We believe that it is the desire of all Ugandans to find a permanent solution, based on an agreed set of rules, aiming at establishing a nation on a sound foundation which will endure the test of time. All the regimes of the past 25 years have failed to uncover the secret which would lead to uninterrupted development. But that secret is political harmony. In a country of diverse cultural, ethnic linguistic and social groupings, the only lasting solution is to devise a federal plan which recognises that diversity.
There cannot be democracy without self-government. We therefore propose a system of federal states with full powers of government, leaving at the centre, only those functions which are truly national, and which bind us together as a nation.
The Proposed Federal States of Uganda
We must have a system wherein each one sees not only his/her difficulties but problems of others also. We must find that answer which will give satisfaction to all, an answer that is above party, that is above religion, that recognises our varied cultural heritage.
Uganda has never been a true unitary form of Republic; it acquired that status only from the barrel of the gun in 1966. It is a Federation, historically and practically.
We propose to re-establish a federal form of Government, but modified from that of 1962, i.e. a full federal system for all the proposed states of Uganda.
We must accept that there are different peoples in this country. The strength of our unity will lie in unity in diversity. The new arrangement must reflect the linguistic, cultural, ethnic and social diversity of the peoples of Uganda.
The States will own all lands within their borders, including all mineral resources.
The States demarcated, will themselves name their states and their heads of state and decide on their state capital site.
The federal Government shall consist of:
(a) Federal President and Vice President
(b) A directly elected House of Representatives
(c) An Upper House (or Senate)
(d) A Federal Cabinet of Ministers
(e) Designated Federal Institutions
Functions of State
The Federal State shall have the following powers:
1. Provide services relating to agricultural and animal industry, culture and community development, basic education i.e. primary, secondary, technical, cultural, environmental and social education.
2. Internal trade.
3. Industrial licensing.
4. The States shall establish and maintain their own treasuries and, accordingly, they will collect revenues from personal income tax, corporation tax, motor vehicle licenses and excise duties, etc.
5. The States will provide medical, and primary health care services.
6. They will be responsible for justice and law and order agencies.
7. They will construct all roads passing through their states except trunk roads or highways.
8. They will provide housing and welfare services generally.
Structure of the Federal Government
(a) Office of the President
(i) The Federal President shall be directly elected by public poll. He should not be a sitting member of either House of Parliament. His Vice President shall be elected as a running mate at the same time.
(ii) The President will perform all the ceremonial functions of the Head of Nation.
(iii) He will confirm the appointments of the Federal Prime Minister and Federal Ministers.
(iv) He will appoint the Heads of Federal institutions, e.g. UEB, Post Office, Central Bank, etc.
(v) There shall be a permanent constitutional commission composed of legal and constitutional experts to advise the President and the states on the working of the constitution. The President will appoint 3 representatives to the Commission and approve the appointment of the other 8 members from the states.
(vi) He will appoint the Electoral Commission (one for the whole Uganda) on the recommendation of the permanent constitutional commission.
(vii) He will appoint the Public Service Commission.
(viii) He will appoint judges of the Federal Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.
(ix) He will appoint members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission on the recommendation of the Uganda Law Society.
(x) He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Chairman of the National Defence Council. The National Defence Council shall include one Representative from each State.
(xi) The term of office of the President shall be 5 years but he could be re-elected for a further term of 5 years. No President shall be permitted to serve more than 2 terms of office.
(xii) The minimum age of the candidate for President (and Vice President) shall be 45 years.
(xiii) The President shall be impeachable. If the President is impeached, and that impeachment results in his removal from office, his Vice President shall not assume his duties, instead, the Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court shall take over his duties for a period not exceeding one year. If the remaining term, after the impeachment of the President exceeds one year, there shall be a new Presidential election.
(b) A Federal Cabinet
We propose: A Prime Minister and a Cabinet of 15 Ministers:
Minister of Agriculture and Animal Industry
Minister of External Defence and National Service
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Finance
Minister of Higher Education
Minister of Central Planning
Minister of Internal Affairs
Minister of Communications and Transport
Minister of Commerce and Tourism
Minister of Industry and Labour
Minister of Regional Cooperation
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
Minister of Health
Minister of Public Works
(c) The Legislature
1. A directly elected House of Representatives
There shall be demarcated national constituencies according to population from which members of this House shall be elected. We propose 50,000 people be represented by one member. The House shall have a life of five years.
2. An Upper House (Senate)
Each of the 8 Federal States, and the Federal District, will appoint 4 members to represent it in the Upper House. In addition, there shall be 4 or 5 members from the main religious groups. This House will have full legislative powers, and a life of 6 years. Members of this House shall be learned and respectable citizens, men and women of integrity and experience, not below the age of 45 years. The method of electing the 36 members of the Upper House shall be prerogative of the states and the Federal District Authority.
Once the principle of federal system has been agreed, and the proposed states are accepted then a national convention should be called by electing representatives, to debate and agree on the Treaty of Union which will bind the states in a federal form of Government. The Treaty of Union so signed and witnessed by international organisations, will be the very basis on which Uganda as a nation will be built.