“I have been observing and participating in African politics for 60 years and politics of identity especially of tribes and religions have caused many problems to many African countries including Uganda. #WhisperEyeNews
Uganda just came up after we had shunned politics of identity and substituted it with politics of interest and I would encourage Ethiopians to always remember that,”
This has been President Museveni’s gospel all-over Africa, preaching to African leaders to do away with politics of Identity and embrace leaders based on their political agenda.
In September 2017 when President Museveni was a special guest at the National Defense College of Nigeria in Abuja, he noted that Africa was colonized because of the politics of Identity.
“The reason Africa was colonized is that they were not organized. Colonialists found us poorly organized as tribes, clans, and segmented society. It was easy to attack us one by one”
“People who talk about politics of Identity are Africa’s enemies” Museveni was quoted as.
President Museveni went with the same speech at the swearing-in ceremony of Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in 2021 in Addis Ababa and in September 2022 in Nairobi when President William Ruto was taking the Oath of Office of the president.
Back home, have political leaders assimilated this gospel? Do they spread the message their boss has been vending throughout Africa?
Shortly after Uganda’s independence in 1962, the Politics of Identity blossomed, to the extent that some religious sects wouldn’t greet each other. This was, however, healed by the ruling party, the NRM. It’s surprising that a new breed of politicians today, I will call them ideologically bankrupt, have carried back this division tool, for their own selfish interests.
The assumption of one religion or tribe or clan is superior to others harms the self-worth of others. The minority side, in this sense, does not want to feel compelled to the voices of their communities when participating as citizens.
One thing these “enemy politicians” bank on is that play the religion card or any other minority card and they gain instant and total immunity. A mammoth of innocent people will rally around them and support them.
Their unacceptable ideology has caused genocide, colonialism, unthinkable suffering, and the misery of thousands of Africans. This evil ideology has even today, failed several regimes in Africa. Politics of Identity is nothing but a rebel criminal ideology that all political heads should avoid.
The historical Omukama Kabalega’s War of Resistance, the Nyangire rebellion in Bunyoro, would have succeeded, but the British used our weakness, of tribes, clans, etc. Identity politics isn’t old school, it is still alive and a few, unpolished politicians are assisting this to blossom more than ever before.
In their boardrooms, and in their secret meetings, some politicians, including high-profile politicians,still, discuss how politician A won’t succeed because his religion is not popular. I have witnessed this myself, on several occasions. This is ridiculous because they represent the image of the president, the man against the politics of Identity. When invited to political functions, they’ll attend only those related to their religion, tribes, and clans, and others go insane and reveal that ” they’ll attend and pay attention to those who like them”. This is very bad for the country and the NRM party where they’re members.
Because those personal interests do not represent the interests of the NRM party, where they are members. But again, they taint the image of the party, because they’re members, and some of them, surprisingly,are NRM Party leaders. This is a reason why they should be brought to order ideologically.
I rally all right-thinking politicians for the good of our country and Africa, to support and embrace President Museveni’s call of ending politics of Identity. It’s a tool of division, not of development.
Politics of Identity leaves no space for one side or the other side to participate politically which results in unproductive defensiveness. Such politics is an enemy of unity which helps to agitate for progressive or revolutionary social change.
The writer is the LC 5 Male Youth Councillor for Rubanda District from the NRM party