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The Catholic Church in Uganda Accused of Child Labour by the BBC

The BBC Telling the African Story the Wrong Way 


In a very strong statement the BBC recently linked the Uganda Catholic Church to child labour. Once again it was very bad reporting, that bad manners of theirs, they simply never seem to grow some balls in bothering to get to understand the African context before pretending to narrate African stories. I mean it is extremely difficult to draw a line between child labour and a child being taught to learn to work in Africa. I can do that, the BBC cannot. In the west, not most of the people are peasant farmers, as such they may be teaching their children how to learn to work by training them how to type on a computer or how to use an electronic moper. It would be unreasonable for an African from black Africa to conclude that there is child labour at the sight of children doing that in the West. What do they expect with African children whose parents know only hoes? Why must it be always child labour if and when African children accompany and help their parents to carry out the only activities that are known to them? How then will they ever learn to work and how do we then ensure they do not grow to be lazy and useless adults? I do not know. I honestly know for sure that it is time western media and indeed western civilization in general stopped narrating our story until they are ready to accept to learn and appreciate some things. 

The Really Issue


That said, here is the point. Why should the Catholic Church in Uganda, particularly Kabale Diocese engage in tea farming? I think that should have been the question. The BBC should have exposed the Catholic Church's rather unbecoming tendency towards unacceptable form of capitalism in which its leaders who dwell in the sanctuary are becoming modern time bourgeoisies and turning their members who dwell in the assembly into modern day proletariat, mimicking cheap labour, exploiting the poor and perpetuating poverty. On what grounds can the Church justify any form of economic engagement that in effect impoverishes the people? What is the morality behind such acts? Is the Vatican aware and what are they doing about it? Is this the kind of African Catholic Church that we want to build in the 21st century? Is the Church becoming a colonizer and a tool of systematic oppression? I think these are some of the issues that the BBC should have brought out, not simply jumping to the aroma of child labour which might not even be the case. Actually most of those children who were seen 'working' in the tea plantation fields were simply helping out their parents who had been cheaply hired out by the Church to plant tea seedlings.
The Catholic Church in Uganda Accused of Child Labour by the BBC The Catholic Church in Uganda Accused of Child Labour by the BBC Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on January 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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