January 21, 2020 at 1:56 pm #48388
MADNESS: DEMOLISHING A HISTORIC EDUCATION INSTITUTION TO BUILD A WASHING BAY.
Back in 2015 when the pupils, parents and staff were being forcefully evicted and the historic Nabagereka Primary School was being demolished, the public was told that the premises had been leased “to a developer” (mugagga) to bring investments and jobs. Now five years later, this is how the place looks like as of Saturday 18th January 2020. A washing bay.
Mass dishonesty is surely a big problem in this country. Including even in the news papers, the so-called political elites and some of these purported investors and quack historians.
Why wouldn’t the true history behind Nabagereka Primary School be told to it’s pupils, their parents and even the people of Buganda and Uganda at large so that it’s true value is recognized? Is it because the school was a contribution of the Amin government towards the education of the children of Buganda?
This particular school carried with it the post-independence history of Buganda and Uganda combined in one sad episode. It was not created in 1966 as the newspapers and quack historians claim. Who doesn’t know that in 1966 the Kingdom of Buganda was being demolished by dictator Milton Obote who even went further and banned all cultural institutions. If he was doing everything possible to see that nothing of the Buganda Kingdom remained in existence, how then would he be building a school for the Buganda Kingdom?
The independence president of Uganda Sir Kabaka Edward Muteesa who was deposed in 1966, is quoted a year later in Ebony Magazine of May 1967 as saying: “I was not only the Kabaka (King) of Buganda but I was also the Head of State, the President of all Ugandans. So what Milton Obote has done is not only an affront to the people of my kingdom, but he has, in the most illegal of acts, completely trampled the country’s Constitution and taken all power for himself. He’ll stop at nothing now that I’m out of the way. He’ll try to do away with every reminder of a monarchy that served its people well for centuries. He’ll try to blot out all traces of a royal family whose lineage can be traced back hundreds of years. He’ll do this because he’s determined to make Uganda a totalitarian, one-party, police state. And at this time there’s little I can do except remain as steadfast as possible, knowing that the Obote regime will soon destroy itself.”
That was the country’s independence president speaking from exile in London.
So for anyone to even imply that Milton Obote was building a school for the Buganda Kingdom in 1966 is a denial of the disturbing events at the time, and abmalignment of the suffering of the people of Buganda at the hands of Obote. A fascist leader who would go on to commit even worse atrocities the second time around when he again became president in 1980 after Amin, when this time he unleashed an outright genocide in Luweero.
Incidentally, Yoweri Museveni and his group only woke up to the reality of Oboteism in 1980. They and countless other Ugandans found themselves having to mobilize to kick out Obote as well just like Amin had done a decade earlier.
There is no way that all these people trying to topple Obote was a legitimate course of action but Amin wasn’t.
Those who claim to know the history of this country should at least try to look at the bigger picture, use just a little logic, topped with some simple common sense.
Nabagereka Primary School was founded by President Idi Amin Dada in 1972. The premises had been first gazetted by the colonial government and put under the Ministry of Justice. It was actually part of the premises of a government juvenile court and juvenile rehabilitation center. And because of it’s proximity to the Lubiri and the Kisenyi suburb where most of the Lubiri palace employees lived, Amin simply turned the unused part of these premises into a primary school for the orphans of 1966, and renamed it Nabagereka Primary school. The school was actually built in a record 9 months by the Amin government. Therefore the property also has no connection with the Buganda land titles taken by the Obote government and returned to the Kingdom in recent years. It is Uganda government land on which was a court of law since British rule. And that is why the so-called developer got his lease from the corrupt Uganda Ministry of lands. Not the Buganda Land board.
The story of Nabagereka Primary school actually started during the royal state funeral of Sir Edward Muteesa on 4th April 1971. The Buganda establishment met with President Idi Amin who had returned the remains of the late independence leader after he had died from poisoning while in exile in London in 1969. As we all know, the Buganda elders had previously refused to return his remains for the royal cultural burial for fear that the then President Milton Obote would desecrate their late Kings funeral. So when Obote was deposed two years later in 1971, the new Amin government represented a new opportunity for the Buganda establishment, and the people of Uganda, to finally lay their independence president and Buganda King to rest in a most respectable manner: A one week state funeral.
It is during that time that the Buganda elders made many requests among which was for government assistance in caring for the orphans of the 1966 Milton Obote coup.
During the meetings, President Idi Amin went to great pains to explain to the Buganda elders that while he personally participated in the assault on the Kings palace in 1966, he was a serving officer of the Uganda army who was given military orders to search for purported weapons, and as such, these were orders he must obey to the letter as prescribed in the military code of conduct. All soldiers anywhere around the world know these rules, and all journalists and historians are aware of them as well.
The ultimate responsibility of the attack lay squarely in the person who gave him the orders. That person was executive Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote.
So for today’s youths who do not know well what 1966 means in this country, that was when Prime Minister Milton Obote deposed the independence leader by directly ordering the army to attack the Presidents Royal palace. This led to a day long battle with the royal guards and the subsequent flight to exile of Kabaka Muteesa. After that, Milton Obote appointed himself president, scrapped the independence Constitution, and demolished traditional/cultural leaders nationwide so that Muteesa could not return neither as president nor King of Buganda.
So 1966 is a key turning point in the history of Uganda, barely 4 years after independence, and the first coup the new nation had ever seen.
When five years later (in 1971) the military took over in a second coup and chose Amin as the country’s head of state, the new military leader organized the repatriation of the remains of the independence president.
Upon the Baganda elders request for government assistance for the orphans of those killed in the 1966 Obote coup, President Idi Amin took the decision to take care of Muteesa’s family including the young heir to the throne who is today King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi. Another decision was to build for the orphans a school so that they could get an education, for free, from the Amin government. And that is how Nabagereka primary school came to be.
But now look at the picture here and tell me what some unscrupulous individuals care about their own history.
Maybe it is the same ingratitude where just like Obote who sought to dismantle everything about the Kingdom in 1966, these ones want to demolish President Idi Amin’s contribution towards the children and parents of Buganda Kingdom.
I would therefore like the people of Uganda to tell me if it is worth demolishing an entire historic primary school that educated almost 700 children every year, and employed over 50 high value teaching staff, and replacing that with a local washing bay (mbu enkulankulana).
By Hussein Lumumba Amin.
Date: Tuesday 21st January 2020.
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