New Vision (Kampala)

19 November 2012

Uganda: Did the Gun or Politics Govern Colonial Uganda?

opinion

HAS Uganda been administered under the gun or politics? This was the topic for discussion on October 13, 2012 during a radio talk show.

On one hand the speakers pointed out that those in power were using the gun, while on the other they said the country was being administered on the basis of politics.

How politics/ gun have been used

Uganda would not be made a colony unless there was a gun in the hands of a coloniser to force its people to be colonised.

During the colonial period, Uganda, gradually, through a socioeconomic metamorphosis, was made to develop its own type of local and internal colonial state machinery, which was not void of a gun, but a continuity of it.

The gun was administered through socio- economic intentions of the British capitalist ruling class for the implementation of the same British socioeconomic capitalist intentions at a higher economic level of capitalism.

When the colonial socio-economic arrangement was being phased out during the period of independence, Uganda's state apparatus retained the gun.

During this time, the gun has been in the hands of the army and the Police.

Once a society splits into socioeconomic classes whereby one class is economically militarily superior to another or, others, such class puts up a machinery of administration based on military weapons and politics.

What matters in society is what sort of class is in possession of a state apparatus or machinery. Does it belong to masters over slaves? Landlords over tenants? Capitalists over workers? Colonialists over colonised people? Pro-colonial elite after colonialism? Or patriotic, pro people elite after colonisation?

Nevertheless there will have to be a state machinery or apparatus.

Its quality will depend on the type of class that happens to possess it as the quality of the class will be determined by its economic intentions.

Uganda, therefore, for all its political life, has been under both politics and the gun inevitably, because it could not have been otherwise.

Way forward

It should be noted, Uganda is a class society, made up of peasant farmer, wageearner- worker and post-colonial elite.

Of all these, the post-colonial elite/ intelligentsia is the one controlling the state apparatus. One part of it is in power, while another is the opposition.

The questions here are they propeople or anti-people? How are they either anti or pro-people? It is how they relate themselves to the wealth and resources of Uganda. The wealth includes land, factories and buildings.

Therefore, the gun or politics is related to economic ambitions and aims by whichever class is using the two in any way appropriate as it is in possession of the state apparatus and law.

However, everything in the universe is under the law of motion. People under this law determine their history, depending on how they are being treated through the mechanisms of give economic systems.

Gun and politics and law can change hands depending on the fraction of the people that decide to change a social order in their own favour.

This can be through peaceful means or violence depending on the nature and mechanism of social torture or oppression.

To avoid violence

All political parties should establish a common forum to realise that the country belongs to all of them and that they should, all in common, make sure that they are supposed to serve the country for a common goal.

They can differ in methods of work, tactics or art, but retain a national patriotic, goal.

In this way, violent demonstrations will be replaced by spiritual socio-economic harmony.

Writer is a lecturer, National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi

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