COMMENT | Jjuuko Nathan | Lawyer Apollo N Makubuya on the 25th of June 2020, petitioned the President of the republic of Uganda, the Speaker of parliament and the Lord Mayor among others, praying for the decolonisation and renaming of streets, monuments and other landmarks in Uganda.
Motivated by the de-racialization and recent black lives matter wave in America, Apollo N Makubuya (the Chief Petitioner), Justice James Ogoola together with others stated that the continuous display of colonial iconography is a sign of appreciation of colonial supremacy something our native heroes fought against and therefore offensive.
Some of such iconography include the monuments of Lord Frederick Lugard, Brigadier General Travor Terman, major General Henry Colville among others, who were notorious and dehumanizing in their actions towards Ugandans back then.
Furthermore, relying on the belief that public symbols should celebrate virtue and not vice, the petition aims to fight against colonialism and put an end its current glorification. The petition to that effect suggests that this iconography be historicized and un-subjective factual stories be told about the same, majorly through a revision of the education curriculum and the placing of the same in a museum where efforts of our native heroes are to also be portrayed.
— Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (@RebeccaKadagaUG) June 26, 2020
Bearing in mind the constitutional objective IV which calls for the defence of our national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, this may not be a conclusive answer to the eradication of Neo Colonialism but at least a step forward, the petition further cajoles us to make our own history or else we will forever glorify the history of our past oppressors.
Conclusively, the petition asks for the creation of comprehensive policies and laws that may prescribe procedure and consideration when re-naming these different features.
However, with this illumination, thoughts rise as to how far we should endeavour to break free from foreign chains. Should it be as far as, surnames, official languages or even foreign religions?
Should we not appreciate the past evils and look at them as a motivation and as well mind less about our broken histories but rather focus best on neo-colonialism and financial independence. Shouldn’t we focus on developing the United States of Africa?
The writer is a Ugandan based law student, writer and poet.