SIR â€” I read with dismay the article in which Luweero residents were reported to be celebrating the death of former president Dr. Milton Obote.
SIR â€” I refer to Mr. Augustus Nuwagabaâ€™s article entitled â€œBlame
Oboteâ€™s evils on British colonialistsâ€ published on Friday. While I find his piece useful on some
issues, I disagree with him that Aminâ€™s
attack on the Lubiri marked the beginning of the militarisation of Ugandaâ€™s politics.
The militarisation of politics in Uganda (and the
marriage of politics with religion) dates back to Lord Lugardâ€™s involvement in the 1888-1890 religious wars in Buganda. Nuwagabaâ€™s article would have been stronger if he had also informed the readers that the colonialists tactfully left the thorny issue of the â€œlost countiesâ€ for the new (and somewhat inexperienced?) government to sort out. Secondly, in post-colonial Uganda, Sir Edward
Mutesa, the Kabaka of Buganda, was the first high ranking political figure to introduce military methods in Ugandaâ€™s politics. Reference is made to two main incidents in which Mutesa was a key player. The first one was in a Buyaga market (Buyaga being one of the â€œlost countiesâ€ when the Kabaka shot demonstrators, before the 1964 referendum and the Ndaiga Palace shooting after the referendum. There have also been claims of attacks on the central government Police posts within Buganda just before the storming of the Lubiri in 1966. History also indicates that there was a clash between the
central government forces â€” military police â€” and some Kabaka supporters in Nakulabye. Again, both men â€” Mutesa who was the president and Obote, who was the prim minister â€” sought military support to solve political issues. Mutesa had the support of the army commander Shaban Opolot, while Obote that of Opolotâ€™s deputy, Idi Amin.
SIR â€” People are singing that Milton Obote was the father of Uganda. Augustus Nuwagaba wants us to blame all Oboteâ€™s evil on the British colonialists.
I would suggest that we also blame Oboteâ€™s success on the same British colonialists. With or without Obote, Uganda would have got its independence from the British because it was the order of the day in that period. It was the normal rather than the exception.
Was Obote a killer or patriotic leader?