Federo? No thanks. Secession Please.

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    I don’t know whether this adds anything worthwhile to the debate, but here it is…

    Federo debate is open to people of all ages

    By Jenkins Kiwanuka
    Wednesday, January 20 2010
    In Summary

    He was obviously referring to those who voted the ruling government into power. But my point was that most of our current problems had their origin in the formative years of independent Uganda, the 1950s and 1960s.

    While in the thinking of some people I sometimes do ‘despicable’ things like shaking hands with Maj. Kakooza Mutale at the Buganda Conference on Federalism in Uganda last year, I don’t think I deserved the verbal assault from a self-proclaimed ‘blogger’ during the Christmas and New Year seasons.

    The ‘blogger’, who avoided appending his name on all his messages, took exception to my article of December 16 in which I argued in favour of a federal system of governance for Uganda. He was particularly rattled by the following observation:

    “The Baganda largely have themselves to blame for failing to achieve a federal system for the Kingdom and the rest of Uganda because while their kinsmen like Ignatius Musaazi were forming and promoting political parties in the 1950s, the administrators at Mengo were facilitating anti-party movements to wipe the parties from the political map of Uganda”. That was a historical fact, but the ‘blogger’ thought otherwise. “You never cease to amaze me with your Baganda-bashing,” he wrote and went on: “Your generation of Baganda is stuck in an unconscious search of what would have been [whereas] we the young ones know what we want. The old yoyos would do better to steer clear of the federo debate because they sold us out for a few pieces of silver twenty three years ago”.

    He was obviously referring to those who voted the ruling government into power. But my point was that most of our current problems had their origin in the formative years of independent Uganda, the 1950s and 1960s.

    It is perhaps worth to note that while some of the current youthful intellectuals at Mengo are doing fairly well, the other young Baganda who pretended to come to the aid of Kabaka Mutebi immediately after his coronation in 1993 by organising dinner parties and motor rallies almost turned the Kabakaship into a commercial enterprise. To borrow a phrase from the ‘blogger’, the love for silver is therefore not confined to the ‘old yoyos’ but is inherent in the young ‘yoyos’ too.

    Incidentally, the fellow only turned a ‘blogger’ when I challenged him to write a response to my article, incorporating his youthful views. “I do not write in the spreads”, he said, “I am a blogger on the Network’. He prayed that age allows me to understand his language.

    If he attended the Buganda Conference, he did not introduce himself to me. But his fellow ‘young ones’ who organised the conference invited many ‘old yoyos’ who included an 83-year-old member of Buganda’s defunct ‘Kirimuttu’ underground movement. The octogenarian was warmly applauded when he addressed the conference, and so was retired Justice Kanyeihamba who gave the key-note address.

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    That apart, most of the papers presented were not in divergence with what I had written and were stressing the 1989/92 findings of the Justice Benjamin Odoki Commission [which established that over 90 per cent of the people in Buganda and over 60 per cent of those in the whole of Uganda supported a federal system of governance] as a basis for future debates on the issue.

    Because he insisted on speaking even when he had not been invited to, Maj. Mutale, a leading supporter of the ruling party, was looked upon askance by the participants. Instead of talking about political power under a federal dispensation, he applauded the present unitary system and the power of the gun.

    He was dressed down by Opposition MP Mohammed Kyanjo, an outspoken hardliner and supporter of Mengo. Mr Kyanjo questioned the power of the gun reminding Maj. Mutale that under the Constitution, ‘all power belongs to the people. Amazingly, Kyanjo, rather than Maj. Mutale, is being interrogated by CID.

    The writer is a journalist and retired foreign service officer

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