Uganda: Reflections of a Passing Generation is a treatise narrating-at a very personal level-the history of Uganda since independence. It begins at the point when the founders of independent Uganda patched up agreements to take over the post-colonial state. Unfortunately, as others have argued, the founders based their agreements on hope rather than experiences. Their aim was to get power at any cost.
The book is a journey down memory lane on the terrain of Uganda’s political history by four Ugandan friends ( JohnKamanyi, Ben Magezi, Maria Masaaba and Paul Okello), now in their 60s, who first met in secondary school in their early teens as the events that culminated in the country’s Independence on 9th October 1962 were unfolding. In this lively, engaging and insightful meditation, Dr MwitaRukandema employs a dialogue format and an approach reminiscent of the Socratic Method, with Maria Masaaba as torch-bearer for other three companions, to examine from his four surrogates’ different perspectives some of the dominant themes, pressing problems, thorny issues and burning questions that exercise the mid of every right-thinking Ugandan today. The metaphor of ‘muddling through’ in the conduct of the nation’s affairs is an undercurrent that runs through the text.
One of the greatest attributes of the book is its ‘penal discussion’ style. It positions it well to inform the emerging leaders and advisors on the interplay of factors that have precipitated the problems that the country is experiencing today and which continue to inform contemporary policy. This will also help the readers not to be bored but rather they will be compelled to read on and on because of the captivating style. In the last chapter, he offers useful and practical suggestions for tackling those problems, especially in the education and agriculture sectors as well as in the accuracy of factual information and the validity of statistical data. Researchers, students, politicians and general readers will find the book a worthy resource.
Dr. Mwati Rukandema was born in Buraro Sheema, Nkore in Western Uganda in 1944. He attended Kitunga Primary School in Kajara County before moving to Mbarara high school. He received his secondary education at Nyakasura, from where he went to Makerere university kampala subsequently graduating with an honors degree in Economic. Thereafter, he went to Cornell university, USA, where he earned a Master’s and a PhD in Agricultural Economics. He was appointed Lecturer at the university of Nairobi, where he served briefly before accepting an appointment at the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, an institution he served in positions of increasing responsibility, up to the post of senior Economist. He retired from FAO in 2006.