The Star (Nairobi)

20 August 2014

Uganda: Museveni Tells Off Bukusu, Bagisu Over Archaic Circumcision Ritual

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has told the Bukusu and Bagisu tribes living in Kenya and Uganda to shun the old style of undergoing circumcision.

Museveni said while his government respected diverse culture, the two communities should break loose from the old retrogressive cultures.

"While we support you in keeping your culture find ways of trying to modernize this culture in tandem with the changing times ,"said Museveni.

Museveni said the traditional circumcision ceremony among the two communities had only promoted prostitution. He warned the tribes over myths that circumcised men could not contract the Aids virus.

"Stop lying to people on this traditional myths that people who are circumcised have low chances of being infected with Aids. You will die," he said.

Museveni was speaking at Namboboto shrines in Mbale, Eastern Uganda where he presided over the launch of the Bagisu circumcision ceremony popularly known as "Imbalu".

The ceremony that was attended by over ten Ugandan ministers, a host members of parliament and the Kenyan delegation led by Bungoma governor Kenneth Lusaka saw over ten boys circumcised.

Museveni who hails from Banyakonle tribe of Western Uganda, that don't undergo the cut, called on the elite from Bagisu and Bukusu communities to be in the forefront in encouraging the communities to shun the old culture.

"Even where I come from Banyakole there is a culture that people should never boil milk before drinking, but as the elite from the community we have been slowly been educating our people and they have left the old retrogressive culture ,"said Museveni.

Museveni said some of the bad old culture practiced by the two communities have made the two communities lives poor.

"Let's focus on the cultures that will create jobs for our children and improve our standards of living ," said Museveni.

He encouraged communities to only keep cultures like speaking their native languages which he said his government was willing to support.

"I have personally authored Anyakole -English dictionary which I believe is a good way of keeping our culture for the next generations," said Museveni.

Museveni however said that his sentiment did not mean that his government will stop funding traditional kings popular in Uganda.

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