Baganda are wrong on Muliika, federo

Edward Mulindwa
Toronto, CANADA

The exit of Katikkiro Dan Muliika has been a major issue of late. Some Ugandans even demonstrated at Bulange, Mengo, against Mr Muliika's dismissal. Although some Baganda had developed love for Mr Muliika, I wonder whether it was based on an understanding of the man or on ignorance; ignorance of how Buganda runs, and how he or any other Katikkiro comes to and leaves power.

Many have been politically biased over this issue and yet Mengo is not a political entity; it's cultural. While appointing Mr Muliika, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi based his decision on grounds that we are not privy to. And that is what our culture dictates. He has power to hire and fire, without giving reasons.

But what surprised me most was that a man of Mr Muliika's age could challenge the Kabaka to explain why he fired him!

But let us look at another issue. Many people have argued that Mr Muliika was fired because he was fighting for federalism. We however need to discuss this issue further because many Baganda and other Ugandans do not seem to understand it.

There are mainly two political systems; unitary and federal. Uganda is currently running on a unitary system. Deciding what system should take centre stage in Uganda is not arrived at from a cultural but rather from a political basis. So, Mengo cannot demand federalism in isolation of other Ugandans.

To federate means that regions in a given country want to live together - and use some assets collectively but exert some control over other assets. For example, Buganda can decide to control its immigration laws but also depend on the national army for its defence.

True federo
Canada, in which I live, is a federal state. However, Quebec [a part of Canada] has [after many years] refused to sign the Canadian Constitution because it is not in its best interest to do so.

When regions of a given country agree on what [assets or services] they will combine and what they cannot combine, they then endorse a final document of understanding, which they try to sell to the central government. The latter then makes a decision based on several other factors -- but many of which are based on "what is in it for it [the central government".

Piece of advice
If Mengo or Buganda wants federalism, then they ought to start the campaign in Lango, Karamoja, Ankole and Kigezi regions, etc. They need to convince others of the need to federate. Then and only then can they come up with a final memoranda of understanding and present it to the central government.

I therefore disagree with folks who claim that Mr Muliika was fighting for Buganda's federalism. With whom were you going to federate? In that federation, what were you going to gain or lose?

The more you look at this issue, the more you realise that Buganda is acting with an "I do not care about any one in Uganda," attitude, which is wrong. And if that is the case, then we are not looking for federo but rather to secede. And if to secede is what we want then let us state so boldly.

FedsNet Blogger: Federo is not equivalent to secession as this article struggles to suggest!
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