Culture

‘Outsiders’ as Minsters for Karamoja Affairs, why?

Hon. Agnes Nanduttu has updated her Facebook wall where she posted the photo above, with the following caption:

“Today I have been given the mandate to serve Ugandans as state minister for Karamoja. Now it is time to work. Thank you Uganda.”

Hon. Agnes Nanduttu, Woman Member of Parliament for Bududa District and now Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs.

Massive congratulations pouring onto her wall, mostly from others non-Karimojong, judging by their names on Facebook. And some of them even going ahead to remind her not to forget that she is their elected representative and she should do good by them. Three of her constituents, presumably, overtly cautioned her thus:

“Amidst all that never forget home please…..and always remember the people who voted for you and also the almighty God will bless your life.”

“I don’t need much from you but please lobby for us a tarmac road  in our district Bududa.”

“But don’t forget the people of Bududa who voted you to represent them.Try hard and balance the two responsibilities. Good luck.”

Well, I know plenty Karimojong who feel disappointed and slighted by the appointing authority. One of them, Martha Angela, took the time to write this comment in reaction to Hon. Nanduttu’s approval as State Minister for Karamoja. She commented on Nanduttu’s celebratory post thus:

Martha Angella @ Facebook wall

“It is us the people of Karamoja, together with our leaders, who are not happy that a non- Karamoja who hardly knows the region has been appointed to head that Ministry again has as been the case since time immemorial.Yet this is a case of an affirmative action kind of seat.

Ours is not an attack on the person of the Hon. Nanduttu, but we seek the ear of the appoint authority. Our petition has already been submitted to the appointing authority.

Some comments here (on Nanduttu’s Facebook wall) have further affirmed to me how ill-informed the commentators are, especially, about the idea behind the creation of these special regional ministries. See if any of these i.e. Teso, Luwero, and the others, are headed by people outside their own.

When our leaders ‘speak’, they say they are doing a “disservice to the region”? This is reasoning myopically. I thought they have been given the mandate (through elections) to represent their people, be their ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’.

Martha Angella (centre) with friends @ Facebook wall

  • Why are people misunderstanding us yet our petition is targeted at the appointing authority and not to Hon.Nandutu?
  • Why would we ‘attack’ her anyway, yet she is also a victim of circumstances?
  • There is talk of previous ministers appointed from outside Karamoja, must those making that comparison need to be informed that it is the very reason we are petitioning the appointing authority?
  • Are they aware of how this has consistently led to the design of interventions not ‘fit’ for the region?

And when there is failure, they blame it on the ‘Karimojong mindset’!”

From a cultural anthropological perspective, I truly feel Martha Angella’s pain as well as all those of the first nation of Karamoja who are angered that those non-Karimojong are consistently appointed to oversee the Ministry for Karamoja Affairs.

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