Before independence from the UK
in 1962, Uganda was not a country, rather a loose grouping of ethnic tribes and
an equally large number of systems of governance. The largest such grouping is
in Buganda, a sub kingdom within Uganda which has its own monarch, the Kabaka. Buganda occupies the central region of Uganda including its capital, Kampala.
Following independence Milton Obote became executive Prime Minister with the
Kabaka of Buganda, Mutesa, becoming ceremonial president. Within a few years Obote became
implicated together with the deputy commander of the
armed forces, one Idi Amin, in a plot to smuggle gold, coffee
and ivory out of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Refusing to bow to any investigation, Obote acted
swiftly to secure his power. He suspended the constitution, declared himself
president and ordered a state of emergency with many former cabinet members
being arrested and detained.
Obote then had his newly appointed Chief of Staff, Idi Amin, storm the president's palace sending Kabaka Mutesa into exile and
he passed a new constitution ending Buganda's autonomy
and the creation of an all powerful president, himself. There followed decades
of harsh rule with life in Uganda becoming even more severe after Obete was
ousted by Idi Amin however a further coup in 1986 installed the leader of the National Resistance
Army, Yoweri Museveni, as president and since that time Uganda has made
significant social and economic progress.
However, after decades of
conflict the country, with scarce natural resources in the first place,
continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world with sub standard
health care, high rates of malnutrition and diseases such as malaria rampant,
assisted by less than half of those living in Uganda having access to safe
drinking water. Today Uganda is in 164th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when
ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living
standards of a country with a life expectancy of 54 yrs. For more about Uganda
check out our profile pages below.