A new tourist attraction has been discovered here in South West Uganda. The tourist attraction is a group of Batwa pigmies living in the bamboo forests around Mount Muhavura and near Lake Bunyonyi.
There is a gentleman who mobilizes and organizes them, gives them a trip in canoes across and into the middle Islands of Lake Bunyonyi’s camping sites. The pygmies are then paraded in front of tourists. The tourists pay a fee for this service. The Batwa, like the mountain gorillas, are referred to as “endangered species”. In turn the pygmies are paid in kind by the proprietor of this enterprise – they are given second-hand clothes, food, especially local porridge residues and other cheap incentives.
Sometime back it was the Ugandan government which did a similar thing to this when it evicted residents of a place called Mpokya in Western Uganda to give room for apes and other wild animals which the government claimed to be a tourist attraction. The displaced people were not provided alternative sites to occupy. Eventually some of them migrated to join their relatives and friends in other parts of the country but most of them were eaten by the same wild animals.
The Ugandan government and some rich individuals claim to be trying to mobilize resources for poverty reduction but some of them at the same time call it “poverty alleviation”. But most of the mobilized funds and the money gathered in forms of taxes from citizens are squandered by those in government and some to their next of kin, relatives and friends. Uganda was recently ranked as the third most corrupt country in the whole world and also ranks below the 10th poorest country in the whole world.
But be it the case anywhere the poor are not poor because of lack of resources to utilize to eradicate poverty but because of the fact that there exists the rich – the poor are poor because the rich are rich. If you want to get rid of the poor; do one thing – get rid of the rich.
Then the question would be how can this be done. The simple answer becomes: The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Goods and services would be produced for human good and not for sale and profit. Every member of society (present-day planet earth) would give according to their individual ability and take according to their needs. Then equality in human race would prevail. That’s how we could end dehumanizing acts such as those of parading the Batwa and displacing people for tourist attraction.
J. K. TUKWASIBWE, UGANDA.
The August issue stated in the article ‘Why socialism is still relevant’ that: “Our party was formed to oppose the Labour party.” This raises three clarifications. Firstly, as the writer makes clear earlier in the article,”‘in short, the cause of our Party’s formation, capitalism, continues”, thus, reiterating the point that socialists are opposed to capitalism full stop. Secondly, whereas our opposition to the individual political parties of capitalism is merely incidental to the cause for our formation in 1904 we can only voice this opposition once they are actually formed, or in the process of being formed. Historically, the Labour Party was formed in 1906, two years after the SPGB – though even before its formation socialists were opposed to its reformist predecessor, the Labour Representative Committee. Thirdly, we are opposed to all other political parties regardless of whatever name they happen to go under and not just the Labour Party For they all stink of dishonesty, opportunism and quick-fix solutions and are so steeped in corruption they can only be obliterated by the conscious decision and concerted activity of a majority of the working class.
BRIAN JOHNSON, PONTYPRIDD