By Maurine Kyalya Walube
I have done all the reading for you and as historians would agree, the entire country now called Uganda was the Chwezi/Kitara Empire (this means Empire of Light) until the 16th Century when the Luo (then called Egyptians and now Sudanic) came southwards, disbanded the Kitara empire and established their own “Bunyoro-Kitara” dynasty as well as numerous other independent dynasties such as Buganda Kingdom.
Uganda therefore has only two native lingual families;
1. The Bakitara/Bantu made up of the current Banyoro; Toro; Nkore; Kongo; Rwanda (Bafumbira); Kiga; Soga (Southern); Gwere; Banhole; Baganda among others with all their sub groups.
2. Banoolo/Nilotics/Luo made up of the Karamajongs; Madi; Lugbara; Choli; Langi; Teso; Adhola; Sebei; Soga (Nothern); among others.
That said, the entire region was colonised by Baganda with the help of the British in 1900 making it B(Uganda) with Luganda becoming a dominant instruction and official language until the 1960’s.
This means we have only 3 lingua to chose from if we are ever going to agree to unite as a country and have a unified international voice as a people.
1. Runyakitara;
2. Luo and
3. Luganda (Listed in age hierarchy with no particular reference).
I therefore invite you to take this debate forward and only in the context of the 3 foundation lingua of Uganda because anything outside these is divisive and not uniting.
Even English is a foreign language for the educated and discriminates against the masses and Swahili is a commercial language for international businessmen and discriminates against the farmers and pastoralists who make up Uganda.
I have heard numerous Teso voices from Iteso’s denouncing to be part of the Luo but if you are not Luo and you are not Bakitara then that makes you a very small immigrant minority automatically disqualifying Iteso from being considered a national language.