The rites of the Bakenye as derived from the ‘’Bakunta’’ in ‘’Muwawa’’ (earlier Buganda Community) as fishermen to their failed fusion into Buganda, scattering them into various parts of the country hence becoming an internally displaced Ugandan tribe. To this account the fountain of honor, His excellence the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni considered them as refugees.
This revelation was made by President Museveni while addressing the heads of State and Skate holders about the plight of refugees at Muyonyo Kampala, Uganda in 2017. The refugee status of the Bakenye is also an attribute of the rebellion against the National Resistance Army (NRA) in the areas of Teso and lango regions where the victims (Bakenye) were forcefully evicted from their homes in those places, it was claimed that their alien status could have made them collaborators of NRA which the inhabitants opposed.
The dilemma of the Bakenye as an aspect of the leadership crisis in Buganda is documented in ‘’The Inspire Magazine volume one in its first issue of 2017, where ‘’ a brutal contention resulted from the succession conflict between King Jjunju Ssendegeya who had succeeded his father Kyabaggu Kabinuli and his brother Ssemakokiro around the late 17th Century; which strife unfortunately resulted into the death of King Jjunju.
However, after ascending to the throne, Ssemakokiro is said to have turned against his combatants mainly the Bakunta (present day Bakenyi) who constituted the biggest percentage of his fighters. He (Semakokilo) accused them of not heeding to his orders to capture Jjunju alive, yet instead killed him. The Bakunta were therefore victimized and subjected to harsh punishment following the death of Jjunju, whereby their lead fighter known as Kisoko was slayed; a circumstance which led to the victims and their families fleeing for their lives from Buganda and dispersed to different regions
Relatedly the same publication adds that ‘’ It is quite difficult to acknowledge that the Bakenye face multiple discriminations and sectarianism unless one deliberately takes a close scrutiny into the various demeaning treatments Bakenye have faced over the years. The ability of the Bakenye to survive under difficult circumstances is possibly one of the factors which makes the general public to perceive them as a better of community as compared to other minority societies in Uganda.’’
For the uninitiated Bakenye also known as Bakenyi are an indigenous Ugandan tribe as shown in the 1995 constitution of the republic of Uganda, however the actual population of the Bakenye is still not clear since the 2014 national housing and population census by the Uganda Bureau Of Statistics put it at only 99913 contrary to the 2002 report by the Minority Rights Groups International (MRGI) which indicated that the Bakenye were 1,200,000 by then
Similarly the second Volume of the Inspire Magazine accounts for a petition of the Speaker of Parliament through the Bakenye Isaanga Development Association (BIDA) leadership. ‘’… Led by Wabwire George William the Executive Director of Bakenye Isaanga Development Association (BIDA), the Bakenye presented their appeal to the Speaker citing numerous forms of discriminations they continue to face in their motherland Uganda, … ‘’The delegates also decry the reluctance / failure by government and other humanitarian nongovernment organizations in Uganda to make deliberate attempts to intervene into the predicaments of the Bakenye as required by laws.’’… ‘’The representatives therefore requested the Speaker through Parliament to task government to establish a government organ known as a “Presidential Commission for Bakenye”, whose major role shall be; to address the imbalances faced by the Bakenye community’’
BIDA, a registered non-profit and non- political national association for the Bakenye within in Uganda and in the diaspora; whose fundamental obligation is to create socioeconomic opportunities for the Bakenye and to promote and preserve the identity of the Bakenye and their rights, including lobbying, and mediating between all stakeholders.
Apparently BIDA is being housed by Hon George W N Kumama Patron BIDA and MP Baale County Kayunga District at plot 57 Nkrumah Nasser Link Plaza in Kampala the capital city of Uganda, found in East-Africa.