By Kwame Ismail Nkurunziza
The Chairperson and co-founder of Council of Banyarwanda, an umbrella association of Banyarwanda in Uganda, Frank Gashumba, has lashed out at several government officials and social media bloggers over what he terms as their refusal or negligence to address the growing sentiments against the Banyarwanda in Uganda.
Gashumba, who was speaking at a press conference held Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Speke Hotel, Kampala, explained to journalists all about the history of Banyarwanda in Uganda, which he said goes back to pre-colonial times and the challenges they face today, ranging from continuously being the target of hate politics, harassment from different security organs and denial of passports and national identity cards.
He blasted popular diaspora-based bloggers who he said have made it a habit to demonize Ugandan Banyarwanda by portraying them as foreigners who should not have a say in Uganda.
He singled out a National Unity Platform (NUP) leaning Turkey-based blogger with a cult following who is well known for demonizing Banyarwanda.
Gashumba said that; “There is this this bigger with a big head based in Turkey. I don’t want to mention in his name but you all know whom I am talking about. Almost all the time he posts a video he has to say something hateful about Banyarwanda”
Although he didn’t mention his name, it was obvious he was referring to Fred Lumbuye, who has a habit of painting Banyarwanda as aliens and has in the past portrayed the President and the Katikiro of Buganda as foreigners.
Gashumba asked Robert Kyagulanyi, the NUP presidential candidate, to come out clearly and denounce Lumbuye.
He insisted that failure to do so sends a signal to over a million of Banyarwanda voters that NUP might not have their best interests.
When asked if the leaders of Council of Banyarwanda had tried addressing Parliament about their the unique issues, Gashumba, who was flanked by the Secretary-General of the Council Enock Nkuranga, said some Members of Parliament and government officials are either fueling or neglecting to address the hostility towards Banyarwanda in Uganda.
Asked whether this hatred was not sparked by his bitter exchange with the Katikkiro, Gashumba played it down by saying that; “The discrimination towards Banyarwanda has always been there. My differences with Katikkiro were solved. Elders stepped it…I didn’t attack Mayiga as Katikkiro. I attacked the person who was using the Katikkiro’s office to do wrong things. Anyway, my issues with Mayiga were solved.”
The leaders of the Council of Banyarwanda in attendance asked the government to handle the issues they have raised with utmost urgency.