Museveni, Kabaka to meet for fresh talks on federo



ROBERT MWANJE & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

MENGOPRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has expressed desire to resume Federo negotiations with Buganda Kingdom, Daily Monitor has learnt. He, however, wants to speak directly to Kabaka Ronald Mutebi.

READY: Mutebi
Optimistic: Museveni

Daily Monitor has learnt that Mr Museveni believes direct negotiations with the Kabaka would yield fruit unlike the previous talks central government held with a team from Mengo.

Buganda Kingdom Information Minister Medard Sseggona Lubega in a statement dated February 28 confirmed they had received communication from the government to resume the negotiations.

"The Kingdom has learnt that President Yoweri Museveni has accepted to resume federo negotiations with Buganda. We are grateful to the President for having understood our concerns," read part of the statement.

Also to be discussed is the issues of Buganda Land. Information and National Guidance Minister Kirunda Kivejinja yesterday confirmed the negotiations but was noncommittal on when they would resume.

"This is a declaration of intention indicating that there is no barrier for fresh negotiations between the two parties. But we have not yet fixed the date," he said yesterday.Federo negotiations hit a dead-end in mid 2005 after both parties failed to agree on various issues.

The government reportedly offered the Mengo team a regional tier system of governance instead of the kingdom's much cherished federo. The Buganda Lukiiko (Parliament) unanimously rejected the regional tier system; months after Parliament had passed the proposal. The new regional tier arrangement dictates that the katikkiro of Buganda be elected under adult suffrage contrary to Mengo's tradition of the Kabaka naming his katikkiro.

Electing a katikkiro was not well received by the Baganda. Speaking at a local FM station late last year, the President said he was not happy about Mengo' decision to reject the regional tier.

"I am arranging to meet the Kabaka over federo issues because we discussed these issues with his team at Nakasero. He even sent me clan heads but later the Lukiiko dismissed everything and this annoyed me," Mr Museveni said then.

FedsNet Blogger: Isn't the first citizen in Uganda enticing a cultural leader into politics. Isn't this breaking the law as per Museveni Constitution, 1995? You be the judge!
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