Wednesday, October 31, 2012
NRM while in the bush for the so-called liberation war looted banks to get finances for their liberation activities, and after that, it took 30% of people’s savings to pay war debts. Little did Ugandans know that the NRM was to turn into a big mafia it is today! Surely, there is no way donor funds can be abused as the regime looks on. I have for quite some time wondered how possible it was that the construction sector was growing so fast when other parts of the economy had practically stagnated. It is the stolen funds that individuals are using. Prior to the 2011 General Election, a 50 kg bag of cement was about shs 12,500, today, the same bag goes for 28,500! Surely, what stupid economy is Uganda. How foolish will Ugandans be, or even the NRM organ responsible to see a replacement of the Presidential candidate, if they don’t? There is no good for which President Museveni can stand infront of the people asking for votes any more. We have seen enough loot. Time and again the president says that he wants a person who will carry on his vision! What vision in a situation when donor funds are abused, the same goes for locally generated funds. At this time of the information age, the NRM should be ashamed of the rape to the economy. How can the administration go on unconcerned with the shame it has put to the people of Uganda. The other time the President was asking God to forgive the people of Uganda. Surely, the President requires better. The country cannot go on like this way. I gree with what Mr. Kofi Annan former Secretary General - United Nations said, "Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life, and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish... Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately... by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid. Corruption is a key element in economic under-performance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development." I at times get ashamed of being a Ugandan not that the country is not a Pearl of Africa, but that our leaders are a real shame to the country, they have looted the national resources, and people are looking to a savior but it is simply sad. To the NRM, can we see sense prevail in the administration of the country? We cannot go on the way things are. Recently, the CEO of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) came open when she said things would be better if there were National Identity Cards. The question is, if the cards were paid for, why don’t we have the cards? Surely, it is just madness, and when people get fed up of the situation, they may be in for a revolution. William Kituuka Forms and Extent of Corruption in Uganda By U4 Anti Corruption Extent of Corruption In 2006, President Yoweri Museveni announced a policy of zero-tolerance for corruption. However, at the beginning of Musevini’s third term following the first multi-party (but not entirely fair) elections, most governance indicators show that corruption is perceived as widespread and endemic at all levels of society. Global Integrity’s 2006 report on the country estimates that more than half the government’s annual budget is lost to corruption each year, amounting to USD 950 million. (http://www.globalintegrity.org/reports/2006/uganda/ind ex.cfm). Corruption scandals involving personalities close to those in power periodically hit the headlines. A former health minister and loyal supporter of the president, along with two deputies, have been charged with misappropriating USD 2 million from funds provided by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) in 2005. (www.yigg.de/sonstiges/uganda-ex-ministers-arrestedin-corruption-scandal). More recently, in 2007, the government circumvented official procurement guidelines to contract an unknown company, Kenlloyd Logistics, to replenish Uganda’s fuel reserves. The company was being run by the sonin-law of the foreign minister, who is himself related to the president. (http://report.globalintegrity.org/Uganda/2008/notebook) Public confidence in government officials is severely affected by such scandals. A majority of citizens surveyed for the 2005 Afro barometer perceived corruption to be rampant. In addition, 36% of respondents to the survey believed that most or all government officials - whether at the central or at the local level - were involved in corruption. (http://www.afrobarometer.org/uganda.htm). Other empirical data corroborates this. The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Uganda at 126th place with a score of 2.6. Previous iterations of the index show that, despite slight improvements, the various sources of the CPI continue to perceive corruption as rampant and systemic in Uganda, with scores ranging from 2.1 to 2.8 between 2002 and 2007. (Please see: http://transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2008). The World Bank’s 2007 Worldwide Governance Indicators note that Uganda performed moderately in terms of regulatory quality (48.5) and government effectiveness (42.7), below average in terms of rule of law (37.6), and voice and accountability (33.2) and weakly in terms of control of corruption (24.6 compared to 26.2 in 2003) and political stability (13.9). (Please see: http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi2007/sc_chart.asp). Further surveys conducted in the past five years confirm these findings. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2008-09 identifies corruption as one of the major constraints for doing business in the country, after access to financing. (http://www.weforum.org/documents/GCR0809/index.ht ml).The World Bank Investment Climate Assessment undertaken in 2004, corroborates this finding with 46.3% of small firms and 56.5 % of middle size firms identifying corruption as a major or severe constraint to doing business in the country. (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTAFRSUMAFTPS/Resources/note_11_screen.pdf). Forms of corruption Bureaucratic Corruption Bureaucratic and administrative forms of corruption are widespread in the Ugandan administration, with practices of bribery, nepotism, and misuse of official positions and resources. Government bureaucracy, complex regulatory procedures and red tape provide numerous opportunities for corruption and rent seeking. The 2006 World Bank-IFC Enterprise Survey indicates that more than half of firms expect to make informal payments to public officials to get things done. 80% of companies report paying bribes and make on average more than 30 unofficial payments per year. (http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=193&year=2006). Firms typically make facilitation payments to speed-up bureaucratic processes, especially to obtain licences, construction permits and/or customs clearance, or to connect to phone lines and electricity supplies. Large and foreign companies appear to be the most vulnerable targets for bribe solicitation, paying close to 4% of their revenue in informal payments. (http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTAFRSUMAFTP S/Resources/note_11_screen.pdf) Political Corruption Political patronage and favouritism further characterize the Ugandan administration, with NRM patronage systems reaching into the private sector. In local government bodies, giving jobs and contracts to relatives or supporters appears to be common practice. A 2006 Freedom House report denounces widespread patronage and corruption in government, with the exception of the public, health and education service commissions that are generally credited with making open, merit-based appointments. Even here, however, there have been recent cases of interference in the appointment of senior officials in the ministries of health and of education and sports. (http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008&country=7511). In terms of political finance, the Freedom House report notes that regulations controlling influence over campaigns are not enforced effectively, with many instances of economic privileges given to investors. Although the government allocates USD 25,000 for campaign expenses to each presidential candidate, the ruling NRM party appears to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the system, receiving funds from both private and public sources. During the 2004 elections, 35% of respondents to the Afro Barometer reported having been offered food or a gift in return for their vote. (http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2006&country=7080). Sectors Most Affected by Corruption Corruption in Public Procurement Public procurement is one of the sectors most affected by corruption in Uganda. According to the 2007 African Peer Review Mechanism Report, Uganda loses USD 258.6 million Annually through corruption and procurement malfeasance. The report further estimates that if the country could eliminate corruption in public procurement, it would save USD 15.2 million a year. In the assessment of the country’s Auditor General, procurement accounts for 70% of public spending, of which an estimated 20% is lost via corruption. In June 2008, a senior World Bank official stated that high level corruption in procurement deals had been responsible for a loss of USD 300 million since 2005. He added that 70% of government contracts were not awarded according to established procedures, while half of the national budget is spent on procurement deals. (Please see the 2008 Global Integrity report: http://report.globalintegrity.org/Uganda/2008). The US-Department of State Investment Climate Statements for 2009 also notes that government procurement is not transparent, particularly for defence items. In previous years, several high-profile government tenders for infrastructure projects were suspended due to allegations of corruption. (http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/rls/othr/ics/2009/index.htm). The 2006 World Bank-IFC survey indicates that close to half of the firms questioned expect to give a gift to secure a government contract. Companies further report the gift value to amount to approximately more than 5% of the contract value. A baseline survey of National Public Procurement Integrity conducted in 2006 by the Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA), the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and USAID reports that illegal payments to secure government contract at both the local and the central levels are even higher, representing approximately 7 to 9% of the contract value. The survey further estimates that direct losses due to corruption in procurement - at both the central and the local levels – amounted to between USD 64-85 million in 2004-2005. The majority of respondents identified the secretary to the Tender Board and Tender Board members as being most corrupt. (http://www.ppda.go.ug/downloads/Integrity%20survey%20FINAL%20REPORT%202007.pdf). The PPDA, IGG and USAID survey identifies the lack of effective reporting systems, poor record management by state organs, the weakness of the judiciary, the poor investigation of corruption cases, and the lack of effective systems to punish corrupt officials, as majors factors contributing to the high prevalence of corruption in public procurement. Corruption in Tax Administration Uganda undertook a major reform of its tax administration system with the formation of a semiautonomous revenue authority, the Uganda Revenue Authority, in 1991. Surveys indicate that corruption is on the rise in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), with instances of political interference, patronage and corruption at managerial level. There also seems to be an increase in the number of tax collectors openly demanding bribes in their dealings with tax payers. A 2005 CMI report on corruption in tax administration indicates that 43% of firms report occasionally or always paying bribes to tax officers. 84% of respondents to the 2005 Afro Barometer believe that tax officials are involved in corruption. In 2003, five senior officers attached to the Large Taxpayer Department were involved in a major corruption scandal. A Commission of Inquiry of Corruption in the URA was appointed by the government in the same year due to serious allegations of underestimated or misstated declarations in customs, as well as collaboration between tax payers and URA staff. The Commission released a much delayed and debated report two years later whose legality was questioned by Members of Parliament. The report was ultimately nullified by the High Court. (http://www.u4.no/pdf/?file=/helpdesk/helpdesk/queries/query147.pdf). Corruption in the Police The police are perceived as one of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, particularly traffic police. 91% of respondents to the 2005 Afro Barometer believe that the police are involved in corruption, while 67% think that most or all police officials are involved in corruption. Few (about 17%) actually report having paid a bribe to avoid a problem with the police. According to the 2006 Global Integrity report mentioned above, political interference in police-work is commonplace, with high profile cases sometimes dropped following political pressure. Investigations of police corruption have increased under the leadership of a new police chief appointed in 2005. He has, however, faced internal criticism and has received several death threats. (http://www.business-anticorruption.com/en/country-profiles/sub-saharanafrica/uganda/background-information/). Judicial Corruption According to Freedom House 2006 and 2008, the executive does not guarantee the independence of the judiciary and there have been instances of intimidation of the judiciary. In 2005, heavily armed soldiers surrounded the High Court in an attempt to courtmartial civilians involved in allegations of treason. Concerns about judicial independence were reinforced by security forces’ intervention in a politically sensitive trial in 2007. Judges subsequently went on strike to protest against the invasion of the courts by security forces, and the East African Court of Justice found Uganda guilty of violating the rule of law and the rights of its citizens by allowing the military to repeatedly interfere with court processes. The Uganda Law Society noted that this episode reflected a broader problem of government officials refusing to comply with certain judicial actions. A Bertelsmann Foundation report from 2008 reveals that the upper levels of the judiciary demonstrate high standards of professionalism and independence. The administration of justice is undermined, however, by a lack of resources, skills and capacity at the lower levels of the judiciary. (http://www.bertelsmann-transformationindex.de/63.0.html?&L=1). According to the 2005 Afro Barometer, 73% of citizens think judges and magistrates are involved in corruption, while the vast majority of citizens believe high level officials are significantly less likely to be held accountable for serious crimes than ordinary members of the public. The US-Investment Climate Statement 2009 confirms these perceptions, reporting that several high-profile government corruption scandals have, in recent years, resulted in few or no sanctions against the officials involved. A significant number of the companies surveyed for the 2006 Word Bank and IFC Enterprise Survey do not believe Uganda’s courts to be fair, impartial and uncorrupted.
Source: The Road Journal Issue: 007 Vol. 0101 of 2010 “Drug abuse and alcoholism have taken toll on commercial motor cyclists (boda boda) riders operation. Most of the riders seem to run on marijuana and booze while their motorcycles run on petrol. Therefore. There is dire need for Remedy to Passengers, Riders and challenge on side of Traffic Police.” Boda boda refers to the use of motor cycles and bicycles for public transport. The name was coined from the fact that the first bicycles and motorcycles to be used for public transport were at the border – Malaba because of the beehive of activity into Uganda and back into Kenya. All the statistics carried out by Police and the Injury Control Center in recent years show that users of boda boda and the riders themselves have been killed in more crashes than with all othervehicles. In fact, the trend is so bad that the enforcers of traffic safety regulations are lost for what to do to reverse the trend. According to Police Statistics from the Traffic Department, in 2008, out of 16,736 accidents, a total of 3,434 were caused by motor cycles and 1,001 by bicycles. The rest of the accidents were caused by 13 other factors combined. 47% of the accidents in that year were also caused by motor cycles and bicycles, which represent 99.9% for boda boda and 1% for private use. The trend was even worse in 2009 and continued to slip in 2010. The question is, Why is boda boda dangerous to such a level? The sheer numbers of the boda boda makes them a factor in as many crashes as possible. If there are millions of them plying the roads and the ratio to the vehicles is like 1:5, the calculation is that for every single accident, there are five times more chances that a boda boda is involved than a car. Hypothetically, if boda bodas were to swell and become cars, Uganda would gring to a halt. There would simply be no space for anyone to move. In urban centres, boda boda is so common that there is a joke that some people use them to move from room to room in their houses. They are everywhere! Boda boda is also dominated by boys who have not had good education or no education at all. Some drop out of school or run away from home to join the trade because of the need for quick and easy money. None of them is concerned that they might earn a coin today but will not live to eat it the next day. Lack of formal education means that they will also find it necessary to undergo proper training to ride This is the biggest single problem making boda boda such a dangerous means of transport. Most boda boda are self taught. Even the few who have permits simply pay money to dubious operatives who issue them the permits without subjecting them to test. And obviously many of the permits are forgeries. If traffic police does not approach the problem of boda boda accidents starting from the point of a specialized training unit for boda boda, the safety campaign on the roads will never bear fruits. Drug abuse and alcoholism are also taking a toll on boda boda operation. Most of the riders seem to run on marijuana and booze while their motor cycles run on petrol. Intoxication is universally known to impair the sense of direction of any body operating machines and vehicles. With boda boda, it is worse because they are two wheeled and balancing a motorcycle when one’s brain is knocked out of booze is no way to guarantee safety. For sure, there are some riders who crash and die not knowing that an accident has happened because their minds are upside down. Unfortunately, when you are a passenger of such a rider, you also die for no reason. Other than the influence of drugs, the boda boda riders are leaders in the naughty art of reckless and careless riding. The tendency to over speed has curtailed their reasoning capacity. They don’t ride, they just swoop! For them, the most important part on their motorcycle is the accelerator. The brake, the indicators, the side mirrors come as distant priority which they would rather not use. In the earlier years say the late 1990s, the manufacturers of the MATE and BAJAJ motor cycles which were the most used had speed limits on their machines not going beyond either 60kms/hr or 80 – maximum speed. That is no more. Today’s bikes are so powerful that none has a speedometer limit of less than 120km/hr. There is also no designated type of motorcycle to use for boda boda. In a bid to outcompete one another, some riders bring on the road sports bikes that have speed limits like those of cars. The recklessness is however hinged mainly on the desire for the riders to make as much money from the small things as possible. Boda boda is about making money and money has made the whole trade mad. When you see a boda boda cruising on the pavements, on the wrong side of the road, making U-turns in the middle of the road and beating the red lights, it is not witchcraft. Survival for the fastest is the game. The more trips made in a day, the more money made. And, we must add, the more death on our roads! Each rider needs a given amount of money daily like all other workers. They also have families, they also eat, they dress, they have to build houses like the rest. Worse is when one is riding a motorcycle belonging to a boss. The boss wants between 6,000 and 10,000 shillings everyday. Fuel requires shs 5,000 daily, shs 2,000 for lunch, over shs 5,000 for the rider himself and ignoring some other costs like repairs, daily stage charges and so on. An individual must virtually squeeze not less than shs 25,000 from the motro cycle every single day! This is what differentiates boda boda from private motor cycle owners who use them for their own transport. Private riders constitute a very small percentage of the road crash statistics compared to the commercial operators. The boda boda economy in Uganda is amazing considering how much money rotates in the hands of Ugandans in relation to the use of that means. Boda boda is development but its developmental influence will only be real whensafety is treated as the key to its use. Poor mechanical condition of the boda boda is also common. Some of them are total write-offs but the riders must keep them on the road for survival purposes. Some of them don’t brake while others fail to start in the middle of jam! Most of such offenders do not work during day time. Together with those having no permits, they prefer to work at night when traffic cops are off the roads which doubles the risks altogether. Boda boda is proving to be a lawless industry where preservation of life is secondary to money making if we continue looking on. Their disregard for other road users is contagious. Some accidents involving motorists arise from the confusion of the boda boda. When driving, you can never know from which direction a boda boda will appear. At one point you can see him in the side mirror, at another he is riding ahead of you; at another he`is in one lane, shortly after in the wrong lane. In an attempt to dodge him, you either overturn your vehicle or collide with on coming traffic. A visit to Mulago hospital shows that the biggest number of casualties admitted and the dead are victims of accidents involving boda boda.
The Local Councils are so much after revenue. It is acceptable they need this money, however, they need to appreciate that money is not an end in itself. The NRM Government when it captured power found Uganda People’s Transport Company (UTC) and People’s Bus Company; there was the kayola train service as well as train transport. These services were killed, and what came up with the UTODA Business, which has exploited Ugandans for so long. There may be issues for Pioneer Easy Bus to sort, but the Local Councils who want Pioneer out of business may be living on mars. Even if these buses did not pay a penny but are able to keep transport fares manageable, ensure continuous procurement of more buses, if they can pay fairly those that are employed, as well as keep reliable, then these buses should not be disorganized. The taxis can be hopeless. If you see even now, the day when the buses are not their, the taxi cheats ask for any prices for the routes even if this means doubling the fares. It will be very unhuman and out of reach with reality if any local leaders force these buses off the roads. The people who use these buses know how the buses help them. The Local Government authorities ought to be very careful when they mishandle the Pioneer buses. If this company can get as many buses into the country, people will get more value for money as their peanut pay will earn. Secondly, there is need to de-congest the city. Recently, I witnessed a Namulundu Medical Service Ambulance which got to a standstill at Kibuye as the vehicles were not moving. We must get sense in this country, much as some areas are avenues for money for the local governments, we need a balance. William Kituuka
WHAT BUGANDA PRESENTED TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMISSION The Buganda Kingdom Constitutional Review Commission consisted of: 1. Owek. J. W. Katende – Chairman 2. Owek. A. Makubuya – Vice Chairman 3. Owek. C. P. Mayiga – Secretary 4. Owek. Haji Ssemakalu – Member 5. Owek. Kayita Musoke – Member 6. Owek. Ssava Sserubiri – Member 7. Owek. Kamala Kanamwangi – Member The presentation focused basically on three areas: 1. The Federal System of Government in Uganda. 2. Land Ownership. 3. The Status of Traditional Leaders. A. THE FEDERAL SYSYTEM OF GOVERNMENT IN UGANDA 1. Executive Summary about Federalism Federalism is a system of Governance. It is not about getting rid of the Central Government. It is not about party politics. It is not about multi-partism or absence of it. It is not about religious differences. It is not about tribalism. It is not for the benefit of Buganda alone. It is not about monarchism. It is not about land or dispossessing people from land. It is not about supremacy of one region over others. It is about helping the Central Government to provide services more efficiently and provide more effective development to the people. It is about sharing power and responsibilities between the Central Government and Regional Governments. Federation is about providing more prosperity, more wealth, more feeling of belonging and participation in governance by marginalized and non-marginalized people. The Federal system of Government minimizes possibilities of waging war against the Central Government. It minimizes internal acts of terrorism and discontent against the central Government. It has inbuilt safeguards that ensure uniform growth for all the regions of the country, and additional measures to make sure that marginalized or less developed regions of the country can catch up, through the system of equalization grants and affirmative action programmes. These ensure that regions with greater income and development contribute a pre-agreed percentage of their earnings to the development of areas, which may be less developed. It should be noted that Federalism, though different from Decentralization, does not contradict or exclude Decentralization. The two systems can and should co-exist and complement each other, at the Regional level. Advocating Federal does not mean orseek to get rid of decentralization from the regional tier. Nor does it mean getting rid of District leaders or other Local Government Officials. WHAT IS THE FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT? Perhaps the easiest way to understand and to explain the Federal System of governance is to set out the most commonly asked questions and misconceptions about the system. Responding to these questions and concerns will effectively clarify why the people of Buganda and the people of Uganda generally desire a Federal System of Government. It is important to answer these questions by referring to our history and experience with the Federal System of Government in order to ensure that we learn from our past mistakes. What is the Federal System of Government? In the most basic sense, “Federalism” is a national system of governance in a country with one Central Government for the country and several regional governments. What does the Central Government do under this type of arrangement? The Central Government has control over national matters like defence, citizenship, foreign relations, telecommunication, electricity, inter-region highways, dams, rail networks, airports, national monuments and natural resources and other such overall national policies. What do the regional governments do under this arrangement? The regional governments take care of regional matters in the particular regions like schools, health services, feeder roads, culture, land, local services, local government, local development plans, local economic policy. What is the objective of Federalism? The primary philosophy under this system is that it is the people in the various regions of the country who are best suited to determine affairs of that region. The regional governments are given autonomy to decide their regional affairs themselves on the terms that best suit them. Has Uganda ever been governed under a Federal System of Government? Yes. From the very foundation of the Country, Uganda was a Federation of the Kingdom States of Ankole, Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro the Territory of Busoga and the other non-kingdom state that make up the rest of Uganda. How was this Federal Arrangement arrived at? Each of the Kingdom States entered into an Independent Protection Agreement with the British Colonial Government to give up their respective independence and join a new Federal State known as Uganda, on terms spelt out in the respective Protection Agreements. In the case of Buganda, this was under the 1900 Buganda Agreement. It was under these Agreements that the very diverse and culturally different peoples in Uganda came together as one nation known as Uganda. What was the relationship between the various kingdoms and colonial government? Under these arrangements, each kingdom state remained in the union of Uganda upon the terms and conditions set out in its particular agreement. The powers and duties of the respective states, as well as the powers and duties of the Colonial Central Government were properly addressed in these Agreements and the two institutions worked well together. How long did this arrangement last? This arrangement continued throughout the colonial times until the protection Agreement expired on 8th October 1962, at independence. Even at Independence, both the British Government as well as the pre-independence Ugandan leaders recognized that it was important for the people of Uganda as a whole to continue being together as one nation group known as Uganda that can meaningfully pursue national objectives and aspirations on the world stage. But at the same time, they also realized the inevitable truism: that the people who made up this nation state of Uganda were people from different cultural and historical backgrounds, with varying cultural and social needs, aspirations and traditions. Amidst these differences, a compromise position emerged, at the Lancaster Conference, in the form of a Federal System of Government. This Federal System permitted the various Kingdoms and non-kingdom states to continue following their traditional ways of life and fulfill their cultural and social obligations and aspirations, within the umbrella system of one nation that pursued national objectives and goals. After 1955, the Kabaka became a non-political monarch. At Independence, the system of Government, arrived at by agreement of all parts of Uganda, was embodied in a document known as the 1962 Constitution. What were the basics underlying this Federal arrangement? During the colonial period, Uganda had organized into various Kingdom States and districts of peoples with relatively homogeneous ethnic backgrounds. The philosophy was that people should be grouped together into variable regional units, with each unit being made up of people who shared the same traditions, history, language, culture and traditional beliefs. What happened in the non-kingdom areas of Uganda? In the case of non-Kingdom states of Uganda, the system of Administration divided the nation into large district groups, with each district large enough to encompass whole ethnic groups with the above characteristics. There were very few exceptions to this general rule. The colonial districts were much larger ad more economically viable units than the current fragmented mostly unviable districts. Many of these districts were governed directly from the centre and did not benefit from the Federal System. Although these were negatively impacted by being administered from the centre, the colonial government mitigated their lack of benefits of full Federal by grouping and administering them through “quasi federal,” large and economically viable regional blocks named Northern Region, Eastern Region and Western Region. How were the Federal Regions Administered? During the colonial period, the various states and districts were administered through their leaders and cultural institutions where these existed. For example, under the 1900 Buganda Agreement, the Kingdom of Buganda remained a Kingdom as a whole, and was administered through the Kabaka (King), the Katikkiro (Prime Minister), the Abakungu (Ministers) the Lukiiko (Parliament), and the local government administrative structure from the Masaza to Batongole. Similar arrangements worked with the rest of Uganda. This Federal and Semi-Federal arrangement was maintained by the 1962 Constitution. Why did the colonial government rely on traditional leaders and institutions in the governance of Uganda? The British colonial government recognized that traditional leaders and cultural institutions played a very major role in the development and transformation of society. They also realized that it was much easier to mobilize people of similar ethnic backgrounds to work together, through their traditional institutions for development. It was for this reason that they relied upon the traditional institutions to achieve the rapid transformation of societies in Uganda. Did the Federal arrangement work in Uganda? In all Uganda’s recorded history, the period between 1945 and 1967 was the period that marked the fastest level of development of Ugandan society during which we saw a very rapid economic transformation. Most of the institutions, schools and colleges, roads, hospitals and much of our physical infrastructure were all built during this period. Uganda’s economic growth rate in the 1950’s was one of the fastest in the world. We were a more economically advanced society than the famous Asian Tiger nations like Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. In East Africa, we were far ahead of our neighbours; Kenya and Tanzania and other nations in the region. Uganda was then known as the Switzerland of Africa. What happened to the Federal System of Government in Uganda? In 1966, the Kabaka’s palace was invaded by the Central Government and the Kabaka was forced into exile. Uganda’s Federal System was unilaterally abolished in contravention of the pre-agreed 1962 Constitution. This was done without any consultation or consent of the people of Uganda. In 1967, a new Constitution was put in place that abolished Federal arrangements all over Uganda. This Constitution also unilaterally abolished the institutions of traditional and cultural leaders in Uganda. Why was the Federal System removed? Was it because it did not work? Various reasons can be advanced for the forceful overthrow of the system, but the most important one was simply the clash between the two leaders at the time. Evidence of the fact that it was this clash and not the failure of the Federal System, can be found in the speech made by Prime Minister Milton Obote to the National Parliament on 30th June, 1966. This speech is reported in the Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 1st Session, 1966-67, 2nd Series, Volume 63, from pages 529 onwards. At page 534, hansard reports, in Obote’s own words that “the cause of trouble is the ambition of Sir Edward Muteesa and nothing more.” Furthermore, although Obote invaded the Palace I 1966, when he introduced his Pigeonhole Constitution in April 1966 he did not, under that Constitution, abolish the federal System of Government for Uganda. Instead he engaged in dialogue with the Buganda leadership to find out whether they would install another Prince as the Kabaka. It was only after Buganda refused to have any other Kabaka but Mutesa II that Obote decided in May 1967 (over a year later), to abolish the Federal System and to rule the whole country from the centre. This he did by introducing the 1967 Constitution, under which he renamed Uganda a Republic. The clash between the two leaders was exacerbated by the problems inevitably caused when a new position of head of State (a political role) was created in 1964. A king, who was the head of his own regional kingdom, occupied this new contradictory position of the national Head of State. The merger of traditional leadership of a kingdom and political leadership of the whole nation, led to an inevitable clash between the two institutions, as well as between the President and the Prime Minister. Lessons must obviously be drawn from this experience. The Federal System that worked well throughout the colonial period and in the early years after independence thus came to an end. What happened to Uganda after the overthrow of the system? From the overthrow of the Federal System, Uganda as a nation state begin its journey of steady decline for over two decades, with unprecedented terror, tyranny, lawlessness, infamy and rogue-state status around the world. The National Resistance Movement resolved to fight this tyranny and went to bush to return peace, democracy and prosperity of Uganda. This liberation war was fully actively supported by the Kabaka and the people of Buganda, as well as very many people elsewhere in the country. Many in Luweero and elsewhere lost their lives for this cause. Are Traditional Leaders and Institutions dangerous to the development of the Country? The NRM Government allowed and facilitated the return of the traditional leaders, and the revival of tradition, cultural and social aspirations of the people of Uganda. Although this was feared by many opponents as a return to the “dark ages,” and all kinds of imaginary fears were predicted by the ever present prophets of doom, we have all seen that these traditional institutions have enabled Uganda to continue its peaceful journey of revival. The traditional leaders have contributed tremendously to the unity, happiness and development of their various people’s in Uganda. Under Federalism, their potential as mobilizers for development would even be greater. Valuable lessons have obviously been learnt from the History of Uganda, and the 1966 Crisis. The people of Buganda, just as the Central Government, appreciate the great need to iron out the areas of controversy that led to the 1966 crisis and the collapse of Federalism. The people of Buganda, and it is believed many other people from other parts of Uganda would like the question of the Federal System of Government to be revisited from other parts of Uganda, would like the question of Federal System of Government to be revisited and re-introduced with necessary modifications to bring the system in line with today’s prevailing social, economic and other conditions and circumstances. Does the Federal System of Government work anywhere in the world? The Federal System of Government is very popular and has worked successfully in many countries around the world. Good examples include: the United States of America, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Belgium, South Africa, Malaysia, Spain, and Belgium to mention some. These are among the most stable and prosperous countries in the world. Does it work in developing countries? Does it work in Africa? All the above examples show, the system works well for both developed countries, like the United States and Germany, and also for developing nations, like Brazil, Malaysia and India. Does the federal System of Government work in countries with diverse ethnic groups? Yes. As a matter of fact, most of the countries where there is Federalism have very diverse peoples. A good example is India. With a population in excess of 1 billion people, and a physical size of more than 50 times the total land area of Uganda, India is governed under a Federal System of government, and it has never had a military coup or an illegal overthrow of government in over 50 years of independence. India has in excess of 1,000 different ethnic groups, yet it is the world’s largest democracy. Brazil has over 600million people and is the largest country in Latin America. Its conditions are not different from those of India, yet Federalism has thrived there too, and Brazil has had relatively stable governments. Does the Federal System work in small countries or countries with small populations? Size is irrelevant. Even small countries like Switzerland and Belgium some of which are much smaller than Uganda and with even smaller populations, function with very effective Federal Systems. Are there any Federal Systems in the world based on ethnic origins, cultures, or languages? Yes. A god African example is the State of Ethiopia, where the Federal regions are divided on the basis of ethnic origin. Other examples in the world include the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. Even the United Kingdom, which has had a unitary government for centuries, has at least realized the merits and strength of federalism along cultural and ethnic lines. It has introduced some form of Federal arrangement based on ethnic origins amongst the English, Welsh and Scots. In Uganda, during the colonial period and under the 1962 constitution, Federalism was partially practiced on a regional basis with each region being viable and comprising people of similar languages, culture and traditions. After years’ of investigation, interviewing and receiving people’s views, the Odoki Constitutional Commission recommended (under recommendation 18.84 of its Report that, “the demarcation of local administration boundaries has not always been logical or natural.” “It recommended that, “A fair system should take into consideration, among other things, common language, culture, geographical features, natural boundaries and economic viability. This recommendation was adopted! Does a Federal System based on similar cultures, traditions, languages and beliefs work? Yes. In Ethiopia, after the failed experiment of a unitary government that led to a bitter civil war, and the secession of Eretria, the horn of Africa nation embarked on a bold experiment to introduce a new Federal arrangement based on these standards. Multi-lingual Switzerland, and the Federal Republic of Germany also have similar systems. A Federal System based on similarity of cultures, traditions, languages and ethnic origin, works and, in many cases, works even better than the case of a Federal System which joins diverse people, with no common cultures, languages and traditions. Why does the Federal System of Government work in countries where it is practiced? The Federal System of Government works in the countries where it is because the respective central governments recognize that the best people to understand and devise solutions to the problems of the various Federal regions in such countries are the people of those regions themselves. In India for example, the Central Government in New Delhi knows tha the problems of Tamil Nadhu are probably different from those of Uttar Pradesh. It recognizes the diversity of their problems and knows that it is not in the best position to decide for these people how their problems should be solved. Even in the great United States of America, the different states in different regions have different problems. For example, states on the West Coast like California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are very dry. Their annual concerns are earthquakes, fires that burn throughout these states, and droughts. Their biggest concerns are to build structures for irrigation, to build earthquake proof buildings, and improve fire-fighting techniques. By contrast, the States on the US East Coast like Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut have their concerns as long cold winters. Southern States like Florida, and Louisiana worry about tornadoes and floods which destroy property worth millions of dollars annually. The Federal Government recognized early that USA was a collection of States with different problems, the Federal Government does not purport to know how to solve all the different problems, it recognized that the States themselves should be the best entities to deal with these problems. Would the Federal System of Government work in Uganda? Yes. It must be recognized that Uganda is made up of various different groups of people with diverse backgrounds and cultures. We must also acknowledge the reality that the majority of our people are rural and unsophisticated. They live and practice their traditional ways of life. It must also be acknowledged that, just like in the United States, different regions of Uganda have different problems. For example, the people of Soroti District have to contend with violent cattle rustling which results in terrible loss of life and property, Karamoja and parts of Ankole badly need Valley dams, Kalangala needs reliable ferry services. The list of unique local needs and priorities that are often ignored by the centre is endless. The people in their regions need to be given an opportunity to decide on their priorities. Do the people of Uganda like the Federal System of Government? The will of the people on the question of the Federal System of Government was tested by the Odoki Constitutional Commission. The results of the views collected by that Commission showed that the Federal System of Government was very popular not only in Buganda, but also in Uganda as a whole. Sixty five percent (65%) of the people of Uganda and Ninety seven percent (97%) of the people of Buganda wanted the Federal System of Government. The investigations, research and interviews carried out by the Buganda Constitutional Commission have confirmed that the views of the people of Buganda and Uganda on this matter have not changed. How are the financial arrangements in the Federal System? Funds or percentages of funds to which a Federal State is entitled or which the Central Government is bound to give the Federal State are pre-determined and cannot be unilaterally changed. So are methods of raising revenue. CONCLUSION ON FEDERALISM 1. The Federal System of Government is good for increased productivity, development, prosperity and wealth for all Ugandans. 2. The System is not a Buganda issue alone. Federalism is for the benefit of all Ugandans. 3. The System ensures that local people have a say in how they should be governed. This minimizes chances of terrorism, rebel activity and discontent. 4. The system provides employment at regional levels, with decisions of who to employ being made locally by the people of the area. 5. The system is desired by the majority of the people in Buganda and in Uganda as a whole. The basic principle that emerges from this report is that different regions, peoples, cultures and groups of people have competing priorities. The people most affected by a particular problem are best positioned to devise and implement strategies to solve them within a national constitutional framework. This accelerates development, good governance and contentment. B. LAND OWNERSHIP The 9,000 square miles of land taken from Buganda The ownership and management of the 9,000 sq. miles should revert to the Kingdom of Buganda. The 9,000 sq. miles of land had been entrusted to the Crown Government for protection and development, under the 1900 Agreement. It was returned to the Kingdom of Buganda at Independence. It was forcefully taken over after 1966. Just like expropriated properties of Asians and traditional leaders have been returned and it is the well established Government policy that such properties should be returned, this land should be returned to the Kingdom of Buganda. Returning it to Buganda does not mean affecting any existing or future rights of lawful owners or occupants, anymore than the return of Kabaka’s land in 1993 affected any legitimate owners or occupants. The return of the 9,000 sq. miles does not mean evictions, or displacements of people occupying parts of this land. All people, Baganda and non Baganda will continue to enjoy all rights on that land and no one will be victimized. The Land Act, 1998 The Constitution of Uganda in 1995 introduced the concepts of ‘bonafide occupants’ and ‘lawful occupants’ of land and security of occupancy. The Constitution further provided that Parliament shall enact a law to give meaning to these terms. The law that resulted was the Land Act, 1988. The land Act, 1988 needs to be repealed and its aims and objectives should be revisited to ensure that it adheres to well established principles of Constitutional Law and does not violate Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. In enforcing the rights of Bonafide and lawful occupants as set out in the Constitution, it tramples on the Constitutional Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of Land Owners. When the Land Act automatically creates tenancies, and takes away the land owner’s right to negotiate fair tenancy terms; when it restricts the land owner’s right to use the land; when it restricts the rights of a title holder to transfer, pledge or mortgage land; it is taking away the essence of ownership, and is interfering with the property rights of the land owners, which is unconstitutional. The unconstitutional 1998 Land Act deprived land owners who had invested in land, of their property without complying with provisions of Article 26(2) of the 1995 Constitution which provides as follows: “No person shall be compulsorily deprived of property or any interest or right over property of any description except where the following conditions are satisfied: a) The taking of possession or acquisition is necessary for public use or in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; and b) The compulsory taking of possession or acquisition of property is made under a law which makes provision for:- i. Prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation, prior to the taking of possession or acquisition of the property; and ii. A right of access to court of law by any person who has an interest or right of property. The 1998 Land Act deprived land owners many of whom had invested their savings into land were suddenly deprived of their interest and right in their land for an inadequate compensation of Shs 1,000 per year not paid prior to its being taken, and the taking was not necessary for “public use or the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health.” The Land Act also imposed the above paltry fee irrespective of the size, location or use of the land. This does not make economic sense at all. This issue is very important to the people of Buganda, because it directly affects the land returned to the Kabaka under the “Ebyaffe” statute in 1993. Although on paper, the Kabaka holds 350 sq. miles of land which were returned to him, in actual fact, he cannot use this land, nor does he benefit from it. The issue does not affect the Kabaka alone. It also affects the people of Buganda and Uganda, whether they are mailo or leaseholders. Since the early 1920’s, the safety form of investment for an ordinary Muganda has always been land. Land is a valuable and sacred asset in Buganda. Objection to the extremely unfair rent of shs 1,000 irrespective of size or location or economic activity on the land is not in disregard of tenants’ or occupants’ rights. Throughout our history, the Busuulu and Envujjo laws found an appropriate compromise between land owners and tenants. These laws gave sufficient protection to tenants and squatters, while at the same time giving protection to the landlord. In this manner a viable economic relationship between the two groups emerged. The current Land Act upset these relationships and is not workable. It is possible to achieve the public interest objectives of Land Act in other manners that do not violet fundamental freedoms and property rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The Constitution needs to be revisited on questions of ‘bonafide’ and ‘lawful occupants’ having regard to the rights of landholders. If the Constitution clarifies the issue, then the Land Act can be adjusted accordingly. The issue of the Land Act is raised here because it emanates from the above Constitutional provisions. C. THE STATUS OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS Tax Exemption for Traditional Leaders: The Kabaka and other traditional leaders should be exempted from paying tax in recognition of their developmental, mobilizing, cultural and leadership roles. This had been the position when in 1993when the institutions were restored. The law restoring the traditional institutions also provided that they should be exempted from taxation. Through an inadvertent omission, when the provisions relating to restoration of the traditional institutions were imported into the 1995 Constitution, the provisions relating to tax exemption were repealed with the rest of the 1993 Statute. Immunity from Criminal Prosecution: The traditional leaders should also be exempted from criminal prosecution. This is the position in many countries such as Ghana, where traditional leaders similar to ours exist. Protocol The people of a particular area hold their traditional leader in high esteem. They therefore view it as a humiliation that the Traditional leader should be relegated to the current low protocol ranking on State functions taking place. We propose that the Traditional leader in whose area a State function is held should take precedence over all people except the President and Vice President. CONCLUSION TO SUBMISSION 1. This report is not exhaustive, but it addresses the core issues of concern to the people of Buganda. Separation and individual recommendations may and will be made on other issues which the people in Buganda would like to be reviewed in this Constitutional Review process. 2. This report is a result of recommendations made by the Buganda Constitutional Review Commission after interviewing a variety of people from Buganda and outside and receiving representations from various people within and outside Uganda.
Below are a few of the former members of the SMACK Community for whom prayers due on Friday, 9th November, 2012 starting at 5.00pm at Christ the King Church are meant. See you there. William Kituuka firstname.lastname@example.org