Julius Odwe: UPC did not go into flames due to tribalism

(Last Updated On: 17 April 2024)

Editor’s note: This view has been fairly edited.

Commenting on the Geopolitics of Uganda, Odwe, wrote: I have lived in Uganda for seventy years without departing it at any time. 

This means that I know so much about party politics in Uganda at least since 1961 when I first went to school in Dokolo primary school.

I think that UPC is not hated due to tribalism or bad politics, rather it is due to some people wanting political power and they come with the politics of divide and rule.

In 1961 when campaigns were on to gain independence, it was UPC that was everywhere in Uganda to mobilise all tribes to take a stand on the need for self governance.

If they were tribalistic, then why were were taught to  sing an East African mobilisation song which says, “HALELUYA, WAN DUCU MYERO ORIBERE, HALELUYA, WAN DUCU MYERO ORIBERE, HALELUYA, KENYA, UGANDA, TANGANYIKA KEDE ZANZIBAR, WAN DUCU MYERO ORIBERE.

This was a great song which swept across East Africa and all tribes of Uganda. It was not a tribalistic song of divide and rule but the song that called for UNITY of all tribes to collectively fight against colonialism.

The principles of the politics of divide and rule come up later in Uganda with hatred disguised in the name of I am going to solve your problems and yet those are the very problems which such people or groups are the ones who caused them.

An example is what happened in Luwero. Was it UPC which brought war in Luwero. Then the cattle rustlers in Acholi, Lango, Teso and Elgon area. Was it UPC?

I know there had been cattle rustling in Uganda since 1932, and by use of ASTU it was resolved though in some isolated cases it is there.

Obote did a lot under UPC to fight cattle rustling and many economic developments without creating debts for Uganda.

But, today even when much more money in revenue is there, there is also a real national debt burden of close to 100 trillion which for repayments, a baby of today will grow up to even 100 years without seeing the debts completed.

If UPC has a problem, UPC should have a strategic policy to deal with it in the way it dealt a blow to the colonialists.

Julius Odwe, DSO, JoP, ESO, Senior Consultant of Security Governance.

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