The Mulwanyammuli Agreement

A BRIEF COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF WHAT MENGO TOOK TO SSEMPEBWA COMMISSION AND THE RESULTS OF
THE NEGOTIATIONS WITH CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
 
 
Buganda took FIVE main points to the Ssempebwa Commission, which are:
 
1.     Buganda wanted a Federal system of Government for the whole of Uganda or for those regions who want it;
2.     Kampala District which has Buganda’s most important cultural sites should be in Buganda;
3.     9000 Square Miles;
4.     The 1998 Land Act (i.e. annual rent of Shs.,1,000/=; and
5.     Immunities and Privileges of Traditional Leaders.
 
I am attaching a photocopy of pages 4 and 5 of our Proposals to the Ssempebwa Commission, which outlines the above Buganda main demands in the Constitutional change.
 
Page 4 and 5 of our Proposals to the Ssempebwa Commission
 
“(a)    The Federal System of Government and the process of Decentralization;
 
(b)          Kampala District as part of Buganda;
 
(c)      The Restitution of the 9000 square miles that were illegally taken away from the Kingdom of Buganda;
 
(d)      The Land Tenure System and the excesses of the Land Act 1998;
 
(e)          Immunities and privileges of Traditional Leaders;
 
 
The Format of this Report:
 
The Kingdom of Buganda has decided to present this Report in simple straightforward language, so that ordinary Ugandans, who constitute the
majority of our population, can understand the resentation made on their behalf.
 
The Report seeks to answer most of the commonly asked questions about the Federal System of Government and its relation to and compatibility with the Decentralization, the questions have arisen from interviews
 
conducted, and reports received by the Buganda Constitutional Review Commission.  They address the various misconceptions about federalism and decentralization held in some circles, as well as their effects and impact on the attainment of durable peace, more accelerated economic development, more meaningful social progress and the realisation of a Constitutional Buganda.
 
The Lay out of the Report:
 
The Report which was presented to the Ssempebwa Commission is divided into four major parts, namely:
 
(a)               Executive summary
(b)             The Federal System of Government and Decentralisation
(c)              Other issues of concern to the people of Buganda
(d)             Summary of recommendations and conclusion to the Report.”
 
 
RESULTS OF NEGOTIATIONS:  (Between Mengo and Central Government)
 
A.     We achieved the following main components of a federal system of government:
         
1.    There will be a Regional Government at Mengo, headed  by the Kabaka, with a directly elected indigenous Katikkiro, Ministers, civil servants, etc.  all paid from funds officially allocated for the is function.  The Kabaka will hand Ddamula to the Katikkiro, and all Ministers have okweyanza ewa Kabaka.  (The Clan Leaders will vet the names of Katikkiro candidature.  This will be in ordinary legislation).
 
2.     There will be a Regional Legislative Assembly, opened  addressed and closed by the Kabaka. The Assembly will have powers to make laws on the functions devolved to Mengo, which laws would be applicable and binding to the whole of Buganda.  In addition, according to Articles 178 (8) of the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, the regional assembly (Lukiiko), “shall be the highest political authority within its region and shall have political, legislative, administrative and cultural functions in the region.”  Under this authority, the Assembly will be able to make its own Constitution, provided it does not conflict with the Uganda Constitution.  The size of the Lukiiko is to be mutually agreed upon later, and will be a subject of separate ordinary legislation.
 
N.B.   Note that now we shall once again, have a Kabaka of Buganda instead of Kabaka of Baganda; the region Buganda will be back on the official map and Constitution of Uganda.
 
3.    There will be adequate financing for the Mengo Government, which shall be from the following sources:
                  
(a) Conditional grants from the Mengo Government, which will be money initially budgeted by Mengo; approved and provided by the Central Government from the Consolidated Fund to cater for all the functions constitutionally devolved on Mengo under paragraph 9 of the Fifth Schedule to the Bill;
 
(b) Unconditional grants for Mengo to use and allocate as it deems fit.  The formula for these to be worked out as recommended by the Ssempebwa Commission, by experts, who according to our negotiations and agreements, must include Mengo representatives; (our preference was that the formula be incorporated in the Constitution).
 
(c) Indirect taxation:  cess and surcharge, subject to consultation with the Central Government (mainly to ensure that Mengo is in accord with Central Government’s commitment to Donors, IMF, World Bank, Projected inflation rates, etc);
 
                    (d)          Borrowings and Loans;
                    (e)          Development projects;
                    (f)          Donations;
                    (g)          Investments.
 
4.   Specified functions are constitutionally devolved to Mengo.
These are laid out in paragraph 9 of the Bill.  A major function we wanted but failed to get is overall management of Agriculture;  Our role in this important developmental sector is confined to monitoring, coordinating and supervising Agriculture.  The functions are:
 
(a)      Secondary education and tertiary institutions except national universities and other national institutions:  This means schools like Budo, Kisubi, Namagunga, Gayaza, Kibuli, Nabisunsa, etc., will now be administered from Mengo.
(b)              Maintenance of regional roads:  Roads which cut across more than one District are the responsibility of Buganda Government.
 
(c)              Regional referral hospitals other than national referral hospitals (e.g. Mulago and Butabika) and national medical institutions.  Most big hospitals in Buganda will now be under Buganda Government.
 
(d)             Co-ordination, monitoring and supervision of Agriculture.
 
(e)              Forests: other than national parks.
 
(f)                Culture
 
(g)              Cultural and traditional lands
 
(h)             Promotion of local languages; crafts and antiquities
 
(i)                Water
 
(j)                Sanitation
 
(k)              To levy surcharge or cess subject to the approval of the Central Government.  This is indirect taxation.
 
(l)               Functions and services surrendered voluntarily by a District Council or District Councils.
 
(m)         Receiving copies of financial accountability of districts to the central government to enable the regional government monitor, and supervise the implementation of government programmes.
 
5.     The units lower than the regional Government would, in most federal arrangements, report through the regional government.  In our case, the Central Government rejected this, as a strategy to persuade the Districts to ratify this legislature first.  Districts are to report directly to the Central Government, but giving us copies of those reports.  Mengo will be responsible for monitoring and supervising the Districts’ implementation of Central Government programmes.  They will, however, be answerable to Mengo on matters delegated to them by Mengo.  We still feel that all Central Government instructions to Districts and Districts’ reporting to the Central Government should be through the Regional Government.
 
6.     All the above are clearly entrenched in the Constitution, which entrenchment is a major, basic and indispensable aspect of a federal system of governance.
 
The above constitutes the basics of a federal system of Government. It must be emphasized that just as no two kings or Presidents or even Governments in the world are exactly alike, with exact identical powers, etc, no two federal systems are exactly identical in all aspects. The federal system in the US is different from that of each European country, or of India, etc. they all, however, have the basics listed above.
 
We insisted on the word “federo” or “federal system” being put in the Constitution. The Government rejected this on the same ground they had used to reject putting the word or term “Kabaka” in the 1995 Constitution.  The Government urgued that the system being set up was not for Buganda alone but for any region in Uganda which desired it. That the word “federo” was a Kiganda word which had acquired some negative connotation in some parts of Uganda. That the same can now be said of the word “federal” which to many is the same as “federo”.
 
They reasoned that instead of forcing everyone to use a word they do not like, which could even make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to pass the federal concept through Parliament and the Districts, we should do what was done in the 1995 Constitution: namely do not use the word Kabaka for all  or any Traditional Leader, but allow every Kingdom or area to use whatever title they wanted. That this had worked well without any problems. The Bill allows each region to use any title it wants, including the word “Federo”. Paragraph 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Bill provides: “A regional government may adopt its own name”.
 
B.       Kampala
 
1.     All traditional sites currently in Kampala District will be curved out of Kampala, made into MENGO Municipality, and will become the Headquarters of Mengo Government, which is in Buganda.
 
2.    The remaining part of the currently Kampala District, housing the Central Government Headquarters, is constitutionally stated to be  in Buganda, but will be directly administered by the Central Government.
 
3.    This Capital city of Kampala will have permanent boundaries; however  any expansion of commercial city will be in budget and to  the benefit of Buganda.
 
C.      The 9000 square Miles
 
1.   This is now much less than 9000 Sq. miles because a big bulk  of it was in the lost counties: and much of the rest has since been sold or given to individuals as freehold. There is no accurate estimate of what remains but some people estimate it between 3000 and 4000 square miles.
 
2.    The government rejected our request that all the administration of this land reverts to Mengo, saying that this is bound to inconvenience people occupying or dealing with land
 
3.     Instead it was agreed there should be a Buganda Land Board which should consist of all District Land Boards Chairpersons ad equal number of members appointed by the Buganda Government to plan, and co-ordinate land use, allocations, etc. in what remains of 9000 Square miles. Buganda Land Board would also be represented in District Land Boards.
 
4.     Under Paragraph 10 of the Fifth Schedule to the Bill, Mengo shall have powers to coordinate, monitor and plan land use in Buganda.
 
D.      The Land Act 1998
 
1.     The problem here was the provision in the 1998 Land Act which   imposed a standard annual rent of U.Shs.1000/= irrespective of size, location or economic activity on the Land.
 
2.     This problem, which as we noted our demands to Professor Ssempebwa’s Commission, was never a Constitutional matter. However, consequent upon our strong protest, it was solved by an amendment to the 1998 land Act, which scrapped the Uniform Shs. 1000/=, and left the determination of appropriate rent to the District Land Boards and Lands Minister. We are still contesting this and the “Occupation Permit” of squarters.
 
E.              Immunities and Privileges of Traditional Leaders
 
1.    It was agreed that the privileges of the Kabaka, in addition to those  in Articles 246, shall be expanded by allowing Regional Government to financially and otherwise look after the Kabaka, and the parliament was to enact a law which will, in addition cater for the financial welfare of the Kabaka.
 
2.    Parliament was also to enact laws to exempt Traditional       Leaders from payment of direct taxes, and also establish their proper place in protocol. This was not strictly, a constitutional matter
 
F.                Other Matters Obtained from the negotiation:
 
1.    We prevailed upon Government to accept ONE Lukiiko.
 
2.    We prevailed upon Government to enact Constitutional provisions ensuring that ALL OUR BAGANDA AND BUGANDA CULTURAL MATTERS WILL BE HANDLED EXCLUSIVELY BY BAGANDA APPOINTED BY THE KABAKA AND CLAN LEADERS.
 
3.    Buganda shall remain with the 1966 boundaries and no part of it can be allowed to secede as as the case under the 1995 Constitution.
 
4.    Under the 1962 Constitution, Katikkiro was elected exclusively by the directly elected members of Lukiiko. To avoid a partisan Katikkiro, it was strongly suggested that we directly elect the Katikkiro. Katikkiro has to be an indigenous resident of Buganda, one whose parents or grand parents was residing in Buganda on 1st February 1926, and is willing and able to perform all the Buganda cultural rites. We are insisting that one of the grounds for disciplining the Katikkiro should be disobedience or disrespect to the Kabaka.
 
 
5.    We prevailed upon the government to completely abandon the obnoxious provision relating to removal or “disciplining” the Kabaka.
 
6.    We further prevailed upon Government to set up a vetting committee for the purposes of vetting the candidate for the post of Katikkiro. This committee would be composed of Abataka. As we all know the Kabaka is the chairman of Abataka (Ssaabataka).
 
 
 
J.G. MULWANYAMMULI SSEMWOGERERE
KATIKKIRO OF BUGANDA
 
December 15th, 2005.
 
 
 
 
    
 


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