Neglected Heritage: Uganda’s Independence Monument Deserves Better   


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As we gather today to celebrate our nation’s independence, it is important to reflect on the importance of preserving our heritage. Sadly, one of Uganda’s most significant monuments, the Independence Monument, stands as a neglected symbol of our history. It’s disheartening to witness the state of disrepair and disregard this essential symbol faces, especially on Independence Day.

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has described the Independence Monument as one of Uganda’s most critical pieces of heritage. It represents a nation newly liberated from colonial rule, a reminder of our hard-fought battle for independence. Yet, the irony lies in how this historic site is treated – it often becomes a dumping ground for rubbish, broken pieces, and even an alternative to public restrooms. So, what can KCCA do to honor our monument and pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought for our independence?

Firstly, KCCA can assign a dedicated individual or team responsible for the monument’s care, maintenance, and overall upkeep. By ensuring a constant presence, we can prevent the neglect and deterioration that the monument currently faces. It is our duty to maintain this symbol of our nation’s identity.

Secondly, the installation of prominent trash bins around the monument area is a simple yet effective solution. Providing a proper disposal system will encourage people to keep the area clean, instilling a sense of responsibility and pride among visitors.

Thirdly, addressing the issue of restroom facilities is not a complex task. Constructing public restrooms nearby would eliminate the unfortunate practice of using the monument’s surroundings as an alternative toilet. This would not only maintain the monument’s dignity but also ensure hygiene and convenience for visitors.

The current state of the Independence Monument is a stark indicator of administrative shortcomings in our city. We cannot place the blame solely on our national leadership for the state of our city when we have individuals receiving monthly salaries but failing to fulfill their responsibilities.

Accountability is crucial for the improvement of our public spaces. On the 9th of October in 1962, Uganda gained independence from Britain, marking a momentous turning point in our history.

The 1962 post-election alliance between the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yeka, which led to the appointment of Sir Apollo Milton Obote as Uganda’s first prime minister and Sir Edward Muteesa II as the first President of Uganda, laid the foundation for our nation’s journey toward self-governance.

Today, as we celebrate this hard-won freedom, it’s disheartening to see the neglect of our Independence Monument. It’s a disservice to the memory of those who fought for our independence and a poor reflection of our commitment to preserving our heritage. We must act now to restore the dignity of this symbol, as it represents not only our past but also our future as a united and responsible nation.

Our Independence Monument should be treated with the respect and care it deserves. By taking simple yet effective measures such as assigning dedicated caretakers, providing proper disposal facilities, and constructing nearby restrooms, we can restore this historic site to its rightful place as a symbol of pride for all Ugandans. It’s time to recognize the importance of our heritage and commit to preserving it for generations to come.


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