MYTHS AND REALITIES: OBOTE’S 1968 LETTER TO A LONDON FRIEND- PART FIFTEEN

Below: Sir Edward mutesa who was deposed by Milton Obote as President of Uganda.

NPG x73135; Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula Mutesa II, Kabaka of Buganda by Bassano“It is Buganda that has refused to accept the new Constitution, because of Obote and his Northerners. This kind of reasoning suggests that only the Northerners believe in Republicanism”

“For a reputable newspaper to reduce the actions of a Government in such a propagandistic form is to indicate a bias which undermines that reputation”

“Your correspondent was writing politics and politics of those people who advanced in December, 1964, a million dollars to cause trouble in Uganda”

GULU-UGANDA: I have no intention of being a philosopher. I respect both Senghor and Nyerere. They have solved lots of problems. I have also tried to do the same, but with your newspaper, however, the matters are personal. It is Obote who is insecure. It is he who does not want criticisms from intellectuals, whatever that might mean. It is Buganda that has refused to accept the new Constitution, because of Obote and his Northerners. This kind of reasoning suggests that only the Northerners believe in Republicanism.

What about your correspondent’s article in its wider implication to African States? Remove Uganda, Obote and Makerere and make a positive attempt to re-write that article in the context of any African country. But the workings of military governments in the West Coast of Africa will somehow fit into the article. Was this a condemnation of Obote alone, or was it of an African government? And if Obote alone; why! Was it because London would want their man in Entebbe, and that the present man is not theirs? Your newspaper has given us a clue to a number of things which we saw in a hazy manner throughout the Revolution and the State of Emergency in Buganda region.

As regards the position of your newspaper that the extension of the Emergency in Buganda Region meant that it was for the sole purpose “to push people around” which matter must lead one to “assume that things have not yet settled down in two years since the Revolution in which he dismissed the Kabaka of Buganda from the Presidency of Uganda as a whole,” the whole thing is laughable. Let your newspaper bet. I will not bet because it is not one of my pastimes. The real point is why do you explain actions of a Government in such a simple form?

For a reputable newspaper to reduce the actions of a Government in such a propagandistic form is to indicate a bias which undermines that reputation. We can easily do away with the State of Emergency, but when we do so it will not be either because your correspondent, your newspaper or citizens of Uganda who are stooges of foreigners, have said the Emergency must come to an end.

Whatever concern, your correspondent and your paper as a whole must have had on the administration of the Emergency Regulations, this concern must be balanced by concern that we, who are responsible for the administration of Uganda, have in the welfare of the people and their stability. To say that because of the freedom of the press or the printed word, the welfare of the press should be paramount to the welfare of the State is to raise a highly debatable point.

What your newspaper was saying in this context was that because the Government of Uganda decided on the detention of two persons, the decision was vindictive and indicative of how shaky the Government is, and that stability in Uganda can only come about if the former President becomes involved in the administration of Uganda.

Your correspondent was recently here in Kampala. He moved freely and all visitors who come to our country have not noticed that we have a State of Emergency. Kampala and other towns are extending, with new buildings coming up, and there is no single soldier that you will see in the streets of Kampala or any other town, nor a policeman with a gun. Are all these signs of failure? No!

Your correspondent was writing politics, and politics of those people who advanced in December, 1964, a million dollars to cause trouble in Uganda. It is possible that I am wrong in this assessment, but I cannot see any other form of explaining this kind of journalism.

Thank you for being with us in the last fifteen weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

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