LOOSE TALK Fredrick Golooba-Mutebi
Misplaced conclusions on secession
August 26 - September 1, 2007
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.
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.
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.
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.