Is independent Uganda a case of failed patriotism?

 

Maliisa copy

 

By Rev Samson Maliisa

On October 9, 2016, as a nation we shall celebrate our 54th year of independence. In his speech on Independence Day in 1962, the then first Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Milton Obote, echoed the hopes and aspirations of Ugandans, proclaiming an era of peace, prosperity and ever-growing national strength.

The events that unfolded soon after and years later, however, make one wonder whether the Prime Minister’s speech was not simply an empty great speech by a great orator. Soon the new nation spiralled into chaos, crises and a horrific reign of terror under Idi Amin. These problems, in my opinion, were rooted in the absence of the spirit of patriotism in post-independent Uganda.

Perhaps the first indicator of the absence of patriotism was the formation of the Kabaka Yekka party. This political outfit was formed with the sole purpose of fronting the interests of Buganda Kingdom, the most powerful part of Uganda then.

They formed an alliance with Milton Obote’s UPC on the condition that the interests of Buganda would be preserved.

However, this was at the expense of the new Uganda. For this unholy, unpatriotic alliance eventually gave Obote a comfortable lead against the Democratic Party, which had enjoyed majority representation in the pre-independence parliament, making Obote the

first Prime Minister of Uganda.

While Buganda Kingdom would do anything to protect its interests against the rest of the country, later events proved that the Obote administration would soon grow wary of Buganda’s demands. It was the failure to heed Buganda’s demands that orchestrated events which led to the Mengo Crisis in 1966.

What followed was the Pigeon Hole Constitution, outlawing the special status of Buganda and abolishing kingdoms. This made Obote President with full executive powers, and led to Kabaka Muteesa II fleeing to exile on 24 May 1966.

The flip side of the Mengo Crisis is that it was a result of Obote’s resolve to stay in power. This was after a vote of no confidence in him while he was in northern Uganda because of his involvement in a gold corruption scandal in the Congo together with his army protégé Idi Amin Dada.

By this time, Obote had become the darling of Uganda’s military forces. After an attempted coup in 1965, when the military demanded swifter promotions and higher pay, Obote elected to shift his commitment from Buganda Kingdom to the self-centred army.

This self-preservation, with little regard for the citizenry as expressed in the 1962 Constitution, caused the ease with which Obote overthrew the 1962 Constitution, proclaiming himself President.

Suffice to say that with the support of the army, Obote’s confidence was strengthened, unveiling a new kind of leader, characterised by tribalism, an unforgiving spirit, corruption, and insensitivity. This ushered in a dictatorial regime, characterised by repression. All other political parties were banned, leaving only UPC.

 

On January 25, 1971, while Obote was out of the country in a Commonwealth Summit in Singapore, Uganda’s army under Amin ousted him from the presidency.

Obote fled to Tanzania, and Amin, for eight years, instituted a bloody regime of terror and repression which resounded throughout the world, leaving immense negative consequences with which Uganda is still grappling to undo to this day, 37 years later.

Although it is not possible to assess each and every event that unfolded after Uganda became independent, we can conclude that the newly born Uganda was handed over to men without patriotic dedication.

Therefore, recalling our history which has been characterised by political and constitutional instability, I appeal to fellow Ugandans and friends of Uganda, to re-ignite the long-suppressed patriotic spirit and love for our nation. Let us all do the best in our power to build a great future for this nation, the Pearl of Africa, as we celebrate our 54th independence anniversary.

The writer is an Assistant Chaplain UgandaChristianUniversity, Mukono.

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How to make use of eLearning and eResources at UCU

thekla.jpgTHECLA ATUKWASE

Thanks to the advancements in information communication technology because students can now make use of electronic resources and also learn electronically. These two concepts, eResources and eLearning, are part and parcel of knowledge acquisition and sharing. Though used interchangeably, the two terms are different and below are the distinctive highlights of each, to enable use make the best of use of both.eResources refer to any information or material that can be accessed electronically.

These may take the form of electronic journals, scholarly databases, electronic books, hybrid digital collections and internet gateways.

The eResources are famous for their convenience, and having access to the latest and up–to-date information.

The inherent extra features for eResources such as links to other databases, search facilities and supplementary information all make it a plus.

eLearning on the other hand is a learning platform that utilises electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside a traditional classroom.

eLearning includes but is not limited to completely virtual programmes, distance learning and blended programmes that are a hybrid of traditional classrooms and eLearning platforms.

The good trend of eLearning has been embraced by UCU as well.

According to the UCU strategic plan for teaching and learning, goal 3.5, there is need to maximize on creating programmes that can make education available to a wider, non-residential student population and eLearning is one way that can help us achieve this objective.

 

The eLearning platform has multiple advantages that include cost effectiveness and saving plenty of time since limitations of space and distance are overcome.

Learning takes place 24/7, anywhere, anytime. This flexibility amplifies the issue of convenience associated with eLearning.

The discreet nature of eLearning is another strong point. The platform allows individuals to tackle the subject matter at their own pace. Tracking of course progress is also possible courtesy of the Learning Management Systems (LMS).

UCU uses the Moodle learning management system where students can log in from anywhere in the world to access their class materials and interact with one another.

Each institution uses a specific system, but they are all similar in their ability to present course material including class syllabus, assignments,

quizzes, and provide video and audio plus a whiteboard screen where the lesson is presented just like it would be on a classroom’s video screen or blackboard.

You can interact with instructors, access course materials and stimulate debate among your fellow students when it fits your schedule.

All specific course information such as how to reach the instructor, what work is expected, and deadlines to turn in assignments and take tests will be found within your course site.

In conclusion, eResources and eLearning are complimentary aspects of the learning process at UCU, so lecturers and students are encouraged to make the best use of both.

Atukwase is a Librlian at Hamu Mukasa Library, Uganda Christian Unversity