Regional tier is not same as federalism

Wednesday, 21st December, 2005

SIR — An all-inclusive federal system is achievable. On the establishment of federalism in Uganda, the Movement government had the political capital to do so, but lost the golden opportunity to unite the country and to resolve the federo issue for good. The Movement waffled and pushed through some sort of half-baked federo also known as kifederofedero.

Now, the parties (CP, FDC and DP) are promising a much better arrangement — an all-inclusive federal system of governance. Under the regional tier, which the Movement government is offering, the regions are not allowed to write their own constitutions, and, in the absence of taxation powers, are almost entirely dependent on central government transfers.

The tier is simply a modified decentralisation scheme— a top-down approach with the central government dictating the powers and operational limits of the regions hence turning the regions into mere agents of the centre.

The regional tier is clearly not federalism. If the regional tier is such a good thing why is it only being pushed in Buganda? Federalism is not complicated at all.

F. N. Lugemwa
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