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Nouzha Chekrouni

Her Excellency Nouzha Chekrouni, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in Canada. Pioneer: 1st woman to be elected to the party’s regional political board (1999); 1st Arab woman named Vice President of IS; 1st woman with the title of Minister.

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FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE, DELINK GOVT AND THE STATE


The Constitution of Uganda cannot steer this country to democratic order because it suffers from internal contradictions. If independence of the three arms of the State is the fulcrum of democratic governance, having the President appoint judicial officers, 20% of the legislature and the entire State infrastructure, as Uganda’s constitution provides, raises the concept of confusion to unprecedented levels.  The State of Uganda must be delinked from Govt, even if the USA does not fully delink them, as some people argue. Uganda’s constitution must be designed to serve the interests of Ugandans, not emulate other countries’ constitutions.
                                                                                            
Govt serves on a management contract, which may or may not be renewed by voters.  It might even not serve the full contract term due to impeachment, death or resignation of the president.  The State on the other hand should be permanent and non-partisan, providing infrastructure to any Govt and all citizens, without fear or favour. Fusing Govt and the State, the way the Constitution of Uganda provides, creates a powerful center, patronage, job insecurity and sycophancy. Delinking the State from Govt guarantees job security, meritocracy, efficiency, equity, predictability and continuity.

Uganda’s constitution instructs that the President appoints all political officials and non-political public officials from the rank of commissioner upwards.  President Museveni has used this provision to appoint all NRM politicians who lost in their Party primaries and National Elections as ambassadors, RDCs, Presidential Advisors, Board Members of Statutory Bodies and Commissioners of State institutions.  So, when Uganda Federal Alliance went to Lira on 17 Dec 2012 to launch the National Referendum program to trim the powers of the presidency, an activity compliant with the Constitution under Article 255(1), the RDC, Town Clerk, RPC, DPC wouldn’t let us, because, according to the official letter we received, “the Lira Local leadership might be misunderstood to be collaborating with UFA against the President”. We explained to them that we were operating within the law, but  “we might be misunderstood…., especially that Hon. Norbert Mao, President of DP, was the Chief Guest!”, they said!

The opposition can’t engage in any political activity in peace, because the IGP and all State Departments’ officials owe loyalty to the appointing authority!

Opposition Ugandans like Anne Mugisha had to denounce her opposition conscience in order for the NRM Govt to second her for a UN job. Prof Kanyeihamba who would not denounce his opposition conscience wasn’t seconded to a UN job by the NRM Govt, so the job went to a non Ugandan. Dr Otunu had to seek citizenship elsewhere to get a UN job, because the Govt of Uganda would not second him!

While all this discrimination happens, Parliament, whose ONLY constitutional role under Article 79 of the Constitution of Uganda is to “make laws…for the peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda” are busy fighting consequences of a bad constitution, which they have authority to amend!

Fortunately, Article 255(1) of the constitution provides for ordinary citizens to make direct decisions, without reference to Parliament, the Executive or Judiciary, through referenda. Citizens only need to raise 10% signatures of registered voters, from at least 1/3 of districts of Uganda, submit them to the Electoral Commission, which must then organize a referendum on the contentious matter.

Ugandans must hail Hon Norbert Mao, President of the Democratic Party and Hon Isha Otto, former MP for Oyam County, for being the first and second signatories, respectively, to the petition for a national referendum to overhaul the constitution and trim the authority of the presidency, so that no public official is blackmailed into partisanship while on duty.

Beti Olive Kamya-Turwomwe
Chief Petitioner,
National Referendum to amend the Constitution

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Ela Gandhi Gandhi Development Trust
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Ela Gandhi

Founder & Trustee Gandhi Development Trust. She is a founding member of the Natal Organization of Women, which joined the ANC Women’s League, joined the ANC and the SACP in which she was chosen as a central committee member. Ela was nominated and accepted to serve on the Legal Aid Board of South Africa.

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Wisdom Exchange Tv

UGANDA’s JUBILEE ACTIVITES




Uganda’s Golden Jubilee


For 49 years, it’s been known that in October, 2012, Uganda would celebrate her 50th Independence Day Anniversary – yet year 50 is here but there is no indication that there is anything to commemorate!  There is “The Uganda Jubilee Handbook 2012”, courtesy of Uganda Jubilee Network, a consortium of Faith organizations. (The) Daily Monitor and New Vision have each reserved a weekly column to mark the jubilee, the NGO Forum are planning something low-key, known to very few and some other organizations are individually planning things, but where is the official Govt of Uganda plan?

There is likely to be uncoordinated flurry of activities without a common theme, leading to triplication of costs, but leaving no mark of the occasion. What happened to old-fashioned, coordinated, long-term planning? I would not be surprised if, to some people, the “obvious” theme is “consolidating the achievements of NRM” all dressed up in yellow!!

Remember the respective 1977 and 1978 Church of Uganda and Catholic Church Centenary celebrations? They were launched in the January of the respective years, at the village church level, with a national theme that run horizontally through all churches and vertically through the Churches hierarchy, building upward momentum through the village, parish, archdeaconry, diocese, reaching crescendo at the Archdioceses, with celebrations that lasted the whole month of December with different activities each day.

As part of the centenary commemoration, each level of the church hierarchy was required to perform a modest development activity such as renovation of the church or acquisition of a musical facility for the church.

Construction of the (“defunct”!) Church of Uganda Centenary House on Kampala Road was inaugurated in 1977 as the major activity to celebrate 100 years of the Anglican Church in Uganda.

Themed songs and poems were composed. Themed music, dance and drama festivals and competitions were held in schools, churches, youth and women groups. Thematic clothes were worn - almost everybody was drawn into the “Centenary” mood because of activities that were visibly, audibly and psychologically coordinated.  Is it possible that 35 years later, in the global village of internet, professional consultancy and advisory services, Ugandans can’t do better than in those “..dark days of Amin”?  

I suggest that while it is too late, it must be done. The appropriate Ministry should commission (obviously they are incapable of putting together) a program that should begin with each household required to do something for themselves, e.g. plant a tree in their homestead, paint their house or formalize their marriage. This should lead to Village Councils initiating a community project and express, in writing, their consensus view on the good and ugly in their village, during the past 50 years. Seminars should be held parishes, sub counties and districts, on a given topic, conclusions of which should be compiled in a “Golden Jubilee Book of unedited views of Ugandans of the fifty years of independence - the past, present and future”. Views of the young, youthful, middle aged and old should be captured separately. Songs, poems and drama shows on a national theme should be encouraged and construction of a National Asset, such as Mulago Hospital should be seriously considered.  Through such activities, true feelings of Ugandans will be manifested.

Now that we are late, planning for the celebration should begin immediately, and 9 October 2012 should be used to launch a year-long program of Jubilee activities that should end on 9 October, 2013 - with the official opening of the National Asset.



Beti Olive Kamya – Turwomwe (0783 438 201)

President

Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA)

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UFA HAS BEST STRATEGY TO FORCE CHANGE IN UGANDA


Public discontent in Uganda is no longer a matter of speculation, but reality, to which several political players have responded differently: - (i) Parliament has attempted the legislative channel to block oil contracts and State House budget, censure Ministers and the Governor of Bank of Uganda, impeach the president, and now, restore terms’ limit, yet, one year in office, they have nothing to write home about. (ii) A4C have been walking for over a year to overthrow Museveni, and still walking. (iii) The Clergy  have sought the pulpit, but may need a miracle as well (iv) Owekitiibwa Muliika and Bishop Nyiringiye are traversing the country,  agitating against the status quo (v) Some Opposition Parties convey their frustration through press briefings  and (vi) Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) is working on referenda to change the governance system and to restore terms’ limit. In the olden days of “Snow-White and the Ugly Queen” Fairy-Tale, the question would be asked “So Who Is The Fairest Of Them All?”

I love the referenda route because not only is it rooted in the constitution through Article 255 which provides for “citizens’ right to demand referenda ON ANY ISSUE”, it is also “SMART”- as in Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound, attributes globally acclaimed as basic tenets of a viable project. 

UFA’s “referendum project” is Specific, it specifically seeks to replace unitary with federalism and to restore terms’ limit. It is Measurable because we need to collect 10% signatures of registered voters from 1/3 of total districts in Uganda (i.e. 37 districts) and present them as petitioners to the EC, upon which the EC MUST organize a referendum. Collecting petitioners’ signatures from just 37 districts, moreover, where one can pick districts with the least voter population makes the referendum option Achievable. If it took me two weeks to collect signatures from 113 districts to support my nomination as Presidential candidate, operating in just 37 districts is Realistic. Once the petition for a referendum is submitted to the Electoral Commission; the law specifies Timelines for each successive activity during the referendum process, within which the Electoral Commission must operate or else suffer dire constitutional repercussions.

Once the petition is delivered to the EC, the EC must verify the petitioners’ signatures within two weeks then issue a Certificate of Compliance, after which the EC has one month to declare the referendum date. The EC then has one month to cause the framing of the Referendum Question to the satisfaction of the referendum promoter(s), after which, the EC has two months of voter education, and one month to display of the Voter Register. The referendum must then be held and results declared immediately. According to Article 255(3) “the referendum results are binding on all organs and agencies of the State, and on all persons and organizations in Uganda….” - in short, once we submit the required signatures of petitioners to the Electoral Commission, the referendum process is regulated by the Referendum ACT like clockwork, or else the EC faces the wrath of the constitution.

The referendum option is free of Party Caucuses, Cabinet or Parliamentary Rules and Procedure, it is The Peoples’ Process! It has a clear beginning with specified activities, milestones, timelines, destination and output, not to mention the opportunity to traverse the country, at State expense, sensitizing Ugandans about the benefits of power devolution and term limits, plus, political party bosses cannot order the public what not to discuss. With the referendum option, Ugandans need not lose their limbs, lives and property, fighting police. They can just sit home, listen to “Yes” and “No” debates on radio and wait to vote. Yes, there will be challenges in the referendum process as there are elsewhere, but, it provides the most conclusive, safest and clearest sequence of activities to deal with the current impasse.



Beti Olive Kamya-Turwomwe

President

Uganda federal Alliance (UFA)

ufapresident@gmail.com

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Meaza Ashenafi guest on wisdom exchange tv
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Meaza Ashenafi

Chairperson Enat Bank, Lawyer & Women Activist in Ethiopia. Meaza contributed to the inclusion of women and children’s rights provisions in the 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia. She was identified as one of the five prominent women’s rights activists worldwide.

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DAILY MONITOR EDITORIAL ON FEDERALISM

The Daily Monitor’s Editorial of 12 January 2012 titled “Can federation cut national cake fairly?” raised issues, questioning UFA’s motives for promoting federalism -: (i) “…parochial desire to supplant centralized governance with divisive Buganda nationalism?” (ii) a platform for “uncharitable Ganda nationalists…to secede? (iii) the unlikely answer to “equitable re-distribution of resources” (iv) “unmindful of the economic plight of “marginal and depressed regions…?”. This response is intended to put those reservations to rest.


UFA’s brand of federalism slightly differs from ‘federo”, which, admittedly, looks like a hi-breed of monarchism and federalism. UFA advocates for federalism for the entire Uganda, and in this, differs from FDC, DP and UPC, who, in their respective manifestos, promised federalism for only those regions which want it. UFA believes that federalism is good and should be promoted throughout the country, even among regions that do not want it, because we believe that their abhorance for federalism is premised on ignorance, arising out of calculated distortions of the system’s values, by self-seeking politicians, hence, UFA’s deliberate policy to de-Bugandanize and Ugandanize federalism.


During the 2011 Elections, UFA fielded 65 Parliamentary candidates, only 24 of whom are from Buganda, 125 Local Governments’ Councilors, only 55 of whom are from Buganda. There is not a district in Uganda where UFA did not field a candidate, but more importantly, we won District / Sub county councillorships of Bukedea, Moyo, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Ntungamo, Luweero, Kumi, Pallisa, Malera, Kagadi, Kotido, Kaberamaido, Aleptong, Kalangala and others.


UFA’s Chairman, Peter Mayeku is from Bugisu, Vice President, Boniface Oniba is from Acholi, National Chief Mobilizer, Dr Waiswa is from Busoga, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Christine Kisubi is from Budaka, Chairman of the Federal System Development Commission, Yosam Baguma is from Kigezi, Minister of Finance, Ndugu Omong is from Lango, Chairman of the UFA Youth League, Kennedy Oluma is from Arua, Chairman of UFA UK Chapter, Akim Odong is from Acholi - how can all these people be working to promote “Ganda nationalism and secession?


Personally, with Banyankore children, a Kikuyu mother, Langi first cousins and Japadhola nieces/nephews, not only would I find life hard as a secessionist, I also happen to think it is defeatist. My view is that if you are not getting your fair share of anything, fight for it, but do not run to hide, which secessionism look like, to me!


As for regions that are “marginal and depressed”, Uganda does not have to re-invent the wheel, because old federal states like the USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Nigeria already invented the “equalization grant” strategy, where, the better-off regions pay a special tax to support less endowed ones. This strategy is even provided for in the Regional Tier Act, which foresaw that regions are never equally endowed.


It is worth noting, though, that federalism is not just about resource sharing but more about policies and priorities. Japan does not have oil, but invested in human resource development. They are now world suppliers of electronics and vehicles. Dubai, one of seven Emirates in the UAE, owes its success story not to natural resources, but to a tax-free-trade policy. Sharija, another emirate, has oil but does not have the free-tax policy, and is not quite as rich as Dubai. Federalism creates space for creativity and innovation by different regions, instead of the socialist-like system where all regions wait for the center to think and plan for them.


Uganda will be better off with federalism for Uganda, than with “federo”, which Buganda, FDC, UPC and DP favour.




Beti Olive Namisango Kamya

President

Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA)

0783 438 201 / 0751 590 542

E mail: ufapresident@gmail.com   

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Bience Gawanas African Union guest wisdom exchange tv
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Bience Gawanas

Social Affairs Commissioner for the African Union. She has a reputation as a champion of women’s rights in Namibia and Africa and is considered one of 100 influential individuals in the world for women and children.

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