September 2009
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Day September 17, 2009

What is NOT Wrong with Traditional Tribal Leadership

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Imagine that the first foreign contacts with Afrika were gradual, peaceful and respectful. Afrika would now have a bigger population. The social fabric would have evolved rather than disrupted. Foreign religions would have blended with Afrikan’s, providing more meaning. Instead, the contacts were violent and traumatic, stripping her of her dignity, with repercussions that reverberate to this day.

In Afrika today, there is a small percentage of the filthy rich, few of whom have achieved wealth by dint of skills in industry and commerce. Many have looted the coffers of the state, leaving poor infrastructures and poor service deliveries for the rest of the taxpaying population.

What kind of people are these looters? They are the people who went to missionary or other related schools. Many of them profess to be Christians. Some who are serious about Christianity have but a perfunctory knowledge beyond claiming to be “saved.” Generally then Christianity is not a way of living but a social occasion on Sunday. A few of the “educated” class have read western classics, and may be aware of the genesis of how and why they think the way they do. Many, however, excelled in the utilitarian school subjects in order to earn a living in the new Afrika. This latter lot may not be cognizant of from whence their thought process originates.

All this is operating in a milieu in which traditional cultural wisdom no longer has leadership. The young person now looks to Europe and America as the source of what is good.. Armed only with the natural ego-centric self, the desires of acquisition and the destruction of those perceived to stand in the way becomes the mode of operation. There in lies what ails Afrika. But it should not be that way.

If traditional African wisdom, through traditional leadership, were revived and practiced it could provide the umbilical cord to extend to the new way. We have many such models in Afrika—for examples Ghana and South Africa—and other parts of the world, such as Japan.

Now, let us take the case of Uganda in which Mr. Museveni is reputed to have fought for the revival of traditional tribal leadership. It is evident that his motivations were only self-serving, to gain favors originally from mainly the Baganda population. Now the exercise has been extended to others for strategic political expediency. The next person who comes to power (the sooner, the better) should take the case of traditional tribal leadership as a matter of top priority. Genuine and honest debates should be devoid of political horse-trading. Let us put this dog to rest and attend to other business of living.
UAH forumist

Buganda has the right to demand for federalism

 “I told them from day one that don’t request for federalism, because when you demand for federalism you are asking for political authority and political authority must be held by elected people, of course now Museven is right to force an elected Katikiro-(Edward  Mulindwa, UAH, 16/09/09).
I do not agree with the assertion cited above, that the Kingdom of Buganda/Mengo is wrong to demand for federalism. Yes, the Kingdom of Buganda has every right to demand for the sharing of authority/power with the central government of Uganda under a federal system. I keep referring to the 1900 Agreement, because that was the basis by which Buganda became part of modern Uganda. Under article 6 of the agreement the Kabaka was clearly recognised as  “the native ruler of the province of (B)uganda”. Under article 10, the Kabaka’s power of state were devolved to the three state ministers; ie, the Katikiro (prime minister), Omulamuzi (chief justice) and Omuwanika (chief treasurer/finance minister). Both Kabaka Daudi Chua and Kabaka Mutesa II ruled the Kingdom of Buganda more or less as a constitutional monarchy under this agreement.
At independence Buganda enjoyed full federal status within a largely unitary structure of central government until 1966 when the Kabaka was deposed. The following year the constitution was changed to a fully unitary one.
In 1960 the then Kabaka Sir Edward Mutesa reorganised the Kingdom government, adding more ministerial portfolios of education, health, information, youth and sports, and works. 
Kabaka Ronald Mutebi has made further modernisation in the informal ministerial portfolios of Mengo cabinet making it more in tune with the 21st century. New portfolios include gender, information and IT, culture and antiquities, and the environment. Kabaka Mutebi has also appointed some of the most able professionals to head ministries of Mengo cabinet. All that is left is formal recognition of the government at Mengo through the granting of a federal system.
The current problem is not caused by Mengo or His Highness the Kabaka but is the result of a fallacy of the 1995 Constitution which in effect abolished constitutional monarchy  in Uganda. Although the Odoki Constitution Commission returned that 68% of Ugandans and 97% of the people of Buganda favoured federalism, the NRM government ignored those wishes and proceeded  to impose a unitary constitution on Uganda. This is largely what is causing the current Buganda crisis.
President Museveni himself has realised that the current system of unitary government is neither fully effective nor responsive, thus the President has proposed and had a law enacted for the creation of a regional tier “version” of federalism. Mengo is vehemently opposed to the regional tier system mainly because it does not address its demand for federalism. However, President Museveni has now vowed to implement the system next year, Mengo’s opposition regardless.
There are two main problems with the regional tier system, which in the end makes it too doomed to fail. Firstly, the regional tier system would merely serve as an additional layer of central government bureaucracy. Whoever will be at the head of that bureaucracy will  perform a role akin to that of a “Regional RDC”.
The second and more serious problem is that the regional tier system lacks the two most important factors necessary for effective and responsive functioning of a  regional government, namely points of focus of identity and loyalty. In Buganda a Katikiro elected under the regional tier system would sit awkwardly along side the Katikiro of the Kingdom of Buganda. He will presumably be referred to as the “government Katikiro”. Needless to say, the “government Katikiro” will neither enjoy the loyalty or focus of identity of the people of Buganda, and will merely serve as an additional point of friction between Mengo and the NRM government.
Outside Buganda, for example in Acholi, Lango, Teso, Busoga, Bunyoro-Kitara, Tooro, etc, the position of a “Regional Chairman/Katikiro” may attract politicians clamoring to contest it in election. However, this will mainly be because of the financial rewards accruing to the job, while eliciting less support from the people.

Thus the regional tier system would neither answer  the demands of Mango for constitutional monarchy, or the  increasing demands for regional autonomy in most parts of Uganda . What it will do, however, is bring to an end any remaining semblance of relationship between Mengo and the NRM government.  The regional tier system may yet become the proverbial “last straw that broke the camels back”.
Pilipo Oruni Oloya

USA position on Riots and M7’s speech

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