Principal characteristics of Bahororo people

A teacher determines the popularity of a topic by the number of questions asked, comments made and clarifications sought during and after the class. I have written over four hundred articles on Uganda and other states in the Great Lakes region. The article on Bahororo has been the most popular in terms of questions asked, clarifications sought and comments made. Some readers including Ahmed Katerega have asked me to write more on the subject. My focus has been and hopefully will continue to be about the behavior and not the individuals as such. Since Bahororo have been in power for 25 years try and compare what I am writing with what you are observing on the ground and let us compare notes as and when appropriate. I come from Rujumbura where Bantu/Bairu people have interacted with Nilotic Bahororo people for 210 years – since 1800.

Let me make one clarification at this juncture. Not all people of Rujumbura County are Bahororo. This Bahororo designation was a colonial administrative convenience as there were many tribal designations. Since the chief at that time was a Muhororo (Makobore), he just told British officials that all his subjects were Bahororo. This designation has remained in force since independence because Bahororo have remained in charge and are not keen to change it. On the contrary they are keen to retain it as restoration of Mpororo kingdom has resurfaced. Accordingly even Bakiga people who arrived in Rujumbura since the 1950s are officially referred to as Bahororo {The Report of the Uganda Constitutional Commission: Analysis and Recommendations on page 72 1993} which has caused a lot of confusion. In Bufumbira the colonial designation of Banyarwanda was changed to Bafumbira). Here are some principal characteristics of Bahororo people.

1. Bahororo people are Nilotic Batutsi from Rwanda who fled to Rujumbura about 90 years after the short-lived Mpororo kingdom (covering northern Rwanda and southwest Uganda mostly in present-day Ntungamo district) had collapsed and Bahima under Bahinda ruling clan drove them out. The people in the areas occupied by Bahima became Bairu (not Bahororo as some people have continued to claim {Jean-Pierre Chretien 2006}). Thus, Bahororo behavior is similar to that of Batutsi in Rwanda which was feudal, based on lords and serfs (masters and servants).

2. Bahororo people stick together wherever they are in Rwanda or Uganda etc. Kagame (rumored to be a Muhororo) and other Bahororo refugees (when Mpororo kingdom disintegrated some Bahororo returned to Rwanda) supported Museveni during the guerrilla war. Museveni in turn supported Bahororo refugees and other Rwandese to return to Rwanda by force in 1994.

3. Bahororo have maintained their Nilotic ethnic identity (their ancestors who were Nilotic Luo-speakers entered Uganda from southern Sudan) by men marrying only in their ethnic group because they do not want to be penetrated and their secrets about dominating others revealed. However, they let their women largely from lower social classes marry prominent non-Bahororo men. The main purpose of such marriages is political (disguised as love) to penetrate these men and discover what they are plotting against Bahororo domination. To achieve this goal any non-Muhororo man who marries a Muhororo woman must forsake his ancestral roots and become ‘tutsified’ while at the same time he is not allowed in the inner circles of Bahororo. The in-laws are there basically to do work that Bahororo men do not like to do but take credit when good results are realized.

4. With help of historians, Museveni has identified all Bahororo wherever they are located – in or outside Uganda. Because Bahororo adopt local names and local languages it is difficult to know them. When Museveni makes appointments from say eastern, northern or Buganda regions he may actually be appointing Bahororo or Batutsi who register as Baganda, Itesot, Banyankole or Langi. That is why it is important in the interest of national security to know the history of Ugandans holding important jobs especially in strategic or sensitive ministries, other public institutions and private sector.

5. Bahororo believe very strongly in the use of political and military force in collaboration with foreign powers. In Rujumbura Makobore collaborated with Arab slave traders who used European weapons to defeat Makobore’s enemies. In return Makobore captured defeated people and sold them into slavery ( Bethwell A. Ogot 1976). In Ankole Nuwa Mbaguta collaborated with British colonial officials who in turn appointed him the first Enganzi (prime minister) over the objections of Omugabe (king) Kahaya. Prince Igumira of Bahinda clan who was the leader but considered not as collaborative as Mbaguta was exiled to Kisumu in Kenya to remove trouble for Mbaguta. As we all know, Museveni has worked closely with western powers since the guerrilla war.

6. Bahororo will be your ‘friends’ provided you remain subservient and do their dirty work. The moment you challenge them for leadership positions at any level you will be destroyed in no time if you are slow to react. They believe in solving a problem first and deal with consequences later. When Bahororo bring you back after you have gone on your knees and begged them, then you must clearly understand your subservient position in relation to them. Bahororo do not have a ‘win-win’ concept, theirs is a zero-sum game. Museveni formed a government of national unity at the start of his presidency because he did not have a good base. Once he consolidated, he disbanded the unity government.

7. Bahororo are extremely good at making promises but equally extremely good at breaking them or twisting them that they lose the original meaning. Baganda and Catholics that negotiated with Museveni during the bush war should let us know whether or not Museveni has implemented in full what was promised.

8. Bahororo are very good at dividing up people and planting spies at family, tribe and ethnic levels etc. When Bahororo have a grievance against you, they will never attack you directly. Instead they will find a brother or in-law or neighbor to do a thorough job for them. They can create outrageous accusations to discredit you and sell them to their representatives who will hound you until you submit, leave the area or fight back like all brave people do.

9. Bahororo still believe they have the power to punish you even for the simplest human mistake you make when they feel like it. Thus canning workers or abusing them in public is common.

10. Therefore, people like Bahororo who use fire have to be fought with fire. Bahororo have figured it out that Ugandans are generally peace-loving people and do not like conflicts. That is why Bahororo have perfected the instruments of intimidation, repression and torture. That is why whenever Museveni senses a challenge he wears his military uniform and make his eyes protrude to scare the audience because he knows that Ugandans are afraid of soldiers. To beat Museveni you have to put on some form of military uniform (not these democratic elections!) then he will know that he is confronting someone who can actually defeat him. We have to learn to sacrifice in order to be respected by Bahororo – men and women! If we are not prepared for that, then we should not complain when Museveni declares Uganda a kingdom with himself as the first hereditary Muhororo king or when he incorporates Uganda into a Tutsi Empire he is vigorously pursuing or when he forces us into the East African political federation and Uganda is flooded by East Africans mostly from Rwanda taking land at our children’s expense. Now that you know the choice is yours!


UAH Forumist


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Uganda's Leading information Centre.“UGANDANS AT HEART “(UAH), is a free-to-join, non-profit making e-mail discussion forum that is secular, intellectual and non-aligned politically, culturally or religiously with over 30,000 members worldwide. It was started in 2007 by a UK-based Ugandan, Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba, and it is devoted to matters of interest to Ugandans and East Africans. People from Uganda have scattered to countries around the world. Most of the Ugandans in Diaspora like to maintain their African connections and values. UAH was originally started to act as a link between Ugandans abroad and those at home.That's why its membership ranges from: Ugandans abroad, Uganda police, representatives of traditional leaders, MPs, journalists, cabinet ministers, religious leaders to locals in Uganda.
This entry was posted in 2011 elections, History and culture, Museveni and Luwero war, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Principal characteristics of Bahororo people

  1. ndyahebwa innocent says:

    send me this article, its nice

  2. Amon Muyambi says:

    good contribution

  3. Agaba says:

    All i read here is negative,isn’t there any positive thing about the bahororo especially if it does not concern politics. Surely u must ve something nice about them.

    • Gaju says:

      Eric has something personal against the bahororo.He mentioned it in his article on united democratic uganda website entitilled “The difference between Nilotic Batutsi/Bahororo and Bantu Bairu/Bahororo in Rujumbura County”(which by the way is very misinforming)
      that he has never been offered a job despite him being very educated.”……..Until 2011 elections,Jim Muhwezi was my MP but he never contacted me for a possible offer of a job in their government because I am inferior…….”But for your information Bahororo are very kind people and Kitami is right,we are also very goodlooking.anyone that has met a muhororo knows we are special people.individuals may have short comings like any other human beings.If Eric considers himself inferior,the rest of us hold ourselves with high esteem.

      • Atu says:

        Agaba and Gaju telll him, we are very good looking people and kind… all i sense is hate… its so unfortunate you write such bad things… yet people are seeking to understand who bahororo are… so sad

      • Mellon Ahumuza says:

        Yes we are very good looking people. Eric thanks for your submission about bahororo. Being a small group of people, we would be very interested in the details of our background. However, please try as much to reduce on the negativity. Don’t sound too personal. Thank you

  4. Mr Kashambuzi has worked with the UN for many years and is an international consultant. That means he is fairly well off. It would be nice to know what contribution he has made to Rujumbura. There is still no university there and there are hardly any factories one cannot talk of. Most pple from Rujumbura have to travel to the city to do all kinds of jobs because there are no employment opportunities at home. You will find great numbers of people from Rujumbura in slums of Naguru, Namuwongo etc.
    Sincerly sebo let us learn to talk less and do more. You too can make a valuable contribution rather that preach divisionism and tribalism. You can for instance put up a factory or university in Rujumbura and you will leave a better legacy.
    That is the only way you stand a chance of being compared to the bush war heroes who helped liberate this country from past oppressive regimes.

    Edward Makobore

  5. Kitami says:

    Eric,this is entirely your opinion and it lacks facts.I see so much bitterness and prejudice in this.Let it be known that the bahororo are very kind people not to mention very goodlooking.It is not fair for you to say that’Bahororo are very good at dividing up people and planting spies at family, tribe and ethnic levels etc’This is not true at all.
    Some of the people that led a great rivival mission in the church of Uganda,that swept the entire western Uganda were bahororo for example Bishop Kivengere. I suggest you invest in Research and try to write facts.Publishing an article to turnish our otherwise popular tribe of intelligent people is a mistake that Iam sure you wont be proud of when you look back.

  6. Prince Katabarwa Julius says:

    U man thanx 4 da informn_ some things u have written about us are true but most of them are lies

  7. Katabarwa Julius Ndamira says:

    Kashumbuzi thanks for your information this has helped our people their origins but to some extent the exageration is too much especially on political issues.

  8. Katabarwa Julius Ndamira says:

    You seem to be having alot of information about Bahororo. pliz send me any other information thanx

  9. Peter says:

    Museveni isnt now neither shall he ever be a MUHORORO stop personalising him he may be wanting to be one but he is not a muhororo & he ll never be . Bahororo are very intelligent people we build we dont land grab or bring confussion Museveni may explain his orgins but stop bringing him amidist us.

  10. Ninshimwe Timothy says:

    What your. Writing about us is destroying our identity check your notes first

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