Date: 3 Jumada al-Ula 1443   Wednesday 08 December 2021

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Uganda gained independence but still retains colonialist rulers' mindset

06:36 10 October 2021 Author :  

Uganda was ruled by the British beginning in the late 1800s and it gained independence on Oct. 9, 1962.

Before independence, Uganda was ruled from London, with British governors appointed by the Queen’s government.

But after 1962, it saw self-government based in Kampala and by run Ugandans.

This was attained through struggle, toil, sweat, and disagreements with imperial protesters, often ending in imprisonment and deportation.

The country became a sovereign state and it simultaneously obtained self-determination and was admitted to the UN and Organization of African Unity (OAU), a milestone that placed it on the international scene

From statehood in 1962, the country has been patiently waiting for a democratic transition of power.

All eight presidents who have ruled since independence, have captured power by using the barrel of the gun.

As Uganda celebrates its 59th anniversary, political analyst Swaib Kaggwa said the country is not yet free and the difference is that it is not governed by white colonialists, but another bunch of colonialists with black skin misgoverning the country.

“At the end of his sixth term, the incumbent president will have been in power for 40 years. His rule is characterized by corruption, unemployment, poverty, political repression and the list goes on. Is that what you call independence? It is not possible to be independent under such circumstances,” he said

President Yoweri Museveni, 75, who has ruled for 35 years, was declared winner of an election earlier this year. His re-election came after the most violent election campaign in recent years that left more than 50 opposition supporters dead and many languishing in prisons.

Several observers and human rights groups raised concerns that the vote was not credible.

In 1980, Museveni lost an election to incumbent President Milton Obote and proceeded to petition the court. He would later withdraw the petition and launch a guerilla war that brought him to power six years later in 1986.

Deputy Mayor for Sheema municipality Nakaliisa Rukia said despite the challenges facing the country, there is a lot to celebrate.

“British rule in Uganda is one of the most humiliating episodes of this country that its end deserves celebration,” she said. “They massacred our people and drove others off their lands to create garrisons, farms or their own homes.”

“They plundered the country of its natural resources and left lasting effects. The routine floods caused by the Nyamwamba River in our neighboring district of Kasese, bursting its banks and killing our people is an example of the result of colonial exploitation.

“They plundered copper ore, which involved digging canals to divert the natural flow of streams from the mountains, resulting in present-day flooding. The minerals were stolen and our people are still dying from the effects, it’s so sad,” she said “Granted, the country could be stagnating and affecting the democratic roots and the process of democratic development, but that does not compare to the evil of colonialism. Most challenges of post-independent Uganda are linked to direct and intentional action by the colonialists.”

She urged young people to develop their own understanding of what is important for Uganda to see a better future./aa

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