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On land issue in Uganda and her sovereignty

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Added 15th December 2016 10:00 AM

Before colonisation, each nationality had land in the hands of all members of that nationality.

On land issue in Uganda and her sovereignty

Before colonisation, each nationality had land in the hands of all members of that nationality.

By Kajabago-ka-Rusoke

Land in Uganda has continued to be a hot topic. But to understand it quite well, this topic should be divided into three parts:

- Land before the colonisation of nationalities that came up to form what came to be known as Uganda.

- Land under colonised Uganda.

- Land after Uganda's decolonisation.

Before colonisation

Before colonisation, each nationality had land in the hands of all members of that nationality.

Even where a nationality had a king, the king was a custodian of land on behalf of all his people, but did not own special chunks against his own people.

On colonisation        

A variety of nationalities were amalgamated under the name Uganda no matter whether some were kingdoms or not.

The entire land under Uganda was confiscated by the conquering king of Great Britain.

This was what was named Crown Land - meaning land that belongs now to the British crown.

Some of the conquered nationalities making up Uganda had kings. As the king of Britain conquered these nationalities, he decided to give some parts of the conquered territory to local kings, referring to those parts as mailo land.

Whereas the entire land in the past belonged to all people, now land was divided between the conquering king of Britain and the local conquered kings in colonial Uganda.  The citizens (Abataka) were deprived of the fundamental and vital life asset - land.

After colonisation      

At the time of decolonisation, the British monarchy surrendered the land it had confiscated, namely. Crown Land, to a new Uganda government.

The formerly conquered kings on entering a socio-economic phase of national independence for Uganda, did not surrender people's land (Mailo land) given to them by their outgoing allies from whom they got it.

Things to note

They should not have accepted someone else to give them part of what was already theirs.

By accepting the offer, they accepted being fooled and, therefore, qualified as stooges, quislings and puppets of conquerors.

They were separated away from their own people through opportunism and honoured as "Sirs" in thanks for being quislings, puppets and stooges.

Today, their descendants continue to own those assets in the footsteps of their ancestor quislings, puppets and stooges against the ordinary people - their own people.

This is a continuation of colonialism.

Some Ugandans go without enough land on which to live properly and comfortably.

These descendants of quislings are still demanding more land than they have, neither, with apology, sympathy, guilt nor sorriness whatsoever. They should feel ashamed and catch up with modern development for all.

Necessity for decolonisation:

In the economic base

Uganda has a territory of 93,831sq miles, 3000sq miles of which is water.

The whole of this territory should belong to all Ugandans without discrimination.

All land which was confiscated by colonialists and was left in the hands of either their agents or, descendants of their agents, should automatically be made to fall back in the hands of those from whom it was grabbed - (Abataka).

This will even abolish a new colonial culture of land rent affecting peasants to an extent of even halting their eviction from their already established homesteads in villages.  (The sense of eviction should not be mixed up or confused - where there is need for the establishment of a national project for the benefit of all, land should be surrendered in good mutual co-operation with compensation but not a mere so-called landlord or lady pushing a poor peasant out of a homestead).

In the superstructure

All our assets in the economic base should not bear names of foreigners, especially those who colonised us.  For example:

- Queen Elizabeth National Park should be renamed "Mountain of the Moon National Park".

- Lake George should be "Lake Mahyooro".

- Lake Edward should be "Lake Rweeru".

- Lake Albert should be "Lake Mwitanzige".

- Lake Victoria should be "Lake Rubaale".

- River Nile should be "River Kiira".

- Fort Portal town should be changed. But calling it "Kabarole" can be controversial in the sense that "Kabarole" means "let them see". It was named by Omukama Kyeebambe Kasagama (father of the late Omukama Sir George Rukidi of Tooro) when Kyeebambe was struggling to restore Tooro from Kaabaleega who had conquered it.  Kyeebambe was being supported by a colonialist, Captain Lugard, when Kaabaleega was fighting against colonisation.  Kyeebambe was then used by colonialism and finally colonised also and obeyed colonialism.  "Let them see" was given in pride that he had defeated Kaabaleega when he himself was finally turned into a quisling.  The conundrum for Kyeebambe was that Kaabaleega should go but Portal should not conquer Tooro also on behalf of Britain.  So what suitable name should we give it?  But definitely not "Portal".

Our sovereignty should not be linked with, or an appendage of, former colonial authority:

Every nation should have dignity, which comes from national pride, personality, self-determination and self respect as a people, in short, a body politic.

These, however, should not lead to chauvinism but should constitute an acceptable substance of patriotism-matriotism.

Uganda cannot live in isolation. It is just subject to an inevitability of global cooperation in a variety of practice.

Uganda belongs to an economic organisation referred to as the "Commonwealth". It has traditionally been known as "The British Commonwealth of Nations."

This embraces all the countries that were once colonies of Great Britain (except Sudan and Burma). As colonies of course they were economic assets of the British capitalist class. When they became independent, they retained economic links with Britain. It is said that there are mutual economic advantages between them and their former master.

Mutual economic advantages between countries is good but should be based also on mutual political respect and dignity.

"The British Commonwealth of Nations" should not bear the name "British" as we continue with mutual economic advantages.

It should not be headed by the very same monarchy that colonised us.

If we really feel that we cannot dispense with the mutual economic advantages we gain from it and that we have only to remain members, let the headship of the organisation be subjected to rotation between all members as equals.  Otherwise it is dignity-wise unbearable except for those with an inherited slave mentality and a relic of inferiority complex.

A good example of anomalies is when, for instance, during the most recent meeting of the organisation in Australia, the British Prime Minister said that the organisation members should recognise and respect the gay and lesbian behaviour otherwise Britain would no longer aid those who did not.

That alone indicates and illustrates properly the latent, covered-up domineering character of the very country that colonised you and which still thinks you are supposed to obey otherwise it will take action.

So why be there and especially constantly under the very head who colonised you?

It is better to eat less with dignity rather than fill your stomach under contempt.

Let us get rid of all remnants of past subjugation and really be a dignified people - a recognised body politic.

The writer is a lecturer at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi


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