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Beti Kamya and President Museveni cannot be trusted on federalism in Uganda

By Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Politics is a 'don't trust me' ball game and Honourable Beti Kamya decided to play this game by hijacking something called federalism to further her career in politics, without giving a damn to a lot of people that treasure federalism alot. If she does succeed, we will be happy. If she fails, she will probably jump on to something else to further her career. Please nobody should deceive you that there are no people in FDC, DP,CP or SDP fighting for federalism in Uganda as federalism is part of all these party's manifestos. I don't know about UPC but I'm sure there are people doing it in other parties and have probably been doing it for ages. For instance, Owekitibwa Joyce Sebugwawo has been fighting for Buganda as far as I can remember and nobody can compare her to Beti Kamya in this battle. Sebugwawo probably would have won the Lubaga chairman elections in 2009 against Sematimba Peter if DP and FDC had sat on the same table and kept their differences wrapped in a magic cloth somewhere. Sebugwawo has been a rock for Buganda for ages. Beti Kamya is just a new comer and we all know why she is jumped on the federo band wagon and Buganda causes. If Kamya was that much interested in fighting particularly for federalism, why didn't she join CP which has been doing it since 1980s?

In Mexico, there was a man called Francisco Madero who preached federalism and every one knew that he believed in it. He continued to preach federalism even after becoming a president. He was one of the few Mexican presidents to preach federalism seriously though he was murdered in 1913 before he could achieve his goal of returning “political personality” to local government. He was not like some people who preached federalism and Ebyaffe in the bushes of Luwero to further their political career, and after becoming presidents; everything just went out of the window. That's why I personally don't trust people who hijack serious causes because they have fallen out with their political parties.

As far as I know, FDC is not against federalism and there are people in that party fighting for it.It was part of their manifesto in 2006 as it's going to be in 2011 elections. Who could possibly be against a broader distribution of power, decision-making capacity, and economic resources—at present so centralized in the NRM regime or Museveni's state house?

It's the NRMO leader, president Museveni, who is against federalism if one follows what he has been writing or saying about Buganda and federalism in the media.He said on WBS television last year that he will never grant federo to Buganda and he is instead pushing for a regional government branded 'regional tier'. In any case, can the division of power implicit in federalism be implemented by an NRMO government that has acquired and so long kept its power under shady circumstances involving fraudulent elections in 2001 and 2006?

So Ugandans, trust me when I say that federalism in Uganda is still a long way particularly if President Museveni and NRMO continue to lead us because you can't achieve it when a large number of politicians aren't into it. There are signs that Ugandan politicians are not even aware of the need to consider what the role of federalism will be in the present situation. Everyone is just on political survival of 'how do I safe guard my constituency'. That's why there are even designing draconian bills like the duo citizenship bill that stop guys like us from returning home and compete for specific offices, basically because we have got citizenships of another country. These guys in power now are first class cowards who will do anything to stay in power.

In Mexico, because the government in power was preaching and believing in federalism, it invested a lot in making the population and politicians to understand what federalism was all about. For instance, the Federal Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City actually sponsored a course on federalism for its members organized by the National Institute of Public Administration. The classes attracted more than 100 deputies and government officials and included comparative study of the federalist systems of Mexico, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The 2-month seminar ended with the conferring of diplomas in federalism.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba



Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba


Your Comment

Arnold Patrick | 8/23/2010 9:32:00 PM
Allow me to begin by greeting in you in your capacity, My name is Arnold Turwomwe and I happen to have read your article in the Monitor, dated 19/08/2010, titled "Kamya and Museveni not to be trusted on federalism". The article rather caught my attention on how you attacked Hon .Beti Kamya saying that she is looking to further her carrier, now Mr Semuwemba I don't mean to be offensive but such a statement to me and any other person that has keenly monitored our politicians, would consider that as a naive statement. Such assumptions that the Hon. will probably jump on to something else to further her carrier are very distorted. If Honourable Beti Kamya was looking for a way to further her carrier or find where she benefits most, then trust me she would be in the NRM party by now. How do you attack her because she fell out with FDC and started her own party? The lady simply didn't see the party having her national interests at heart and decided to move forward and preach the word of federalism on a broader basis.

The SDP and Mrs Sebugwawo you are reffering to are going to be heavily disappointed after IPC goes into power, the party is so disorganised from a universal level. How do you form a party whose primary role is to remove Museveni? So what happens next after the man is off, because if I'm not mistaken UPC abolished federalism so we cant be certain that there up for it, no wander it has pulled out. The CP you have been referring to hasn't been clear on which form of federalism they want, therefore the Hon can't risk another ten years or so being in CP which isn't as clear on federalism as UFA. FDC for your information has only promised federalism for Buganda, there's noway you can give one region federalism and not expect chaos from other regions. That is actually the ground reason as to why the late Obote abolished federalism, the man was doing it in the interests of his Northern people who clearly weren't benefiting from federalism, but i assume that's just okay with you as long as Buganda gets federalism. However as a Munyakore man my struggle for federalism wouldn't just stop at seeing Buganda acquiring it that's why I am a die hard UFA supporter because our primary goal is simply to get a federalist system in Uganda (all regions).

It still beats my understanding that you can have support for FDC, they intend to run a unitary gov't and just give federalism to Buganda. This beats my understanding because even the Franciso Madero icon you are reffering to fought for federalism across the whole of Mexico, so how can you even have a sympathy vote for FDC in the sense of federalism? You even went ahead and said certain politicians use a political survival strategy of "how do I safeguard my constituency" (an attack I believe to Honourable Beti), this has convinced many respondents that all your assumptions and arguements are based on distorted and naive rumours that you might have got from your collegues that live in Uganda. The lady has sacrifized her "consrituency" to go promote federalism on a broader scale and you people give statements that she is looking to further her carrier, leaving politicians like Dr Kizza Besigye who is contesting for the third time as angels/heroes.

But since you're so good at judging and analyzing politicians, ask yourself that how many of these IPC officials go on campaign stages and promise us federalism? How many? All they do is go and criticize the gov't and tell us things like "Aja genda" forgetting to put out the federal issue. Mrs Sebugwawo, when she was defeated in the LCIII by-elections,
barely could you hear her put the issue of federalism on the table, all she talked about was why Hon Beti fell out of FDC, and how Mr Peter Sematimba can't be trusted and that's why she actually came in third place.

So Mr Abbey, it was very unreasonable, unethical and irresponsible for you to categorize Hon. Beti Kamya with Mr Museveni especially on the issue of federalism. Infact if there's anyone not to be trusted on the issue of federalism it's those people that offer federal to only Buganda, as a matter of fact there is a great possibility that it's a political stunt to acquire votes from Buganda which is clearly working on some of you. I summarize this letter urging you and your collegues to stop playing politics of next elections by attacking Hon Beti Kamya as a person and start playing politics of the next generation by looking at the main issue, federalism. Let us not waste time and valuable resources writing articles that are unethical and start sticking main issues.

Thank you.

Anthea Asiimwe | 8/23/2010 9:35:00 PM
I'm a Munyankole but I thank God for my tribe mates, they always stand up for each other unlike the Baganda. When your fellow Muganda is trying to put up good ideas or something nice, you'll say "oyo bamugula" or even what you just said, "isn't Beti just trying to use Buganda". that for your information happens here in Buganda and that is why you see Hon Kanya's party has more support in Western Uganda than in Buganda which you people should be embarrassed of. Why do you think people phrase "Abaganda balina enkwe" it doesn't come from very far. Remember Tatu the one suspected of murdering Sekabaka Muteesa, was she a munyankole or acholi?! no, but a Muganda. It's so absurd for Buganda, it is visible the kingdom is collapsing and I blame it on people like you.

You want evidence that Hon Kamya is not using Uganda, like i said, federalism is not for Buganda only, it can be for any tribe, there's federalism in Germany, Canada etc so why would you think she's using you and yet she's been to other parts of Uganda advocating for it. Besides, the Buganda Kingdom itself doesn't sponsor her activities; she covers 100% of the costs despite her being a single mother and having other obligations. I don't think Federal would even be a priority to her cos she has to lay food on the table but here is a lady who has stood out, alone, using her own money and her own people pay her back like that, Abbey, you embarrass us, basing on the fact you are in the Diaspora,,
Richard Kimera | 9/4/2010 8:17:00 AM
Hello Assimwe
It has been said time and time again that; "abaganda baliina enkwe". That is a notion that i do not agree with and was and is still used by people like you to try and stigmatise Baganda.
In spite of all that is said and what people think we shall remain a strong power that dictates the trend of things at least in our region. As long as federal is not granted and government seat remians in Buganda, whether there is perceived weakness of the kingdom or collapse liks people like you want to believe, Buganda will remain a major player in the runnings of the country.
With special respect to the examples you gave to justify the baganda balina enkwe theory, i would like to challenge you whether Besigye's response to M7 makes him a muganda, omara atubo, aggrey awori, walter ochola, Mugisha Muntu and even M7 that have reneged on multidue of things makes him Sabaganda.
I would therefore like to conclude people like you have a very deep seated hatred of Buaganda and Baganda. This is very a keen to what jews experience. You will never win. sorry mate. You will hate us and your children and grand children but that kingdom has weathered harder and tougher times than you wil ever know. If you are a level headed and sound minded person you will realise that there is nothing that bagand do that other tribes dont leave alone the rest of the people in the world. It is people like you and many others that will compells the radical baganda to front the idea of secession, as this is the the only feasible option that will be left.
Mr Assimwe,it unfortunate that that the internet does not discern intelligent and half baked posts but such posts as your are informed by hatred than sound analysis. It essence it is easier for you to post a comment than to stand up and pronounce yourself for fear od looking awkawrd and half baked.
Continue enjoying the liberties of the internet as this is the only avenue you can use.

Food for thought Assimwe