BEN KIWANUKKA

Ben Kiwanuka was a Muganda by tribe born in 1922 in Masaka District. He was a son of a chief - Kagimu Mugimba.

He was educated in Catholic schools like Villa - Maria, Bikira Primary School and St. Peter's Nsambya.

Between 1942 and 1946 Kiwanuka served in the Kings' African Riffles. He spent a year in Kenya and three in Egypt and Palestine. He left the army at the rank of Sergeant Major.

On return to Uganda in 1946, he joined the Judicial Service where he served as a clerk and interpreter. He later (1950) left for South Africa.

In 1952, he went to London University to study Law. When he returned in September 1956, he assumed the presidency of the Democratic Party, taking over from Matayo Mugwanya.

Kiwanuka with other politicians strongly advocated for the independence of Uganda. His party, the Democratic Party mobilised Ugandans for this noble cause.

In October 1961, He led the Ugandan delegation to the Lancaster House conference in London. He walked out of this conference protesting the colonial government's separate agreements with Buganda. This earned him hatred from the Baganda.

In the April 1962 elections, Kiwanuka and his DP party unfortunately lost to UPC it had formed

an alliance with Kabaka Yekka party. This brought Obote to the office of Prime

Kiwanuka also lost his home constituency, which made him' lose the presidency of the Democratic

Party to Basil Bataringaya who became the leader of the opposition' in the Legco, Kiwanuka was killed in 1972 during the military regime of General Iddi Amin Dada. Problems that were faced by the Political Parties in Uganda

Tribalism. Many people in Uganda were polarised along tribal lines and even the political parties that were formed were more or less tribal groupings. For example, DP was for Baganda and UPC for Northerners. With such divisions unity was had to achieve and so was independence.

The divide and rule policy encouraged by the British also worsened the levels of tribalism. Indirect rule required that people be administered as tribe, thus encouraging them to be parochial and narrow - minded in their thinking. Such people were hard to bring together.

The parties were also formed along religious lines. DP was for Catholics and UPC was for Protestants. These parties therefore polarised the Ugandan society along these religious lines that the achievement of Independence became almost impossible.

Unlike Tanganyika that had Kiswahili, Uganda lacked a national language which could unite all the people. Luganda that would have served was unpopular because other tribes thought it would elevate the already privileged Buganda.

The UNC, the first political party in Uganda also lacked a national character and a serious programme. It was mainly composed of Protestants who were opposed to Buganda's privileged position and its separatist demands. It therefore devoted much of its energies to fighting Buganda instead of solving national problems.

Some parties like the Bataka Federation and the African Farmers Association dug their own graves by being to radical and violent in their approach to national problems. The two organised riots and demonstrations in Buganda that caused political unrest and tension, forcing the protectorate government to ban them.

Buganda's elevated position also caused problems. It was governed differently with its Lukiiko having independent powers. Many people therefore opposed it, claiming that it could not effectively represent them. This complicated the struggle for independence, as Buganda wanted to be "a state within a state".

The country lacked a strong national figure with an acceptable leadership like Kenya which had Kenyatta and Tanganyika Nyerere. Muteesa, who would have served was too occupied with advancing Buganda's separatist demands and Obote had not yet emerged on the political scene of Uganda (He emerged in 1957from Kenya).

The few educated Ugandans, who would have provided leadership to political parties and mobilised the masses were comfortably employed in the civil service. As if this was not enough, those in government positions were not allowed to engage in politics.

The multiparty system that was imposed on Africans did not help the situation either since it served the interests of the whites. Ugandans ended up forming several small parties that kept on breaking even on a small misunderstanding. This undermined their strength.

Despite the efforts of the missionaries, the level of illiteracy was still high in Uganda mobilising and articulating the need for political parties to such people who did not know how to read and write was hard. Even educated people who would lead others were few.

Efforts of the nationalists were also hampered by lack of funds. Therefore, they could not effectively mobilize the masses.

The undeveloped roads and lack of vehicles made the movement of mobilizers difficult. Telephone services were also lacking.