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THE 1966 CRISIS- 'REVOLUTION' STOOD ON ITS HEAD. (I)

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THE 1966 CRISIS- 'REVOLUTION' STOOD ON ITS HEAD. (I)

Post by sol_drethedon on Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:20 pm

The contradictions among the petty bourgeoisie which had sharpened during 1964 and 1965 increasingly came in the open. the sharpening of these secondary contradictions further intensified the principal contradiction of imperialism for the people, with more and more  imperialist powers being drawn into the conflict, each section of monopoly groups backing a particular faction of the petty bourgeoisie. We have discussed King Mutesa's imperialist  supporters and that of the DP. UPC was increasingly being backed by its own imperialist forces. Early in 1963, a German social democratic philanthropic foundation, called Frederick Ebert Foundation, initiated contact with the UPC. It advanced money and equipment for the purpose of setting up[ a propaganda machine for social democracy in Uganda. In order to disguise itself, it advanced funds to set up another foundation which was called 'The Milton Obote Foundation'. This foundation set up a board of trustees , who were the general dispensers of the funds of the funds to the different activities of the foundation. Among these activities was a press which published a weekly paper called 'the people', the UPC party organ. The press also published a number of booklets of an ideological nature. One of these booklets was titled 'Machiavelli 2000', intended to show the applicability of Machiavellian methods of government in the modern era in a neocolony. Another pamphlet on democracy, highly anti-communist in content, came at the time when Obote was putting forward his own brand of socialism and a time of intensified struggle against the left in the party and those outside it. the foundation also  organized seminars, including seminars held throughout the country on the 'new political culture' of 'Move to the left' in 1969/70. The Frederick Ebert Foundation is itself funded by a section of German monopolies which normally support social dfemocracy. Among these monopolies is the giant Siemens electric monopoly.

Among the British monopolies that had close links with the UPC was Ralli Bros. of UK, with vast interests in Ugandan coffee and cotton, with close links to the Uganda Lint Marketing Board. Ralli Bros. is owned by the General Guarantee Corporation Ltd.., which is owned by Drages Ltd.,  


which in turn has some 85 companies controlled by Isaac Wolfson Foundation, whose business empire includes the biggest mail-order business in Europe, a merchant bank, a travel agency, and about 120 separately incorporated companies. In East Africa it owns companies which engage in sisal, while Rall Bros. itself acts as agent in handling, purchasing, transport, ware housing, insurance and shipping businesses. It also exports cofee, apart from cotton and tea, and in 1966 had the control of the Motor Mart and Exchange, with branches throughout East Africa. In 1963/4 it was supported by the UPC in its endeavor to obtain the sole right of marketing Uganda coffee, an endeavor that failed when other monopolies opposed it.

The new entrant at this stage of the crisis was a section of US monopolies who came in to exploit the struggle within the UPC, particularly between the left and the right. Obote's visit to the eastern countries in 1964 had created contradiction between him and the right in the party, as well as with KY and DP. Having assisted in the ousting of the progressive forces, including John Kakonge , and having elevated Ibingira, Obote now found himself the target of the right inside the party! The US monopoly's support for Ibingira came in December 1964  when, a few months after he was elected secretary general, he made a trip to the US to shop for his own financial backing from his 'own' section of imperialist monopolies, to assist him come to power in opposition to Obote. By 1965 there was a sudden manifestation of opulence among a section of UPC leadership generally associated with Ibingira, including branch chairmen. there was talk about Ibingira and 'the dollar' at all levels of the party, as Obote and Ibingira got caught up in a battle for leadership. Cars for Ibingira's faction were bought not out of party funds but from the 'dollar budget' kept by Ibingira personally. The problem of the dollar was obvious to all participating in the politics of Uganda, before there was a public admission of the fact. The official mention of the dollar was made by Obote four years later, in his report to the UPC conference in Kampala in 1968, In his long and wide ranging report he referred to the confusion that the dollar had wrought in the party.

"The visit of Mr. Ibingira who was Secretary-General of the UPC to Europe and the U.S.A in 1964 resulted into a very serious problem for the party and can be taken to have contributed in a large measure to the events of 1966...When he returned to Uganda, the matter of his visit overseas was discussed by the National Council and the Parliamentary Group in a combined meeting. There were serious rumors and allegations that the Secretary-General of the party had obtained something to the tune of 1million dollars in order to build himself politically and cause misunderstanding and confusion in the party. The rumors and allegations were discussed but Ibingira maintained that he received no financial assistance from anywhere(emphasis added).

to be continued

COMPILED BY MAKUMBI KAYIIRA SOLOMON
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