KAMPALA – Buganda Kingdom through it’s former Attorney General Apollo Makubya has petitioned Parliament seeking to decolonize and rename streets in Kampala and other geographical features, saying the continued use of colonial names glorifies the slavery and brutality Ugandans endured at the hands of the British rule.
Makubuya, who is the Special Advisor to Kabaka of Buganda on Palace Matters led the team including Justice James Ogoola (Chair Elders Forum), Medard Segona (MP Busiro East), Lwanga Lunyigo (Professor of History), Stephen Mukitale (Buliisa County MP) to present their motion to Speaker of Parliament on Friday.
The Buganda Kingdom official who is already championing an online petition told Speaker Kadaga that the continued public display of colonial iconography, glorifies individuals responsible for the brutalization, subjugation and humiliation of Ugandans, adding that the continued use of the colonial names is a slap in the face of the many brave people that fought for the political independence of Africa from the 15th Century until the late 1960s.
He said, “Colonial iconography not only offends fundamental rights and freedom of individuals and groups from cruel inhuman and degrading treatment but reinforces and celebrates a culture of colonial supremacy, domination and impunity. The removal of these ominous vestiges is long overdue.”
Makubuya has been on the forefront of decolonizing Uganda landmark features, with his campaign having gained momentum following the global protest Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota Police in USA.
The Black Lives Matter movement that protests the racist treatment of blacks soon gained global moment with protest across the world. Makubuya told the Speaker that colonialism is an order that has advantaged by racist system built on the back of slavery, colonialism and racism.
In their prayers to Parliament, the petitioners want Parliament to remove street names and monuments that celebrate and immortalize colonial subjugators such as Brigadier General Trevor Teman, Lord Fredrick Lugard, Major General Henry Colville, Commissioner Harry George Galt and the Kings African Rifles who were notorious in their inhumane and degrading treatment of the colonized peoples in the Uganda Protectorate.
The petitioners also want Parliament to make comprehensive policies and laws to streamline the naming or re-naming of geographical features, streets and public places by a representative body of eminent Uganda’s in a manner that addresses the legacy of colonialism and oppression.
“Such policies should promote deserving national heroes and heroines as well as contribute to national healing, harmony, heritage and the respect for the protection of human rights and dignity,” said Makubuya.
The group also wants the Government to revisit the school curriculum, content and methodologies on Uganda’s struggle against colonial rule and meaning of independence to ensure that the history
Speaker Kadaga said that the petition reminded her of a recent attempt by the Ministry of Education to eradicate the history of Bunyoro Kitara from the syllabus, “We need to rediscover ourselves and our identity. I shall report to Parliament next week and also write to Government to constitute a multi-sectoral team to consider the matter.”