UDU premise is finding and telling the truth about Uganda and Ugandans in order to identify problems and recommend solutions that will benefit all. In our culture we have a saying developed before refrigeration became available that if you hide meat from fire it will rot. Either you roast or boil it.
When confronted with a difficult situation, we Ugandans have developed a habit of brushing sensitive issues under the carpet/rug hoping time will provide solutions. We especially politicians have therefore developed a tendency of saying what the audience wants to hear or skipping vital issues to earn popularity.
There is ample evidence that if discussions before independence had been genuine, Uganda would have avoided the situation we are in. But because they were rushing our negotiators made some blunders. They avoided the issue of the head of state and we ended up with a Governor-General which delayed the problem. They avoided the right solution to Amin problem and we all know what we got from him. They avoided the issue of ‘Lost Counties” and we know what happened and what still lingers on. The colonial administration simply handed over the problems it created.
According to John Hanning Speke (1863, 2006) Bairu (a term of abuse) which means slaves was coined by Bahima to apply to all Bantu-speaking people they found south of River Nile.
Presently the term has come to apply to the indigenous Bantu-speaking people of southwest Uganda (in former Ankole district and Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district) because in other areas extensive intermarriage between Bantu and Nilotic peoples formed mixed and entirely new communities. Bantu speaking people brought with them short-horn cattle, goats and sheep and above all iron technology and manufacturing skills (so they were not cultivators only. They were forced into cultivation by Bahima and Bahororo in order to marginalize, impoverish, dominate and exploit them). The term Bahutu is the equivalent of Bairu in Rwanda and Burundi. We shall apply the term Bairu in its broader sense as originally used to include indigenous Bantu speaking people who occupied areas south of Nile River before Nilotic Luo-speaking Bahima arrived and adopted Bantu language.
On May 6, 2010 Sylvia Juuko reported in the New Vision (Uganda) that the World Bank effective July this year will focus its assistance on the oil sector, urban development and governance. While these are no doubt important areas one wonders what criteria were used in selecting them over rural development and agriculture – which is Uganda’s economic mainstay and the World Bank’s recent announcement that it would direct more resources to agriculture which had been neglected – unemployment, nutrition, health, education, school feeding program, industrialization and environment.
Kundhavi Kadiresan, World Bank representative, reported that Uganda is one of the largest recipients of soft loans from the World Bank, noting that Uganda’s portfolio of International Development Assistance (IDA) financed operations stood at $1.3 billion. Instead of reporting dollar figures, it would have been more helpful if Kadiresan had presented outcomes of these investments and the extent to which they have helped to reduce poverty. It is known that much of World Bank resources go to pay high salaries, allowances and travel costs of foreign advisers and consultants who then deposit the money in their home bank accounts.