*Dear Mr Nuwagaba, Many Ugandans who have travelled and seen governance in other counties came to see federalism as the medicine to solve all the problems that you mention below.
There is a whole dozier that has been written by these Ugandans. It promises to deliver answers to all the secessionists grievances, and much more !! And the authors represent a range of our ethnic groups. It is unfortunate that Mengo's self-seekers corrupts and latches itself on this concept. It is a concept we have to liberate from them. Recently, the draft was passed on to Betty Kamya, by one Ugandan. But I wonder whether she is the right person to sell it Ugandans. Brother Nuwagaba, you have nothing to lose by reading it. Me too started off opposed to it, in the mistaken belief that it was an extension of the buffoonery from Mengo. I was pleasantly surprised. Mitayo Potosi. =================== * Secession talk is a pointer that something is wrong Vincent Nuwagaba Members of Parliament from the greater north comprising West Nile, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and Acholi sub-regions have lately been making calls for secession. This is not the first time the greater north is making calls for secession and these calls haven’t been exclusive to them. MP Hussein Kyanjo (Makindye West, Jeema) has in the past made spirited calls for secession of Buganda, citing marginalisation. Sadly, instead of looking at the reasons advanced, some Ugandans have opted to vilify and demonise those calling for secession. I think we are being uncritical and naïve. Those making calls for secession are expressing their discontent. Rather than scold them, we should exhort government to treat all citizens equally. Surprisingly, the government is not comfortable about this secession talk, yet it has failed to address the concerns raised. Should the greater north remain in subjugation? All of us would like to live in a country where we are not discriminated against. The government’s act of recalling Ambassador Onen from the East African Community Secretariat was just a trigger but there were deep-rooted problems that re-ignited the secession talk. Even if Ambassador Onen had not been recalled, he wouldn’t be a solution to the greater north in as far as marginalisation is concerned. Clearly, the NRM has ignored its blueprint, the Ten Point Programme, whose point number three and seven were consolidation of national unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism and elimination of corruption and misuse of power respectively. I point out point number three and seven because whoever talks of marginalisation is a victim of either sectarianism or corruption and misuse of power or both. I am firmly convinced that sectarianism is one of the highest forms of corruption that we are witnessing in this country, for sectarianism leads to the misallocation of resources. Furthermore, sectarianism undermines institutions as the office bearers pay more allegiance to their political godfathers at the expense of institutions, systems, rules and structures. Sectarianism is both inimical and antithetical to patriotism which President Museveni is preaching. Those raising the secession voices are victims of sectarianism, corruption and misuse of power. They are simply showing that something is amiss. And we must applaud them for demanding a fair share of the national cake. Otherwise, there is no reason for them to remain in a country where they are perpetually marginalised. What I find disagreeable however is their conviction that the western part of the country is benefitting. There are individuals in Western Uganda who are favoured but there are also many from the same region who are indubitably marginalised. Marginalisation is not exclusive to the north. Just because my area Member of Parliament is a minister does not mean I am benefitting even when I have no job, no drugs in our health centres and if our roads are in a sorry state. We have five counties and five ministers in Bushenyi District but only one Member of Parliament, who incidentally is a backbencher, has registered visible success through an organisation known as Integrated Community Based Initiative. Ironically, there are many people from western Uganda who are frustrated as a result of unemployment, poverty, poor service delivery, among others. But for them they are caught between a devil and a deep blue sea as they cannot call for secession. If you are here in Kampala, the talk is that Westerners are ‘in the thing’; when you go to the west, the talk is that the Banyankole are ‘eating’; if you go to Ankole, the talk is that the Bahiima are ‘eating’ and possibly among the Bahiima, the talk is that it is the Basiita ‘eating’. This is a pointer that each region and ethnic group feels some level of discontent and marginalisation. The difference is only in the magnitude with some regions feeling that they are more marginalised than others. Let government embrace meritocracy and in the allocation of public valuables as opposed to allocation of the national cake on patronage basis. Remember, all Ugandans pay taxes and have a right to benefit from their taxes. Truth is that virtually all Ugandans are faced with more or less similar problems and should adopt similar means to solve them. Mr Nuwagaba is a human rights defender vnuwag...@gmail.com
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