Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What did the British steal from Uganda?


CHANGE OF GUARDS - Britain was Uganda's colonial master from 1894 to 1962 when the country gained independence. During that period, the territory that came to be known as Uganda made tremendous strides in social, political and economic spheres. They stopped the scourge of slavery and slave trade. They introduced the Christian religion which has excelled as a champion of civilization. They introduced modern education which propelled the evolution from backwardness to modernity. They pioneered the construction of health facilities and modern medical practices thus uplifting the mortality rate. They introduced both food and cash crops that have improved the economic wellbeing of citizens. 

The British natured and preserved traditional institutions. They ably defended the territorial integrity of the country. They jealously guarded and preserved natural resources and the environment. They built robust economic infrastructures like railway network, airport, water transport, roads and dams. They availed educational scholarships to future Ugandan leaders. They established a reputable judicial and legislative system. They laid a firm foundation for an effective public service infrastructure. They carried out geological survey of minerals and left them intact save for copper, salt, sand and cement which were mined for the benefit of Ugandans. They inculcated a human rights culture with a human face. The British left a country whose communities were very united in the country and set to carry on.

It is against the above mentioned background that an everlasting bond between Ugandans and the British was born. For the same reasons, save for a very low level of agitation, independence was received on a silver platter as opposed to the shedding of blood. Immediately after the British left, the post independence hyenas swung into action; tearing apart, vomiting and defecating all allover the country. When they failed to preserve and add on the achievements of the British colonialists, they coined the excuse of neocolonialism and all that communist nonsense. Without tangible evidence, they claimed that the British had been stealing our wealth. Interestingly, since independence, the UK has given Uganda all forms of aid. Assuming, the British stole from Uganda, how much was stolen compared to what was left and has been given in aid since independence!!!! What about the cost of the several mega developmental infrastructures that they put in place!! Did the British steal the fertile soil, favourable climate, the rivers, the lakes, the minerals in the ground, the forests and wildlife? Some of the post independence leaders not only retained but modified the so called 'bad colonial' laws to suit their selfish greed.

Consequently, the robust social, economic and political infrastructure that was initiated and left by the British colonialists, preserved and improved by the Milton Obote and Iddi Amin regimes, has been totally destroyed by Museveni's 33 years of military dictatorship. He is motivated by the evil and selfish urge to rewrite the history of Uganda as if the country started in 1986. Owing to his communist oriented political indoctrination, it is very common for some leaders to unfairly refer to the British colonialist administration's so-called poor governance. In particular, they make a comparison of Museveni's conduct with the last British Governor, Sir Andrew Cohen. While Cohen had a human face, Museveni has an evil kifesi. The only similarity is the enjoyment of beautiful military parades and red carpet reception.

Now 57 years down the road, why are some Ugandans wishing the British to return and administer Uganda!! Let alone the strong yearning for Ugandans to live in the UK!


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