Bamasaaba pushing for a borderless East Africa

Mbale, (UG):- The Bamasaaba community who live in both Kenya and Uganda are pushing for free entry into the East Africa community with the intention of trading and practising their culture unimpeded. Many times our people’s movements are impeded by the artificial borders created by the colonialists.

Many of these  communities that live in neighbouring countries were at one time intertwined as a single  community for example the Bamasaaba of Uganda and the babukusu of Kenya are one group who share many thousands of unique features including circumcision all of them conduct it during leap years, agricultural practices, use same names and other norms and cultural practices like etiquette, dressing etc 

The Bamasaaba of Uganda and Kenya who number over 10,000,000 million in population can do a lot business-wise once many of these border restrictions are legally waived off

 While listening to the bakiga folk songs they will tell you how they came from Rwanda, remember there was a time when the Katuna and Gatuna border stayed closed for two years and whoever dared to enter Rwanda faced the full force of the Rwandan law.

There are thousands of scenarios that demonstrate that the people of East Africa were one for example among the Bamasaaba there are the Bawogogo people in Masaabaland and the Wagogo people in Tanzania these are brothers, how about the Sabiny.

It is even trite to keep stressing the Bantu and Nilotic groupings in the region, it has been over-stressed and now looks over boring to emphasize it here.

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The pokots of Uganda and Kenya are one people and the situation is the same in Arua and Zaire among the Kakwa and Lugbara communities, Bafumbira and the Rwandans 

 The Inzuyamasaba leadership thinks cultural practices should permeate freely in every corner of East Africa. The East African protocol has ably amplified on how communities can freely practice their cultures. The treaty recognizes and permits this once one people but now scattered in various countries to enjoy their cultures and do business beyond their current borderlines.

Other benefits of the treaty include visa-free travel for East African nationals.

Recently the Inzuyamasaba leader cultural leader His Royal Highness Jude Mike Mudoma invited the Bamasaaba of Kenya for an inaugural cabinet meeting in Masaabaland and this message was well amplified appealing to governments in the region to allow our people to trade freely the way they enjoy their cultures.

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The writer is a researcher from Mbale and a Ph.D. student 

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