Africans should write their story – Speaker

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has asked Ugandans to embrace history written by African authors, which she described as truthful.

Kadaga said that Ugandans should steer clear of literature on African history authored by colonial explorers which she termed as misleading.

Quoting Frederick Lugard, a British Imperial Administrator in the early 20th Century, Kadaga said, Let it be admitted at the outset that European brains, capital and energy have not been, and never will be, expended in developing the resources of Africa from motives of pure philanthropy; that Europe is in Africa for the mutual benefit of their own industrial classes, and of the native races in their progress to a higher plane, that the benefit can be made reciprocal, and that it is the aim and desire of civilised administration to fulfil this dual mandate.

Kadaga was officiating at the launch of a book titled, Protection, Patronage or Plunder? British Machinations and Uganda's Struggle for Independence, authored by the Deputy Katikkiro of Buganda, Owek. Apollo Makubuya.

The event was held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

Kadaga said that Lugard's words were a clear sign that whatever the Europeans wrote was skewed against the Africans.

Makubuya said that the book illustrates how the British went about the governance in Uganda as a Protectorate and how they have gone on to influence the country after it attained its Independence.

In writing the book, Makubuya relied on some original material from the national archives in the United Kingdom.

I found historic documents and hand written notes by Sir Harry Johnson and instruments to him on how to handle the 1900 Agreement, he said, adding that he also found information on what informed the crafting of the 1962 Constitution.

Makubuya said that the book provided a further contribution to Ugandan history.

I believe this book will inform debate on the new constitutional framework and national dialogue. Memory is necessary if we are to survive, he said.

He added that many falsehoods were told about Africans in the history he studied while growing up and that this is what he laboured to rectify.

We were told how the whites basically helped us to be civilized and how they rescued us from the Dark Continent. However, we learnt nothing about the history of the Karamajong, Itesots, Bafumbira and how the rest came to be united under Uganda, Makubuya said.

He added that the historical narratives showed little or nothing progressive about the African natives and their culture.

We were shown the negatives suggesting that there was nothing good about being associated with Africa. We were told people like Mwanga, Kabalega and even the Mau Mau were terrible people yet the human rights atrocities committed against them were grave, he noted.

Makubuya said further added that the written facts have most of the time been skewed and therefore need to be written from a native perspective.

The book answers why it is important to study colonial rule and why it has a long lasting effect on our development as former colonies, he concluded.

The function was also attended by the Katikkiro (Prime Minister) of Buganda, Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga; Buganda Princess Naalinya Nassolo; Prince Kassim Nakibinge, and former Buganda Katikkiro Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere.

Source: Parliament of Uganda

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