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Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 5

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This is a long series of historical events. We have broken it down into 6 parts.

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 1

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 2

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 3

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 4

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 5

Why Uganda’s DP can only be saved by the Catholic Church – PART 6

In 1957 the short lived UCP was founded by Senteza Kajubi and Erisa Kironde as after splitting from UNC.  Fearing Catholic majority, Buganda opposed direct elections for the 1958 Legislative Council (LEGCO) and eventually boycotted. Though with no single Muganda in its ranks, some seven Protestant Members of the LEGCO in the likes of Rwetsiba, Nadiope, and others founded the Uganda Peoples Union (UPU) as a party without religious affiliation.  In 1959 the UNC split – the Baganda faction under Musaazi and the Non Baganda faction under Milton Obote.  In 1960 the Obote faction of UNC merged with UPU to form the Protestant dominated UPC.  The stage was now set for the Catholic DP to tussle it out with the Protestant UPC.

In 1961 Uganda held it first direct elections for internal self governance.  Again, fearing the Catholic majority, Buganda Lukiko boycotted.  It went ahead to intimidate and harass those who wanted to vote.  Consequently, there was a low voter turn up in Buganda but DP got 19 directly elected seats in Buganda and 24 seats outside Buganda while UPC got 35 seats outside Buganda and none in Buganda. The Catholic DP’s Ben Kiwanuka became Uganda’s first Prime Minister and formed an internal self government while the Protestant UPC took the opposition in parliament.

Buganda Kingdom reacted by forming the Kabaka Yeka (KY) party to defend the interests and those of its Protestant clique. During the February 1962 Lukiko elections, KY de-campaigned DP branding it as being disloyal to the Kabaka.  Consequently, KY registered a majority 63 members of the Buganda Lukiko while DP got only 3.  UPC had not participated in the Lukiko elections.  During the Lancaster, Constitutional Conference, KY had gotten closer to UPC.  As the stage was set for the February 1962 general elections, KY got into alliance with UPC.  Among the terms of the alliance was for UPC not to field candidates in Buganda and Buganda to hold indirect elections for representatives to Parliament.

For fear of the majority Catholics in Buganda, Mengo wanted to use its Protestant dominated Lukiko to send loyalist members to parliament instead of being directly elected by ordinary Baganda.  The DP protested but to no avail because though the UPC and the Colonial office had in 1961 opposed Buganda’s push for indirect elections, this time around they were in support.  In the April 1962, national elections UPC got 37 seats outside Buganda while DP got 24.  Together with Buganda Kingdom’s 21 nominees, the UPC took the day and on October 9th 1962 Uganda became independent with Milton Obote as the Executive Prime Minister.  The British, Buganda Kingdom and their Protestant clique had succeeded in having the Protestants retain power in independent Uganda.

In 1963 Kabaka Muteesa became the ceremonial (non-executive) President of Uganda with Obote retaining the position of Executive Prime Minister.  In 1964 all the KY Members of Parliament and 19 out of the 24 DP Members of Parliament crossed to UPC.  During the same year, the UPC split into the Left Wing led by Secretary General Kakonge, the Right Wing led by Grace Ibingira and the Center Wing under Prime Minister Milton Obote.  The Left and Right Wings represented the Communist and Capitalist ideologies.  Obote dismissed John Kakonge and replaced him with Grace Ibingira as Secretary General.

Kakonge fled to Nyerere in Tanzania.  The fall out gave rise to the infamous 1966 Crisis when the Kabaka was militarily attacked and he fled to exile. As Obote switched more to the communist block, in 1969 political parties were banned, Ben Kiwanuka sent to prison following a failed assassination of Obote and DP went into limbo.

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