My return to Uganda was punctuated by the most violent riots in recent history. With 24 causalities and over 93 injuries reported, last week’s riots surpass the victims of the 2008, 2005 and 1993 protests combined.
The violence started in Kayunga District, 46 miles northeast of Kampala, over the government’s refusal to grant the Prime Minister of the Buganda Kingdom access to the district to prepare for the Kings upcoming visit. Historically the land has belonged to the kingdom and those to whom the King has distributed it. More recently, however, in the absence of legal documentation, the land has been ‘purchased’. As the road blockade and riots demonstrate, their remains a sharp dispute over ownership. One which isn’t likely to be resolved quickly or easily. A friend recently shared her concern with me, “This issue has the potential of returning Uganda to 1985!”