The present international boundaries of Uganda were because of the Berlin conference, which didn’t put into consideration our own internal borders constituting different nationalities with diverse common descent, history, language, cultural characteristics.
Now that we have an opportunity to change some of these things, let us put certain aspects of our history right. The ingredients used in creating the present republic were of foreign growth and a lot of things were overlooked which has partly resulted into our present mess.
We should accept as a matter of fact that the present Uganda is composed of different nationalities but not tribes as our mentors and some politicians would like us to believe. The word tribe according to the dictionary means social divisions of people especially a preliterate people or an ethnic or ancestral division of an ancient culture. So, the word tribe should be completely deleted from our statutes and replaced by nationality because it is derogatory and has outlived its usefulness.
As far as our history is concerned the word Uganda is a farce and therefore has no relevance to our diverse nationalities because one of the so called explores reached Buganda and found people there called Baganda and without even following nomenclature called the whole country Uganda and all the in habitants Ugandans. The fellow didn’t care less what he called us. He could even have called us banana would we have objected it is a pity that after 32 years of independence, we are still carrying on with this colonial legacy.
At this juncture lets go back on the drawing board and become independent in the real meaning of the word, What’s independence when we still have streets named after colonialists, we are teaching our children how JOHN HANNIMGTON SPEKE discovered the source of the Nile as if no Ugandan had ever seen it , the colonialists even went ahead to rename some of our physical features from their ancient names which they considered stupid to the names of their preference for example from NALUBAALE to lake Victoria and still up to date we still call lake NALUBAALE and even teach in schools that it’s called Lake VICTORIA .Are we really independent ?
For the principle of different nationalities in Uganda is a foregone matter. The question is how do we live together ourselves in our diversities? Well, the principle of unity in diversity must apply in our situation and in so doing we have to be transparent and sincere with ourselves, define our positions in no uncertain terms and try to accommodate each other for our common good.
How do we democratically govern ourselves? Here I would call upon every citizen to critically think about about our situation then try and evolve a democratic system which is conducive to our local environment by not becoming copycats for western democracies because even theirs although cherished by some of our politicians, are not leak proof and therefore we need to tailor our own democracy.
WRITER: MUYINDA REAGAN, YOUTH RIGHTS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE ACTIVIST