The present day Uganda, became a British protectorate in 1894 after our fore fathers from the kingdoms and regions were subdued by the colonialists and formed this country which Sir Winston Churchill called “the Pearl of Africa”. October 09, 2019 will see these amalgamated entities celebrate 56 years of independence since 1962. However, it is sad to note that, it is only Uganda among the East African countries that has had upheavals of power change through violence!
This brings a question are Kenyans or Tanzanians for example made of different blood? Tanzania has, at scheduled times changed power more frequently without hullabaloo, Kenyans, in 2007 learnt a lesson after spilling blood, and recently they were able to mend walls between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga with a truce where by the former promised to let the latter take up the mantle of leading Kenya after his current term of office and now the country is at peace, the economy is vibrant but Uganda is here embroiled in bickering and fomenting violence. There is nothing unique that has propelled Kenya to forge ahead that Uganda cannot emulate. Grapevine has it that Jomo Kenyatta, the father of Uhuru Kenyatta was a son of Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro, this allegation, though lacks authenticity, is a clear manifestation that Uganda too, can solve its problems by mere resolutions since the breed of leaders in Kenya may have their roots in Uganda.
Senior citizens and religiously leaders have time and again called on government to hold a national dialogue so that those with dissenting views from those of the sitting government are listened to, their views absorbed, resolutions are made and a truce is signed. The current disenchantment in the country whose ugly head surfaced in Arua on August 13th 2018 is a buildup of violence characteristics of Ugandans that has bedeviled our motherland since 1966 when the then executive prime minister Milton Obote invaded the palace of the king of Buganda who was the president. Hundreds and hundreds of people, died, property destroyed and this has been the trend until 1986. It is noteworthy that the current government still headed by the same president who promised to redress this anomaly has note stood up to the occasion to sort out this fundamental problem. The government seems to rely on one measure of scheduled elections as a yard stick for democratic credentials, yet almost all general and bye elections are not only marred by violence but results have also been contested in courts of law. Unless a national dialogue is constituted, constitutional reforms are carried out where the president for example is stripped of the powers of appointing the electoral commission, the ombudsman, the chief justice, the commissioner of prisons, the inspector general of police and the executive heads of government parastatals, our country shall forever remain dancing to the whims of the president who holds those powers.
Demographical statistics show that Uganda’s population is at the moment made up of 70% youth, this is the most active age bracket whose views those in power should endeavor to incorporate in the national agenda if we are to spur a stable country. Disenchantment breeds anarchy, no wonder notable senior citizens from the central and northern regions on several occasions have hinted on seceding from Uganda to form Buganda as a state or Nile nation respectively as a way of solving this decades long anomaly. There is no need of doing soul searching why such radical measures of solving national problems keep lingering in the hearts of citizens, if revolutionaries heed a call for national dialogue. After all we are all indebted to Uganda as per the covenant by our forefathers of a united Uganda.
Bulamu Ssewanonda concerned Ugandan Kampala.