In Uganda there is hitting debate about how porn related issues are to be judged. The core issue here is to define how far Ugandans are free. In Uganda, according to that newspaper, freedom related issues are of a great importance. That peripheral democratic economy resulted in behavioral crisis whereby women are the victims of such situation.
However, economic liberalization was not coupled to democratization of politics; therefore, growing affluence, consumer freedoms, and individualism, become contested spaces in the struggles to democratize the State.
Origin of debate.
This all began in the late 1980s, when the NRM liberalized the economy. From time, Uganda adopted World Bank-supported structural adjustments programs which flung upon Uganda to free trade at international level and in financial area.
Goods and capital streamed across, seeking rent. Expatriate managers and technical advisors, and local corporate, political, and professional numbers stimulated demand for basic and leisure goods and services along global consumption patterns. These included cars, televisions, satellite dishes, music, films and videos, books, fashion clothing, and food.
These cross cultural communications and exchanges deepened penetration by international capital. Consequently, the national economy was dismantled, piece by piece, and integrated into the global capitalist economy. Henceforth, Uganda became part of global capital’s logic of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption.
Efficiency and rationality imperatives of liberalization forced Uganda to cede its production, allocation, distribution, and redistribution roles to the market, private enterprises, and rational individuals.
Rational choice theory presumes consumers maximize material welfare preferences, exercise economic and personal freedom by purchasing goods and services to satisfy notions of a good life.
The core side of debate.
The miniskirt, that is a fashion style of femininity and sexuality, is in the heart f the debate.
Not only is it organic to the evolution of Uganda’s market economy, but represents free will and spirit, and self-determined choices of individuals and rational consumers there in Uganda.
Criminalizing minis on public morality claims is dubious and contests NRM neoclassical economics ideological credibility, which views socioeconomic policy problems through the prism of rational preferences of individuals maximizing private interests.
Furthermore, blaming ‘foreign culture’ for the miniskirt is disingenuous, because it was an invertible product of NRM economic liberalization, free trade, and private enterprise-driven development strategies according to The Sunday Monitor.
Its ubiquity on the Ugandan social and corporate scenes reveals a greater truth than bare thighs; something Ethics and Integrity minister, Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo & Co.; are intellectually too lazy to admit.
That, once Uganda became part of the global capitalist economy, there was nothing culturally ‘Ugandan’ or ‘African’, which we could protect; since material culture, intellectual productions and consumption are products of the state of development of a society, under a particular mode of production.
In this case, the miniskirt as an article of the global capitalist culture proves Uganda’s success as a mere tributary of this dominant socioeconomic system. This is nowhere more remarkable than in urban economies. The middle classes in Kampala, Gulu, or Mbarara, have more in common, in life styles and cultural tastes, with their counterparts in Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Paris, London, or New York , than with their kinsfolks in the rural economies of Kabong, Lacekocot, or Kihihi.
This is due to the articulation of more than one mode of production — capitalist and non-capitalist. Consequently, certain aspects of global capitalism do co-exist with kinship systems of production and exchange. The rural-urban differences in opinion over the Marriage and Divorce Bill, for example, showed that within socio-cultural spheres not dislocated and displaced by capitalist penetration, tribal elders’ authority structures predominate.
Source: The Sunday Monitor
Nizeyimana Jean Pierre