Betty Kamya wants her party to lead in seeing the federal governance granted to Uganda. However, Kamya is taking on more than she can chew. Federo is cherished by many people in Uganda, and this was concluded in the Odoki Commission report where over 65% of the people interviewed wanted it tas the system of local governance. Being party to referendum organized by the NRM Government given the experience we have with it can easily get what Odoki came up with overturned and Kamya with all her relatives could be cursed by the people of Uganda. There is no reason why Kamya wants to use her little known party for such a big project. My advice is that the good lady Kamya is, should abandon the project and do other things.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
KAMYA TAKES ON MENGO, BESIGYE OVER FEDERALISM
By Michael Mubangizi, 10 February 2012
Buganda Federal Alliance president Beti Olive Namisango Tirwomwe recently announced that her party would collect signatures to petition the Electoral Commission to hold a referendum on federalism in 2015, a move that has caused mixed feelings among political parties and cultural institutions.
She explained her party's cause to Michael Mubangizi.
What is the latest on your push for a referendum on federalism?
I need to give you the background first. UFA was established for a very specific purpose: fighting for change in political system from a unitary to a federal system of governance. We believe federalism is the most equitable system for a country with a history, geography and DNA like Uganda's. Our other activities are secondary. UFA was established two months before the beginning of the process of the 2011 general election.
We participated in the election as a precursor to our campaign for federalism. We took advantage of the election to popularise and promote our ideology, to launch the party and our flag bearers, but most importantly to de-Bugandanise federalism and Ugandanise it. Federalism had been Bugandanised - isolated and stigmatised as a Buganda issue - yet it is a universal concept in governance. The top five countries in the world are governed under federalism.
Is your agitation for a referendum because of the failure of the federalism agenda in the last election?
No, it's not. That one had a clear agenda; you can't achieve federalism through an election. There are clear constitutional guidelines of changing the political system in Uganda. Article 74 of the constitution says if you want to change a political system in Uganda, a referendum has to be held. There are three ways through which a referendum can be called: either through a resolution of Parliament, or of district councils, or of registered voters.
Since we don't have influence in Parliament and district councils, our choice is number three, which calls for raising 10% [signatures] from three thirds of parliamentary constituencies and submitting them to the EC to organise a referendum. We hope to raise no less than five million signatures and submit them to the EC in the fourth year of this Parliament. We are now still talking to the EC. They don't have to be receptive; it's a job they have to do. Once we fulfill our mandate, they have no choice.
But there is strong opposition to your proposal from political parties and cultural institutions. FDC President Kizza Besigye says there is no need to subject federalism to a vote because it was long settled by the Odoki report that showed overwhelming support for it.
Yes, but how do they plan to get it (federalism)? What process is he suggesting? What Dr Besigye doesn't realise is that the [Justice Benjamin] Odoki Commission gathered views and submitted its report, which was the basis of the constitution, but it left out federalism. There are people who walked out of the Constituent Assembly [because] they disagreed with the 1995 Constitution [for rejecting federalism]. The process we have started is the one that will bring the federalism issue back into the constitution.
Buganda kingdom spokesperson Charles Peter Mayiga says your proposal could be a ploy to kill the federalism debate for good, because you are subjecting it to a vote in which it could fare badly.
But you can't kill it for good. The constitution says every fourth year of every Parliament, you can resurrect it. If we don't win in 2015, we will raise it again in 2020. Government cannot say that we lost the referendum, therefore there will be no more referenda.
So, is the referendum a test?
No. It's not a test. We are going to do our best and I think we shall win but even if we don't win, we shall have made significant strides. It also gives us an excellent opportunity to educate the masses about federalism. There are people there who don't know what federalism is. We have raised the bar; federalism is now a [national issue]. I don't know why my colleagues still want to keep it a Buganda [issue] instead of raising the platform for everyone to participate in it.
I think they haven't given it a broader perspective. Federalism was locked out of the CA and [later] the 2005 constitutional review, but that never stopped the debate. Mayiga himself was sent, along with [former Buganda prime minister] Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere to talk to the President about federalism. Did they bring it? No, they brought the regional tier. That also didn't stop the debate. So, the quest for federalism is a struggle, not an event.
Mr Mayiga has completely misunderstood and misrepresented the interests of the kingdom, because the Kabaka said he wants federalism for the whole country; he also said he wants to share power. So, how does Mayiga expect that to become a law unless we start a constitutional process to achieve it?
One could say that by you having a parallel position to that of the kingdom, you are crying more than the bereaved.
We are all bereaved. There is no one with a bigger stake than another in this kingdom; not even the Kabaka. He doesn't have a bigger stake than me. People just have different responsibilities, but we all have an equal stake.
Does your party pursue other goals besides the restoration of federalism?
We presented a very comprehensive plan and manifesto covering all aspects of life in Uganda and I think our manifesto was rated very highly by the Citizens Manifesto, which was produced by the NGO forum. We, however, stood out on the question of federalism. We need to first sort out ideology before sorting out operations. The others - roads, hospitals, human rights and so on - are operational matters.
Won't the preoccupation with federalism be your undoing? You have committed the next three years to collecting signatures for the referendum; people want to hear you talk about other things.
For the other sectors of the economy, there is a government that has five years. So for me, while still leader of the UFA, I will pursue federalism.
What is your assessment of the performance of the 9th Parliament so far?
It's doing a good job in as far as asserting the independence of Parliament is concerned. The challenge is for the different political parties to provide the leadership that their members expect. People will allow you to lead them, but only if you lead them in the right direction; or else they rebel against you. That is what is happening with NRM.
But while we appreciate the efforts to fight corruption, it's still a superficial effort because issues like corruption, human rights abuses, lack of medicine in hospitals . . . aren't the causes of autocratic leadership; they are consequences. So, if you focus on consequences while ignoring the cause, it will not go away. That's why we in UFA are dealing with the cause. The cause is autocratic leadership, which derives from a bad constitution that gives too much power to the presidency.
And what's your assessment of President Museveni's first year of his latest term?
I don't think it has reached the threshold of being assessed. I think this is the worst year of his political life and if he hasn't seen the writing on the wall, then he isn't as visionary as he claims.
BETU KAMYA HAS DISAPPOINTED A LOT OF BAGANDA AND UGANDANS
Posted on September 28, 2010 by ekitibwakyabuganda
The story in the Eddobozi newspaper about Beti Kamya refusing the Buganda National Anthem to be sang at her party’s delegates Conference has sent shock waves to all Baganda in Uganda and in Diaspora, but Who tells you that Betty Kamya was a believer in federalism in the first place? If she can claim to be a federalist but miserably fails the test of understanding the fact that the federal concept contains a critical element of ‘unity in diversity’ which must be consciously promoted by her and her supporters, then you just have to confirm that she has all along been a masquarader. And like ‘Seya’ (Ssebaggala) has just ditched his ‘party’ supporters by crossing over to NRM, now just wait to read who’s next in line to join up where Seya has crossed over to! Sadly, that’s how low Uganda politics has sunk! Kitalo nnyo!!
On account of the fact that a big number of our people, whether educated or not, are gullible and therefore don’t bother to scratch their brains deeper than the mere surface of their head skins, they believe every garbage our greedy and ego-centric politicians blurt out while politicking. While some people had already warned Ugandans of Ssebagagla’s liability to the general political opposition on account of his political monkey business he started on immediately after he had been sworn in as the new Kampala mayor (2006-2010), and more recently when he dished out lots of money with questionable sources to DP members in Mbale, the gullible ones went ahead to join ship with his so-called Liberal Democratic Party. Where are they now after Seeya’s “giving his behind??(his own words!)” to the NRM? Certainly in the political cold!
Similarly, some people had already warned Ugandans of Betty’s acrimonious exit from FDC citing tribalism, blah, blah after which she jumped on the federalism card to form what she initially called a “pressure group” but which is now a political party! She went further to attack the FDC, IPC, KB as being no better than NRM or even Museveni, and how they are ostensibly wasting time campaigning against NRM. But even more preposterous thanthis, she went ahead to claim that she’s responsible for having made the federal cause popular to all Ugandans as if her UFA had already been formed when more than 95% of Baganda and 67% of the rest of Ugandans had already expressed themselves in favor of federalism in the Odoki Commission and subsequently the Ssempebwa Constitutional Review Commission!
But now that the pretences and lies can no longer hold for what Betty’s true political intentions are, I am so glad that she’s finally blown up her “federal” cover. Betty can go right ahead to get all the “votes” she can have from the rest of Uganda but let her also rest assured that she has completely politically ditched her would-be votes in Buganda with those careless remarks she made regarding the singing of “Ekitiibwa Kya Buganda”. Those who have the eyes to clearly see the 5th columnism in the likes of Seeya, Betty and the rest of IPC & SUUBI bashers now know who are the next two or three ”party” personalities are about to jump in the pecuniary bed with NRM!
God save Uganda and Ugandans of all the greedy and ego-centic politicians!!
Benjamin Zaake Buganga
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