It has been acknowledged that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for upright men to do nothing.
However, this was not the case when rioting and inciting violence rocked Kampala streets and the nearby districts of Mukono and Masaka. All stemming from failure to come to terms between the Central government and the Buganda kingdom.
It’s estimated that no less than 15 people lost their lives and others wounded, with loss of property. Over 300 rioters were arrested. People from Western Uganda and those with Rwandan origins seemed to be the rioters’ target.
When the atmosphere calmed down, The Sunday Times caught up with some students and members of the Uganda UMUBANO Banyarwanda association to share their tales of near escape.
Sheila Umuliisa, a student at Kampala International University, says that the riots found her in town where she had gone to do some shopping before returning to her hostel.
“I thank God I survived because the Banyarwanda and Banyankole were the main target,” she said.
That it was approaching mid-day when she saw angry men running towards her with wooden stools and sticks ready to beat every westerner. She ran and hid in a garage of the Diamonds Hotel within the city.
“However, I left the women I was with being beaten and stripped naked…only God knows what happened next but I survived.”
Bosco Wiringire says that he was in Kampala town when the riots started but was rescued by his fellow Rwandan who told him that everyone with a long nose was the target of the rioters because they believe everyone with a long nose originates from Museveni (Uganda’s President) tribe.
“Their main target was doing away with Museveni’s people. Thank God, I survived,” a visibly disoriented Wiringire said.
“My brother travelled with the Jaguar bus and we alerted him that things were not well after hearing about the chaos along Masaka road.
We thank God that he reached home safely though he was threatened with beatings along the way,” says Claire Gasana, a student at Mukono Christian University.
“The riots got me in Kampala town with my fellow students in the afternoon .We were immediately locked up in a shop by a Mutoro woman who had earlier heard of the riots.”
According to Gasana, it was not until evening when the situation calmed and soldiers were around every street that they left the shop and headed back home without accomplishing what had taken them to town in the first place.
“It was terrible.”
“I got many calls from my guardians in Kigali after they had heard about the confusion in Kampala.
They called to find out if I was safe and sound. I told them I had not left the school campus,” said Gilbert Ndayishimiye, a student at the Kampala school of Commerce.
“It was only two hours after I had taken my breakfast that my roommates told me that it was a matter of life and death in Kampala.”
Every time chaos takes place in any East African country, other East Africans living in such countries are also negatively affected.
We hope this kind of tribal chaos ceases in the near future as Africans try to focus on developing themselves and seeing themselves in terms of economic and not tribal and ethnic aspirations.