By Carol Kasujja and Lawrence Mulondo
GOVERNMENT will not abolish traditional or cultural institutions, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mary Karooro Okurut has clarified.
This follows recent reports about plans by Government to remove all 14 kings from the official list of recognized traditional and cultural leaders in Uganda.
“I would like to assure the nation that the NRM Government cannot abolish the traditional or cultural leaders because it is the only Government which restored them in 1993 which had been abolished by previous governments and leaders in 1966. The NRM leadership is law abiding,” said Karooro.
When speaking to New Vision, Karooro said it was a case of misinterpretation of Government’s stand.
“Since our communication has been largely misinterpreted, the status quo remains,” Karooro said.
She explained that the on-going process is to correct the titles of traditional cultural leaders that were published in the Uganda Gazette, General Notice No.303 of 2014.
After receiving complaints from the Public concerning the use of Titles of some traditional or cultural leaders, On 6th May, 2014, Karooro wrote a letter to Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation, the official publisher of the Uganda Gazette, titled ‘Annulment of general notice NO,303 of 2014.
“This is to request you to de-gazette the names and titles of traditional or cultural leaders, which appeared in the Uganda Gazette, No. 303 of 2014,” she wrote.
During the press briefing on Friday at Media Centre, she said that the intention of her letter to (UPPC) was not to disown the traditional or cultural leaders in the country but to ensure that their titles are consistent with article 246 of the constitution.
“We want to re-gazette Cultural leader’s titles/names for the sake of keeping the proper titles/names. We want to do away with imposters who had given themselves titles which do not belong to them, we want to see that the rightful cultural leaders remain with their titles/names.” Karooro said.
During the meeting, the director for gender, Ssanyu Mpagi, said that as soon as cultural leaders submit their titles/names, they will reintroduce their proper titles in the Uganda Gazette.
“We are aware that some cultural leaders have so many titles, but we shall officially consider only those names that will be submitted to us. We expect this process to be done by the end of October,” said Mpagi.