Prof George William Kanyeihamba
Glorifying Peasants is immoral
|Kanyeihamba disguised as houseboy into exile|
You know we live in an interesting world. In most cases, peasants do not govern countries. They follow and are led by the elite. Even in communist countries where you occasionally hear that governments are led by peasants, it is a lie. The leaderships of the former Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Cuba and other similar states consist of individuals who are the elite of those societies.
Uganda, whether under the colonial yoke or under political parties or NRM, has always been led by the elite. The Musazis, Mutesas, Obotes, Lules, Binaisas, Muwangas, then Musevenis, Kizza Besigyes, Kategayas and the Mbabazis and Kiyongas have been or are the elite of Uganda. They simply tell the ordinary people and the peasants where to go, vote, support, shout, cry or oppose.
Peasants do not have political power. They are led and guided as to who is their leader to whom they should give support and allegiance. The peasants do not govern themselves. They only have a right to be governed well.
Moshi was conceived, organised and conducted by Ugandan exiles with the decisive support of the Tanzanian government whose ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi is led by the elite cadres.
Only the elite manage to go and survive in exile. Peasants and the ignorant when forced out of their country become mere refugees.
In the struggle for liberation or for power, it is the educated, the enlightened and therefore the elite who are at the front.
I stated earlier that I am a child of peasants and even today most of my relatives are common poor peasants. I love them. I strongly feel for them. I have deep compassion for them but it would be deception to state that they are my leaders or masters, or that they have a long vision of how this country should be led or developed.
On the contrary, they look up to me for guidance and advice. If I hint that they should take up the mantle of leadership, they laugh at me and say the reason they struggled to educate me and ensure that I get the privileges they missed out is that I can be their eyes, ears and mouths.
I am the one to direct them where and for whom to vote. I am the one to interpret for them what modern governance is all about. I am their protector against injustice and misgovernance.
They do not resent me. They do not mistrust me. They love and are proud of me.
It is because we were the elite that all of us, including the Lules, Musevenis, Ssemogereres and the lot were able to contact and interact with world leaders and other liberation movements. When international or national issues arise, our people, the less knowledgeable, the peasants look up to us for guidance and leadership.
Consequently, anyone who glorifies in the divide between the elite and the peasants is playing a non-productive game. The peasants are our fathers and mothers who struggle very hard to educate and enlighten us so that we become the elite. They then expect us and indeed demand, rightly in my opinion that on national and other issues, we are the ones to guide, counsel and assist them in all things possible.
Peasants are happy and proud to know and see that their children who they love and cherish have now become their leaders and advisers as well as providers in their elevated status as elite. When it comes to making decisions of national importance, the peasants expect their sons and daughters to do so for them in love and pride. That is what human life, existence and sustenance are all about.
Extract from The Weekly Observer