I came on the scene of public intellectualism very late in my life only in 1991 when I joined Makerere University as a lecturer. I had spent time working as a senior fisheries officer in the East African Marine Fisheries Research Organisation (EAMFRO of the defunct East African Community and based in Zanzibar, Tanzania and as research zoologist with the Tanzania National Parks in the 1970s and as an undergraduate student of zoology, botany, geography and development studies.at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
I spent the early 1980s as a masters student of biology of conservation in zoology at the University of Nairobi and as biology and geography teacher at three secondary schools in Kenya in succession (Kanunga High School, Tinganga Secondary School and Torongo Secondary School) from 1986 to 1990 and briefly at Jinja Senior Secondary School in Uganda from 1983 to 1985.
So, when I joined Makerere University, it was a great change that brought me in touch with the great intellectuals of the time. However, public intellectuals were few at the time although effective. Makerere University of the time did not discourage staff being as open as possible while clarifying and articulating issues for society.
There were no threats of reprisal both for staff and students who engaged in public intellectualism. There was little political burdening on public intellectuals and these amicably interacted with regime functionaries and ideologues. However, as time went on, especially in the new millennium, the space for intellectual workers in general and public intellectuals in particular was more and more squeezed out of the university at a time when many contentious issues needed articulation and clarification for the public.
Although some intellectuals and public intellectuals kept afloat, it became clear that their role would be limited as Uganda manifested more and more as a closed state with one strong party in power and opposition parties kept in abeyance, unable to operate as alternative sources of ideas freely. And even if they gave ideas, it was unlikely that ideas bred from outside the NRM mainstream would be given much attention.
By the time I retired from the academic world in 2009, public intellectualism was almost dead. It was more of academics than intellectualism at Makerere University and other universities. Debates, even nationally, were no longer as integral to university dynamics as they were in the past. Public intellectuals had diminished platform to manifest themselves.
With the passage of time, I shifted my public intellectualism to the NGO world. From that vantage point, I pronounced myself on many issues, including regionalism, sustainability, analogue forestry, environment, environmental management and conservation, energy, climate change, culture, water, land grabbing in the country and Africa, education, pluralism, to name but a few public issues. I extended my public intellectualism in clarifying and articulating issues of damming of River Nile, mining in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the dangers of cultivating sugarcane in Mabira Rain Forest, growing oil palm in natural forest areas on Bugala Island of Kalangala District, use of chemicals to control water hyacinth on Lake Victoria, mining of sand on the banks of Lake Victoria, oil drilling in Bunyoro, militarism, et cetera.
Beyond retirement, I continued to articulate and clarify issues of public concern in the social media and online.
I have written, and continue to write, articles on diverse and crosscutting issues. Some of the articles are published in books while others are published online for diverse public consumption. I have written on:
1.Federalism: Why it is the best governance system in Uganda in the 21st Century. (2023).
2.Celebrating a century of existence: is Makerere University’ a relic of the past? (2022).
3.What I see as we enter 2022 is the death of the Constitution 1995. (2021.)
4.Nsereko’s abortive Bill is Museveni’s attempt to curtail freedom of speech
5.The environmental impact of refugees in Africa (1994).
6.The New Imperialism in Uganda: Primitive Accumulation by Dispossession (2023).
7.Towards restructuring and democratization of Makerere University: environmentalist’s viewpoint (1996).
8.Can huge dams solve our economic problems? (2000).
9.Uganda’s experience with huge dams: past and present (2008, 2015).
10.Perils of Presidentialism in Uganda (2022).
11.Uganda: from State to Deep State (2022).
12.Towards Making World Commission Dams (WCD) Guidelines work in Uganda: A civil society perspective (2004).
13.Does intellectual capital matter? The case of Uganda (2022).
14.Uganda: Makerere University must free itself from the past (2007).
15.Makerere remains 35 years behind (2002).
16.Matching the Diversity of resources with inclusive development aspiration in the Nile Basin (2017.)
17.Museveni is a terrible imperialist turning Uganda into an International Bantustan (2017).
18.Uganda’s refugee economy and its linkage to state interests (2022).
19.Uganda’s enslaving education (2022).
20.No right-thinking Ugandan should support MP Muhammad Nsereko’s social media bill; It only serves Museveni’s interests (2022).
21.The crop of prosperity in Uganda is endangered by greed (2022).
22.Security in Nile Basin: From Military security to environmental security (2011)..
23.Is General Muhoozi Kainerugaba the leaders of the present generation as he claims? (2022).
24.The Politics of Homosexuality in Uganda (2023).
25.Uganda: country without character, respect and respectability (2023).
26.Are Popes always, right? (2023).
27.Can we have an integrated East African Community in our life time? (2023).
28.Discriminatory regulation of private education in Uganda (2023).
29.Uganda; Need for new sciences for wholesale living (2023)
30.Oweyegha-Afunaduula: what he advocates, professes and philosophizes about (2023).
31.Uganda’s NSSF as a gateway for high level robbery of workers’ future prosperity (2023).
32.Uncovering the hidden genocide in the Uganda pension system (2023).
33.The reality of an integrated East African Community in our lives remains a big question (2022)
34.On Muhoozi’s claims that he is the leader of this generation (2022)..
35.Understanding who sodomites are (2023).
36.Pinetti Coffee deal, homosexuality bill and the NRM Caucus in Uganda (2023).
37.The wasted and lost generation of Busoga (2022).
38.Are the poor and needy of Busoga, Uganda responsible for their poverty (2022).
39.This world is not ours: We come, play our different roles and then go (2022).
40.The Uganda Debt Burden and the lie of development (2023).
41.The postmodern mind, Michael Foucault and the radical sex revolution as threats to Uganda (2023).
42.Land grabbing in Uganda yesterday and today (2023).
43.Uganda Government: the most inefficient and ineffective worker (2022)
44.Ssegirinya-Ssewanyana murder case: Diel between power and non-power (2022).
45.Miseducation: from USA to South Africa to Uganda (2022).
46.When politicians and scientists conspire together to push their respective agendas (2022).
47.Global village: Can Uganda conceal the phenomenon of genocide? (2022).
48.Why Busoga College, Mwiri was always a unique school (2022).
49.Is an Indian President of Uganda possible? (2022).
50.Homosexuality and lesbianism as rebellion against God (2023.)
51.The root causes of Violence in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region (2023).
52.On whether God approves of masturbation and Homosexuality (2023).
53.On Makerere University becoming a cross-discipline and transdiscipline institution for knowledge reintegration (2022).
54.Uganda’s sovereignty and the sovereignty of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s Family (2022).
55.African rulers have sabotaged generations of the youth (2022).
56.What education system should Uganda have? (2022).
57.Uganda: unprincipled politics, mind poverty, stupidity and foolishness in leadership (2022).
58.Mysterious deaths in Uganda Part II (2022).
59.Towards environmentally conscious funerals: the case of Uganda. (2022).
60.Africa’s oil boom: should Ugandans celebrate oil? (2022).
61.21st century Uganda needs enabling laws, not repressive or oppressive laws (2022).
62.Uganda: Is the Judiciary failed or failing? (2022).
63. Most of us are insecure, not secure (2021).
64.Why I abhor discrimination in education in Uganda (2022).
65.Uganda’s overwhelming poverty and passport inaccessibility to absolute majority (2022).
66.Extremely rich, extremely poor Busoga (2022).
67.Uganda’s transport system: backwards in the 20th century? (2022)..
68.Disappearance of police in Uganda Police (2022).
69.How Uganda has become a renewed labour reserve (2022).
70.Busoga: Kyabazingaship is a political, not cultural matter (2022).
71.How refugees and former refugees are destroying the environment in Uganda (2022).
72.Obote to Oboteism, Amin to Aminism, Museveni to Musevenism in sabotaging constitutionalism in Uganda (2022).
73.Understanding why so many development projects have always failed (2022).
74.The fate of political integrity, governance and leadership – social development jeopardized in Uganda (2022).
75.The monetary corruption of politics in Uganda: Opposition for Positions (2022).
76.The political engineering of corruption in Uganda (2022).
77.Why Uganda’s Judiciary cannot be meaningful and effective (2022.)
78.Local employment in Uganda is centralized, decentralized and ethnicized (2022).
79.The politically imposed dilemmas in Uganda’s electricity sub-sector (2022).
80.Ignorance of the danger of palm oil is killing all of us (2022).
81.Uganda’s illicit economy: human trafficking (2022).
82.Why the agriculture enterprise in Uganda is collapsing (2022).
83.The use and misuse of public resources to wrong ends in Uganda (2022).
84.The political corruption of Covid 19 pandemic in Uganda (2022).
85.The Sudhirisation of the Uganda economy (2022).
86.The launch of the new law year 2022: what is the future of justice in Uganda? (2022).
87.Kyabazinga did not start with end of President of Busoga (2022).
88.Uganda and Rwanda beyond Kagame and Museveni (2022).
89.Power without wisdom is dangerous (2022).
90.Understanding the uncontrollably rising commodity prices in Uganda (2022).
91.Double standards of Africans and donors on torture and murder are hurting Africa (2022).
92.The role of Buganda in Uganda’s politics (2021).
93.The supremacy and sovereignty of Uganda’s military in past and present (2021).
94.NUP should not antagonize the strong political bases of fellow Opposition parties (2020).
95.High treason has become common and a norm in Uganda (2022).
96.Failed leadership or lack of leadership in Africa (2022).
97.Uganda: What liberation? (2022).
98.The refugee dominance and consequences in Uganda (2022).
99.NGO-nising the Nile basin: Myth or reality? (2003.).
100.EC should publish in the media names of its officials who want to steal Museveni’s votes
101.Abandon Greed and selfishness and revalue people and environment (2022).
102.The pitfalls of the highly anticipated Parish Development Model (2022)
103.Apartheid-like governance in Uganda (2022).
104.Trans-boundary water governance for inclusive development and environmental sustainability
105. Environmental governance: linking conservation biology and environmental law through
107. Makerere University in the 21st Century: disciplinary, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary
108. Interdisciplinary: The sense and nonsense of academic specialization (2004).
109. Uganda’s Bujagali dam: a dam bad idea (2005)..
110. Injustices and human rights violations mixed up in the Uganda Pension Scheme (2022).
111. Money in politics in Uganda as environmental pollution (2022).
112. Uganda: An environmentalist’s viewpoint of the Great DDT debate (2005).
113. Uganda Today and Tomorrow (2023).
114. Knowing the Governors of Uganda (2023).
115. Uganda: the contest over control of water (2006).
116. Electricity in Uganda: the issue is affordability, not accessibility (2022).
117. Poor man’s energy source is solar energy, not hydropower (2022.)
118. The threat of corporate corruption via huge dams (2002).
119. Who is to blame for failure of the World Bank sponsored projects (2005).
120. Understanding the ultimate role of a Ugandan MP (2022).
121. The struggle for environmental justice in Uganda (2019).
122. How prepared is Uganda for the 21st Century (2022).
123. River water use and management: Environmental Vision needed (2002).
124. Uganda: the Lame Duck of East and Central Africa (2022).
125. The ethics and bioethics of Bujagali dam, Uganda (on researchgate.com).
126. Judiciaries of Arap Moi and Tibuhaburwa Museveni at a glance (2022).
127. Mysterious deaths in Uganda (2022).
128. The undeclared war between militarists and writers of Uganda ((2022).
129. Uganda: [plagued by ethnicity, tribalism or both? (2022).
130. Tutsi States or Tutsi State in the Great Lakes Region (2022).
131. If Bobi Wine’s home is still besieged by security forces despite Court Order, then Uganda is a police-military State (2021).
132. Bujagali as ethnocide: cultural and spiritual death of the indigenous communities of Busoga, Uganda 2005)
133. Uganda: Disconnecting society and the sciences (2022).
134. Will Nabanja’s approach of sending mobile money to vulnerable Ugandans work (2021).
135. Are Popes always right? (2023).
136.Environmental conflict generation, prevention and resolution in Uganda: civil society engagement in the Nile Basin (2003).
137. Climate change and transboundary river basin management: the view of an NGO. (2008).
138. Uganda’s present and future environment: some constraints and the way forward. (2013)..
139. Unravelling the centrality of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni in everything in Uganda (2023).
140 The political ethnicization of Uganda (2023.).
141. Distorting pan Africanism and Nationalism for Ethnic Supremacy in Uganda and Great Lakes
142. Uganda: owards Integration of knowledge for sustainability and new future ready professionals
143. Africa in sociopolitical crisis: from Rwanda to Great Lakes tragedy (2022).
144. Discontent, Insecurity and rebellion in Uganda then and now (2022).
145. Uganda in the 21st Century: Financial Indiscipline and the poor performance of UNRA (2022)
146. Global Village: can uganda conceal the phenomenon of safe houses (2022)
147. From New Vision to Uganda Vision 2025 to Uganda Vision 2040: Which way Uganda?
148 Uganda in retrogression: dwindling space and numbers of public intellectuals. (2022).
149. Family crisis: Threat to human survival (2022)
150. Why we need a different type of elite to advance Uganda through the 21st Century (2022).
151. How critical thinking and alternative analyses transformed Europe During the Renaissance:
Lessons for Uganda ((2019).
152. The Pragmatic theory of truth: The Uganda Perspective (2019).
153. New knowledge production: unions, conventional wisdom and bureaucracy doomed. (2019)
154. No more boundary between Natural and Unnatural (2022)
155. The good and the bad of leadership failures in Uganda (2022).
156. Speaking truth to power in Uganda: past, present, future (2022)
157. Can President Museveni conquer corruption in Uganda? (2022)
158. Uganda where everything is possible: How much longer (2022).
159. Threats to the survival of Nile Basin Initiative (2022)
160. Political and politico-military corruption of the Parliament and Judiciary of Uganda (2022).
161. Uganda: From monopolization to liberalization back to monopolization in the coffee subsector
162 Ignorance of palm oil is killing us, all of us (2022).
163. Uganda’s continuing crisis of State legitimacy (2022).
164. New knowledge production: the need for another sociology of learning, knowing and doing
165. Have indigenous leaders let down Uganda and Ugandans for glory, prestige and money?
166. Does teaching necessarily need knowledge workers with degrees? (2023)
167. In service of God and Humanity (2023)
168. This world is not ours; we come, play our different goals and go (2022).
169. Uganda Beyond African Union Mission in Somalia (2023).
170. Institutionalized Violence in Africa: The Role of African Rulers (2023)
171. Distorting pan-Africanism and Nationalism for Ethnic Supremacy in Uganda and Great
Lakes Region (2023).
172. Controlling locusts in Uganda using pesticides: which way to go? (2020)
173. On locusts again (2020)
174 Why the Parliament of Uganda cannot be meaningful and effective under Musevenism.
175. The sociology and biosociology of corruption in Uganda (2022).
176 The Congo tragedy: from white to black mercenaries (2022).
177. Land grabbing is a looming catastrophe (2022)
178. A letter from Oweyegha-Afunaduula to Eric Sakwa (2020)
179. Oweyegha-Afunaduula: what he advocates, professes and philosophizes about (2023).
180. Why Busoga College, Mwiri was always a unique school (2022).
181. Uganda’s sovereignty versus the sovereignty of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s
182. I don’t know what we would have been without Ndiwalana (2023).
183. Towards environmentally-conscious curriculum design at Makerere University, Uganda
184. How to treat backache without spending a coin (2022).
185. Ignorance of the danger of palm oil is killing all of us. (2022).
186. Local employment in Uganda is centralized, decentralized and ethnicized (2023).
187. Busoga: Kyabazingaship is a political, not a cultural matter. (2022).
188. How to conquer heart, kidney and pressure problems without medicines (2022).
189. Uganda’s illicit economy: Human trafficking (2022).
190. Uganda: Opposition leaders have led don the country (2022).
191: Uganda: the sense and nonsense of IPOD (2021).
192. The Sudhirisation of the Uganda economy (2022).
193. Disappearance of Police in Uganda Police: The Consequences (2022).
194. Kyabazinga did not start with end of President of Busoga (2022).
195. Why are Ugandans increasingly food insecure and hungry? (2022).
196. The role of Buganda in Uganda politics (2021).
197. Uganda beyond African Union Mission in Somalia (2023).
198. The role of African rulers in institutionalized violence in Africa (2023).
199. Busoga through the Times: Semeyi Kakungulu Versus Daudi Kintu Mutekanga (2023)
200. Why is it easier to divide than unite Busoga? (2022).
201. Modernity As A Political Tool of Exclusion in Uganda (2023).
202. Uganda: Which way Education, its leadership and its products? (2023).
203. How deliberate disorganization is hooking Uganda to loans domestically and globally
204. Pork barrel: Uganda’s President Museveni half-brother, General Salim, has Somali genes
and that complicates conflict in Somalia (2023).
205 Revelations of massive theft of salaries for Ugandan troops in Somalia poses a threat to
containment of Al Shabaab terror group (2023)
206. How Ugandan President Museveni shot his way to power from a tiny house in Kabete in
Nairobi, then refused to go away 2023).
207. How Museveni aspired to be Uganda’s eternal President, then created an African
brotherhood to realize a dream (2023).
208. Political violence: How Ethiopia’s Ras Tafari Makonnen renamed himself Emperor Haile
Selassie and became a Rastafarian god (2023).
209. Word bank: Primitive theft of public resources and institutionalized violence in Africa are
crimes against humanity (2023).
210 The Sociology of Uganda’s elites and the necessary need for Mind liberation (2023).
211 Uganda’s craze for modernization where none has ever been modern (2023).
212 Africa: Uganda in perspective Advancing science in African Universities through
integration experience (2023).
213. How to de-NRAnize Uganda electoral processes (2023)
214. Towards new structure and governance of African Universities: the case of Uganda
215. Need for. emancipatory change in Uganda’s higher education (2023)
216. The role of universities in knowledge integration and reintegration (2023).
217. Linking environmentality and governmentality in Environmental Management and
conservation in Africa: Uganda perspective (2023).
218 Twenty-first-century: A century of commodification of water and recommodification of
219. Africa: From knowledge splitting and knowledge adding to knowledge integration
220. Politico-corporate corruption of environment and environmental decision-making in.
Africa: Uganda in perspective (2023).
221. The challenge of democracy and environmental democracy in the 21st century:
222. Bigmanity, the sterile culture of money and violence in Africa: the case of Uganda (). (2023)
223 The scourge of environmental illiteracy in Uganda (2023).
224. Politicizing development: Uganda is greater than Museveni, National Resistance
225. Imagining Uganda a Uganda future without President Tibuhaburwa Museveni (2023)
226 Truth and voice: The power of voice. (2023).
227. Global, regional and national Development: from economic to environmental development (2023).
228. How ethnic nepotism has derailed Uganda from the democratization path. (2023).
229. Plotting, negotiating or imposing the new imperialism of homosexuality? (2023)
230. Why did US come in Somalia again (2023).
231. Uganda from perishable degrees to top alcohol consuming country (2023).
232. On Museveni signing the Anti-homosexuality Bill 2023 into Law.
233 On President Tibuhaburwa Museveni and Buganda. (2023).
234, How to destroy Uganda society. (2023).
235. Uganda’s education, its leadership and its products. (2023).
236. Uganda: politico-military or militia-political democracy or both? (2023).
237 Can genuine involvement of Ugandans in governance and development occur under
238. Knowledge, knowledge integration and the concept of Three. (2023 Types of Knowledge.
239. Uganda from problem creation to creative problem solving using TRIZ (2023)
240. From the old to the new scramble for Africa (2023)
241. Uganda’s ne secondary school curriculum: A critical thought and analysis (2023).
242. Promoting corruption through money bonanzas via the office of President of Uganda
243. The engineering and institutionalization of corruption by the Office of Prime Minister of
244. Uganda: Liberalization without Liberalizations (2023).
245. Knowledge, Knowledge Integration and the concept of three types of knowledge (2023).
246. Uganda’s craze for modernization where none has ever been modern (2023).
247. Advancing science in African universities through integration experience (2023).
248. he role of universities in knowledge integration and reintegration. (2023).
249. How to de-NRAnize Uganda electoral processes (2023)
250. Twenty-First Century: a century of commodification of water and re-commodification of
251. Linking environmentality and governmentality in environmental management and
Conservation in Africa: Uganda perspective.
252. Africa:from knowledge splitting and knowledge adding to knowledge integration (2023).
253. Politico-corporate corruption of environment and environmental decision making in Africa:
Uganda in perspective (2023).
254. The scourge of environmental illiteracy in Uganda (2023)
255. Politicizing development: Uganda is greater than Museveni, National Resistance
256. Global, regional and national development: from economic to environmental
257 How ethnic nepotism has derailed Uganda from the democratization path (2023).
258. Plotting, negotiating or imposing the new imperialism of homosexuality on Africa. (2023).
259. Does environmental justice matter anymore in Uganda (2023).
260. Can genuine involvement of indigenous of Ugandans governance and development
occur under Musevenism (2023).
261. Why are some Ugandans celebrating the deaths of some people? (2023).
262. How deliberate disorganization is keeping Uganda hooked to loans domestically and
263. Modernity as apolitical weapon in the governance of Uganda. (2023).
264. Institutionalized violence in Africa: the role of African rulers (2023).
265. The threat of political ethnicization in Uganda. (2023).
266. Unraveling of the centrality of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni in everything2023).
267. The postmodern mind, Michael Foucault and radical sex revolution: the threat to
268. Homosexuality and Lesbianism as rebellion against God (2023).
269. In defense of human values: the Great siege by sex perversion international and
270. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Uganda and the World: Which Way?(2023).
271. Haemorrhage of World Bank- Funded Projects (2023).
272. Uganda: The Fundamental Change That Was (2023)>
273. What are the World Bank vaues and do they include homosexuality? (2023)
274. Does Opposition have sa future on the Political Landscape of Uganda? (2023).
275. The New Conquest of Buganda: Re-orient Academic Minds for Relevant Research
276. Promoting Corruption through money bonanzas via the Office of President (2023)
277. Is it right to academicize the environment, its leadership and management? 2023
278. Spiraling bantustanisation for long-term occupation and power retention,dominance
and exploitation by immigrants (2023),
279. From the Old to the New Scramble for Africa (2023).
280. Uganda’s new secondary school curriculum: A critical thought and critical analysis
281. The engineering and institutionalization of corruption by the Office of Prime Minister of Uganda (2023).
282. Busoga’s environment and culture: Yesterday, today and tomorrow (2023).
283. Humanity: From Queer to Queers and the Growing Anti-God Attitude on the Globe
284. Are there mafia in Uganda? (2023).
285. Controlling locusts in Uganda using pesticides: Which way to go? (2020)
286. On locusts again (2020).
This particular article is intended to remind you that Uganda once had a dynamic public intellectualism and that in Ali Mazrui and Mahmood Mamdani we had two great intellectual giants who saw their names included on the lists of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals. The article is also intended to guide you to some indices of my own contributions to public intellectualism in Uganda, and to highlight the truism that public intellectualism in Uganda is endangered as a consequence of overemphasis on academicism, scholasticism and politics at the expense of intellectualism.
There is need to reawaken both intellectualism and public intellectualism in the face of capture by a few men in power of every aspect of life and activities of humanity in Uganda, including our centres of higher learning.
A country without an active and dynamic public intellectualism is dead a thousand times. Nincompoops will fill its space. The current deplorable status of public intellectualism serves the interests – both national and global – of those that want a silent and docile populace to be sown and nurtured in Uganda so that the people cannot impose constraints onto their pursuit of power, glory, wealth and domination.
With power and money, they cannot only impose on a people food which it should not eat, but also practices with unbecoming ethics and morality alien to its culture and ways of life. They can control our politics and economy and capture every aspect of life in the country. They can dehumanize, desocialise, deradicalise, deintellectualise and depoliticise a people to satisfy their greed and selfishness and popularise issues that do not add any value to life and survival of a people.
A silent and docile country is of no value to its people who want to be part of the dynamic humanity of the 21st century and beyond. We must continue to nurture a questioning citizenry that can continually ask Why, How and What towards understanding public affairs and the happenings thereof. Otherwise, we do not belong to the 21st century yet a few men and corporations can control our lives because they have power and money while we look on helplessly and haplessly. We must survive and there is power and influence in public intellectualism if we can revive it.
Uganda’s public intellectualism is not only being undermined by academicism, scholasticism and authoritarian politics, which glorifies public ignorance and prefers to be the source of all ideas in all spheres of human endeavour. It is also undermined by the declining intellectual capital of the country and the entrenched poor culture of writing and reading, even among intellectuals.
In many cases it is a combination of fear of repercussions in in a sociopolitical environment characterised by declining intellectual freedom and oversensitive even to genuine criticism.Sometimes the reason is the very harsh political and economic environment, which pushes our best brains into relapsing into activities usually attracting ordinary minds for survival. It is not rate to find some of our best mind preoccupied with selling tomatoes, eggs or even charcoal to make ends meet.
Minds diverted to ordinary activities have no time for reading or even writing. I heard many people among the cream of society remark that my articles are too long for them to read. They have also added that many are good enough to be in form of books.
It is true one can write a book in one chapter, a chapter in one paragraph and a paragraph in one sentence. However, depending on the length of the article, it may or may not be exploratory or informative enough of the issues sought to be covered by the article.
If the article is meant to link and interconnect so many different issues in one write up, which most of my articles tend to do, drastically reducing their length simply to take care of people whose reading culture is poor may lead to the value of the article being lowered as well. The assumption is that there will be readers out there who will allocate enough time, energy and concentration amidst so many challenges of life to read and capture the knowledge, wisdom, understanding and insights in my diverse articles.
I have some friends in London who offered to put my various articles into book form but they seem to have been overwhelmed by my prolific writing. It seems when they think they have what they need to produce the book, some new articles come out in chain form, often introducing completely new issues uncovered in previous articles and interconnected in completely new ways and producing completely new wisdom, knowledge, understandings and insights about our human situation today.
I hope there is a critical mass of people out there keenly reading my articles even before they are published.
I feel that they are written uniquely and include issues that people who are not critical and independent minded enough to engage in critical and alternative analyses would rather avoid for fear of reprisals. However, I write for present and future generations, but mostly for future generations. Future generations will confront a more interconnected world with more interconnected ideas and issues that will require integrated institutions and minds to tackle and benefit from in terms of development, transformation and progress in all dimensions and spheres of life.
I hope I have selflessly contributed the growth, development and sustenance of public intellectualism despite a huge cloud of fear, which has imposed a lot of silence within our institutions of higher learning and the public space.
The power and influence of public intellectualism should be restored, preserved and perpetuated well in the future. Public intellectual debates should become part of the character of the nation as was the case in the 1990s and early 21st Millennium when Ugandan society was more open and tolerant to ideas from diverse sources other than government in general and President Museveni in particular.
Our universities should nurture both academics and intellectuals, with the full knowledge that while academics and scholars are more needed within them, intellectuals are more needed outside the academia of universities.
Intellectual death endangers vibrancy of the nation, especially among the youth. The ancient Greeks were right when they interlinked and interconnected the body, spirit and mind and said, “Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit and Healthy Mind.
Dead minds are characterised by intellectual death. Dead minds will occupy themselves more with quenching their bodies and spirits. So when you see most of our people preoccupied more with satisfying body and spiritual demands at the expense of mind health, the nation is not healthy and it is in danger of being taken over by people from elsewhere, even when it has a mushrooming number of “educated citizens”.
For God and my country.
- A Tell report / By Prof Oweyegha-Afunaduula, a retiree professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences of the Makerere University, Uganda