Major obstacles in the struggle for Uganda’s independence

The struggle for Uganda’s independence and generally the growth of African nationalism in Uganda was delayed/ disturbed by a number of factors.

The high levels of illiteracy in Uganda affected the struggle. The few educated people Uganda had by 1945- 50 were mainly centered around Buganda only. This left the rest of the regions off the struggle for so many years.

Lack of a common language in Uganda also disturbed the struggle for independence. Luganda ,Acholi and other languages were used by different groups to push for their tribal interests. This promoted the divide and rule policy of the colonialists

Trade Union activities were limited in Uganda. The restrictions by colonialists had discouraged formation of trade unions which would have helped in the demand for independence.

The limitations on the press delayed the struggle. The few news papers such as “Uganda Eyogera” were in Luganda hence only read by Baganda. This isolated the other Ugandan’s from ideas in the paper.

Some of the elites were puppets of the British colonial government and hence could not join political paties like UNC, UPC etc.

The delay to establish contacts between nationalists in Uganda and outside Africa also delayed the struggle. Very few Ugandans had traveled to democratic states like USA to borrow the spirit of freedom and hence few would challenge colonialism as an abuse of human rights.

The formation of political parties too delayed independence. Active party politics did not come until after 1950.

Religious divisions between Protestants and Catholics also affected the struggle. Parties never combined efforts because of the differences in religion.

The common hatred towards the Baganda by nationalist from other parts prevented a united stand against colonialism. The fact that the British had used Baganda chiefs like Semei Kakungulu to speed colonial rule to the East made Baganda a target by others.

The secessionist attempts by Buganda delayed the struggle. With much of the infrastructure, the attempt to break off the rest of Uganda was unacceptable by other nationalist hence preventing a common front against colonial rule.

There were also ideological differences even within the different political parties. Where the DP leaders had capitalist sentiments, UNC and UPC were pro- socialist. They thus never combined efforts against the British because of such differences.