Administrative Polices

Administrative Polices

  • After acquiring territories in East Africa, the British and Germans used different methods to administer.
  • The British used Indirect rule while the Germans employed the Direct rule system.

Nature Of Indirect Rule

  • This was a colonial administrative method that was used by the British during the period of colonialism particularly in Uganda.
  • On top of the administration was the colonial secretary, who was based in London.
  • He was the minister in charge of colonies.
  • Below him was the governor based in the respective colony.
  • For Uganda, Entebbe was the Headquarter.
  • Below the governor were the provincial and district commissioners heading every province.
  • These took orders from the governor and worked under his close supervision.
  • All the above mentioned posts were strictly reserved for the British or Whites.
  • Blacks or Africans were involved in administration at the lower levels.
  • The county chiefs (Ssaza chiefs) followed in line and took orders from provincial commissioners and passed them on to the sub-county chiefs (Gombolola chiefs).
  • Below the sub county chiefs were the parish chiefs (muluka chiefs), who would in turn pass on the orders to the sub parish chiefs (Omutongole).
  • Below the sub parish chiefs were the village headsmen (Abakulu be kyalo) who would then pass on the orders to the common man.
  • All the chiefs from county level up to the village headsman formed a Chain of command.
  • Indirect rule was based on the assumption that every area had to be centralized like Buganda.
  • When the system failed in Northern and Eastern Uganda, the British used Buganda agents e.g.  Semei Kakungulu to introduce the Kiganda model of administration in those areas.
  • The local chiefs were in charge of tax collection, mobilizing people for public work and presiding over local courts of law.
  • The whites would only come in case of resistances from the Africans and they were also in charge of planning the economy of the colony.

Why The British Applied Indirect Rule In Uganda

  • The system was economically cheap i.e. it needed very few whites and the chiefs were paid very little or nothing at all.
  • The British feared opposition from Africans because they believed that the traditional chiefs were respected by their subjects.
  • The British  wanted the Africans  chiefs  to act as shock absorbers, in case of any  opposition  from  the Africans  it would appear as if the orders came  from  Africans .
  • The British admired the Kiganda model of administration; hence they did not want to destroy the traditional systems of governance.
  • The traditional chiefs understood their people better e.g. in terms of Language, customs and culture.
  • This system had already been successful elsewhere e.g. India, Egypt and Nigeria hence they needed to use it in Uganda.
  • The system of indirect rule was intended by the British to preserve and protect and develop the Africans’ political and social institutions in order to prepare the Africans for independence.
  • Indirect rule was used to reward societies which had collaborated with the British e.g. Buganda was left with its independent institution.
  • The British also wanted to look unique because they never wanted to use the same system as their enemy, the Germans who used direct rule while the French had used assimilation.
  • The African chiefs were also considered to be immune to the African problems e.g. Diseases, wild animals, harsh climate e.t.c.
  • Uganda was too big yet whites were very few and therefore could not administer the whole of Uganda.
  • Some areas were too remote with poor roads, no hospitals, no schools and therefore the British feared for their lives in such areas.
  • The existence of the centralized system of the administration also called for the use of indirect rule because the British didn’t want to create new centers for power.