Greetings from Acholi!

As we wallow in the heat of the driest period in the north, words on the ground has learnt that, Kabaka; The Mpolongoma of Buganda is said to have re/appointed individuals abroad to represent his Kingdom’s interest. This is a good move; one that should be emulated by all chiefs in the country. The problem i have with the Kabaka’s appointments or appointees is that they are all Baganda. I feel this is wrong; because, it does not foster unity and does not bode well with well-wishers such as myself and those who feel Ugandan, whilst abroad. I would like to see the Kabaka and the rest of the chiefs as champion of unity and should do so by example. By appointing only Baganda to further the interest of the Kingdom abroad, does not reflect the right image of a modern monarch, which i regard the Kabaka to be.

Considering that a man of George Okello’s standing and influence, happens to be the only Ugandan in the Philippines, and the Kabaka needed some one on the ground, the Kabaka and the Kingdom’s interest not served in the area, simply bcos G.Okello is a non Muganda and therefore cannot be appointed as a rep. This is a step backward.

With having representatives around the world, one could argue that the Kabaka is laying foundation for Buganda’s development, even perhaps, a step towards federalism. But one of the ultimate goals of federalism, beside improved services and bringing power and rights closer to the people, it is to foster unity in diversity. The appointments therefore, does not cater for that key pillar of federalism.Such appointment would simply alienate “others” from, rather than make them feel part of a great Kingdom. Currently in Uganda there are people from other tribes who know the Buganda culture more than their own.

Take R. Mao for instance. No one will suggest anywhere that he is not Muganda enough, for he grew up in Buganda and within the culture. He epitomises the new generation who have embraced fully other cultures beside their own. These are the sort of people who will feel the alienation more if left out from such appointments.

My call is to those close to Kabaka to try and represent the Kingdom and monarch as modern, and one that thrives by embracing, rather than pushing others away. I suggest the Mpologoma’s advisers go back to the drawing board and work out how best the Kingdom’s interest, image and perception can be improved ahead of federalism taking root. One of them certainly, is inclusion.

Akim Odong via the UAH forum

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