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ALLIANCE FOR INDEPENDENCE III

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ALLIANCE FOR INDEPENDENCE III

Post by sol_drethedon on Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:09 pm

But for the moment they stated and restated:

"Ever since the white man established himself here, we in buganda have been driven by one fear, that is the fear of losing the Namulondo (the throne) and so losing our identity. We have persistently resisted anything that tended to detract from our status and we have objected to every suggestion of closer union or federation with other territories in East Africa. Since October last year events changed fundamentally."

These flashes of desire for 'unity' enabled UPC to win KY supporters in parliament over to its side, so that by mid-1964 UPC had clear majority of its own in parliament. this had been enabled partly by the above change of heart and partly by those who wished to join UPC in order to 'strengthen the moderate wing, who would soon tame or if necessary dispense with Obote'.

This strategy had become part of the struggle within UPC itself as well, as we have seen. A right-wing faction there was slowly consolidating itself. While King Mutesa sought to use tradition as a cover for his position and that of his faction of the petty bourgeoisie, the majority of the petty bourgeoisie in KY no longer so viability in separatism. They wished the right wing to consolidate their power in the UPC itself in order to oust the left within UPC. The intention was to isolate John Kakonge, the left wing leader and secretary-general of the party, and the UPC youth wing, which maintained some militancy over African affairs and generally held an anti-imperialist position. Internally within the UPC, the left wing sought links with trade unions and peasants, but in a disorganized and sporadic way. This was enough to scare not only the traditionalist- oriented petty bourgeoisie in the KY, but even democratic oriented ones. This became the basis for the new alliance within UPC itself of both KY and UPC right wingers, an alliance that was increasingly being supported by a section of US monopolies.

The UPC Annual Delegates conference in 1964 at Gulu was the occasion for a showdown between the right wing and the left. In this struggle Obote tried to play center, by siding with the right behind the scenes in order to oust the left. Since the immediate target of the right wing was John Kakonge, the strategy was his attack on the annual report to the conference for alleged 'communist leanings'. Obote came out lashing at Kakonge for criticizing 'my government' over alleged government mistreatment of the workers of the ministry of works. The tactics were to over represent the district delegation (Busoga) which was sure to vote against Kakonge; to print new cards('the white cards', as they came to be known) to replace the official red UPC cards issued by the UPC Headquarters under the secretary-general; and utilize two of Obote's cronies in the persons of Chemonges, the 'King of Sebei', and Nekyon, the minister of information, to attack the secretary-general's report.

This circus was all chaired by Obote himself, who wanted to weaken the left within the party, which outflanked him ideologically. This was necessary if he was to assert his own ideological leadership in the party. In this he saw an easy instrument in Grace Ibingira, a relatively obscure leader within the UPC championing the anti-Kakonge anti- communist crusade. The method Obote used against Kakonge, of taking over functions of the secretary-general in order to prepare separate cards for his supporters at Gulu, was to be repeated in the 1970 UPC congress at Mbale. There, he took over the organization of the conference himself from the then secretary general, Felix Onama, quite contrary to the party constitution. One undemocratic measure led to another and thus prepared the way for a fascist military dictatorship.

The tactic of introducing ideological issues in the secretary general's report was defeated when the late professor Dani Wadaada Nabudere intervened in the debate 'on a point of order', demanding that the opponents should cite a passage in the report in which 'communism' as an issue had been raised. When the conference burst into approving uproar, the schemers found no alternative but to declare the meeting 'adjourned indefinitely'

When the meeting re-assembled the following morning, the genuine delegates found the conference hall full of of unaccredited 'delegates' from surrounding districts and Busoga, with new 'white cards' which had been printed in the night at the government printer, Entebbe and flown to Gulu for distribution that night. Some of the genuine accredited delegates found they had no new cards to enter the conference hall. When it became clear that no room was available for delegates, all Kakonge's supporters, including leading ministers in the government, withdrew from the conference hall. Under these circumstances, no conference could go on, until a compromise was reached to stop further opposition to the secretary general's report. The day closed with a rigged election for secretary general, in which the right wing candidate Grace Ibingira won narrowly over Kakonge, thus bringing to an end the UPC as inheritor of progressive positions of the earlier democratic struggles.

The ascendancy of the right over the left marked the beginning of the crisis in the neocolony's politics that started manifesting itself in late 1964, and which matured late in 1965 only to come in the open in September 1966. Indeed it can be said that April 1964 was the watershed of a new realignment of political forces, marking a new phase in which the forces of reaction increasingly united to away with the democratic rights that had been won by the people not only in the party, but in the country as a whole. This crisis was no more than a rearrangement of the political positions of the petty bourgeoisie in both the UPC, the KY, and to some extent the DP. King Mutesa indeed records in his book that it was even being suggested at the time that KY and DP should form an alliance.

"The idea of joining with DP in opposition to UPC which greeted as outrageous the year before, was now considered and the name of KY-DP party mooted- Yekka Democratic.... but there was some doubt as to what we were joining."

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