June 2010
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Day June 14, 2010

Cohen in Late John Chrysosom Kiwanuka (J C)’s success

Big loss to SMACK and to Uganda. RIP, J.C.

Summary: Note: J.C. Kiwanuka was able to get Governor Cohen’s ear because of the latter’s liberal socio-political views. His achievements are being un-done here only today, and with great effort at that, by the powers that be.

1/4. Recall he (the new Governor) Cohen visited Musaazi’s home when his “Uganda African Famers’ Association” –the cover for political activities {as Political Parties were banned before 1952}, was still the main political ‘force’ in the Protectorate. Soon after the visit, Cohen lifted the ban on political parties and then UNC came up. The visit, considered taboo during those post-war and post-riot times, caused the then bureaucrats to shudder.

2/4. His starting of ‘nonreligious-founded schools’ [Teso College, Aleot, Ntare School, Kigezi College, Butobere, Kabalega SS, etc] is a good, living indicator of his ‘open thinking’. The National Theatre and the current Parliamentary Buildings (and subsequent first Parliament in Uganda, with African representation – the LEGCO) were/are all his ‘babies’. The famous UDC [1954] and the public Boards (UEB) Radio Uganda (1954), Produce Marketing Board, etc, name it, leave it [ALL now sold, in the last 20 or so years]

3/4.Munno‘ (The Catholic) newspaper was so amazed by his style that it wrote, on  Cohen’s arrival at Entebbe in 1952 and on his style: “Gavana omupya ayaka ng’esassi” – {like: The new Governor has hit the ground running}. [He undertook and succeeded in carrying out so many changes here that the established colonial bureaucracy {here in Uganda} opposed his methods and reportedly writing parallel reports (to his) back home such that, at the end of first his tour, when he wished to come back to Uganda for another tour of duty, he was refused the chance].

4/5. Epilogue: No wonder then that, after the collapse of the USSR, Cohen was among the people accused of being its agents, recruited at Cambridge, back in the early 30’s.

Conclusion: Whatever the problems he may have had with his people in England, Uganda gained more than lost under his tutelage.

So, some of the successes of “Prof.” J.C. Kiwanuka would not have come to be, without Governor Cohen’s chanced presence in Uganda.

RIP once again.

Christopher Muwanga,


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