Nationalist Struggles in Uganda
Nationalist Struggles in Uganda – an overview: Uganda gained independence on 9 October 1962. In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.
The political and economic demise of the Baganda landlords also meant end of the political cohesion of the class. Although a number of individuals landlords remained members of Lukiko and even though the new members either had or were granted titles to land, the changes were fundamental: The leadership of the Buganda Parliament was now in the hands of a new group – educated in missionary boarding schools; having worked their way up as interpreters or clerks in the Protectorate government.
They faithfully administered colonial policies – they had little independence from the colonial state. Even though they “owned” land, the source of their income was their salaries as chiefs, not their rent as landlords. This political fact, though, was seldom reflected in their ideology – on the contrary they thought of themselves as ‘modernizers” as bearers of new progressive order. It should not be surprising that in the inter-war period opposition to colonial order was organized as opposition to the Lukiko, the expression of colonial state in Buganda.
During 1930’s there mushroomed numerous organizations and groups, first petitioning the Kabaka and even the Protectorate against the “Nsibirwa-Kulubya clique” (Nsibirwa=the Katikiro or Prime Minister; Kulubya = the Treasure or Omuwanika).Not until the 1940’s did these protests accumulate and lead to the assassination of Nsibirwa and the enforced resignationof Kulubya during what came to be known as 1945 and 1949 riots in Uganda’s history.
What were called 1945 and 1949 riots comprised of two events related but separate: The rural violence which was confined to Buganda, and the general strike which was nationwide. In analysing the social forces that coalesced in this historic mass opposition to the colonial order, we can discern various interests, some that were in harmony only over the short run:
Causes of Resistance
1. The bureaucrats (Civil Servants) against racial discrimination in pay scales;
2. Cash crop farmers full of resentment against ginners and the state marketing boards for creaming off a substantial part of their surplus product;
3. Traders demanding an end to state protected monopoly privileges; and
4. Urban workers demanding better wages.
What later claimed to be the “nationalist” movement was in fact a coalition of social groups, each with its own specific interest. Its political leadership came primarily and increasingly from one particular social class, the petit-bourgeoisie – a class which formed rapidly after the 1928 Busulu and Nvujjo law.Unlike its predecessor, the landed gentry, the petty bourgeoisie was seldom politically cohesive.Its formation was as threedistinct fragments indifferent sections of the export-import economy – as traders,Kulak farmers, and civil servants.
The only indigenous social group to articulate and organize its interests independently was the nascent working class.Proletarian organization, however, was rather rapidly subsumed under that of the petit-bourgeoisie.
There were about three class groupings.
The workers – The colonial state did not want a class of workers “exclusively dependent on wages”.Jobs were either seasonal or temporary. “What the state wanted was a social group that would be available for employment in the capitalist economy for temporary periods but would return to and remain part of the pre-capitalist agricultural economy.
The north as labour-exporting area. In the 1920’s Banyarwanda emigration – By 1948, over a quarter of population of Buganda came from outside, mainly Rwanda.By the 1940’s, the bulk of the workers came from Rwanda and West Nile.A bulk (Rwanda) was employed by Baganda Kulaks. Those from north were primarily employed by the 2 sugar plantation (12,000 – 14,000) and the government public works dept.
Migrant labour was least susceptible to organizing politically to defend working interests. Even the plantations with concentrate labour did not form union until 1962.Despite this, the beginnings of a stable labour force can be traced to WWI.
During these four years a Buganda section of the East African Transport Corps was trained as motor car drivers and later employed both in government services and by ginners and builders as lorry drivers. Along with were the domestic servants employed by the colonial bureaucrats and the commercial bourgeoisie, they formed the first stable elements of urban wage-labour.The Buganda African Motor Drivers Union was the first union formed in Uganda – 1939.
Also with domestic servants the motor drivers formed the only organized and the most articulate section of the workers in the 1940’s.
The Petit-bourgeoisie: Three sections – the Kulaks, the Civil Servants and the traders.
The Kulaks – The 1928 Busulu and Nvujjo Law, by robbing the landlord-tenant relation of its economic substance, created the condition for the emergence of a large powerful cotton and coffee cultivating Kulak class in Buganda. The 1928 law gave security of land tenure to the peasant so long as he cultivated it effectively. His children could inherit it.According to the law, the legal limit to the payment of Nvujjo extended only to the maximum of 3 acres per cash crop – beyond this the landlord could ask for as much as he wished.
At the same time, the landlord cold not evicts the tenant as long as he continued effective cultivation. The effect was that the landlord was legally kept from becoming a capitalist farmer while the tenant has little initiative to increase the cultivation beyond 3 acres. The result was twofold: The market in the land in Buganda was marginal and Productive land was confined to units of 3 acres per cash crop.
The class that did emerge as dominant was a kulak class, large in numbers, but employing a few labourers on small plots of land. The capitalist farmers who developed in Buganda (as many as 150 acres) and employing up to 50 workers) were altogether exceptional. Small groupings of such capitalist farmers had existed even outside Buganda, particularly in Bunyoro, but their numbers were few.
“Whatever political power they wielded stemmed from their position as chiefs. Outside Buganda in the areas of peasant production, peasants held land as crown tenants. There was no market in the land. Except in Busoga there was no shortage of land; nor was there any agricultural labour.There commodity production had started almost as early as Buganda.
By the middle of the century land scarcity was pronounced. Prospective cultivators paid nkoko entry fee on land to the chiefs. But no matter how high the nkoko entry fee, as long as the peasant continued effective cultivation, occupation, occupation became indefinite in time.
From ranks of these peasants, overtime, there emerged small groups of more prosperous peasants who employed other peasants. Though similar to Buganda the process was on smaller scale. The bulk of Kulaks came from Buganda.
Civil Servants – These were the functionaries of the colonial order. The first recruits were he petty clerks and artisans working for government, railways and missions. When in short supply, most of these were recruited from India along with the railway labour. Conflicts between established and newer recruits tended to appear as racial conflicts between Indians and Africans. Local recruitment in these phases:
First phase, Supply of clerks and artisans from missions schools not able to meet the demand. By 1920 great concern by colonial state that dependence on Indian artisans was too expensive.1922 Makerere College began classes for artisans. But by 1925 supply still too small and colonial state still dependence on Indian recruitment.
Second phase coincided with expansion of the peasant economy. The government needed extensive administration to supervise both the production and marketing of cash crops while organizing the collection of taxes. The need for an expanded technical staff was reflected in changes within the education structure by 1929.A technical school was opened near Kampala and others were being constructed elsewhere. Makerere College gradually changed to professional school with important veterinary and agricultural sections. Successful candidates became junior secondary school teachers or became government Assistant Medical Officers, Assistant Agricultural Officers, Marketing Assistants etc.
The third expansion after the 1928 Busulu and Nvujjo Law which reduced the power of Landlords – Chiefs in Buganda and hereditary chiefs in the rest of the colony – made them a collection of state-appointed, salaried, civil servants chiefs. Majority of the social group was a product of mission education. Most of the schools were run by missionaries and financed to a large degree by the state. The political successfulness of missionary education was its dual nature:
It was technical as well as ideological – it imparted skills as well as values (loyalty to the existing order, discipline and self-sacrifice in the interests of that order). Emphasis on boarding schools. Enrolment emphasized “future” leaders.Best known of the schools: King’s College Budo and Kisubi College.In spite of the dominance of Bagenda within it, the civil service was unlike the landed-gentry or even the military – the first colonial institution truly national in both scope and recruitment.
But was also racially structured; pay scales were different for Europeans, for Asians and for Africans.Thus, civil servants became first social group among Africans to organize – both national and racial in form.The Uganda Civil Service Association was established in 1922 in response to exclusion of Africans in getting war bonuses.
Rapidly expanded from central office in Kampala to branch offices – Masaka, Jinja, Mubende, Mbarara, Masindi, Kabale, Arua, fort Portal, Mbale, Soroti, Gulu and Lira – i.e. to every single urban centre in Uganda.The Uganda Civil Servants Association was preceded by the Young Baganda Association dominated by clerks and interpreters in government officers (1915).Naturally these members became provinces in the national organization.
Traders – Both the trading petit-bourgeoisie and the commercial bourgeoisie were prominently Indian.This dominance came from change in the very nature of trade; from internal trade to externally oriented export-import trade.
In the interwar period, the colonial state played a critical role in consolidate the export-import trade and marginalizing the internal trade by passing legislation that gave monopolies to metropolitan or Indian firms based on export-import, while curtailing the activities of small trader, both Indian and African, whose retail operations were based on both export-import trade as well as the internal trade.1933 the Native Produce Marketing Ordinance restricted the issue of purchasing licenses one or few “reputable” firms.Not satisfied with this, the Uganda Chamber of Commerce asked for further state control on “itinerant traders”.1938 Trading Ordinance did away with ‘the distinction between wholesale and retail shops” by imposing on both the same licence fee.
But this was hypocritical because it was only formally treating as equal those who were substantially unequal – in this way protected privileged position of the stronger.The result was that the formation that resulted among the Africans in the commercial sector was that of traders, not businessmen.While the African traders emerged as a social group with common interests and organization, the African businessmen, were few and far between. They remained individuals.
The first African traders in Buganda came from section of pre-colonial ruling class excluded in 1900 Agreement especially those already involved in export-import trade in the 19th century – prominently the Muslim Chiefs.A number of independent African middlemen in the cotton industry.When phased out of cotton buying as limits were placed on the number of buying posts and buying licenses were introduced, those of the middlemen with sufficient savings went into trade.Added to them numbers were another few tenants who had enough savings to seek relief in commerce from weight of landlords demand of Busulu and Nvujjo.
The 1928 Busulu and Nvujjo Law gave a substantial boost to African commerce.The small landlord, denied sufficient income in four of rent turned to trade – by sale of land could get money to buy license, premises and sufficient stock.Some of these were substantial traders what became business men.
The prosperous peasant (kulak) also sought to trade as soon as he was able to – in underdeveloped economy trade appeared to be more lucrative than production.In the north cash-crop economy not strong until 1930’s and 40’s – no kulaks, and commercial entrepreneur was often a hawker, not a trader.The number of these hawkers were concentrated where commodity production was most advanced in Lango and Acholi.A hawker could after time accumulated enough savings and established himself as a trade.Between 1940 and 1968 there was significant change.
Most substantial change in the wake of WW II.Granted gratuity to many of the 60,000 soldiers who participated and many of them chose to enter commerce (especially in Lango, Acholi and West Nile).There was also increase in the volume of trade carried by African traders.The changes were not a result of individual competition – it was a result of political action of the who class:The petit-bourgeoisies, late in their formation found that the path to further development was pre-maturely blocked:The traders were subordinate to Indian commercial capital.
The civil servants found themselves at the lower rung of the 3 tiered racially-structured government service; The kulaks were subjected to political rule of Lukiko chiefs.Within the class there was also uneven development:The Kulaks was its most advance section.The traders although they emerged as a district group, they neither had organization independence nor the economic strength of the Kulaks.In fact in Buganda both their organization and interest became subsumed under those of the kulaks.The activities of the African trader were so confined that the small trade in Buganda found it paid much more to be a farmer while running a retail shop, often in the front room of his house.In the north, on the other hand there was no regional formation of kulaks, and traders rose as an organizationally district social force, but not until after WW II.In the interwar period, the politics of the petty-bourgeoisie were the politics of the Kulaks, a social group prominently situated in one region: Buganda.But the political of Buganda Kulaks was also politics of tribalism, a politics whose class content was obscured while the tribal form became its battle cry.
The Politics of Tribalism– the period from1900-1928 was dominated by political leadership from the pre-colonial ruling classes who were successful in securing a mass political base.Both the Bataka Association and the Young Men of Toro were examples.In the non-agreement kingdoms, chiefspetitioned the colonial state for similar agreements. From 1928-1936 attempt by Buganda ex-landlords (formal landlords) to organize – the Bulunge Bua Buganda = the common people of Buganda.In spite of the name, this was organization of ex-landlords who were attempting to emulate the earlier Bataka Association in organizing peasant grievances.
But failed to get mass base = the changes that had undermined the landlords had also removed the oppression.Primary demand in 1930’s was for elected Lukiko.In 1934 when organizational leadership passed from the Bulunge Bua Buganda to the Uganda African WelfareAssociation. The demand was made more specific “that the service of the leading Ministers (referring to the Katikiro Nsibiriwa and the Omuwanika Kulubya) be limited to a number of years”.The failure to obtain mass base had led to demands specifically reflecting interests of the ex-landlords:They were opposed not to general privileges of the compradors class in the Lukiko but to their particular exclusion from the rankes of these compradors.Secondly, they now hoped to secure their demand notthrough popular political organization but through petitioning the colonial state – a change from what had hoped to be a populist political organization (Bulunge Bua Buganda) to what was self-consciously a colonial pressure group (Uganda African Welfare Association.
Government opposition to establishment of a Peoples Representative Council; neglect of traditional customs; disregard of the Kabaka; the low price of cotton; confining higher education to a few; low wages; lack of free trade.This change reflected a general change in the class composition of Buganda society.It also reflected an accommodation and adjustment to a new political organization, the descendants of Kintu.
In a few years the UAWA had passed into obscurity and the descendants of Kintu emerged (articulating grievances of the Kulaks and traders.Gradually the politics of the court was giving way to the politics of the market place – the politics of the notables to the politics of the petit-bourgeoisies.
The antagonistic relations of the Kulak, who emerged as a social group in the 1930’s was not just confined to the Banyaruanda labourer they employed, but also they extended to the ginners and the chiefs.The Kulaks and traders dubbed the chiefs (who could not assist them) “alien”, just the same as the Indian ginners and the Banyaruanda land labourers.The centralization of power of Lukiko in the hands of the two individuals – the Katikiro Nsibirwa and Omuwanika Kulubya—had rendered the Kabaka more akin to figurehead than a political power.
By 1939 the conflict was in the open. Finally, when the Kabaka died, the colonial state by-passed the claimant appointed young 15 years old Mutesa as new Kabaka – at the same time delegating his authority to 3 regents: the Katikiro, the Omuwanika and the Chief Justice – the rule of the comprador chiefs was complete.
The conflict between the Kabaka and the comprador chiefs provided base for alliance between the rising Baganda petty-bourgeoisie.This alliance was at ideological level.The growers and traders in their campaign against the Lukiko,enlisted the chiefs violation of the Kabaka’s traditional respect and dignity.It excluded from the fold at one stroke all the social groups with which the kulaks had antagonistic relations.Secondly, because of regional differentiation, the kulaks had not emerged as a national but a regional group.Its struggles were not against the colonial state but against the Lukiko.The organizational base was the formation of the Descendants of Kintu.
It was able to bring within its organizational fold disaffected social groups.The Buganda Motor Drivers’ Association was an important link; though a working men’s organization it also included individuals from within the petit-bourgeoisie.The other workers to possess a measure of solidarity were the domestic servants.In the crisis of 1945, the houseboys provided leadership in the urban areas; the kulaks in the countryside and the motor drivers acted as a social belt of communication, spreading the news and the fact of the crisis from one town to another.
The crisis of the 1945 – The beginning of the 1945 crisis provided a specific issue around which the entire opposition to colonial order could rally.This was a traditional issue of little practical significance, but of utmost importance ideologically.Contrary to tradition, the Namasole (Queen mother) had decided to marry a commoner.She was supported by the Anglican Church and by Katikiro Nsibirwa.Opposition was far widespread and vocal.The Governor chose to ask the Katikiro to resign – but the resignation only strengthened the opposition which sought realignment within the Lukiko.
The new Katikiro, Wamala, one of the few higher chiefs of Kulak origin set out to appoint a number of Kulak farmers and traders to positions of power.Opposition to the subservient role played by the chiefly hierarchy in relation to the colonial state build up within the Lukiko.Conflicts within the Lukiko among the chiefly hierarchy and the lower chiefs; and even between members of Nsibirwa Kulubya “ruling clique”; Omuwanika Kulubya and Nsauza (country; chiefs.Once Nsibirwa had been ousted, the Nsaza chiefs petitioned the Kabaka asking that Kulubya be dismissed.
The crisis of 1945 was an urban general strike and rural violence of January 16-19, 1945 and the assassination of Katikiro Nsibirwa on September 11 of the same year.Domestic servants were the first to spark off the strikes on January 1, (Entebbe) then spread quickly one urban centre to another.
They were also instrumental in uniting the sporadic bushfires at Kampala on January 14.Strikes spread to government workers, to those employed in factories, hospitals, public transport and plantations.Significantly the strikes not confine to Entebbe and Kampala, but to all urban centres in the colony.The strike was followed by rural violence, limited to, but throughout Buganda.The target of the violence was the Baganda chiefs and the Indian ginners and traders. The 1945 was immediately followed by attempts to organize against the newly established boards (Marketing Boards).
The pace was set by the Bataka Party, established 1946.The marketing boards were established to control marketing of cotton of coffee to shield the growers against fluctuations prices – but in fact only accumulate surplus banked in bank of England and used the British to finance the war.The grievances were clearly articulated by the Bataka Party.Unlike its 1920’s predecessor, the Bataka Party of 1946 was firmly a Kulak party.
Its criticism included the increased taxes, the acquisition of land at Makerere, and the leadership of the chiefly hierarchy in Lukiko.The main attack on the marketing boards. During 1948 meetings of the Party were held monthly and attended by thousands of people.The Kiganda press attached the accumulation of surpluses by the marketing boards resulting in low prices to the growers.On April 2, 1941 the Uganda African Farmers Union we as registered.Leadership by Ignatius Musasi, previously the organizer of the Descendants of Kintu.May, 1949 meeting of “African produce growers” called by the Uganda African Farmers – Union asked to be allowed to establish its buying stones.
Beginning to collect cotton from its members, approached ginners for ginning facilities.Government and ginners rejected.They refused to part with their cotton and eventually the state made it illegal to store cotton in unlicensed premise – making it mandatory to sell to the ginners.
The Crisis of 1949 – In April 1949 the second major rural violence broke out and spread across Buganda. This time the strikes in urban area followed the rural violence, but were neither as general nor as effective as those of 1945.Nsibirwa having been assassinating attempts were made to set Omuwanika Kulubya’s house on fire.The wrath of the kulaks consumes most of the property of the comprador chiefs.First, houses to be put on fire were those of Minister of finance and Minister of Justice.
Then a large number of government buildings, houses belonging to government officials, a welfare centre at Makerere; some houses of Africans employed by protectorate government and some of private.Pamphlets distributed attacked “the Indian millionaire ginners.Ginnery owners found people letting their properties requisitioning their Lorries and petrol and Indian shops in semi-urban areas were sacked.In the first week 110 people were arrested. The grower representatives in their meeting with the Kabaka made 5 demands:
5 demands of Kabaka
1. That people elect their chiefs.
2. That the number of elected representatives in the Lukiko be raised to sixty.
3. That the present government resigns.
4. That growers gin their own cotton.
5. That growerssell their agricultural products directly whenever they like.
Thus the 1949 (as 1945) political events represented demands of a class: the Africa petty-bourgeoisie (though specifically by a section the kulaks). This represents the the Politics of Independence. The decade of 1952 to 1962 saw the rise and fall of a bewildering number of political parties in Uganda. Large or small, all of them were located within one section or another of the petit-bourgeoisie.
In the struggle for state power, however, only those parties of significance were able to acquire support beyond their narrow class confines. For these though leadership stemmed from a particular section of petit-bourgeoisie, all of the important political parties had a mass base in a particular section of the peasantry. The mass-based petit-bourgeoisie parties were further distinguished, one from another, by differences in their ideological expression.
In fact, Uganda politics in the decade prior to independence was marked by failure of one dominant mass-based party to emerge and capture the leadership of the independence movement. Nationalist parties vied for support against parties that were tribal or religious in their ideological orientation. This was itself a consequence of failure of the petit-bourgeoisie to emerge as an integrated and unified class, unlike the neighbouring Tanganyika.
The most advanced section of the petit-bourgeoisie in Uganda were the Kulaks a social group that was regional in its formation, and whose politics was also regional in its articulation. The mass-based petit-bourgeoisie parties whether ideologically tribal or religious were each based on a different section of the petit-bourgeois.
In the commodity-producing regions of the country, where there were significant Kulak formations, political organization took dominantly tribal expression. Where kulak formations were absent but commodity production was carried on by peasant farmers, it was the traders who gave political leadership for organizations which were nationalist in their orientation. It does not mean that leaders came solely or even primarily from kulaks or traders. In fact in the organization of both types of parties, the individual leadership came to a large degree from intellectuals, but these intellectuals in their theoretical production seldom went beyond the material interest of the class, or the section of it, with which they were allied.
Whereas tribal and nationalist parties secured a mass base in areas of peasant commodity production, religions oriented parties were successful in capturing a peasant base in the non-commodity producing regions.
In absence of commodity market, the trader class was in its infancy. The advanced petty-bourgeoisie in these regions were the intellectual, teachers or civil servants – all educated in and the teachers affiliated to denominational church schools.
The parties which acquired mass base were:
(1) The Uganda National Congress,
(2) Uganda People’s Congress,
(3)Kabaka Yekka and the
(4) Democratic Party.
In both Buganda and Busoga, it was the political dominance of the Kulak farmers, their early use of tribal ideology to and organization to mobilize peasant support against colonial state and its appointed chiefs that explained the relative failure of the later nationalist parties in organizing mass base among the peasantry.
The fact is that by the time nationalize came around the peasant base had already been organized and pre-empted by “tribalists”. The only marked difference was the temporary success of the Uganda National Congress in Buganda from 1953-1955.
The Uganda National Congress (UNC) – Founded in 1952 by individuals from the Buganda petit-bourgeoisie; yet in its early years found but little support in Buganda.Musazy, I.K., the leading figure of the party and founder-member of the Federation of Partnerships of Uganda African Farmers, successor of Uganda Farmers Union banned in 1949, but members of the Federation did not join the UNC.
Party support was confirmed to independent trader in the townships of Mengo, Katwe, Wandegeya. Why?Political success of the Kulak – led of Kiganda “tribalism” – as result of 1945 and 1949 great democratization of Lukiko – 1951-53 elected members 67.5%.The social base of UNC (despite of leadership from Buganda), was regions of Uganda where there was a cash-crop growing peasantry and yet not significant kulak formations; Teso, and Bubedi, but mainly Lango and Acholi – also workers. Here it was the traders, teachers, and civil servants who comprised the petty-bourgeoisie.
Organization as response to workers’ and peasants’ oppression by local chief dominated District Council. In 1953, a second phase a burst in UNC membership in Buganda because of crisis of 1953, when Lukiko kulaks began to demand separate form of relationship in the colonial state.Colonial secretary, Mr. Lyttleton had given speech to the East Africa Dinner Club hinting a possibility of an East African Federation – praised by settler paper, East African Standard.
In response Lukiko (Kulak – led) drafted memorandum deploring the statement and saying that it would take steps to safeguard its future. Kabaka was required to sign a declaration of allegiance and show it to Lukiko, he refused and was exiled.
The political crisis made the Kulaks to turn to UNC – in Buganda they dominate it.Unlike in the rest of Uganda, in Buganda UNC had become an alliance of Kulaks and traders.This was reflected in its increased tribal orientation – separate “independence for Buganda now”.In 1955 the Kabaka was allowed to return – Lukiko signed an agreement making a “constitutional monarch”. Kabaka had no rule through and on the consent of Lukiko. The kulak-led Lukiko had set itself on the road to monopolizing political power in Buganda.
The result was disintegration of the kulak-trader alliance that had become the Buganda UNC. Membership during the crisis had climbed to 50,000; now dropped to 10,000.The Buganda Kulaks went to the Lukiko – were to emerge as a new party – Kabaka Yekka; The traders, after a short while as Uganda Peoples Union (UPU).Both with then allied intellectuals. The UPC gradually brought within if the latest fragment of the petit-bourgeoisie; the state bureaucrats.
What appeared to be a regional tribal split between the Baganda and non-Baganda were in essence a split between two fractions of the petit-bourgeoisie the kulaks and the traders and it was the traders, “the national group par excellence, with the national grievance – the dominances of a non-national Indian petit-bourgeoisie who now proceeded to occupy the stage”.
The material base of this conflict: it was not possible to promote the consolidation of the African petit-bourgeoisie without at least partially liquidating the existing Indian petit-bourgeoisie.
When the Government passed the Cooperative societies Ordinance to boost the organization strength of African Kulaks and traders, all Indian organizations representing traders and ginners were very loud in protest Africans – “pre-mature to set up African cooperatives and the class struggle assumed the form of a racial conflict”.While the consciousness of the African traders was both national and racial, that of the Indian trader was simply racial”.
In 1954 UNC had introduced total boycott of non-African trade and transport to press for return of Kabaka.But this was not the cause; the Uganda National Movement (UNM) mobilized in 1959 a second boycott; soon spread beyond Buganda to Jinja and Mbale – Govt. tried to