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.
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