OPINION | POLITICS
By Michael Woira
Colonialism is the establishment and maintenance, for an extended time, of rule over an alien people that is separate from and subordinate to the ruling power.
It is no longer closely associated with the term “colonization,” which involves the settlement abroad of people from a mother country, as in the case of the ancient Greek colonies or the Americas. Colonialism has now come to be identified with rule over peoples of different race inhabiting lands separated by salt water from the imperial center; more particularly, it signifies direct political control by European states or states settled by Europeans, as the United States or Australia, over peoples of other races, notably over Asians and Africans. To this category should be added Japan’s rule over her dependent territories, lost after World War ii.
Modern colonialism started with the fifteenth-century voyages of the Portuguese along the west coast of Africa, which in 1498 brought Vasco da Gama to India. The Portuguese and Spaniards were the first to establish their dominions overseas and clung to them long after their imperialist drive had lost its forward thrust. The Americas were wholly taken over as European domains, the Dutch and British began to stake out their claims in India and the Indies, and France had won and lost more than one empire by 1815. The first blows for anticolonialism were struck by the American Revolution and the subsequent liberation of most of Latin America
After 1900, Europe began to introduce changes to colonial rule in an effort to increase revenues from the colonies. These changes included taking land from African people and giving it to the growing number of Europeans in the colonies. The other changes were the introduction of taxes like the hut tax and poll tax that forced Africans to work for European settlers. Africans were forced to work for Europeans in order to pay these taxes. This was because the new taxes had to be paid in cash and not as cattle or crops as was the practice before. Exploitation of African labourers by European employers added to the growing resentment among the local people.
One of the response to colonial transformation was the formation of political parties. These were formed by the small educated group of Africans mainly residing in developing colonial towns. These Africans were educated at missionary schools. At first, these parties did not seek to create a mass following, but to lobby their respective colonial governments to recognise the civil rights of Africans and protect and recognize the land rights of Africans in rural areas. The formation of political parties in this period reflected changes in African nationalism. It was now increasingly being influenced by western education and Christianity. This created a new educated social group in Africa, which was excluded from participating in colonial rule because they were Africans. Their aspirations were equality between Europeans and Africans and later they began to demand self-rule. From the beginning they worked closely with chiefs because they shared the same demands. But because colonial rule adopted chiefs into the administration of African people, the growing number of chiefs who were co-operating with colonial government strained the relationship between the new elite leaders and the chiefs. Furthermore, western educated leaders feared that because chiefs represent different ethnic groups, they would undermine the unity of African nationalism by causing ethnic rivalries in the colonies. Therefore they began to undermine chiefs in an attempt to overcome ethnic differences in the colonies.
Now to go straight on point, Many of African opposition parties still cling to the notes of the colonial masters because of their own benefits, most of the opposition parties have been funded by super powers who were once great oppressors of our countries, People who made us slaves in our own country and even donated to us what belonged to us originally. Case in point is the land that the whites gave to the kabaka in the 1900 Buganda agreement, was it there land that they carried it to Uganda in their bags or they found it here? If they found it here how come they even made poor Ugandans sign an agreement to agree that they have received land from the whites?.
Some things we cannot go more into details but we should always think African and avoid involving the white man in all we do. For the fact here in Uganda nothing happens and the opposition doesn’t call for the white man’s intervention, I have observed this for some time and during election periods the opposition only believes reports read by the whites and neglect reports by African Election observers, but why? Because they think whites are very perfect.
Dear comrades in the opposition, let’s think straight as Africans and avoid those colonial ideologies that you always have, everyone knows you are funded by them to make sure you promote what they want in Uganda, You act on camera for them to capture videos and make them headlines in their News so that you keep getting funding, some of us know why you always want to act in the presence of cameras and when cameras are a way, you become normal Africans who think smart.
You can be the ambassadors of the colonialists while doing the right thing but you have totally opted for chaos and branding your country as the worst country to live in not knowing that your origin remains Africa and the money you get from the colonialists will once fade away.
The writer is a pan Africanist