Role of Traditional Leaders-What is the government’s strategy?


Fellow Ugandans,

Interesting speech from the president especially now in the aftermath of the Riots-note the time; August 2, 1993.  At the opening of Mengo’s Lukiiko, why has the sharing of power with the Lukiiko not been such a good experience for the president?

Is he expecting too much from them or has this body been rendered a toothless tiger, mandated to lead but left virtually powerless. They were given all the titles to function as a regional government, but with no money and power to carry out their jobs effectively.

A couple of years ago, I ran into one attorney general of Buganda-who was young and full of brilliant ideas, my interest in meeting him was purely from the stand point of finding out what crimes being committed on Buganda soil to warrant his presence.

I wanted to know whether he had the powers to arrest a simple thief found stealing stuff in Buganda, and to my surprise he didn’t. Well some of our legal experts on this forum will cite the constitution and claim that it is binding and he as a regional attorney general, he is supposed to look the other way when a crime is being committed in his region!

So I will try to wear my not so dumb hat -and ask the question: why would you create a title for a man that every one recognizes automatically, as the keeper of the law and make him toothless?  Why would the kalangala courts carry jurisdiction while the one legitimately recognized is rendered useless.

You are damn right ,we still have lots of work to do, especially with the kingdoms and the main regional of Uganda.

There among us folks who are all “gang ho” about East African federations, we will be eaten alive an a huge federation, if we are not able to put our own house in order. Putting our house in order will have to start at the ethnic village level and some way of finding an assembly that gives us one voice in UNISON-without inter tribal disputes in the overtone.

And now I see the president discovering newer kings within integrated ethnic tribes and something in me wants to warn them-and say don’t do it, you have just become another ladder in an NGO: Because he has not provided the support structure to give life to all those titles on paper as witnessed in Buganda.

Yet the people have placed so much faith in them as time tested structures to resolve a slew disputes including land, family and inter-clan misunderstanding. I hope his strategy is not to have as many stooges as possible to be used to resist inter clan reforms necessary to have a solid block.

If we cannot resolve democratization issues at the tribal level, what makes us think we can make progress when we merge with folks who bring a whole new baggage of problems.

There are issues such as the Nomads problem, that could be solved in a joint East African manner since we’d be looking at a huge chunk of land for grazing from each member, but house cleaning work has to be done by us first, and I’m not impressed with the half measures and effort that we have done in this realm.

The president seems to be undoing work on the tribal level that was done by ancient kings, and in doing so he is arming new kings with ammunition to bring about war within large integrated tribes like the Baganda.

I’m saying this of the entire country and it’s collective groups, not to exclude those original 15 tribes.  There is incredible preparation work necessary to co-join and form unions for either a local or bigger federation, if that is the plan. Some of our folks don’t even know the budgetary requirements of their region or a constitution in place to protect them from the ill effects of any federation.

We could take a lesson or two from the recent forming of the European union. Countries were asked to carry out the necessary reforms that bring about ease of integration. When you look at us, we have been seating in this East African club of nations for some years now, but no memo has come from our top leaders there to give a heads up at the tribal or ethnic level or to provide with the required tenets, in preparation for the bigger thing.

People cannot be herded like that, they need time to get organized and structures need to be put in place to make such moves. We need communication from honorable kategaya, as to what they are planning for us in the future. Do you honestly think Rwanda is training all these IT folks without a plan ?

I’m afraid this preparation requires years not months. If this is happening now, it is being done so secretly that only a few people are made aware of it-but one cannot move 30 million people into an organization(East African federation) without preparing them, even cows going into a kraal in the evening need time otherwise they resist the rush.

Tendo Kaluma

Boston Residence and a Ugandan

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