Federalism does not mean tribalism

Opinion GOVERNANCE November 7, 2007
Tajudeen Abdul Raheem

Kenya is gripped by election fever. In the frenzied atmosphere everything has become extremely partisan operating essentially as ‘if you are not for me’ then you are against me!

Last Saturday, November 3 at the famous Ufungamano Hall in Nairobi, I walked straight into the brawling ring of Kenya’s ongoing ‘do or die’ political campaigns. I was a keynote speaker at a public lecture on ‘the Great Majimbo debate’ organised by the Young Professionals for Raila. It was obviously a partisan platform but the matter being discussed was of a very public nature.

We may not yet have votes in other African states but we should not collaborate in our silencing by also refusing to contribute to public spaces. What gives foreign diplomats, NGOs and so called ‘experts’ the right to lecture our leaders on all things under the sun and beyond the skies but require other Africans ‘to stay quiet’? I had made it clear to my hosts that I was not coming to speak as a UN staff but rather as a concerned Pan Africanist and a political scientist with some insight into the subjecxt matter.

That entire caveat was of no use in the ensuing reports of the meeting in the Kenyan papers. I do not usually blame the media for ‘misrepresentation’ or ‘misquoting’ but on this occasion my colleagues in the fourth estate of the realm really undersold themselves. Sample these headlines: ‘UN envoy defends Majimbo system’ (Sunday Nation, November 4); ‘ UN official backs controversial Majimbo system’ (Sunday Standard November 4); or ‘Majimbo system : ODM now brings in an expert’ (The People on Sunday, November 4 ) including claims that I was specifically flown in by ODM for the event!

Even in their preoccupation with my UN status they did not even bother to be accurate. All the reports got my position and particular UN affiliation wrong. But this should not deflect us from the political significance of the debate that is wrongly termed Majimbo by Kenyans and Ugandans will know as Federo.

For me it is about wider issues of political and economic governance, devolution of power and the degree to which people of Kenya should have control over their destiny and the accountability of their leaders to them at various levels. It is about how to stop our presidents from monopolising power at the centre and reducing representative institutions like parliaments to personal choir groups.

In the current charged competition for votes the Kenya debate is couched in exclusive terms. President Kibaki’s side have succeeded in wrong footing the pro-devolution group as Majimboists (code word for tribalists just as Federo is seen as another word for Buganda hegemony in Uganda) and their supporters as enemies of national unity. Whereas in Uganda it is the majority nationality that has historically championed Federo, in Kenya it is minority groups with majority Kikuyu elite being opposed to.

The opposition has reacted defensively to say that it is not the old divisive Majimbo of the 1960s that they are clamouring for rather it is a limited political devolution that will give Kenya back to every Kenyan. What is clear is that both sides agree on devolution but cannot agree on by how much.

The government thinks the Constituency Development Fund which came under this regime (even though it was from a Private Members Bill instead of government or opposition legislative agenda) is enough. The opposition thinks it should be extended to regional levels. I think if devolution is so good why is it being limited to 2. 5 %? Who controls the rest? Both government and opposition have to give clear answers to the voters.

Whether you call it Majimbo or devolution the consensus means that everyone is not happy with the status quo. This is where my defence of Federalism begins and the substance of my contribution to the debate last Saturday. One, the response to an overbearing centralised state is devolution of power and clamouring for same by the constituent units in that system. They could be districts, provinces, regions or other administrative areas. Two, in the specific case of Kenya it is clear the Bomas consensus was to have a very weak federalism which shares powers and resources between the constituent units on a more equitable way but retaining substantial and especially the power to levy taxes at the centre.

While there may be many challenges with establishing a federal system including threats of narrow nationalism, regionalism or statism, the solution is not to continue to defend the unsatisfactory status quo but to agree on rights of all Kenyans wherever they may be and the commitment to the rule of law to defend them.

The opportunities of a federal system are just too many for fear to intimidate supporters from articulating it. It offers greater opportunities for wider political recruitment of leadership instead of the current situation of being limited to national cabinet level.

The author works with the UN

Is federo non-developmental, really?

Kibirige blasts Baganda over federo debates
Tuesday, 18th September, 2007
By Ronald Kalyango and Chris Ahimbisibwe

Kibirige Ssebunya
THE Agriculture state minister has blasted Baganda who spend most of their time discussing federo, leaving little time for agricultural production.
Speaking during field trips in Bushenyi and Masaka districts last week, Kibirige Ssebunya commended the youth who participated in the cultivation of bananas and the rearing of pigs and poultry.
“I have little time to listen to FM radio stations because they are basically engaged in non-developmental issues,” noted Ssebunya.
Beatrice Wabudeya, the Minister for the Presidency, while addressing residents of Ruharo parish in Bumbeire sub-county, asked the Government and non-governmental charities to help homesteads identify farming projects that generate daily income.
She also asked agricultural workers to teach farmers improved farming methods that will lead to poverty alleviation.
Ruharo parish is a model area that is implementing the Poverty Alleviation Project launched by President Yoweri Museveni in 2004.
She added that Museveni would be happy if everybody in the country was in good health and free from poverty. Wabudeya said that was the reason why the President was introducing poverty alleviation and the universal secondary and primary education programmes.
She appealed to farmers to leave subsistence farming by looking beyond their consumption needs.
“The President wanted every homestead to have an activity that generates income daily. That is why he asked me to oversee the implementation of the programme in this parish,” noted Joan Kakwenzire, the senior presidential adviser on poverty alleviation.
Kakwenzire said 950 households had been given 77 heifers, 452 piglets, and 3,000 chickens.

Peter Mulira lied about federo

Mulira article was confusing

In his convoluted article: Ugandans Must Be Told The Plain Truth About Federo (Sunday Monitor September 16), Peter Mulira did not tell the truth. He made federo sound like rocket science. You cannot have a federal system inside a unitary state.

A situation where power is shared and retained at the same time by the central government cannot exist. Federalism is sharing power between the central government and the regions. The power the central government keeps and the power it devolves to regions must be spelt out in the constitution.

F.N. Lugemwa,

Republicanism vs. Federo

Opinion GOVERNANCE September 19, 2007
Put federo in the Constitution
Benjamin Wacha

Buganda secession debate preceded our independence. Buganda was hastily granted independence, a day before Uganda’s national independence. The colonial government did not resolve the issue. Five years later, Uganda became a republic, setting the post colonial landscape of Uganda. With a republic, therefore, 'we' invariably gave birth to instrument of governance that again Ugandans now take so dearly with great pride in protecting and defending.

The instrument is envisaged to provide us not only with a legal and constructive remedy, but also a constitutional power to operate in an orderly manner to ensure the fulfilment of our national duty with aptitude and respect for one another for the benefit of Uganda. This is a constitutionally enshrined contract with the clear mission to preserve Uganda for future generations if the constitution is not tampered with.

Suffice, therefore, to quickly add that the last time I checked, the 1995 constitution it had not annulled the republican revolution that we all strive to defend to death today. Although many citizens have had disputes over the conducts of the governments since independence, the republic has largely remained unscathed. Thanks to nationalism.

Our constitutional requirement, therefore, would call upon us all to rededication to do all that is within our powers to ensure that 'we', including Baganda, do not only get the full benefits of our God-given rights and inalienable citizenship, but also that our democratic governance dispensation is realised and bestowed upon all citizens without any undue regards.

There is, thus, need for a political structure which would provide us all with a remedy to resolve such a debate. In Buganda as it currently stands, and notwithstanding the controversy over the political credibility of our democracy, 'we' have a constitutional political environment which allows our participation to determine the fate of Uganda.

I would urge Buganda to use their strength to democratically vindicate the spirit of Ugandan Republic and use the ballot to constitutionally accede to governance, and defend their rights. If indeed their cause is legitimate which, like many other Ugandans, I strongly believe it is, their active involvement in this process is what Buganda needs to champion their cause to Ugandans.
Buganda must strive to attain the ultimate national political power and prowess needed to constitutionalise the Ebyaffe thing and terminally resolve it without spilling blood. Buganda should waste no time to nationalise the essence of their ideology. In short, Buganda doesn't want any undesirable phenomenon in the national order of things.

Everybody becomes a winner here, and we will all match along to the sounds of drums and horns at the Constitution Square to then formally and truly début a permanent dedication to the people and Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and all that it should stand for.

Benjamin M. Wacha bmwacha@yahoo.com

Scottish Federo Model for Uganda?!

Ugandans must be told the plain truth about federo
Peter Mulira
As one of the staunch supporters of the federo idea in the sense of regional self-government I am becoming rather distressed by the way most people are going about the issue. Politics has replaced constitutionalism in the way most people address the issue and no attempt is made to articulate or explain what is involved in the term “federo.”
Constitutional issues should always be considered in a bipartisan atmosphere with a view to reaching consensual agreement and in this case efforts should be made to bring arguments within the constitutional framework.
FOCUS: Buganda’s Kabaka Mutebi
CENTRAL: President Museveni
Federo is not a scientific term but is a generic word which was coined in the early nineties by a newspaper columnist, Mr Patrick Kiggundu, to describe Buganda’s demands for the return of her assets and other things (“ebyaffe”) which were abolished or expropriated under the Obote 1 government in the wake of the 1967 constitution. These things included the monarchy itself and the assets of the former Buganda government as well as its constitutional status.
The present public outcry concerns mostly the return of the system of self-government which Buganda enjoyed before and the restoration of the former crown or public land to the trusteeship of Mengo. Although a lot of confusion shrouds the demand for the reintroduction of self-government, the issue was clarified in Buganda’s submissions to the Constitutional Review Commission at page 72, which makes it clear that Buganda does not want to return to the 1962 federal status.
The federal debate should therefore be about self-government and not independence.This new position means that the bogey of Buganda’s separatism is now a thing of the past and the issue should be how to introduce regional autonomy or self-governance for those areas which want it. In this regard there are only two models in the world which can be followed namely; that of the United States or Scottish one.
The 1962 constitution followed the United States model which presupposes prior independence and which Buganda has now rejected and leaves us to concentrate on the Scottish model in which power is devolved from the centre to the periphery thus preserving the unitary nature of the country.
It is interesting to note that our Constitution under the chapter on ‘National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy’ directs that: “The state shall be guided by the principle of decentralisation and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels where they can best manage and direct their own affairs.” This means that the country can save itself a lot of distress if the “federo” issue was argued by our leaders within the spirit and confines of this provision, which in effect sanctions the creation of self-governing units on the Scottish model.
The essence of internal autonomy or self-government is captured first and foremost in three things namely; a recognised region, a regional government which can variously be called a “state” as in the United States or “ provincial” as in Canada and thirdly, the region, state or province normally has its own constitution to govern its internal affairs subject to the national constitution.
Where autonomy precedes union as in the United States of America, the relationship with the centre is federal or a state within a state which does not exist in a unitary state.Apart from providing for decentralisation and devolution of governmental functions and powers our Constitution contains all the ingredients normally found in constitutions of a federal nature namely “entrenchment” (Article 261) which means that devolved powers cannot easily be withdrawn, reservation in the periphery powers and functions which are not given to the centre (Articles 178 and 189(3)), and providing for a three-layered system of government (Article 189).
In fact, the only thing the Constitution does not allow from this perspective is a horizontal relationship between the centre and the periphery as was the case in 1962. Our leaders; both national and local, have a heavy responsibility to tell the public the truth. It is untruthful, for example, to promise Buganda “full federo” because this would mean first giving her independence as was the case on October 8, 1962, before she entered into a full federal relationship with Uganda the following day. The only federo which is possible is the one which has so far been offered which is an impossibility — through decentralisation and devolution. It is important to note that the Constitution has recognised the principle of regions, regional governments and division of functions. What is lacking is the freedom of the regions to have their own constitutions and sharing of finances and resources.
It is unfortunate that the constitutional amendments which introduced the regional tier did not provide for regional constitutions. Most of the objections which were expressed against the tier system in Buganda, for example,, are matters which should have been contained in a regional constitution.
Mr Mulira is an advocate and social commentator

New definition of secession

EAR TO THE GROUND Charles Onyango-Obbo


There are two Ugandas; the 1st and 2nd republics
September 12, 2007
Recently MP Hussein Kyanjo got very many people, from the fattest political cats at the top, to small time village NRM officials, very agitated when he suggested that it might be better for Uganda to secede, because it has got a very raw deal under the government of President Yoweri Museveni.
Funny thing is, Kyanjo is right. The surprise is his failure to note that various selected parts and groups of people have been seceding from the main Uganda for years. The secession that has been happening in Uganda, is not the type that was attempted between 1967 and 1970 when mainly the Igbo southeastern provinces of Nigeria tried to break away from the rest of the country as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra.In Uganda, it is the various governments and leaders who have been leading “their people” in secession movements against the rest of the country.
Consider this. Many, many years ago, our father used to work in Fort Portal. Naturally, we travelled a lot between Fort Portal and Tororo.As soon as we left Kampala to head westward, things changed. We encountered roadblocks manned by heavily armed Special Force police and soldiers. We only used to see machine guns in movies, so the sight of the real thing really fascinated us.
Nearly every time we would ask our parents why there were guns only in Buganda. And they would reply that it was because there was a “state of emergency” there. I didn’t understand what “state of emergency” meant until several years later when I went to secondary school. Anyhow, because of the “troubles” in Buganda, which led to the storming of Kabaka Mutesa’s palace and his exile, and eventually, the abolition of the 1962 constitution, the government suspended a wide range of civil liberties in the region.
Some republicans argue that when Mengo passed a resolution ordering the “government of Uganda” to “leave Buganda’s soil”, it declared secession, and sought to return to the “special status” the region enjoyed before independence.
If that were the case, then the ultimate irony is that Buganda got a “special status” in Uganda, though not the type it was looking for. Rather it was the government of Uganda that sealed off Buganda, and ruled it as a mini police state, denying citizens there rights other Ugandans enjoyed.
Things have remained the same since then. Governments don’t want to hear talk of secession, while on the other hand it is seceding.There was the Field Marshall Idi Amin era. Amin and his circle created a small country and seceded from Uganda. In that that “state within Uganda”, call it “First Republic”, they would fly in planeloads of the finest whisky, wine, designer clothes and condiments to bake up a cake worthy of an emperor, for their weddings.
Meanwhile in the “Second Republic” shops were empty. No salt, no soap, no milk, no toothpaste, no cooking fat. Nothing. In the Second Republic most families went without sugar, and couldn’t find soda or beer for their weddings.
Every Ugandan regime has maintained this separate First Republic. When their wives and daughters are ready to deliver their babies, they are flown to Europe at taxpayers’ expense. Meanwhile, there is no medicine to treat malaria in the “Second Republic” hospitals. A captain with First Republic connections will be flown to Germany for treatment if he is wounded in battle, while another captain from the “Second Republic” struggles for his life in some rundown military hospital.
Then the groups and families in the First Republic get most of the top public jobs and lucrative state tenders, while those from the Second Republic grass. In other words, there are groups that are ‘eating’, that have seceded from the “non-eating” ones.In politics too there was secession. The government created a separated world of the Movement. This was the First Republic. Here you could campaign for office without harassment, and get money from state coffers to buy votes.
The Second Republic that had been left behind, was occupied by multipartyists and other “misguided” elements. Police broke up their seminars, and helicopter gunships were deployed to scatter their rallies. And they couldn’t even use their own money to buy votes.
Then we had the infamous “Karuma Line”, the secession line that carved northern Uganda from the rest of the country. The rest of us lived in the First Republic, where life was normal. In the northern Second Republic, the “other Uganda” lived in terror, abject poverty. In short, in the Stone Age.
In fact, for quite a while, government (and some international finance organisations’) economic statistics excluded the Second Republic, because things were so bad that if you added the poverty levels there to the national count, the standard of living of Uganda dropped sharply.
In Uganda, a ruling class and government can secede. But Kyanjo cannot do so from the Opposition benches. He must wait until he is in power.

Secessionitsts are ice cold strategic federalists!

ON THE MARK Alan Tacca


Secession, East African unity and treason
September 9 - 15, 2007

I think it is no longer disputed that the supposed champions of Buganda’s secession are not really bidding for secession, but for federalism under a central Ugandan government. Sometimes, a negotiator demands the total surrender of an old foe, when his aim is only the establishment of peace and cooperation between the warring parties.
However, in these tropical latitudes, the Makindye West legislator, Hussein Kyanjo, who initially disturbed the beehive and was interrogated by the Criminal Investigations Directorate, cannot be sure what more agitated political times would throw at him. But what is all the fuss about? After all, if unity is strength, then a province that opts out of the present country would eventually pay the price for its folly.
The seceding quarter of the country would in the long term be economically battered more harshly than the remaining three-quarters. Well, even if we took Kyanjo’s remarks literally, it is obvious that the pursuit of a secessionist idea would be nigh impossible under a militarised regime whose power is as centralised as with the NRM.
Gulu District chairman, Nobert Mao, who had earlier toyed with a similar idea for the north was a joker. MP Kyanjo, who referred to the (central) Buganda region, was a five-star joker. The UPDF, under Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, would never permit the sin, because the sovereign oneness of the Republic of Uganda is sacrosanct. We shall return to this point later.
Under the NRM government, two contradictory processes have been going on simultaneously. The NRM is pushing for economic integration and political federation in the direction of East Africa, and the same NRM is working for the fragmentation of Uganda. If the official “gang up” theory of development is to be taken seriously, then we may conclude that the NRM aims at impoverishing and politically weakening the people (as Ugandans), and at the same time is desirous of enriching and empowering them (as East Africans).
Indeed, among all the districts recently created to “bring services nearer to the people”, there are a number whose story of the year will be the haggle over buying a secondhand four-wheel-drive vehicle for the district chairman. Too small and too resource-starved to venture into meaningful health, education, agrarian or infrastructure initiatives.
They are simply conduits for petty partisan parasitic consumption, with the cardinal mission of the NRM being how to keep out those who do not subscribe to their party.It seems then that the party leadership fears a prosperous and relatively free population within the limited Ugandan polity more than a similar population in the larger East African context.
That is why the agitators for internal federalism (federo) in Uganda are treated with contempt, and “good” reasons are invented to justify the creation of more districts. It is also why the government tends to “negotiate” with Buganda’s Mengo establishment over federo as if it were dealing with an enemy, producing no tangible results, and by contrast discusses political integration with Uganda’s neighbours in a friendly respectful tone.
But now we return to the country’s sovereignty. Let us suppose that Uganda’s changing circumstances made the call for secession something for real. We assume that the State (Uganda) is sacrosanct.
Its territory within a fixed boundary, its people and its defining institutions are inviolable; so the purists say. Those who demand federo are perceived as threatening its oneness; those who warn of secessionist waves have one leg in treason.Why? What about the call for merging Uganda with other countries? When we split a plank once, we get two planks.
On the other hand, if we bind the plank to several others, we get a raft. The raft no doubt has its virtues; but so also is the split plank. However, in both cases the original plank has lost its holy oneness. From this angle, it would be intriguing to hear an argument that the calls for East African Federation are as treasonable as those for Buganda or northern secession.

Has federo lost the battle or the war?

Inside Politics September 5, 2007

“Buganda’s quest for secession is inevitable”


WANTS INDEPENDENCE: Former Katikkiro, Muliika

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi is the king of Buganda

MP Hussein Kyanjo resurrected the secession debate

Talk of Buganda, which occupies the central region of present day Uganda breaking away from the rest of the country, has re-surfaced over the last weeks, dividing the country over the matter.

What started like the wild ranting of a media seeking politician might yet turn out to be a well orchestrated plan of a section of Baganda seeking to recreate the old dreams of an independent state.

MP Hussein Kyanjo of Makindye West re-awakened the debate, which last seriously came up in the early years of Uganda's independence at the height of tensions between the monarchy and the central government.

Former Buganda Katikiro (Prime Minister) Daniel Muliika has in an exclusive interview with Inside Politics revealed that the calls for Buganda to break away from the rest of Uganda by MP Kyanjo represent a key section of the baganda. Mr Muliika served a dramatic one year at Mengo.
He warns of bloodshed if Buganda's demands and needs are not paid heed to, the same message carried by Kyanjo. If the central government does not change its attitude towards Buganda's demands and interests, the kingdom's plan to secede must be realised no matter how long it takes, the two men stated in separate interviews.

Muliika says Buganda does not need the central government's goodwill to carry through her plans.

But the titular head of the estimated six million Baganda, the Kabaka warned a congregation of Baganda in the Diaspora at the weekend that calls for cessation coming at this time only helps to weaken the kingdoms bid for meaningful federo.

Mr Kyanjo, who unveiled Buganda's alleged intentions to break away from Uganda, insists that the plan must mature and no authority has the powers to block it.Why break away? Kyanjo says that as an MP, the proposal to see Buganda breaking away from Uganda is his constituents' demand and places his arguments against the fact that the central government has continually failed to honour the kingdom's demands.

According to Kyanjo, these include federalism, the demand for the kingdom's property or, that government will stop the illegal and provocative giveaway of Buganda land, and an end to tribalism among others. He says all these are a well calculated plan to impoverish Baganda as a way of weakening the kingdom.

Kyanjo says he was working out a plan to extend his campaign country wide with the aim of convincing other regions to support a break away from Uganda except western Uganda.

"It cannot be a coincidence that the army chief, prisons chief, minister of defence, police head, security and internal affairs minister are all from one region (West)," Kyanjo said.

Citing examples to bring out the 'greed' inside government, Kyanjo said the current establishment has ensured that all juicy Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) contracts have been offered to people from western Uganda.

"A lot of injustice has been exhibited to the extent that even the small Chogm contracts have been offered to people from the western region. From car importation to those who will wash them during the summit," Kyanjo wondered adding that, "some thing must be done. It's unjust and must be addressed quickly."

He said government has further exhibited a lot of segregation through the education and employment sectors. Kyanjo says government has launched an economic war against baganda and other regions saying concerned authorities have not given equal opportunities to local investors basing on their regions of origin.

He said while government has exhibited a lot of tolerance and support to some companies like Apparels Tri-star (Tri-star is owned by an Asian businessman) and individuals like Hassan Basajjabalaba to the extent that state funds were diverted to rescue their private business, the same method has not applied to Baganda owned investments.

Basajjabalaba is a local investor who owns a number of shopping malls in the city center, Kampala International University (KIU), and firms that manage major city markets among other properties. He is also the chairman for NRM (the ruling party) entrepreneurship committee.

Kyanjo wonders why Greenland Bank, Zigotti Coffee Ltd, Kyagalanyi Coffee, H.M Nsamba Coffee Ltd, Ssembule Bank and group of industries, were all left to collapse and be taken over by foreigners.

"It's a good business principal for the government to support local enterprises but why does it work only for selected ones? How do you convince me that other ventures never deserved to be supported?" he queried.

"There's nothing that is as painful as being discriminated against. These are just greedy people from the top down through the markets."

Expressing a lot of dissatisfaction with the current establishment, Kyanjo warns that a revolution to redress the deserted sections must take place. "All Ugandans can't be oppressed forever. The current establishment was supported by the people of Buganda to power and a lot of promises were made, this was an agreement between the two parties," Kyanjo said, "government should remember that the Buganda institution was much involved to the extent that even the Kabaka had to join his subjects and practically participated in the war."

A map of Buganda Kingdom’s boundaries. Below is a map showing Buganda’s position in Uganda.

On accusations of inciting the public, Kyanjo said the institution has been insulted repetitively through a number of government officials.

"You can imagine a full cabinet minister telling people to get pangs and chase Baganda from a certain region and because he is a minister then he is not inciting the public," he said.

Does Kyanjo have a real strategy? Kyanjo claims that his plans detail a "very simple way" to achieve an independent state of Buganda. He claims this is so because the public is increasingly realising selfish interests as exhibited by the government. He says his campaign has been much supported by members of Buganda Region parliamentary caucus and a special committee has been set up to follow-up the matter.

"Buganda's secession is a fact which can be realised to ensure a bright future for our grand children. It does not matter how long it may take but it must happen," he said. The MP says he is aware that his intentions may mean a number of consequences including death but he is ready for everything.

"I'm ready to pay the price for what am fighting for but they (government officials) will pay much than me," Kyanjo said.

"Not mere dream" - Muliika
Mr Muliika supports Kyanjo's idea and to him Buganda does not even need the central government's goodwill to secede. Muliika lasted only 13 and a half months (Dec.28 2005 - Feb 13, 2007) as Katikkiro, an incredibly short time.

In that period, Mengo the seat of Buganda witnessed the highest level of tensions with central government unseen since the restoration of monarchies in 1993. Mr Muliika had replaced Joseph Ssemwogerere who held the reigns of power at Mengo for 11 years.

Now retired to his farm in Masaka, Muliika said the move was long over due since central government has failed to realise Buganda's position and interests in Uganda. "I support Kyanjo's stand since his demands are clear that Buganda should be left to control itself in all aspects.

Buganda is a nation which existed before Uganda and its independence was attained on October 8 1962," he said. He urged Baganda not to yield to intimidation by central government saying, "this we must achieve. We are not dreaming.

"Only that Baganda have not made-up their mind to pick guns and fight the enemy (central government). An enemy will remain an enemy and you can never solve problems through stealing," Muliika said.

He said whoever attempts to fight Buganda fights his regime, "Obote made the same mistake (fighting Buganda) and where did his regime end? The same applies to this regime, the moment it attempts the same mistake it will take the same direction."

He said Baganda and the Mengo establishment should rally behind the Kabaka to fight for the kingdom's interests, strongly back Kyanjo's concerns and draw clear avenues to realise the dream.

Muliika cautioned Baganda politicians not to be diverted over their political inclinations since Buganda's quest does not affect their political parties and system of governance."

If we have a clear system of governance through which each political party operates things would be simple. It would clearly stipulate the status of kingdoms and their stake in Uganda," he said. "Central government exists on the kingdom's expense; we can achieve it with or without government's backup. Any other objective kingdom can join us."

Debate on secession:
Rubaga North MP, Beti Olive Kamya, a member of the opposition front bench has also joined in the fray.

Kamya's views on the cessation have kicked up a storm on an internet chat of mainly Ugandans in the Diaspora. In her posting Kamya wrote; "fact is, Baganda have all sorts of grievances which have led them to wish to call it quits. Does anybody have a problem with that? If it is about property in Kampala, no one is under any threat as they will be welcome to live in Buganda, as they do in the UK, USA etc and property can be shared out as we did when the EAC collapsed. Those are details. the principal is that Buganda wants to go it alone - and there 6 M + Baganda according to the latest census and I know many very able countries, with GDP and GDP per capita many times that of Uganda, whose population is much less than 6 M.

Ms Kamya's proposals have attracted several angry responses especially from none Baganda.

Ms Pam Ankunda notes that there is no special reason that Buganda is advancing in seeking cessation, "My humble opinion though is that Buganda has no cause to secede because our interests are one. No tribe deserves privileges over the other."Officially government has remained silent about the demands but sources tell Inside Politics that a sense of discomfort over the bubbling demands is steadily growing.

Support Acholi in the Quest for Federo

Kabaka opposes buganda secession

Sunday, 2nd September, 2007

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi

By Ahmed Kateregga in New Jersey State, USA

KABAKA Ronald Mutebi has opposed the proposal for Buganda to secede from Uganda. He said it would undermine Buganda’s quest for the establishment of a federal system of government for the whole of Uganda.

Mutebi was on Saturday opening the annual Baganda Convention, called “Tabamiruka”, held at Hyatt Hotel in New Bruinswick, New Jersey State, USA. The Kabaka warned that Buganda would be alienated from the rest of Uganda if it attempted to secede. He, instead, argued that they should work with other regions, such as Acholi, to bring about a federal system for the country.

The Kabaka said Buganda would not resort to violence in order to get federo. “Buganda is engaged in a war of ideas,” he noted. “All the Baganda in central and local governments should work together to achieve federo.”

During the convention, Makindye-West MP Hussein Kyanjo reiterated his call for Buganda to secede if it was not granted a federal status. He argued that almost all top government positions were held by people from one region.

But Buganda’s Attorney General Apollo Makubuya did not toe Kyanjo’s line. He explained the circumstances under which Buganda’s delegation to talks with the central government had accepted a regional government, called a Regional Tier. The Buganda Kingdom later rejected the regional tier, arguing that it wanted a federal status.

Many of the speakers from the Diaspora advised Mengo to stop holding political talks and instead opt for legal action. In the wings of the convention, Kabaka Mutebi held talks with senior presidential adviser Kintu Musoke. A source said Musoke delivered a message from President Yoweri Museveni, informing the Kabaka that the President was willing to hold talks with Buganda after the Commonwealth summit in November.

The Kabaka also met the Buganda Parliamentary caucus delegation, led by Rose Namayanja.
The convention, organised by the Baganda community in the United States, was attended by Mengo officials, led by Katikkiro (Buganda prime minister) Emmanuel Sendawula. Others who attended were MPs James Kakooza, Latif Ssebaggala and the Wakiso district chairperson Ian Kyeyune.

Federo addressing imbalances

Opinion FEDERALISM August 27, 2007
Gen. Ali’s outbursts were unfortunate
S. Ssali Kiggundu

I would like to react to Lt. Gen. Moses Ali’s outbursts over Hon. Hussein Kyanjo’s statements calling upon Buganda to break away from the rest of Uganda and form an autonomous state like Eritrea did from Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, which is in the process of breaking away as an independent state etc.

Mr Ali’s outbursts were unfortunate and uncalled for because the same sentiments have previously been expressed by Gulu LC5 Chairman Norbert Mao and the late Teberio Oketch, former DP vice president.

Why didn’t he raise his concerns at that time if he is so patriotic as he is trying to portray in his attacks? Has he ever asked himself why the BAT factory was built in Kampala and not West Nile where most of the tobacco is grown or why there is no electricity in Koboko, Moyo, Yumbe and Adjuman since independence and yet he has been the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister for long?

Mr Ali should ask himself why he was promoted only upon retirement, and after being imprisoned in Luzira. Has he ever asked himself why there is a lot of development in southern Sudan after getting the semi-autonomous status from the Khartoum government?

These and many others are the imbalances, which force people to issue statements like those made by Mr Kyanjo, Mr Mao and many others. Buganda has been so much oppressed to the extent that people are not ashamed to say Kampala is not part of Buganda and yet the seat of Buganda is in Kampala.

Besides, people are taking our land uninterrupted. We have been called all sorts of names and when any one comes out to protest this mistreatment, people like Ali come up quickly to suppress the grievances.

To be sincere, Ali would have said the same words during the time the UPC government soldiers were persecuting people from West Nile region. The saying that “people don’t talk when they are eating” is so much relevant in Ali’s present thinking and those who associate with his school of thought.

Doesn’t he think if West Nile became a federal state, it could ably find solutions to all those problems listed above and foster meaningful development directly to the people of that region?
If Ali had ever thought about why regions like Busoga, Buganda, Bunyoro etc have put up their own universities when his West Nile has none, he would have been able to know why Buganda has a point in demanding a federal system of governance. Buganda will continue to suffer when we have in our midst the likes of Ali.

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Federo is to curb secessionist tendencies

LOOSE TALK Fredrick Golooba-Mutebi

Misplaced conclusions on secession
August 26 - September 1, 2007

Recently, Makindye West Member of Parliament and Jeema bigwig, Hussein Kyanjo, went public with thoughts he had kept to himself for a long time. He declared that, in his opinion, the time had come for Buganda to detach itself from Uganda and become an independent country.

As would be expected in a context where Buganda remains the bogey it became in the years leading up to independence when political parties led by non-Baganda with no agenda to sell to the public used its "arrogance" to frighten people into supporting them, Kyanjo's pronouncements set off waves of alarm and indignation.

Most alarmed were those occupying important political positions, which is not at all surprising, and those who aspire to be seen as "progressive" (that much-abused word), which is interesting.
Some members of the public, mostly Baganda, if reactions on radio and in print media are anything to go by, though, were thoroughly gratified by Hajji Kyanjo's statement. He, some claimed, had spoken out on their behalf, expressing the same ideas they had long wanted to express but lacked either the courage of their convictions, or the forum, to do so.

Those among the alarmed who are quick to look for historical parallels with whatever they see as "a crisis" started conjuring up images of impending doom. To them, Kyanjo risked sparking another "1966 Crisis".

Kintu Nyago, a self-professed Pan-Africanist (that free-for-all label), East African federalist, and National Resistance Movement spin doctor at large, weighed in with legalistic arguments.
In a New Vision article, he claimed that there was no reason why anyone would seek to champion secession in Uganda, and threatened prosecution for those daring to do so, not least because it is a treasonable offence.

In a debate on one Internet discussion forum, Bukedde journalist, Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi, volunteered to join those who might seek to crush Buganda if it ever tried to secede.

The more sophisticated opponents of Kyanjo's views chose to go "technical". First, they claimed, Buganda is too small to survive as an independent country. Second, they argued, it was "strange" that Kyanjo would agitate for secession when "everywhere" people were creating large political units.

Underlying this particular argument is the view that large political entities are necessarily more stable and better to live in than small ones. What all these people need is a good dose of history. Those who brandish the 1966 Crisis as a scare tactic each time there is an argument between Buganda or what some refer to as "the Mengo establishment" and the central government, should study the events leading up to the storming of the Lubiri in 1966.

The story is much more complex than the one they peddle; of Buganda's attempt to secede being the cause of what happened. At the very least they should read lawyer Peter Mulira's well-informed newspaper columns.

Those who believe that prosecution is the proper antidote to secessionist sentiments ought to familiarise themselves with the conduct of secessionist movements. Secessionists usually cite cultural and other injustices to justify their calls for separation, as indeed Hajji Kyanjo has attempted to do (see, for example, "Buganda is being cheated", The Weekly Observer, July 16).
One may disagree with secessionism, but that in itself should not reduce the subject to the status of a taboo. Open and honest discussion is a far better option for two reasons. It could easily expose secessionists as a bunch of rebels without a cause and undermine their chances of securing support.

Alternatively, it would allow for their grievances, if valid, to be addressed. This is a more intelligent and politically astute way of dealing with secessionists than threatening them with violence and repression. The notion that bigger is better and more stable is questioned by the number of secessionist movements, past and current, in Africa.

The vast majority are traceable to the continent's large states: Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Morocco. Even Tanzania, one of Africa's historically most stable countries, must now contend with incipient secessionist sentiment arising from feelings of exclusion begot by Zanzibar's highly polarising politics.

Africa's small states have for the most part been more stable than their larger counterparts, and also largely free of secessionist movements. Well, it may just be that, with a few exceptions, when it comes to countries, smaller is safer.


The promise of a federal system

Buganda should break away

ALLOW me to comment on the current debate about Makindye West MP Hussein Kyanjo’s call for Buganda to secede from Uganda.

I think Buganda has every right to break away from the rest of Uganda if the central Government continues to ignore our demands for the restoration of a full federal system.

It was on the promise of a federal system that Buganda agreed to go ahead and form a united Uganda with other regions. Now that it is becoming obvious that the Government is not willing to restore our federo, there is no use trying to maintain this failed marriage.

Buganda was a viable independent state before the colonialists came and surely we can do just fine now.

Edward Musisi
Brussels, Belgium

Published on: Saturday, 18th August, 2007

Editorial wrong on Prof. Ali Mazrui

ACCORDING the editorial in last week’s Sunday Vision, Prof. Ali Mazrui’s remarks on Buganda’s federal for a federal status were miscalculated. In my view it is not Ali Mazrui who got it wrong, it is your editorial which got Mazrui wrong.

The province of Quebec which Mazrui mentioned as an asymmetrical example in federalism is not a new phenomenon. The asymmetrical status is commonplace in all federations worldwide.

Your editorial talked about the absence of an African example one can use to advance Buganda’s demands for a federal system of government. What about the case of Ethiopia and Eritrea? The region of Eritrea (as it was known then) started demanding for a federal asymmetrical connection with Ethiopia before Mengistu Haile Mariam came to power.

The central Government in Ethiopia was very reluctant to answer such a call. Eritrea pushed its self-determination demand through the United Nations which finally supported its independence declaration. By the time Ethiopia thought of going federal, it was too late.

The dialogue on federalism is now irrelevant. The people have talked about federalism in both the Odoki and Ssempebwa constitutional recommendations. We need a federal system to check the misuse of power at the centre. We also need power in the regions to check power at the centre and that shouldn’t be a monopoly of only Buganda. Karamoja too needs that power to protect its cattle and gold through a power base in Kotido.

John Ken Lukyamuzi

Published on: Saturday, 11th August, 2007

Is government handling the Buganda Federo question well?

CROSSFIRE: What are the views of the Government and the opposition about the topic of the week? Sunday Vision pits opposition columnist Wafula Oguttu against the Government representative, Ofwono Opondo.


KABAKA Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, while celebrating his 14th coronation anniversary on Tuesday, urged “my people,” — the Baganda — to discard old primitive relics and embrace science and modernity. Interestingly, his call came on the heels of MP Hussein Kyanjo’s (Makindye East) earlier misplaced, diversionary and escapist view that Buganda should secede from Uganda, and Prof. Ali Mazrui’s talk that Buganda be granted political federalism as a special status.

Then the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) boss Col. (rtd.) Dr. Kizza Besigye, not to be outdone, claimed that Buganda can never attain a federal status as long as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is leading Uganda. These views are not new, except, perhaps, for the players who keep changing with time. This begs the first question whether there is such a thing as the Buganda question or is it the ever receding Mengo clique whipping up raw ethnic emotions for selfish gains? It should be pointed out that it was the so-called custodians of Buganda interests, from Ssekabaka Mutesa I, through the palace coups of Kiwewa and Kalema, who signed Buganda off to imperialism and colonialism, and therefore their descendants should not heap blame on the NRM. The Buganda kings and regents: Sir Apollo Kagwa, Stanislus Mugwanya and Zakariya Kisingiri gave out Buganda land including the much-touted 9,000 square miles to the British Crown, religious institutions and other beneficiaries.

Secondly, if a Buganda question exists how has the NRM handled it in the past and present? The Buganda question exists within the larger Ugandan context of an all-round backwardness. Therefore it must be addressed alongside other areas of the country. The NRM is the only regime since feudalism and colonialism to have handled and resolved parts of the so-called Buganda question through democratic means and that is why, despite the jitters from sections in the Mengo establishment, the NRM is socially, politically and electorally acceptable and very popular in Buganda. The Government has paid off and continues to pay colossal sums of public monies to appease Mengo, and has given prominent public jobs to the Baganda as one of the ways of settling the so-called Buganda question.

The NRM has restored all cultural institutions, even the moribund ones, wherever there was popular demand from the locals, who did not seek to impose its respect on those who disagree. In the NRM, Buganda has, not only the best partner, but also a dependable one. Mengo officials are demanding for a special status and yet refuse to be brought under public accountability.

Through the numerous democratic reforms, the NRM has restored the power of decision-making to the Parliament and local councils. It is for this reason that the NRM is firm that anybody or institution that wishes to exercise authority over public matters and resources must either be elected or at least accountable to an elected organ supervised by the Constitution.

In spite of the daily insults in the media, public debates and official meetings at Mengo, the NRM is still willing, ready and capable of meeting the claimants to the Buganda question for a negotiated solution. During the recent NRM MPs’ retreat at Kyankwanzi, President Yoweri Museveni said he would find time to meet Mengo leaders and in particular Kabaka Mutebi. In addition, Museveni is scheduled to meet political leaders from Buganda, especially those in the NRM.

The writer is the deputy spokesperson of the National Resistance Movement

Wafula Oguttu

THE demand by Baganda nationalists for a federal state for Buganda (popularly known as federo) is as old as the State of Uganda. But the federo question is not a question for Buganda only. It is for other ethnic groups as well.

Colonialism came to Uganda when many ethnic groups were in varying formative stages of nationhood. Bunyoro and Buganda were in the most advanced stages. In the quest for their interests and anxious to be the dominant power in the region, Buganda’s political class collaborated with the British colonialists to conquer the rest of Uganda. This role earned Mengo a special status, but caused suspicions, hatred and a horse-shoe unity by the people in the east, north and west against the Baganda. The Baganda had assisted the enemy in throtttling these budding nations and taken away their independence. Buganda was, however, not bothered by that. After all, they had a relatively better economy empowered by semi-slavery emigrant labour, they had the most educated Ugandans, they were dominant in the civil service and the seat of the central government was on their soil. What therefore concerned them most was consolidating these achievements into a federal status and managing most of their own affairs. The support, agreements, alliances and deals Buganda’s political class has had with successive governments since 1900 were all geared towards achieving the federal status.

Unfortunately, the trend has been that every time the same political class has always collaborated in the betrayal of the people’s cause after getting something for themselves in the government of the day. Buganda should, however, now have greater hope. History is on their side this time. It is clear the National Resistance Movement (NRM) used them and gave them byoya byasswa (empty promises). But the mistakes and bad governance of the NRM has popularised federo outside Buganda. The NRM’s entrenched corruption, nepotism and discrimination based on ethnicity or region or political affiliation have forced many Ugandans to lose the sense of self-belonging to Uganda as a nation and are now sympathetic to a federo alternative. Some frustrated and desperate political leaders have even called for secession of their deprived nationalities so as to get a piece of the national cake. They have received countrywide support. More nationalities like the Acholi, Banyoro, Iteso, Langi and Lugbara have joined Baganda and indicated clearly that they too want more independence, power and resources to run their own affairs.

More will follow even if we know that federo is not the panacea that will automatically bring good governance and improve the lives of the majority. However, none of those agitating for federo has ever put these demands on paper for consideration by all the citizens. What type of federo do they want? Instead of putting their case before Ugandans and mobilising other nationalities and other political leaders has always chosen to hold secret talks with the Government. Federo could be made an important campaign issue in the next general elections.

Federalists should therefore prepare themselves and go out to negotiate and secure written public agreements with political parties. The FDC’s door is open for negotiations. The NRM has taught Ugandans that we must remove more power and more resources from the centre, most especially from the presidency if we want equitable development for all.

The writer is the Forum for Democratic Change spokesperson

Published on: Saturday, 4th August, 2007

Asymetrical vs. symetrical federalism

Prof. Mazrui got it wrong on Buganda
Sunday Vision Editorial, 05 Aug 2007

LAST week a renowned African scholar, Prof. Ali Mazrui, suggested that Buganda be accorded a special status. He said that this would solve the friction between Buganda Kingdom and the Central Government.

According to him, Uganda should learn from Quebec Province in Canada, an example of a successful special status region within a country. Mazrui is entitled to his opinion. But he wrongly assumes that what works for Canada is applicable to Uganda, or for that matter, Africa.

He needed African examples to advance his case for Buganda. In addition, he failed to clearly demonstrate how a special status accorded to one region only would impact on the rest of the country.

In effect, Mazrui’s suggestion was simply a call for the return to the 1962 constitutional arrangement that elevated Buganda over the rest of Uganda. Buganda was like a state within a state, to the chagrin of other regions and districts.

The special status was unsustainable and partly responsible for the subsequent political upheavals the country has suffered. It would, therefore, be unwise to return to the system.

Uganda can’t go back to failed experiments but rather should use them to come up with solutions.

And indeed the regional tier system whose implementation has delayed is the answer. Instead of having one special status region, under the regional tier, districts that are willing and have distinct culture or development goals can form a regional block. This way Uganda will have more than one region with special status. It is time to implement the regional tier system.

Published on: Saturday, 4th August, 2007
The Sunday Vision editorial is actually the one that is wrong.

If only those criticizing Prof Mazrui took time to read what he said. And what did he say? That Canada has asymetrical federalism which has allowed Quebec some autonomy in certain matters such as culture and immigration. That is hardly controversial stuff in a federal system.

The editorial creates the impression that Canada has in place the equivalence of the 1962 Ugandan Constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth. Canada is a full federal state with all the provinces enjoying certain powers under their federal constitution-the BNAC of 1867. The only power Quebec enjoys is the right to pick its immigrants wishing to settle in Quebec for cultural/language reasons. But there is nothing to deter other provinces from getting similar powers. Indeed, other provinces such as Ontario-one of the richest-is asking for the same powers Quebec enjoys.

The oil rich province of Alberta too enjoys certain rights which no other province has-it has no provincial GST/sales tax for example, which is the norm in other provinces. That is federalism at its best. There is certainly nothing wrong with asymmetrical federalism within Canada or Uganda for that matter. The press should not create the impression that somehow within Canada, Quebec is the only province to enjoy federeal status. All provinces and territories do.

Moreover, many provinces - including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan -depend on the RCMP, the national police force for their policing needs, which is not the case in Ontario which has its own police force. That is the nature of federalism.

The point Professor Mzarui wanted to put acroos is that there is nothing wrong with asymmetrical federalism in Uganda. Buganda, Acholi, Busoga, Bunyoro etc can decide to ask for certian powers under the federal Constitution.

Professor Mazrui was not saying that Buganda alone should have federal status. Rather that Buganda could follow the Quebec experience of asymmetrical federalism within a federal Uganda. Members can read the differences between symetrical and aysmetterical federalism on the http://www.federo.com/ website.

The media as always is putting the cart before the horse.


The 1966 history set to repeat itself

They say history repeats itself although some critics counter argue that it's only fools who repeat history. There are latent signs which suggest that not long from now history of 1966 may repeat itself. What happened to the kingdoms at that time might replicate itself.

Grapevine has learnt that there is simmering debate in the inner circles of power on whether monarchies should continue to exist.

Following the 1966 invasion of Mengo, the seat of Buganda monarchy, the Obote government abolished kingdoms in 1967. The monarchists had asked Obote to take away his central government from the capital Kampala to outside Buganda. They even called on the Baganda for mass defiance against the Milton Obote administration.

When President Yoweri Museveni's rebels captured power in 1986, his government reinstated monarchies. After the army High Command meeting in Gulu in April 1992, it was decided that kingdoms be restored and subsequently Muwenda Mutebi was coronated on July 31, 1993 as Buganda's Kabaka. Others followed later.

Grapevine has learnt that some senior security officials are renewing the push for abolition of kingdoms because the monarchs have resumed their "stubbornness".

The move has been provoked by the Buganda's recent riots against resettlement of nomadic Balaalo herdsmen from Buliisa in Kiboga District, which is in Buganda kingdom and Mengo's persistent demand for the return of the 9,000 square miles of land which were allegedly appropriated by the colonial government. The situation has been aggravated by some voices in Buganda calling for Buganda cession.

Some top security gurus are now saying the rising Buganda nationalism will cause a national security problem and the earlier the kingdoms are abolished the better.

They say the government should abolish kingdoms and just compensate Buganda for the land the kingdom is demanding. And the Kabaka should also be compensated for any losses.

They cite the case of Ankole's Prince John Barigye who was denied being crowned as Omugabe (king) and was compensated Shs4 billion for the land the government had appropriated from his king father.

Secondly, the security chiefs are saying after all other kingdoms like Bunyoro and Toro had not been interested in restoration of monarchies but they accepted after Buganda was given, in what appeared to be NRM's appeasement policy. But the kingdoms cannot be abolished without cause. Sources say the agitators are waiting for a provocation from Mengo hardliners, to justify why monarchies should be scrapped.

An alternative plan is to try and persuade Mengo hardliners to go soft on the government or else the 1966 scenario is in the offing.

Do not fear federo, says Mazrui

News August 1, 2007

Political scientist Ali Mazrui has said Uganda should not be afraid of implementing a federal system of government “just because it is untidy”. “Uganda may still need [a constitutional order] which provides for different paths but guarantees identical citizenship rights,” Prof. Mazrui said while delivering the first Abu Mayanja Memorial Lecture in Kampala on Monday.

Mayanja, who died in 2005, was a co-founder of Uganda’s first political party – the Uganda National Congress in the 1950s. In his lecture titled “Secular Laws and Islamic Values: Abu Mayanja in Comparative Perspective”, Prof. Mazrui said the challenge for many African societies is to find a balance in their “triple heritage”.

He defined heritage as the convergence of the cultural influences of African tradition, Islamic and western cultures. In a sense, Mayanja epitomised those influences being a Muganda, a Muslim, and a western-educated lawyer.

A foundation in Mayanja’s honour was also launched at the same function. Prof. Mazrui, who teaches political science in New York, said Buganda had always struggled because it had distinct characteristics which led to violent clashes in the 1960s that led to the abolition of kingdoms by the government of Milton Obote.

“Buganda became a unique, euro-modern, multi-racial society [that was simultaneously] militantly traditional,” said Prof. Mazrui, who also is a former dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University.

He said if handled better, Buganda can still retain its uniqueness within wider Uganda. “Uganda is the only African country to abolish kingdoms only to restore them,” he said.Only last week, Mr Hussein Kyanjo, the opposition Makindye West MP, said Buganda should secede because the central government has failed to honour the kingdom’s interests such as granting it a federal status. Kingdoms were restored in the early 1990s.

The late Abu Mayanja was a Cambridge-trained lawyer who was active in national politics for decades. He served the present government in various Cabinet positions including as attorney general. Mayanja was also an active pan-Africanist, and when he was jailed for sedition in 1968, he was bailed out by an even more enthusiastic pan-Africanist – then Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

In the debate over the abolition of kingdoms by the Obote government in 1966, Mayanja argued that the act alone did not mean democracy in the UPC-led government. “He said you may abolish some people’s small kings and end up with a big king,” Prof. Mazrui said.

Don warns Buganda on federo

Thursday, 21st June, 2007

By Anne Mugisa

The head of the Makerere University political science department has warned that the quest for a federal status by the Baganda elite could spark off conflict.

Dr. Yasin Olum said parts of Uganda, which were subjugated and exploited by Buganda with the help of the colonialists, would demand reparations from the kingdom.

Baganda like Semei Kakungulu are believed to have helped the British control other parts of the country through a divide-and-rule system. Olum noted that the 1966 Buganda crisis had its roots in imbalances created by the colonial masters and warned that reconstructing the old federal system could re-open old wounds.

During the crisis, the army raided Kabaka Mutesa II’s palace in Lubiri, forcing him into flee to exile in Britain.

President Milton Obote thereafter abolished kingdoms.

Olum explained that the 1966 crisis militarised politics and set the stage for the rest of the conflicts like the LRA war. He described the LRA war as ‘a relic of racial anthropology started by colonialists and perpetuated by post-independence leaders.’

Speaking at a peace and reconciliation workshop organised by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda in Entebbe, Olum blamed the colonialists for creating economic disparities that alienated the northern region from the rest of the country.

He warned that if all Ugandans were not involved in deciding on methods of governance, social and economic development would still be disrupted.

The chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Margaret Ssekaggya, asked religious leaders to promote peace.

She said peace building and national reconciliation would require developing religious structures to coordinate the promotion of human rights, justice and forgiveness.

A culture of peace must be reinforced and mechanisms for mediating domestic violence and promoting integrity be developed, Ssekaggya advised.

No Museveni, Kabaka talks on federo - Lukiiko

News May 23, 2007


THE President cannot have direct talks with the Kabaka over federo, the Buganda Lukiiko has said. President Museveni recently demanded direct talks with Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi over Buganda's long quest for a federal system of governance.

During last week's sitting, members of the Lukiiko resolved to support the negotiations only when the Kabaka is not directly involved as demanded by the President.Nsuma clan head and Lukiiko member David Kibondwe said it was unacceptable to directly 'drag our King (Kabaka) into these political talks'.

"The Kabaka cannot be fronted when the katikkiro (premier) and his subjects are there. He should appoint a team headed by the katikkiro to represent him," Mr Kibondwe said amidst applause.

Kabaka apoliticalKooki county representative Anania Ssekyanzi supported Mr Kibondwe's proposal, insisting that federo negotiations were too political for the Kabaka who constitutionally and culturally is not supposed to get involved in politics.

"We should not ignore the federo negotiations but it's risky to front the Kabaka. He has representatives, let them negotiate on his behalf," Mr Ssekyanzi said. The Lukiiko is the kingdom's top decision making body.

The kingdom interim katikkiro Emmanuel Ssendaula said they were ready to negotiate with the government in close consultation with the Kabaka. President Museveni said direct negotiations with the Kabaka would yield fruit unlike the previous talks central government held with a team from Mengo led by then Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli Semwogerere.

Mr Semwogerere was succeeded by Dan Muliika who was relieved of his duties early this year. Mr Muliika continued the negotiations with the government but he was viewed as a hardliner and uncompromising. The negotiations have since been postponed.

Recently, Information and National Guidance Minister Kirunda Kivejinja confirmed the negotiations would continue but was noncommittal on when they would resume."There is no barrier for fresh negotiations between the two parties. But we have not yet fixed the date," he said.

The negotiations hit a dead-end in mid 2005 after both parties failed to agree on a number of issues. The government reportedly offered the Mengo team a regional tier system of governance instead of federo.

The Lukiiko unanimously rejected the regional tier months after Parliament had passed the proposal. Under the regional tier, the Katikkiro is elected under adult suffrage contrary to Mengo's tradition of the Kabaka naming his katikkiro.

After assuming office in February, Mr Ssendaula said the kingdom would get federo through non confrontational means and would never rest until it is achieved. He said Mengo would lobby MPs and State House.

Speaking on one FM station late last year, the President said he was not happy about Mengo's decision to reject the regional tier.

Unitary federo vs federo unitarism

Political tolerance is vital
Monday, 14th May, 2007

Peter Mulira

When I resigned from the Mengo cabinet citing intolerance of divergent ideas, the then chairman of the bataka (clans) council issued a press statement in which he called me an aduyi or enemy of Buganda’s interests.

To add insult to injury, he went on to state that they had all along known me to be President Museveni’s spy in the cabinet and as such my departure was good riddance thereby in an unwitting way justifying the reasons for my resignation.

As if that was not enough, a caller into a radio programme I was appearing on poured scorn on “those Museveni spies on Mengo” and in the stuccatto voices of a village bumpkin prayed earnestly God help them and “kill those miscreants”.

When my brother Dr Ham Mulira, was appointed a minister another caller volunteered that Museveni had rewarded me for my good spy work while Betty Kamya curiously advised me to leave Buganda’s affairs alone and concentrate on planning my retirement which I had done before we heard of her. All these fulmications illustrate the level of intolerance to divergent ideas our society has reached as well as the thin line between the concept of freedom of speech and its transgression over which many radio stations hover. This freedom has limitations. For example, one cannot run into a crowded theatre shouting “ fire, fire” when he knows there is no fire and invoke the right to free speech when apprehended for causing a stampede. His action is likely to cause him social and legal sanctions.

Many radio stations are in the habit of allowing people to shout slanders on their airwaves in disregard of the law. I earned the airwave insults simply because I took a universalist approach to the federo issue.

Although sometimes I get confused when the neo-traditionalists talk about federo my commitment to federalism as opposed to federo, a system of governance, is as total as it can be and I have written more articles in support of the system perhaps more than anybody else, a fact which earned me an invitation by the US State Department to go the United states at its generous expense and study how the American federal system works in practice. On my return, I was even more convinced of the virtues of federalism in contradiction to unitarism and started asking some hard questions as to where federal supporters could have taken a wrong turning.

One thing which I realised was that the sine qua non of federalism was regional autonomy which allows people to manage their affairs within their cultural, geographical and economic context. The other elements such as constitutional entrenchments are mere mechanisms to protect this autonomy to make it work unimpeded.

Viewed in this way, federalism has as many hews as the number of countries which practise them.

The American forefathers who first gave us the federal concept over 200 years ago drawing from the experience of the ancient biblical 12 tribes of Israel and the red Indian Inca empire created a federal constitution with subsidiary unitary features while the Indian constitution which was promulgated in 1950 taking from the Canadian experience created a unitary state with subsidiary federal features.

Secondly, I discovered that all the federal states in the world were preceded by autonomy of their component parts. In America, the 11 colonies which had won their independence from Britain came together to form the US union while in India the autonomous provinces which created the Government of India Act, 1935, of the British parliament transformed into the independence states.

All the federal states in the commonwealth followed the same route, in the case of South Africa via the Bantustan states. Here in Uganda, Buganda’s autonomy came in its constitution of 1961 one year before it gained independence on October 8, 1962 and ‘united’ with independent Uganda the following day. This federal arrangement was torpedoed by Milton Obote’s constitution of 1967 when Uganda became a fully fledged unitary state.

The question for supporters of federalism is do we want to introduce a federal state with unitary features or a unitary state with federal features? Luckily, Buganda’s proposals to the Uganda Constitution Review Commission, 2003, answers the question for us when at page 72 it states that Buganda does not want to return to the 1962 federal system and goes on “a federal system that was suitable in 1962 certainly needs modifications to make it work in the year 2003”. This means that the option is on a unitary arrangement with federal features but how do we get to this stage? We must first devolve power and functions to regions which desire autonomy and this is exactly what the constitutional amendment to article 178 of the constitution does.

After these autonomous regions are in place we can start talking of federal states as was the case in India. Scotland in the UK followed this route to autonomy and so did the Basques in Spain and the Flemish in Belgium as well as the northern region of Italy. To reject regionalism in total because we ask for federo shows a certain lack of understanding of the federo idea.

Simply put, federalism means the union of autonomous regions which share state power between the central, regional or state and local governments. Federo, on the other hand, is not a system but a generic term for the quantum of autonomy of a region or regions first invented by the former MP from Masaka, Mr. Patrick Kiggundu.
FedsNet Blogger: See The UK as a Quasi-federo State!

Museveni 19th richest president

List of heads of government and state by net worth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of heads of state and government by the net worth of their liquid assets. This list does not include property and other material goods.
1. Hassanal Bolkiah -Sultan of Brunei - $28 billion
2. Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms, - total assets $21 billion
3. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia - King of Saudi Arabia - $21 billion
4. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates - $19 billion
5. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, ruler of Dubai - $14 billion
6. Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg - $5 billion
7. Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands - $4.7 billion[1]
8. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran, and his family - $4.1 billion
9. Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein - $4 billion
10. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey - $2 billion
11. Albert II, Prince of Monaco - $1 billion
12. Fidel Castro, President of Cuba - $900 million (disputed [1][2] Forbes estimate based on Cuba's GDP [3])
13. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea - $600 million
14. Harald V, King of Norway - $240 million
15. Mswati III, King of Swaziland - $50 million
16. Ferenc Gyurcsány, Prime Minister of Hungary - $16 million [4]
17. Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, Prime Minister of Romania - $15 million
18. George W. Bush, President of the United States - $15 million
19. Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda - $11 million
20. Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark - $10 million
21. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden - $9 million
22. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic - $9 million
23. Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand - $5 million
24. Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt - $5 million
25. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom - $3 million
26. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines - $1.3 million

Tanzanians say no to East African Federation

News April 17, 2007

About 80 per cent of Tanzanians who have responded to the Wangwe Commission, which is collecting views on the fast-tracking of the East African Political Federation, have said they are not for the idea.

Although the views’ collecting mission is not complete, with just 55 per cent of the Mainland and 20 per cent of the Isles covered so far, sources within the Ministry of East Africa told The Citizen last week that the mid term review, conducted early this month, has revealed that 10 regions in the Mainland have totally rejected the political federation plan.

Sources said it was not a secret within the Wangwe Commission that Tanzania is not interested in the political federation. In fact, sources say, what the officials are doing is simply to go through the formalities because the exercise on views’ collection must be completed and people's views registered. "Reports that Zanzibaris are not ready are not mere rumours either, this is true for Zanzibar wants to remain as it is," one source said.

The exercise is expected to come to an end by next month when the report on what Tanzanians have decided will be handed over to PresidentJakaya Kikwete . The report is expected to form the basis for determining the fate of the federation.

The three commissions collecting locals’ views in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda met in Arusha on April 2 to compare notes after the midterm review and each of them got the chance to explain their position before they jointly finalised a strategy on how to complete the exercise.

Following this meeting, Prof Samuel Wangwe, who heads the Tanzanian commission, told journalists last week in a press conference that the review was not meant to compare statistics as to how many people want the Federation, instead it aimed to review how far the exercise had gone and what have been the challenges and improvements that are needed.

He further told the media that in Tanzania, his commission met many challenges especially with regards to people's scanty understanding of the federation. This scenario forced them to embark on educating people on the matter before they asked them to give opinions.