Uganda’s downward spiral must be suppressed quickly

In my book “Uganda’s Development Agenda” published in 2008 I wrote a chapter comparing independent Uganda with medieval Europe (500-1500 AD). I showed similarities in the low standards of housing, clothing and eating as well as in agrarian economy and low level of technology. Since the publication of the book, I have conducted further research about Uganda and concluded that its problems have gone beyond standard development challenges.

The mounting problems including absolute and relative poverty have been suggested as part of the reasons why many Ugandans have turned to unusual behavior including witchcraft, human sacrifice, excessive alcoholism etc.

A few years ago while on vacation in Uganda, a python was killed in our village. It had to be incinerated and the ashes scattered so that parts of the snake are not used for witch craft. I also learned that cats were disappearing mysteriously because parts of them are used for witchcraft. I had a conversation with a senior citizen in the area who said that people have lost faith or suffered a rupture in institutions that sustained them forcing them to turn to witchcraft.

This brings me to human sacrifice. I have written at some length about this tragedy and need not say much except to add that when a society deteriorates to this level then you know that time has come to stop and reverse direction. There has been condemnation but no concrete action yet. Meanwhile an increasing number of children are being kidnapped from homes and between school and home or while doing other things and beheaded.

The level of drinking alcohol in Uganda is reported to be the highest in the world. This has contributed to rising violence and poverty as assets are sold to raise cash for drinking. To make matters worse an increasing number of women have joined their husbands in bars abandoning children who fall prey to all sorts of temptations. Men are abandoning their families in large numbers causing untold suffering to those left behind. When a husband tells his wife to go out and engage in sex work to bring home money in order to put food on the table, then you know that that society is about to reach the end of the rope.

To make matters worse, men are killing their wives and their children. Women are also killing their husbands or women and their children are murdering their husbands and fathers respectively. Neighbors are killing neighbors and destroying their properties in increasing numbers. Peoples’ representatives are passing some laws that are causing much hardship including potential for land dispossession.

We call upon the government, the church, civil society organizations and local as well as international communities to act singly or in concert to help end these sad acts that are undermining the credibility of our nation.