Rights Activists under the Indigenous and Ethnic Minority Group (IMG), a coalition of 11 member organization has called upon Parliament to consider amending the constitution to include a number of ethnic minority groups that were left out.
The call was made by the Deputy Executive Director, Cross Cultural Organization Uganda (CCFU), Barbra Babwetera during the coalition interface with legislators and officials from the Ministry of Gender in Kampala.
Babwetera told legislators that they should use this space where a number of constitution amendments are being considered, to promote the rights of those groups of people that were left out during the promulgation of the 1995 constitution.
“There are some indigenous ethnic groups in Uganda that are not recognized in the 1995 constitution in schedule 3. These include the Benet, the Basese, the Marogori and the Banyanja, which groups existed even during the colonial time,” Babwetera said.
She said the identity and dignity of such groups of people is at stake and some have been denied access to certain rights and privileges in their country.
Some of the groups she said were denied National Identity Cards such as the Morogori whose nationality is questioned by NIRA.
“But these are people who migrated into Uganda in the early 1948, and there are other tribes that migrated into Uganda in the 1950s like the Banyarwanda but they are captured in the National Constitution,” Babwetera noted.
She observed however that there are those groups whose names appear but the names are derogatory for example the ‘So’ which means poor yet the people prefer being called the Tepeth.
“We wish that the constitution be amended to include the indigenous groups and amend the names that are considered to be derogatory.”
CCFU has helped identify such groups and preserve their identity through writing the literature about them.