Evarist Ngabirano is a graduate student at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He holds a Master of Advanced Studies in theology and religion (KU Leuven, Belgium), Masters of Religious Studies (KU Leuven, Belgium), a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Makerere), a Bachelors of Divinity (Makerere), and a Bachelors of Philosophy (Urbaniana University, Italy).
He has now received the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellowship three times (2017, 2018, 2019). His area of concentration is culture and politics in an interdisciplinary PhD in social studies program. His topic of research is “The Politics of Tribalism: A Comparative Study of Kigezi and Toro districts in Uganda.” Before joining Makerere, Ngabirano taught at Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal, Uganda where he directed the project to preserve and digitize the district local government archives and initiated the Centre for African Development Studies to study, research, publish and disseminate African indigenous knowledge. He has also previously received a University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars fellowship (UMAPS 2013) as an early-career faculty to prepare himself for graduate training.
This research on "Politics and Violence: A Comparative Study of Bakiga politics in Kigezi and the Politics of Ethnicity in Toro and Bunyoro in Uganda" is focused on the study of historical processes by which groups of people were constituted into ethnicities. Paul Ngologoza the chief architect of "Kigezi and its People" conceived Kigezi in geographical as opposed to ethnic conception of identity. He and fellow intellectuals in Kigezi have succeeded in their work in so far as Kigezi's politics have not been defined by majoritarian effort to suppress and ostracize minority groups. In contrast, the architects of Toro and Bunyoro emphasized ethnic solidarity and deep time in their assessment of history. My assumption is that this could be the reason why in Kigezi interethnic comity has defined the norm while in Toro and Bunyoro ethnic violence has defined political life over the course of time. I seek to know the historical processes by which the interethnic nature of the Banyakigezi identity and ethnicity of Toro and Bunyoro were produced. This is an important aspect that has not been sufficiently recognized by research communities. By contrasting historical developments in Kigezi's politics and the developments in the politics of ethnicity in Toro and Bunyoro, I hope to be able to identify how it was possible for Kigezi to achieve interethnic comity. The question of validity of findings will arise from the techniques I will deploy. For instance, in collecting data, I go with no predetermined meaning to it but will use narrative analysis to make sense of different voices and perspectives. My sources of data will mainly comprise of the colonial district archives, personal and family papers, newspapers and interviews.