TOP

Migingo: Hurry up with the survey

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th May 2009 03:00 AM

TO most Ugandans, the outcry in Kenya over President Museveni’s remarks seemed odd and out of proportion. It was sparked by a BBC report which quoted Museveni as saying that the disputed Migingo Island was in Kenya while the water was in Uganda.

TO most Ugandans, the outcry in Kenya over President Museveni’s remarks seemed odd and out of proportion. It was sparked by a BBC report which quoted Museveni as saying that the disputed Migingo Island was in Kenya while the water was in Uganda.

If he knows that the island is not his, Kenyans reasoned, why then does he keep his Policemen there? Some MPs accused him of aggression.

Addressing the Kenyan media on Friday, Museveni explained that he was talking about another island, and that he merely used it as an example of the complexity of colonial borders.

The second thing that angered Kenyans was Museveni’s talk of ‘mad Jaluo’, which he later explained was in reference to the youth in Kibera slums who had uprooted the railway to Uganda.

There was nothing wrong with calling people by their tribe, he argued, adding that he would not be offended when people called him a Munyankole.

His reference to the Jaluo was, however, a reminder that a particular group was behind the anti-Uganda campaign, the same people who attacked Ugandans in last year’s post-election violence.

Despite Museveni’s assurances that he will abide by the findings of the surveyors, the controversy over Migingo rages on. Saturday Nation claimed that “powerful Ugandan figures” want to control the island’s security because it is used as a staging post for a big smuggling operation they are involved in.

The leaders of both countries should hurry up with the survey exercise, announce its findings without delay and put the issue to rest. It should not be like the Congo-Uganda border demarcation exercise which has been going on for two years.

This is probably the easiest problem to solve, given that the coordinates are clear and the colonial maps are available. The longer it takes, the more it will fuel suspicion, anger and mutual hatred.

If anybody is to blame, it is the regional leadership. Knowing the sensitivity of it, they should have demarcated the borders a long time ago.

Migingo: Hurry up with the survey

More From The Author

Information Currently Unavailable