By John Agaba
A veteran ideology tutor and scholar has faulted the approach being used in the integration of East Africa.
Prof. Kajjabago Karushoke said, "Yes, we need the integration. The whole idea is good. But we are doing it badly."
This was during the first Chango Machyo memorial lecture at Kyambogo University Thursday Evening.
He said the partner heads of state were only focussing on the vertical approach. But we also need the horizontal approach.
"They (leaders) are meeting. But the background is not united," said Kajjabago. "We need all trade unions, women organizations and the people of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan to meet."
He said, "we need to start relating as people of east Aftica, not just our leaders."
"We are having some of our people killed is South Sudan. People need to realize that they are one," he added.
Last week, Uganda hosted the East African Community heads of state summit. Key among what the leaders discussed was the opportunity of having a common currency in the region. It would help in the economic transformation of the partner states.
Kajjabago noted: "As long as we still look at one another as the problem; as long as we still look at one another by tribe, where does he come from, he is not part of us, it will be difficult."
Chango Machyo died last October.
Among the people that attended the public lecture was Lt. Col. Matsiko, disaster preparedness minister Hilary Onek, Kakoza Mutale, Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor, Pro. Omollo Ndiege, and Princess Bagaya of Toro.
The chief guest was Justice Jotham Tumwesigye.
Onek, who gave a recap of Chango Machyo as minister, recounted how the man was generous and incorruptible.
"He was an honest man. If some one ever asked me who the most honest man is. I said I know only one man. Chango Machyo," said Onek.
"If Chango Machyo went abroad and took allowances for ten days but came back after six days, he would go to the cashier and return the balance. Up to today, no other minister has done that," he added.
Chango Machyo was minister for lands, water and natural resources shortly after the National Resistance Movement came into power in 1986.
Lt. Col. Matsiko said Chango Machyo hated the exploitation of man. He believed in fairness and justice.
"He was not a greedy man like many today," said Kakoza Mutale.
"He believed in the liberation of Africans from total imperialism. Africans, we are brain washed. We hate everything African. We worship everything white. But this was not Chango Machyo."
His son Peter Wanyama talked how his father was a great reader.
"Each and everyday of his life you found him with a book. He was always reading. And always said, if you want to hide anything from an African, put it in a book."
"He loved Malwa. It was his most cherished drink," he added.