DEMOCRATIC Party stalwart and Gulu district chairman Norbert Mao yesterday supported federalism as the best system of governance which will solve the persistent social, political, and economic problems that afflict Uganda.
â€œFederalism will deal with corruption, restore the prestige of the Government institutions and bring redress for imbalances in economic prosperity,â€ said Mao while addressing the second Buganda Conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
â€œThe unitary system of governance has failed Uganda and is partly responsible for the zero-sum politics which has turned our politics into a life and death struggle for the capture of power.â€
Mao excited participants when he said that for those who fear federalism â€œwe, people from northern Uganda, are not among. Federalism is being considered as the biggest form of decentralisation, following the misery brought about by war and the realisation that the region has most of Ugandaâ€™s arable land and lots of mineral wealth, including oil.â€
He charged that the Government has introduced the regional tier system not to devolve more powers to regions but â€œas a pain killer intended to provide temporary relief for those clamouring for greater regional autonomy.â€
The conference centred on the theme â€˜ The question of federalism for Ugandaâ€™ and attracted over 1,000 people, among them Mengo and central Government officials, MPs, political party leaders, representatives from various traditional institutions and from the Diaspora, academia, the religious, the academia and the civil society organisations.
Opening the conference, the Nnabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda, urged Ugandans to be proud of their cultural diversity and to avoid being taken up by globalisation.
â€œWe love Buganda because we are Baganda. We love Uganda because we are Ugandans. We love east Africa because we are east Africans. And we love Africa because we are Africans. Our love for one does not make us love the others any less,â€ she said.
She was optimistic that federalism properly conceived and faithfully implemented is a compromise that can enable the diverse people of Uganda and Africa to build happy, prosperous and great nations in the 21st century.
Retired Judge George Kanyeihamba criticised powerful Baganda personalities for failing to help crystallise the position about federo.
He urged Mengo to market the federo demand in other regions in a bid to make them less suspicious.
â€œPeople aspiring to lead Uganda must recognise, respect and accommodate acceptably the institution of the kabakaship if Buganda, its people, customs and traditions,â€ Kanyeihamba said.
Federalism best for Uganda â€“ Mao