If you are in Uganda and want to bring a change in the political landscape, consider eating a rat. The man who ate a rat in front of President Yoweri Museveni in 2005 is once again threatening to do what he has done, in what he claims is a traditional form of protesting used to bring change.
79 year old John Ojim Omoding told the Daily Monitor Newspaper that in 1947, his grandfather ate a live rat in front of British colonisers. His grandfather did this to persuade them to make eastern Torora area a county.
The reason why Omoding may eat more rats in front of President Museveni is that he wants Tororo which is more than 150 km north-east of Kampala to be promoted to district status. The President is currently touring Uganda as part of his 4th term in office campaign. The national poll is on February 18.
Omoding says, “Awarding us district status would reunify us. I can eat more rats before the president if that would make him listen to our plight.”
In Uganda, rats are not really eaten. Some members of the Iteso tribe, which Omoding is a member of, have said to consider them as a delicacy until 1950s. However, other groups have berated the Iteso tribe for this.
The Daily Monitor reports that this elderly man was eating rats as a historic custom as it had been practiced for centuries in order to induce development programs.
In 2005, Omoding’s rat eating stunt made Ugandan headlines. Some say that this even prompted President Museveni to set up 2 commissions that recommended Tororo be made a district. However, this recommendation has not been followed up since then.