As a Uganda citizen and researcher, I have a right to express my views on any subject provided I present facts. I have decided to campaign against secession in Uganda.
I request that you listen to me and hear what I am saying and read carefully what I am writing on this subject instead of hurling insults at me without even bothering to understand what I stand for. Anger and frustration don’t solve problems. It is clear that attacking me has become a coordinated effort. Hopefully it will fail as more Ugandans understand what I am saying and that I mean well for present and future generations.
I have good reasons for taking on such a challenge with all the costs involved. Here are some of them. I will provide more as and when appropriate. I suggest Buganda (and others) pursues federalism rather than secession.
1. Pursuing secession might open a Pandora’s box and expose Buganda’s Achilles’ heel given its history of a complex governing system that is well documented. Buganda proper consists of three counties of Kyadondo, Busiro and Mawokota. The rest was obtained reportedly by military aggression and subsequently forced into colonization with Arab and British support. In this sense Buganda is not different from Britain that conquered and colonized Uganda. Further, Buganda is like Ethiopia that conquered and colonized parts of its empire. That is why the Somali people in the Ogaden region are still demanding decolonization. The same could be made by counties in Buganda that feel were conquered and forced into colonization. The UN still has a department of decolonization and could admit such concerns.
2. The pre-colonial centralized kingdom of Buganda and the division of labor created rich and poor classes; royals and non-royals. The latter groups were exploited under a feudal system. Buganda secession might restore a centralized system of government with absolute rule as enjoyed by Kabaka Mutesa I and resumption of a feudal system and severe punishment for non-compliance.
3. We don’t know the real motive and the agents of secession. It could be a design to break up Uganda and make the different parts vulnerable to colonization by power hungry individuals or groups of them.
4. The use of military means to achieve Buganda secession which is not a secret may plunge Uganda into an inferno with catastrophic outcomes.
5. The non-Baganda living in Buganda as the only home they know and those who have legally (or illegally) invested in Buganda will not be driven away without a fight. Baganda outside of Buganda could face extremely difficult challenges witness the Ibos who lived outside their home of Eastern Nigeria when the country descended into political chaos and civil war.
6. Secession of Buganda even if it succeeded may not be recognized by any government as has happened to Somaliland which seceded in 1991 that some Ugandans are fronting as a success story for emulation. Without recognition, so-called independent Buganda will not become a member of AU and UN or any other organization and won’t receive political, technical and financial assistance through bilateral and multilateral arrangements.
7. The recent secret agreement between Kabaka Mutebi II and President Museveni could be disastrous for Buganda and Uganda. In these uncertain circumstances, the different parts of Uganda will fare better within than without Uganda framework.
I appeal to Baganda and to all Ugandans to reflect on this issue of secession carefully weighing the gains against the losses and to understand the real motives and character of those few Baganda relentlessly pushing for secession using examples like Somaliland that no one has recognized since it seceded in 1991. It is important to recall that the decision by Lukiiko in 1966 to expel Uganda central government from Buganda soil within nine days was imposed by three saza chiefs as members of the Lukiiko. Baganda should therefore avoid pressure from these few but aggressive Baganda that are relentlessly pushing for Buganda secession using military means. This may explain why Ugandans to the Rescue organization has refused to disclose what it is up to while it continues to collect money from all Ugandans.
I personally believe very strongly that Uganda, her people and institutions will be stronger and safer if we agree on a new system of governing ourselves after NRM has exited that will accommodate regional, district, county and clan needs. A federal system with checks and balances and regulations will be a better alternative than the disintegration of Uganda.
By Dr.Eric Kashambuzi