In tune with mordern trends we now have legally established companies opened and run under the ambit of one man. Giving him let and withall to, sit at a desk conduct mischief then wash his hands of the matter, declaring that the mischief was done by Monex Ltd the corporation and not Monex the natural being; in which case Monex the natural man ought not to be tried and persecuted rather Monex the Company ought to be quartered and if necessary prosecuted.
In its historical setting the company or corporation,was an artificial device specifically created to be a distinct legal entity removed and separated from its several individual owners. Indeed and renown authority wrote and stated:
” Its a collection of many individuals united into one body, under a special denomination, having perpetual succession under an artifical form…vested, by policy of the law and with the capacity of acting, in sebral respects as an individual particularly of taking and granting property, of co reacting obligations, and of suing and being sued in its own right…”Steward Kyd , A treatise on the Law of Corporations.
Against this backdrop the companies of old obtained charters or dubious sovereign authority to carve out huge portions of Africa and India, famous for its spices, for lopsided trade. The instrument for this trade in East Africa was the, grandiosely named Imperial British East African Company founded by one William Macckinon. His brief was clear and his instrument included a connecting road from Lake Victoria to Mombasa and a big ship commanding the waters of Lake Victoria; the SS William Macckinon; such brazen modesty.
The ship built in Scotland was sent down to East Africa but it would not be reassembled for a long time owing to lack of money and some feud that had arisen between: the Kabaka, the Protestant, The Catholics and the Company. (I will dwell on this conflict in a subsequent missive.) The lack of funds compelled William to donate the ship to Uganda Steamers and Ferries; the first ship in Uganda.
I was reminded of this when forced to travel across a ferry without which a part of Uganda would be completely cut off from the other.