I have to get out and film a documentary with the herdsmen. For those who don’t know Uganda-Lyantonde is close to the incumbent’s home in Rwakitura. Most people here are herdsmen who belong to President Museveni’s Bahima tribe. Its 1:45Pm, I rush out of my room to meet a prominent herdsman in the Town center. Tumwine is the prominent man’s name. We drive in his pick-up truck, on a narrow feeder road to meet the other herdsmen. On our way, I strike a conversation with Mr. Tumwine regarding elections and he openly tells Museveni will definitely win the election.” in Ankole, we only vote for Museveni, because he’s our tribesman” Tumwine says with a wide smile. Tribal loyalty is a key element within the socio-economic life of Ugandan’s. Top Government positions, contracts and other favors are given along tribal lines. For instance the Banyakore and Bahima, dominate all key Government positions. In Uganda most citizens do not consider the candidates manifesto or political party but rather tribe. In the current presidential race we have 8 candidates who come from nearly all the 4 regions of Uganda. Dr.Warren Kifefe Kizza Besigye, president of the interparty cooperation comes from Rukungiri in western Uganda. The incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is also from Western Uganda. The Democratic Party Leader Nobert Mao is from Northern Uganda, as well as UPC’S Dr. Olara Otunnu. The remaining three candidates are from Buganda region, where the capital Kampala is located. There is absolutely no doubt that most Ugandans will vote along tribal lines come February 2011. The remaining few Ugandans will vote either because of party loyalty or after receiving bribes. It’s sad some people only vote after being bribed. There is widespread poverty and unemployment in Uganda. The feeling of frustration and hatred is so high among Ugandan youth who are willing to do anything for a quick buck. The worst thing, I fear, is that these desperate youth could rebel against president Museveni incase he rigs next year’s election.