Frank Gashumba, the National Vice Chairman for Gen MK Movement Central Region, has criticized leaders of the National Unity Platform (NUP) for allegedly spreading hate speech and divisive language. According to Gashumba, this harmful rhetoric is directed at certain tribes, including the Banyarwanda and Banyankore, within Uganda.
Gashumba’s response was prompted by allegations that NUP party president Robert Kyagulanyi made statements promoting hate speech during a recent nationwide mobilization tour in Luwero district. In response, Gashumba has called on security agencies to take action and apprehend those responsible for such remarks.
Among the individuals Gashumba has mentioned for potential arrest are Robert Kyagulanyi, Member of Parliament Paul Luttamaguzi of Nakaseke South, legislator Geoffrey Lutaaya of Kakuto County, and Hillary Kiyaga, also known as Dr. Hilderman, the Member of Parliament for Mawokota North.
Speaking at a press conference at Luweero Hotel in Luwero district, Gashumba particularly criticized musician turned politician Hillary Kiyaga for using derogatory language to refer to the Banyarwanda tribe in one of his songs. He emphasized the need to prevent the advocacy of genocide and reminded security agencies that Uganda is a signatory to the international convention for preventing genocide.
Gashumba also condemned Robert Kyagulanyi, asserting that hate speech is a tactic employed by unscrupulous politicians to manipulate vulnerable individuals. He urged the Uganda Police and other security agencies not to allow such individuals to go unpunished, as their actions have the potential to disrupt the country and fuel ethnic tensions.
It’s worth noting that in Rwanda, during the genocide, the perpetrators referred to the Tutsi tribe as “cockroaches.” Kiyaga is alleged to have used the analogy of “fleas” (enkukunyi) to indirectly refer to the Banyarwanda.
Rebecca Nalwanga, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party secretary for Luwero district, also criticized comedians for promoting tribalism through their sketches, urging the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to address this issue. Nalwanga stressed the dangers of such tribal profiling, emphasizing that it lacks evidence and has the potential to incite violence and conflict.
When contacted for a response to the allegations, Member of Parliament Paul Luttamaguzi dismissed the claims, considering them baseless accusations. He argued that addressing societal injustices through dialogue is essential and does not constitute hate speech.
The NUP spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, could not be reached for comment. However, he had previously stated that Kyagulanyi’s remarks were related to local issues specific to the Luwero area.
Tom Magambo, the director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), mentioned that statements like the ones attributed to Kyagulanyi typically draw the attention of investigative bodies. He emphasized the importance of gathering facts and seeking guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions to avoid descending into tribalism and hate speech as a nation.
Among those present at Gashumba’s briefing were Abdul Bosa Swamadu from Nakasongola district and Henry Kabanda, who is also part of the MK Central Region team.