The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has attributed the country’s political and economic challenges to colonialism. She said Uganda needed to go to on the drawing board to discuss various root causes and come up with lasting solutions.
Kadaga made the remarks while launching a new book titled:Protection, Patronage, or Plunder? British Machinations and (B) Uganda’s Struggle for Independence written by Buganda Kingdom’s third premier and minster of justice and constitutional affairs, Apollo Makubuya.
The book analyses the history of Buganda and Uganda as a protectorate and how colonialism affected its political and economic development.
“This book is going to illuminate our history and point to our future. Colonial rule undermined and suppressed indigenous values and beliefs and destroyed our administrative structures. This book is rich with a lot of things that we did not know. It is good to use it to look through our past and address our challenges as a country,” she noted.
Kadaga said everything the country was going through had roots right from past. She added that in dealing with the current and future situations, the country needed to learn from the past. Makubuya, the author,said the book shows how the British brought about governance in the colony and how they continue to influence our politics and economics.
“Many can say they have heard this before and wondering what is new and different. But while researching and writing this book, I relied on the original material only found in the national archives in the United Kingdom(British National Archives) where they keep records of many years. I got access to original material and some of it was hand-written notes,” he noted.
Makubuya said many of those who had been writing Uganda’s history had always been foreigners and doing it in their own interests with a lot of distortions. He said since the country was in the time of constitutional review and holding a dialogue, the book could help to stimulate debate. Prof.Joe Oloka Onyango, from Makerere University School of Law, observed that the book forces ‘us’ to re-examine the main basic questions which surround the entire story.
“We pride our self in being a protectorate, but are we different from colonial Kenya. This book is important because it gives a complete analysis on the British engagement with Uganda that extends up to the present time.”
“The ramifications of colonial rule continue into the present time and in many ways dictate our political, socio-economic development and resource exploitation,” he said.
“There are many books on the Buganda question, but this book is important. It goes beyond the history that we all know. It is meticulous and a surgical re-examination of the story providing fresh exhaustive and intellectual stimulating account of various ways experience impacted on the kingdom and particular wide territory of Uganda,” Oloka noted.
Former Principal Judge James Ogoola said the book covers issues larger than Buganda.
“It is for this reason that we talk of holding a national healthy dialogue across the country.At the dialogue, we all sit at a table to sort out our outstanding issues, with the goal of re-arranging ourselves in an amicable and harmonious manner,” he said.
Buganda’s premier Charles Peter Mayiga said Ugandans must learn to write about history, the present and themselves, saying if not,
“we surrender our existence to prison of former colonial masters and present day colonialists”.