Chiefs and Local Government Administration in West Budama County in Uganda During The Colonial Period, 1900-1962
This study is about the role of chiefs in colonial local government administration in Padhola County in Uganda, 1900-1962. Very little had been done on this aspect of Padhola history, the part played by local government chiefs in colonial local government administration therefore, needed a serious scholarly attention. Chiefs were indeed instrumental in facilitating local government administration, a situation that put them in prestigious positions which they guarded jealously. The Jupadhola were chosen for this study because they arrived in that ecological zone way back around 1650, they constituted a large population in the former Bukedi district and had absorbed a good number of people from neighboring ethnic communities. How their chiefs were identified and recruited, the kind of duties they performed, challenges they faced and the overall impact of their activities on Padhola communities constituted a problem that this study investigated. The main objective was therefore, to establish the role of Padhola chiefs in local government and resultant legacy. Qualitative methodology was used in data collection and analysis. Instruments used included library, archival and oral interviews, mindful of reliability, validity and ethical concerns. Several theories were used to inform the study, depending on specific chapters. However, the main theories included: Lugard‟s theory of indirect rule (1922), Ehiedu‟s theory on colonialism and indirect rule (2002), Heldring and Robinson‟s arguments on Colonialism and Development in Africa (2013) and Mamdani‟s arguments on Decentralized Despotism (1996). It is established that chiefs indeed played significant roles in colonial local administration, they were highly privileged and protected but they were extremely constrained by the ambivalent and contradictory positions they occupied. Besides, through their activities as collaborators, chiefs set the pace for the systematic development of underdevelopment in Padhola. This was established from their roles in enforcing cotton production, forced labour, tax payment and maintaining peace, law and order. This study is significant as it contributes to the existing body of knowledge and widens the horizon of African history in general and Uganda‟s history in particular.