Turns out, Uganda’s former President Idi Amin, now rested, did not simply pay lip-service to the much needed decolonisation of Uganda. During his reign, he decreed and championed the removal of overt symptoms of the legacies of colonialism.
Reading an article by Faustin Mugabe, published in the Daily Monitor, it was refreshing for me to learn how during President Amin’s reign the names of our national treasures were decolonized – names given by the colonialist outlawed and new ones given as follows:
- Rwenzori National Park for Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kabalega Falls for Murchison Falls
- Kabalega National Park for Murchison Falls National Park
- Lake Idi Amid Dada for Lake Albert
- Lake Mobutu Sese Seko for Lake Edward
- Enyanja Nalubaale for Lake Victoria
- Masaba Mountain for Mt. Elgon
Sadly, after the ouster of President Amin, the names were restored back to the colonial ones. A profound indication of how the so colonized the minds of the so-called educated Ugandans are.
During President Amin’s reign also, roads were renamed:
- 25 January Avenue for Prince Charles Drive
- Lumumba Avenue for Queen’s Road
- Nkurumah Road for Salisbury Road
- Nasser Road for Rosebury Road
- Luthuli Avenu for Hunter Road
- Malcolm X Avenue for Borup Avenue
- Sukano Road for Kings Road
- Nehru Avenue for Kings Avenue
- Kimathi Avenu for Harcourt Avenue
- Akii-Bua Road for Stanley Road
Mercifully, many of the decolonized road names sustain to date, even though a few were reverted by to the colonial names.