Anti-federo politicians feeling the heat

News February 15, 2006
Don’t vote anti-federo politicians, says Mengo

LUKIIKO members and the kingdom elders (Bataka) have asked the Baganda to drop anti-federo politicians in the forthcoming general elections.Busiro County Chief, Mr P.K. Ssebwaana, who is also a member of the Lukiiko, said the Kabaka's subjects should exploit the Febuary 23 elections to vote out politicians who do not favour the interests of the kingdom.

“Don't vote whoever is anti-federo. Look at councillors and MPs keenly and identify those who were bribed,” Ssebwana said during a Lukiiko meeting in Mengo on Tuesday.

“District chairmen and councillors who passed the Regional Tier Bill should also be dropped,”he said.

Supported moveThe proposal to drop anti-federo candidates was supported by a number of Lukiiko members including; Joseph Balikudembe (member), Damiano Lubega (member), Ndugwa Ssemakula (member of Bataka council), P.K. Ssengendo (Busiro county chief), Mudirikati Mukasa (Kyagwe county chief), Stanley Kijjambu (Singo county chief).

The remarks come days after the Lukiiko unanimously rejected the government's decision that a regional tier system be adopted for districts who want to form a regional government instead of adopting federalism.

The over 60 Lukiiko members re-stated Buganda's demand for a full federo system and vowed never to change their stand on any of the five points the kingdom handed over to the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) chaired by Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa.

According to the regional tier system, the katikkiro has to be elected contrary to Buganda's traditions. The stormy Lukiiko session demanded for a federal system of governance.

The Lukiiko also rejected an elected katikkiro contending that electing a katikkiro goes against the culture and norms of Buganda. “Having looked at what is in the Constitution and what the people of Buganda demanded, the Lukiiko has resolved that Mengo remains the way it is today until any government in power grants us federo,” the kingdom's Attorney General, Mr Godfrey Lule, said.

“Buganda and all its cultures and norms will completely fade away if we accept a regional tier.” The Lukiiko recommended that the regional tier package was dangerous to the kingdom and would lead to its collapse.

The Katikkiro, Mr Dan Muliika, said Buganda's position on federo is clear and has not changed. Buganda wants the central government to grant the kingdom a federal status, return the 9,000 square miles of land which originally belong to the kingdom, Kampala to be considered as part of the kingdom among others.

Last year, the Parliament passed a law allowing the regional tier governance and recognised Kampala as part of Buganda but to be administered by the central government.

Two thirds of all the district councils ratified the law including Wakiso, Masaka, Mukono, among others. Ssebwana encouraged the people of Buganda not to yield to intimidation. The Lukiiko criticised the regional tier system describing it as a changed charter.
Kooki cultural council rejects regional tier
Sadab Kitatta Kaaya.

KOOKI'S cultural council has rejected the proposed regional tier system of governance on grounds that it threatens the survival of the kingdom’s traditional institutions.

During a meeting at Rakai district headquarters on Febuary 11, the cultural council presided over by the Kamuswaga (cultural head), Mr Apollo Ssansa Kabumbuli II, resolved to back Mengo's stand on the issue. “Like the President appoints his own prime minister, the Kabaka should also be left with the liberty to appoint his own katikkiro,” Mr Kitayimbwa Mumiransanafu, a member of the council said.

“If they are talking about accountability, it should be the secretary for finance not the katikkiro to account for their billions,” he added.

Recently, in a resolution read by the kingdom`s Attorney General, Mr Godfrey Lule, after hours of deliberation, the Lukiiko (Buganda Parliament) said the regional tier system of governance was poisonous and was not the federal system cherished by Buganda.

The Constitutional Amendment Act enacted last year, provides for regional governments headed by a directly elected chief executive.In Buganda, it is proposed that the chief executive assumes the title of katikiiro (prime minister), but Buganda leaders are opposed to a directly elected Katikkiro.

This move puts a huge dent on months of negotiations between the Buganda government and the central government. Buganda wanted the central government to grant the kingdom a federal status and return the 9,000 square miles of land which originally belong to the kingdom but is now under the central government.Instead, the new tier arrangement among others dictates that the katikkiro be elected under adult suffrage.

This means the katikkiro can come from any other tribe in Buganda and not appointed by the Kabaka (king). The cultural council came up with a three- page memorandum with demands to be presented to President Yoweri Museveni today when he visits Rakai on his campaign trail.
“Among the issues we want to be addressed is the rehabilitation of the Lumbugu- Lwamaggwa- Lyantonde Road, exttention of a power line to the area as well as safe water,” the memo reads in part.

The memo also calls for the granting of a fully-fledged Federal system of governance to Buganda instead of the government's proposed regional tier.

Kabumbuli warned the cultural leaders against getting involved in partisan politics. He said the cultural institution was negotiating with the Rakai district administration for the return of the kingdom’s property. Last year only three districts; Kiboga, Wakiso, Mukono, returned Buganda's property.

Katikkiro disabuses Museveni on Federo

Museveni irks Buganda Lukiiko
Monday, 13th February, 2006

By Josephine Maseruka MEMBERS of the Lukiiko (Buganda parliament) on Tuesday advised President Yoweri Museveni to desist from making provocative statements on Buganda’s demands, especially the federo issue. The enraged Lukiiko members regretted that Museveni, while addressing campaign rallies in Arua, reportedly referred to federo agitators as day-dreamers.

Katikkiro Dan Muliika said, “We heard that the President said federo agitators are dreamers and are like a blind person who goes outside hoping to see something.” Museveni reportedly added that he was focusing on the East African Federation and the African Union and not federo for tiny regions.

Muliika said, “I haven’t known the President to use such language. But if it is true that he made such provocative statements, he should be reminded that you cannot first solve wrangles in a neighbour’s home when your house is on fire. “Before you talk of a bigger federation, you must know that Buganda, which wants a federal status, is in Uganda, which is in East Africa and part of Africa.

Therefore, before focusing on a bigger federation, you must first settle the burning issues at home.”

Muliika said the Baganda are not known to be dreamers because it was their innovativeness, foresightedness, hard work and an organised system of governance that earned Uganda the ‘Pearl of Africa’ title. P.K. Ssengendo (sazza chief of Busiro) said Baganda are not in a hurry to get federo.

Buganda rejects tier, wants federo

News February 12 - 18, 2006
Asuman Bisiika

On February 7, the Lukiiko passed a resolution demanding a federal status for Buganda Kingdom; hitherto thought to have been resolved by the constitutional provision for a regional tier government.

A federal state is a political entity that voluntarily cedes some powers to a union of equal entities (central government) while a regional tier government is created when the central government cedes (or devolves) power to subordinate administrative units.

The Lukiiko wants Buganda to be a federal state with political powers while the constitutional amendment provides for an administrative unit that falls within the central government’s power structure.

The provision for a regional tier government was the result of what the government and Mengo called a comprehensive discussion and resolution of the incessant demands for Buganda Kingdom’s federal status.

Former Local Government minister Bidandi Ssali who casts himself as a liberal and progressive Muganda, says the Lukiiko’s demand was the same old story without any creativity. He, however, says that the Lukiiko resolution was justified because the regional tier does not address some of the issues specific to Buganda.

“But the Lukiiko should be specific about the kind federalism they want not merely singing twagala federo. The challenge Mengo is facing is their failure to reconcile their demand for federal status and the reality on the ground. In my view, the regional tier should be recast to accommodate a political Lukiiko but remain silent on the cultural aspects of the Kingdom,” said Bidandi.

The regional tier governments are supposed to have elected leaders but conservative Baganda do not even countenance a scenario where the Katikkiro (Prime Minister), traditionally appointed by the Kabaka (king), is elected.

The challenge former Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli (and for that mater the Mengo establishment) faced was to reconcile the traditional structures of the kingdom with regional tier structures.

Appearing on CBS radio late last year, President Yoweri Museveni said that he would not support having an appointed Katikkiro. He was very categorical as to say that those who thought of an un-elected Katikkiro should forget.

A Mengo official says that the Baganda are only demanding what they want. “It is not logical that we should demand what we don’t want. We want federalism, and it is what we are demanding. It does not matter what the central government have in mind; the point is we should take to the table what we want,” said the source who did not want his name disclosed.
But former Buganda minister Peter Mulira, who said that the Lukiiko resolution surprised him called for caution.

“My personal view is that the issues for discussion are not irreconcilable. There is still a stage where some issues could be resolved without taking hard positions. For instance, the issue of electing the Katikkiro could be dealt with when Parliament enacts a law to operationalise the constitutional provisions for the regional tier. And before that, we should be studying the difference between federalism and devolution of power,” said Mulira.

So what does this new demand mean to Mr Museveni’s re-election bid? Or his presidency if he wins the February 23 poll? Or whoever wins the presidential elections?

Although the voting patterns in earlier polls have not been influenced by Mengo’s political sentiments, it (Mengo) still influences national politics in one way or the other. That is why Buganda’s demand for a federal status appears in almost all manifestoes of the presidential candidates.

Dr Jean Barya, a Makerere University don, says that the consequences of the new Lukiiko demand will depend on who wins the presidential elections.

“If Museveni wins, the relationship between Buganda and the central government may be problematic because he has already made his position very clear. He does not want any power centres outside the central government power structures,” said Barya.

M7 snubs continued demands for Federo

By Administrator Editor

Monday, 06 February 2006President Yoweri Museveni has said that the demand for ‘Federo’ by Buganda is a waste of time.

Museveni said that his dream is a bigger and stronger East Africa.

Addressing a rally in Arua, Museveni said the African problem has been selfish leaders who look inward and frustrate efforts to create a one united Africa.

Museveni said he will remain in active politics till his dream of a powerful East Africa and Africa is realized.

Museveni’s main challenger, Dr. Kiiza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change, recently promised Federo for Buganda if elected President.

Last month, the presidential candidate of the Uganda Peoples Congress, Miria Obote, also said her party wants a federal arrangement for the whole country.

Museveni’s government has only granted a regional tier system for districts that may wish to co-operate.

Katikkiro appeals to Obote over Federal

By Nasser Kayanja

Monday, 06 February 2006The Katikkiro of Buganda “Owe’kitibwa” Dan Muliika has appealed to UPC President Miria Obote to inform people in other regions that a federal system is not only for the prosperity of Buganda but the entire nation.

The Katikkiro was giving welcome remarks to a UPC delegation headed by Miria Obote at Bulange in Mengo who went there to seek reconciliation with Buganda.

He says Buganda is going through hard time to reclaim its property from the central government due to its alliances since 1966. He advised her to convince other regions of the advantages of a federal system.

Miria Obote says UPC recognizes the need for a federal arrangement for this country and to allow the Kabaka to appoint his Katikkiro. She called for reconciliation and unity for all Ugandans.