By Aggrey Nsekanabo
As we take the final bend to the #MbyemiireCaravan, I want to share that in 1993 I was taken on as a conservation apprentice. Three years later, Uganda Game Reserves and National Parks were merged to form what we now know as Uganda Wildlife Authority. And they have the authority my dear. So, 1996 marked the end of my apprenticeship! But also that marked another start of a journey to join A’levels.

At the time I became an apprentice, hunting was at its wane. Things were getting better, the economy was improving and therefore, people were no longer looking inside the park for protein as hunters.

What explains why the #Mbyemiires are 20 years later are now looking inside the park for some meat is because the economy is going south if it has not. We are back to how things were between 1988 (after devaluation) of the shilling. Let any economist dispute this. I remember there was extreme hunger at the time just after the skimming (of 30%) off everyone’s money.

Today, there hasn’t been direct skimming but the milk’s top layer has been removed and yet that is the nutritious part of the milk, the rest being water. So, in today’s economy, the #Mbyemiires are getting water and when they look into the park, guns from Uganda Wildlife Authority are turned onto them in the name of conservation and protection.

As I have said before, #Mbyemiire#Mateso#Byaru and #Busingye are not the poachers. Please look up who makes the big five club. These are the real poachers and the ones who are trained snipers who target the tusks and who #winkillingoftheirownawards!

As we grew up, we were told #Elephantmeat is bitter after all, no one had ever eaten it. May add for the sake of educating those with authority that the #totemisation of species whose reproduction was not as rapid or in today’s parlance were #Endangered was one conservation strategy. I know someone at the authority tell me that #totems serve no purpose in conservation. I will accept because the real poachers have no totems.

They call them #AnimalSpirits and Africans are #Animists. I am fine being referred as an #Animist if that can protect the #Njobe (sitatunga), the dik-dik, the bushbuck, the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the #Ngonge (pangolin) and a host of other rare birds. I have greater respect for my mother’s red-chested finch totem (one of the rarest). When this bird comes to our home, I tell my children; “your grandmother has come to check on you” It is one of the most vulnerable birds. It is called #Nyiteera! in Runyaruguru. Beware putting untotemised people in-charge of conservation. They have no animal spirit in them!

My people of #Bunyaruguru have been sinned against for so far so long in the name of conservation without the people. This of course started in 1952 before my mother was born; 6 years later. My grandma had just been married at the age of 22 and year later, being the only child and daughter, she was also enthroned on her father’s chair just like Queen Elizabeth of England upon the death of her father in October, 1953.

From 1952, my people who are hunters and protectors of nature have been killed in the name of conservation to divert attention from the real poachers who at England, Kampala, China and all major cities of the world. So, please, stop killing my people in the name of conservation.

That is what the #MbyemiireCaravan is about. Lest I forget, for believers of the Bible, this is the Jubilee period and usually, things go back where they were 50 years back. My people will reclaim their park and be in charge of real and true conservation for the benefit of all and not a few who are at Kampala etc.

Ask me why Impala and Uganda Kob and enshama (Gazelles) are not anyone’s totem. The Zebra is not anyone’s totem and neither is it eaten because they say that that was a bride who misbehaved and was turned into a zebra. The Banyaruguru may be any other thing but they are not cannibals to eat a bride in the Zebra! These things, I learnt them right in the cradle of Bunyaruguru. I love you #Mymotherland.


This piece of work was picked off Tourism Enthusiast Aggrey Nshekanabo’s facebook wall