NOT YET UHURU: Assessing Uganda’s independence
Uganda as a country is going through a series of rituals in the name of celebrating her presumed self-determination away from the tyrannical colonialism.
Ideally and for the record, Uganda is 60 years of age now. The same is noted and recorded to be legit as per the mere fact that our motherland is presumed to have attained self-rule from the British Empire on October 9, 1962.
Yet the first two occurrences which I beg to open this discourse with examples that would prove by themselves to be such embarrassing, derogatory as well as degrading occurrences.
The same were visited on majorly and, only recently, to the top-tier African leaders and to which African continent, my own mother land Uganda, happens to belong.
Such leaders had first of all left their respective countries across Africa and made the journey to Europe to pay homage to the deceased Queen Elizabeth Windsor Alexandra.
But the deceased who had during her lifetime and for many years of her reign, for emphasis sake, presided over the continued subjugation and plunder of Africa.
Worthy to note and record for posterity’s consumption, is the fact that the deceased Lady Queen was doing this to the untold benefit to her kingdom as well as her subjects.
Queen Elizabeth would finally lose the battle to death at the time and choosing of the Almighty God.
But she had before then and for decades, for that matter, rejected or neglected and failed to offer any form of apology nor any kind of reparation towards making amends for the acts of untold subjugation, slavery, massive plunder and savagery and such worse crimes as committed against Africa and it’s people during her lifetime and, earlier than that, by her own predecessors.
That understood and noted, it would have thus passed as an act of double standards, mockery as well as treachery to quite a number of Africans and thanks to the African culture of embracing the deceased oppressor, for the leaders of the so-called independent but formerly colonies of the deceased Queen, to use the extravagantly and shockingly scarce foreign currency and precious time.
And all these reckless extravagance, in the name of making it to Europe to attend the vigil, pay homage as well as bury the same oppressive deceased Queen.
Whilst in Europe, the African leaders and as the same is characteristic of the contemptuous former European colonisers, would now be shockingly lumped together and driven around in a bus.
This would prove to be a far cry seeing the comfort and respect which would be accorded to an actually sitting president from an equally formerly colonized US as the same had not never ever at all been extended to his fellow presidents from Africa.
Big-is-Big Joe Biden, the President of the United States, was not only allowed to fly in his private jet into UK and such luxury, but was also permitted the luxury of being chauffeured in his renowned powerful and comfortable motorcade dubbed the beast as opposed to being lumped together and packed up in a bus complete with his other lesser African counterparts.
Now compare and contrast this with the embarrassing as well as degrading treatment to which the leaders from Africa ended up being subjected to during the same occasion.
Do so, in order to answer the simplest as well as obvious question as to whether the African countries and their leaders are actually their own bosses and equally treated by the Europeans as such just as Joe Biden is.
What the very few and widely witnessed as well as recorded experiences as repeated here above would speak to those who keenly care to see, to listen and take note, is that Africa’s independence is but realistically shallower contrary to the sarcasm being sold around by even African presidents that it’s indeed real.
We can’t take leave of this line of argument without discussing the rational or, lack of it, in the leaders of the former colonies of the British Empire conceding to be again lumped up together under an umbrella body led by the former coloniser-in-chief.
This contemptuous association referred to as the commonwealth has continued to exist for decades now and counting. Despite the fact that the coloniser is assumed to have superficially granted to her colonies what is for all intents and purposes equally superficial independence.
Look, America itself was once a colony of the Great Britain. But ever since America secured it’s own independence from Great Britain in 1776, it’s succeeding presidents have been wiser enough as to snub, avoid hobnobbing as well as recognizing such contemptuous and demeaning abstract things such as the commonwealth.
Yet former colonies such as the one near home in Rwanda are known to have vigorously battled to join the commonwealth. This was after the neighbouring country had allegedly successfully broken free from the bossy tendencies of it’s French former boss over disagreement of apportioning blame in regards to the Rwandan own genocide holocaust.
Rwanda has since proudly hosted the former Africa’s coloniser-in-chief led commonwealth conference in Kigali to the grin of it’s own president who is assumed to be his own boss in his country and elsewhere.
Away from that and, for demonstration purposes, let us pose now a few questions. If Uganda is really independent? And given that the current leaders pledged right from the start in 1986 to build a self-sustaining and independent economy by way of example. Why then have the same leaders been frequenting Europe and the East with endless begging bows in hand. And, for that matter, on endless missions to beg for endless alms to run the same economy which, they themselves had pledged from the start, to build into a self-sustaining as well as independent economy?
If our leaders were indeed serious about building a self-sustaining and independent economies, why then did the go ahead and accept to receive and absolutely bend to orders from New York, Paris, Beijing and other Capitals?
Which same foregoing orders were directing our own self-sustaining and independent economy strategists to now cheaply sell off and hand over key public enterprises to private people and entities and who were, before I can forget it, hailing too from foreign lands but forget also for now the fact that the same foreign investors would prove, moreover, to be infamously renowned for repatriating the proceeds from such public enterprises back to their own countries of origin for their own government’s and also own exclusive benefit?
Kindly permit yours truly to add also, for emphasis’ sake and for posterity’s that majority of the same public enterprises have since ended up being ran down and right into limbo.
If what forced us to exchange our key enterprises for a song, were the pressure, coercion plus fear from the Whites and to appease the Whites and such races. For the same reasons, we would ideally end up losing the justification plus the right to lay claim on being truly independent as a country, as leaders and as a people.
True we would. Seeing that the reasonable members from the rest of the world would ideally end up categorizing us as the true puppets of our former colonisers plus those of their allies too.
Granted some of the public enterprises have been sold off to foreigners even in Europe. Truer the dictates of globalization would demand the same to be the right course of action.
All the same, Europe has been so selective and wiser enough whilst privatizing off their national assets as to leave out the ones that are strategic, not to sell off those that have been sold off at a song, not to give away public assets free of charge to jokers like Kananathan in the case of the coffee marketing board and not to divert the few cents realized from such privatization processes at the expense of the country and citizens.
We have been told that Africans fought for independence from the colonisers to free themselves from the shackles of human rights abuses, segregation and exploitation by the whites and other races that considered themselves superior. And yet the successors of the Mzungu colonialists, who are fellow blacks have done worse violations upon fellow black people than what the colonialists did.
Africans continue to be shot and maimed as well as detained incommunicado for no better and legitimate right for exercising their fundamental rights to freely express themselves about critical national issues and take part in elective politics. We’ve had full Members of Parliament spend months in jail in the Pearl of Africa without a single iota of evidence being brought against them to justify their incarceration.
As the same is going on, the former colonial masters are being directed to look the other way and completely shut up or else stand to be accused of by the current African black leaders or denied business prospects for allegedly interfering with the sovereignty of African countries or poking their noses in the Africa’s allegedly internal affairs.
Taking a break from the former colonial masters and their allies, we now want to turn our scrutiny towards fellow African presidents and the local events which we now try to prove if ordinary Africans and Ugandans for that matter are indeed independent of their ‘colonisers’.
Let’s start off by looking at the education standards obtaining currently in Uganda as the entry point to this discourse.
True, Uganda currently boasts of a historic primary school enrollment numbering into millions, hundreds of institutions of higher learning compared to the past. But other than these facts, can we honestly aver that Uganda as a country has grown qualitatively in terms of education standards in the prevailing times? As and when the same is gauged by the times when the colonialists were the one in charge of the country and when the black man is presently the one in charge of the country?
Some of the Ugandan learners today speak fluent English the former colonizers’ language and passing with super grades. But this as opposed to turning such mastery of the same colonisers language into employable skills.
Now take a look at the journalism profession. This is where yours truly belongs and where he has been earning bread and butter for more than two decades now.
Now compare and contrast the Paul Waibale Seniors, Kintu Musokes, Onyango Obbos, Phillip Wafula Oguttus, the J.B Wasswas, Maurice Ssekawungus, the Veteran Ssemakula Ndugwas of the Ngabo fame and such cream with the Kwalakwala (rag-tag) of our hopeless times, to see the kind of crisis of intelligence now at play.
Let me tell you, guys such as Paul Waibale Senior a.k.a Kasadha, as the same had been known to be his stage name during the Ebonies drama TV series, never saw the inside of the formal journalism school.
Even so, such professional colleagues and, despite their lack of the necessary formal training, were absolutely wonderful thinkers and writers of the correspondingly wonderfully and absolutely life changing as well as compelling stuff than we the Kasasiro (chuff) of today’s hopeless days.
Yet some out of the crop of today’s journalists have had the benefit of attending journalism schools and of attending some of today’s so-called super schools as well as attaining the best of the best of grades incidental to that.
Uganda’s primary education isn’t any better.
Research by agencies such as Twaweza, shows that majority of UPE learners in upper classes are shockingly incapable of making sense of basic syllabi of study nor reading and contemplating simple extracts out of equally simple essays of lower classes as and when compared to their counterparts in the privately owned schools.
Teachers aren’t well remunerated since government pays a paltry Ugsh20,000 fees per learned under UPE.
Some of the learners receive lessons under the tree shades as if to demonstrate our sense of intuition and improvisation.
But even so, what is going to stop such lousy teachers from producing equally lousy learners subsequently as the same has progressively proved to factually be the case!
Yet, our caring leaders can afford to share among themselves wonderful cars which are correspondingly wonderfully petrol guzzlers and in the face of the stinking poverty and at the very moment when our UPE learners are receiving lessons under the tree shades! And we talk of self-governance. Kindly give me a break.
Our colonisers built and left excellent schools and cared to equip them with essential learning equipment as books and also maintained sports grounds. such institutions have since been callously let down our African black leaders of today and replaced by their version of schools who jobs is to produced mechanically prepared learners as opposed to holistic learners capable of measuring up to the dictates of the current employment world and life itself.
Land grabbers within the government and their cronies and friends, have been grabbing land belonging to the private schools and higher institutions of learning built and left behind by the Mzungu coloniser with the current breed of enlightened African leaders merely looking on and in fact doing nothing to stem such trends.
I would go on and on were time and space in our favour. But given that such is absolutely not the case, I beg and pray what I have written proves my original case which is that our self-rule is for all practical purposes and intents superficial and purely an academic. Thanks for reading.