Use lessons of history to make life better for all Ugandans

As I have argued orally and in writing patriotic and peace loving Ugandans should oppose the still few separatist and extremist Ugandans from the central region who are arguing for Buganda secession or a federal system based on pre-colonial ‘superior’ ideology and policy as presented yesterday by one commentator on Luganda program of Radio Munansi.

The two sources about the greatness and wealth of the central region indicate that we need to move cautiously on the return to pre-colonial days ideology and policy. Here is what we have come across.

“The Ganda constituted a warring, authoritarian, achieving, and competitive society. These traits and the patterns of behavior which they engendered formed an interdependent, complex whole. They were a predatory society. War brought them additional territory, slaves, women, power, and individual rise in position. Through prowess in war, individuals could achieve a rapid advance in status. War became a standard norm of external relations. Not until the latter half of the nineteenth century did external trade develop. Sir Apolo Kagwa, a prime minister in the early twentieth century said that ‘This custom of robbing the surrounding nations brought wealth to the Baganda, but it also meant the loss of their ability to trade. These expeditions had to be made quite regularly about every six months, and sometimes resulted in considerable loss of life and no particular gain”(Kenneth S. Carlston 1968).

Another source states “Nineteenth-century Buganda was, as modern historians have pointed out, a highly acquisitive society. Wealth came from war. Raids against neighboring peoples – no less than sixty such expeditions took place in the reign of Mutesa I (1854-83) – produced slaves, cattle and ivory. The women slaves served to swell the retinue of the Kabaka and his chiefs, cattle could be used to reward and feast the rank and file, and men slaves and ivory were sold to Zanzibari merchants who had reached Buganda by 1840s, bringing with them cotton cloth and other luxuries and – most significant of imports – guns”(Robin Hallett 1970).

This information is provided as part of civic education especially the youth of Uganda.

Eric Kashambuzi