By Hanning Mbabazi
Parliament: Over the weekend, Indians living in Uganda were jubilating after media reports that the president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni promised to include, in the Constitution, and recognize Indians as one of Ugandan tribes.
However, his promise could have hit a dead end after MPs vowed to reject the proposal if brought before Parliament.
Some legislators accuse the existing Indian community of being discriminative and recist against Ugandans basing on their skin colour.
According to Kato Lubwama the Rubaga South legislator, Indians should stop only on getting citizenship and vowed to oppose the proposal if brought before Parliament.
Kato said, “If someone is born here, they become Ugandans but I don’t agree with having Indians recognized as a tribe because it would be the most discriminative tribe which has never occurred in Uganda. But for those born here, they should be given citizenship but the plea for a tribe won’t be helpful for national development.”
He added that, “To show you how discriminative Indians are, in companies they secure slots for fellow Indians and no Ugandan can be appointed to those positions. They may plead for the President, but as soon as he leaves power, that tribe will be cancelled and it will be brought to Parliament, it will be us MPs to decide, we don’t want them to do the same thing they did recognizing Rwandans as a tribe.”
Hon. Santa Alum the Woman MP Oyam District wondered why Indians are hell-bent on being recognized in Uganda yet they have refused to assimilate with Ugandans, for all the time they have spent in the nation.
She said that Uganda is a very friendly country with very warm people and it is only upon Indians if they want to be part of Uganda to behave completely Ugandans, “The Indians have been here for a number of years, they have exited in our communities. But there is a big problem, yes they are with us but they want to associate with us to a certain limit. I don’t see intermarriages between Ugandans and Indians.”
Some MPs warned Government against rushing to appease the whims of Indians saying the proposal if approved would be detrimental for Ugandans because the Indians are only seeking to push for their business interests and not concerned with Uganda’s development.
It should be remembered that last week, President Yoweri Museveni hosted a dinner with Indians at State House in Entebbe where they (Indians) pleaded to the President to help them become one of Uganda’s tribe since this country has become their home and their grandparents lived here many years ago.
In response to their plea, President Museveni promised to oversee the constitutional amendment process that would see Indians gain tribal status.