Accepted paper:

Citizenship in slums and suburbs: rumours of slum clearance and politics of class, ethnicity and migration in the city of Kampala, Uganda


Gaku Moriguchi (Toyo University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the notion of citizenship in an African city by describing the case of slums as a national marginal entity. Kampala kept several informal residential areas, then rumours of slum clearance reveal the vulnerability of residents, foreign migrants and domestic minorities.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the notion of "citizenship" in an African urban setting by describing the case of slums as a national marginal entity. Kampala, the capital of Uganda, has kept several slums and informal residential areas, called "suburbs" since it started its growth of population in1960's. Rumours of slum clearance, however, have revealed the vulnerability of residents who are mainly foreign migrants, and informal refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and domestic minorities, such as internal displaced people, Acholi, Karamojong, Iteso and other minor ethnic groups. When we discussed on their residential rights and land ownership, their "citizenship" and national identity have had always to be treated as a contested notion due to entangled customs of Baganda and the national legal system. The Baganda local customs often exclude other ethnic groups from land rights though modern law presumes to secure them. Furthermore, recent urban re-development schemes, mostly financially funded by prominent politicians from the western Uganda, expel them out of their slums. To protest their rights against the government, demonstrations and riots were often shown by slum residents in late 2000s. As a result of the control of urban space and the pacification of riots by the Museveni regime, it seems to have brought some layers of classes, based on ethnic groups, both of inside and outside of Uganda, although boundaries between insiders and outsiders are not obvious. I would like to clarify this "citizenship" in Kampala as a process of urban marginalisation.

panel P082
Citizenship, violence, and power: re-invention of modern nation-states in Africa