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Anthem: disgracing, degrading Uganda

Ikebesi Omoding

Anthem: disgracing, degrading Uganda

For all intents and purposes, Ugandans have come to accept and identify with it as a personification of our nationhood.


When the news first came that there were moves afoot to change the Uganda National Anthem, Ugandans have come to accept and identify with it as a personification of our nationhood.

There was clear protestation from all and sundry in the country at this attempt to dishonor the anthem. Many people could not imagine what kind of twisted brain could try to engineer this infamy.

For all intents and purposes now, the anthem has come to embody what we all are, and want: a reference to spirituality; salubrious climate; a bright hope for the future; wholesomeness; and, the need for united-ness. By suggesting that the anthem was in need of either change or even re-evaluation, it meant that some people in the nation had come to question these high values and intended to rend them asunder. What dastardliness!

For one; it would be comparable to the United Sates throwing away the Star-spangled anthem of its banner and the dictum: “In God We Trust”, or Britain tossing away “God Save the Queen”. Unthinkable! So, what and where were we thinking of putting “For God and My Country”, which is a rhyme for the anthem?

Apparently the  NRM regime, was fronting Maria Mutagamba, minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and former DP stalwart, to “solicit” views about changing the anthem, because she was the one most loud about it. It means that there was/is a brainwave on checking out Mutagamba’s integrity towards the party; and somebody came out with the anthem as being the best litmus test for her.

Mutagamba was never in the bush war that brought in the NRM fraudsters to the political scene of Uganda. It is fascinating that a former DP official was selected for this revolting task. It is obvious, for whatever humiliating reason that, she was/is being made to grind her nose in the political dust. She is probably now being made to shed any pretensions to the values of DP and whatever identity; the test was for her being a total sell-out.

The rest of Uganda is not interested whether Mutagamba does not believe and wants to sell herself to the highest bidder, but this should not have been construed to mean that the whole country had to go down this chicanery drain. One would have imagined that the NRM has done everything possible to dismember this country; but it always springs surprises to touch even the most sacrosanct of the things that represent this country.

The first stanza of the anthem says most of it:

Oh, Uganda,
May God Uphold Thee,
We Lay Our Future in Thy Hands,
United Free
For Liberty,
We’ll Always Stand.

What could be more succinct than that? And what would have given a more personification? For all that it was a tussle when the late Kakoma wanted per diem for his inspirational thought and musicality. Indeed, the country should have held Kakoma in high esteem, instead of having his widow and family beg for alms from them on his death bed. They had,/or should think of having the responsibility of running the country, since they are in the helm. Anything about making political points against its “enemies” should be left to polling times. But this maybe asking too much and assigning a patriotic role a regime that is showing that it is not willing to have.

There are many questions that came into mind about these nefarious intentions: are the NRM principals saying that Uganda should not put God first in supplication, for the people of Uganda to belong to this good land, that Winston Churchill, the wartime British prime minister called, “The Pearl of Africa”? Has Uganda now turned out as the “Pit of Africa”? Should we not depend on Uganda, and if not, then to which country?

Is it that, it is better for the country to be Balkanized into kingships, chiefdoms and chieflets? We are currently having a taste of this “policy” in which the subjects of the kingdoms of Tooro and Kasese are up in arms against this regressive practice. Should Ugandans not be united? Then what? With these in mind, it behoves one to think that it may be true the rumours doing the rounds that the NRM he-men / women say that should they not be in power, then, even Uganda should go down the drain with them.                                                  



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Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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