The role of history in understanding the present

is essentially the study of the human past which helps us to
understand the present it has created. It involves a careful
compilation, reading and analysis of surviving primary and secondary
texts, artifacts (studied by archaeologists) and oral conversations
in an effort to reconstruct past events and processes. In short, the
historian’s job is to ask questions about what happened, who was
involved, when and where an event occurred, why did it happen and
what were the results, how should human groups relate to one another
and how should benefits and responsibilities be distributed among
different stakeholders? Many past events still exert immense
influences in many parts of the world and create parameters within
which we live and interact today.

of the requirements of studying history is the interpretation of
evidence which is presented in the form of books, articles etc.
Because history is not an exact science and the historian’s
interpretation of evidence is not perfect, many political, economic
and social conflicts have arisen from conflicting interpretations of
the past. Many past writers and interpreters had special purposes
including prejudices and biases in writing and interpreting history.
Further, historians select which events to discuss, which to ignore,
or which people were important.

I wrote my article titled “How Rujumbura’s Bairu got
impoverished”, I used historical evidence and processes to explain
the current poverty-stricken Bairu in the county. My only goal was to
urge that a preventive solution be found before desperate people
cause problems. I was not apportioning blame.

Ephraim Kamuhangire, a historian who responded to my article chose
his own events, personalities, group, periods, context, issues and
interpretation leading him to conclude that my article was full of
“hatred and sectarian bias”. If Dr. Ephraim Kamuhangire had taken
a bit of time to inquire about me and what I stand for, I am sure he
would have written a different response.

I have written about the impoverishment of women, and indigenous
people. No one has accused me of “hatred and sectarian bias”. I
wonder what caused Dr. Ephraim Kamuhangire to take that line of
response when I wrote about the impoverishment of Bairu.

that as it may some people have investigated and communicated with
me. They have confirmed that poverty is indeed extensive and deep and
intermarriage is one way – Bairu men marrying Bashambu women.

with more responses coming in we should be able to bring this matter
to a conclusion soon. In a separate article I have asked for an