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
Kampala

Published on: Saturday, 11th August, 2007
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