When the Rwenzururu Movement realized that the Bakonzo and Bamba suffered discrimination in Toro because the law did not define them as “native tribes” of Toro, it demanded that the law should be amended to redefine the category “native of Toro” from one ethnic group—Batoro—to three—Batoro, Bakonzo, and Bamba. By calling for the reconstitution of “native of Toro” to recognize three ethnic groups instead of questioning ethnicity itself as the basis for inclusion, the Rwenzururu sought to reproduce the politicization of ethnicity that had led to ethnic discrimination in the first place. Showing that this response was a replica of the “tribalism” of the colonial-created Toro Native Authority, I examine how the colonial state and resistance movements like the Rwenzururu reinforced each other in sustaining ethnicity as a divisive political identity. Instead of analyzing the initiative of African “indigenous intellectuals” in isolation from the colonial state, as recent studies seem to have done, I bring the two actors together and show the meeting point of the different processes of the tribalization of African societies.
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