The nature of my career as an international civil servant prevented me from direct engagement in Uganda politics. Instead, I devoted much spare time studying it inter alia why Uganda has failed to produce a charismatic champion like Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere or Kwame Nkrumah etc. When time was ripe, I began writing about Uganda politics and economics. The outcome of this effort is ten books and a blog www.kashambuzi.com.
Before I opened up, I discussed Uganda politics in the form of asking questions or seeking clarification on certain issues to avoid giving personal opinions. Those I engaged in this type of discussion can now understand why I adopted that strategy. In these discussions I found there was too much resistance to build national consciousness or patriotism. In an attempt to fill the gap, I co-founded Uganda Unity Group (UUG) in Lusaka, Zambia drawing members from all parts of Uganda but could not attend the Moshi conference in 1979 because of the constraints of my career. Thus I escaped accusations of direct engagement in Uganda politics although I had practiced politics largely indirectly for a long time going as far back as before independence when I co-founded UPC Youth Wing at Butobere School and interacted with Secretary General John Kakonge (RIP) when he visited Kabale.
Uganda which is blessed by human and natural endowments has failed to develop because of conflicts and foreign interference going as far back as the interaction of different ethnic groups in what later became Uganda (for example, Arab slave traders with European weapons helped Bahororo to defeat indigenous peoples in southwest Uganda). Slave trade, religious, regional, colonial and post-colonial wars created animosities that have torn the country apart and the situation is getting worse under Museveni. Instead of creating a foundation for peace, stability and prosperity for all, we are engaged in zero-sum games. Trust among Ugandans has dissipated as state informers have penetrated every aspect of our being. We are even beginning to get scared of our own shadows (I am confident that out of this fear will emerge courage to liberate ourselves).
The king of Buganda invited European missionaries because he was afraid of Muslim influence coming from the east and the north of his kingdom. He thought different religious groups would neutralize one another and leave him alone to govern his people in peace. Within a short time the three groups (Muslims, Protestants and Catholics) were at each other’s throat and fought one another and together or separately fought and forced the king into exile in Seychelles. When Protestants and Catholics turned on each other, Captain Lugard stepped in on the Protestant side and helped defeat Catholics. The Protestants since then (until Museveni came to power with Catholics in 1986) worked closely with the colonial administration to promote their interests at the expense of Muslims and Catholics.