Hon. Ken Lukyamuzi is the MP for Lubaga South and the General Secretary of the Conservative Party.
See below what the renowned columnist Onyango-Obbo said about this federo compatriot.
Federo still topsYesterday, I launched the campaign to get the federal political system officially registered as the third option to the already floated political systems in compliance with article 69 of the constitution of Uganda. According to the Any Other Political Systems Act, I need 1,000 registered voters to get my pledge certified by the Electoral Commission before it is finally debated and approved by parliament.
I have not found the EC public awareness literature on the referendum useful to the voters. The literature distorts the notion of referendum and the difference between a referendum and an ordinary general election. It says that in a referendum people vote on issues while in a common election people vote on candidates. Don't candidates talk about issues in a common election? Can a candidate be voted for in a common election without advancing any issue?
In parliament, I intend to submit that federalism is not only one of the oldest established political systems on earth but it is also practiced in over 60 countries world-wide. As a student of government, I look at a political system as a constitutional arrangement with unique features capable of receiving the attention of various governments. A political system should be able to stand the test of time. Federalism has all the qualifications because of its unique way of addressing the separation of powers.
I know no political arrangement which constitutionally causes the sharing of executive powers and functions between the centre and the regions, which is not a federation. I also know of no political order where government is seen as a social contract between the rulers and the ruled, which is not a federation.
John Ken. Lukyamuzi
MP Lubaga South.
From The Monitor, Sunday 27 February 2000
Lukyamuzi; One Day He'll Be President
From The Monitor, Jan. 13, 1998
By Charles Onyango-ObboOn Thursday January 15, if Rubaga South MP Ken Lukyamuzi's stomach doesn't become cowardly, he will go on hunger strike to protest the poor state of roads in his constituency. Since Lukyamuzi declared last week that he will go on hunger strike unless Kampala City Council (KCC) moves to fix the roads in his Rubaga area which are in an appalling state, there has been no shortage of laughter over the episode.
Lukyamuzi has, he claims, found a sponsor for his hunger strike. The sponsor has offered mineral water.
He has visited the site at KCC Headquarters, to survey a spot whereat he will sit and submit to hunger. Lukyamuzi has said he wants to be president. That every Ugandan is entitled to aspire for the country's top political job. Many people say he is just being a joker, and is doomed to be nothing more than the Clown Of Parliament Avenue. It might be too soon to write Lukyamuzi off. One day, he could indeed be president.
Two years ago, an observer of Uganda politics told me; "Watch Lukyamuzi. He will go to Parliament, and since his favorite subject, federalism, is going to be the big political issue of the future, he will be a very important national figure." I laughed it off. A year later, Lukyamuzi was elected member of Parliament for Rubaga South.
Lukyamuzi's political strength is most evident when he is being most clownish, which raises the question whether indeed he is a joker, or it is just a front he puts on. The advantage in his being thought of as a political clown, is that the official obstructors then do not do much to block him because they think he is harmless. Lukyamuzi takes the advantage to go to places and work where opposition leader Paul Ssemogerere would never be allowed to step.
By threatening to go on hunger strike over the bad roads, Lukyamuzi has got himself into newspaper headlines and all radios. According to KCC, it is a populist gimmick, because the roads - including one which passes in front of Lukyamuzi's house - were already being done. Nevertheless, in the public mind, Lukyamuzi is the man who fights for roads. No politician, except perhaps president Museveni, can lay equal claim to be a fighter for the people's right to travel on good roads.
Lukyamuzi is a walking bag of contradictions. And is as eclectic as a politician can ever get, which perhaps explains why he is able to be so many things to different people. He campaigns for conservative issues like the monarchy; at the same time, he swings to the other extreme and champions "left wing" concerns like the environment. He is very much an admirer of Western values and political systems yet, domestically, he is an unofficial spokesman for reactionary nationalism, speaking out against selling parastatals to foreigners and the "Asian domination" of the economy.
The Museveni government has failed to come across as having a policy for the development of all areas of Uganda equally. Museveni, brimming with bitterness from the presidential campaigns, dug a hole for himself on May 12, 1996, when he said he would reward the areas which voted him first, and if any crumbs are left, then those which didn't would get something. It confirmed the views of his critics, who claim he is only interested in taking care of his area. It might be too uncharitable a view of the president, but there is no doubt that in many parts of the country, the Museveni government is not seen as "theirs". In the east, where by the way Museveni won in 1996, it is simply stunning how much people no longer expect that the NRM will do anything for them. Not many people imagine that the Museveni government will seek for loans to do roads and bridges there.
Not many towns in the north and West Nile expect that anything like the extension of electricity and phone services for Kabale will take place there. One likely result of the loss of faith in central government could be the rise of "native" nationalism, which could express itself as a clamour for federalism - yet again.
Buganda is in the best position of all regions to pursue this federalist agenda, being a subject which the emotional current in the area favours. No other person, even with his wheel barrowful of faults, has screamed more for the national cake to be cut and doled out fairly than Lukyamuzi. Thus in Buganda, and as a focal point for the articulation of federalism at the national level, Lukyamuzi is likely to be one of the most important figures. In the early `70s, Lukyamuzi was essentially a bag boy for Professor Ali Mazrui. It is a remarkable feat that without a straight forward university education, and without money, he has reached where he is. He is one of the most popular speakers on seminar and conference circuits organised by Ugandan communities and political groups abroad. Lukyamuzi has crept unnoticed into the limelight. What is there to stop him one day turning up on the stairs of Parliament to be sworn in as president?
This is what Professor Nabudere said for his region during the CA period in 1995 contained in his book "Uganda Referendum 2000, Winners and Losers".
"The people of Budadiri West would like to see more powers devolved to the regions and/or districts. They would also like to see these powers clearly defined in a new schedule exclusive to the regions and districts which should include, among other things, the control and management of land by regional and district land boards. This would make the system fall somewhere between fully-fledged federalism and decentralisation and could be accommodative to the wishes of those regions and districts who wish to exercise these powers.
"Those districts, which do not wish to exercise these powers, can remain under the present system of being guided from the centre. Those regions and/or districts, which assume these powers but later find they cannot manage them, can revert to central government guidance so that the system is made flexible and democratic. As we have already said above, the general principle that as much power as possible be devolved to the regions or districts should be accepted since this is consistent with the demand that sovereignty belongs to the people. This is provided for in article 1 of the draft constitution with which I agree.
"The people of Budadiri West do not agree with the power given to parliament to alter boundaries of districts nor do they agree with the power given to parliament to create new districts without the consent of the communities concerned. On the contrary, they would like to see the old name of the district of Bugisu or Masaba restored and the boundaries of the district which were clearly delineated in the 1962 and 1967 constitutions restored and inserted into a schedule of the new constitution."
This is what Mr. Onyango Odongo has documented in his book "A Political History of Uganda, The Origin of Museveni's Referendum 2000".
"The referendum on political systems in Uganda actually stemmed from the constitution making exercise of 1994-1995, because the Uganda Constitutional Commission, which was mandated to formulate the missing political system for the people of Uganda for the first time, and form the basis of a more democratic constitution, failed to create the required system. Instead, the task of formulating a new political system was adroitly postponed by Uganda Constitutional Commission, and eventually consigned to oblivion. Consequently Uganda remained without a democratic political system even after the enactment of the 1995 Constitution. Now, Museveni is asking the people of Uganda to hold a referendum, ostensibly to choose a political system whereas he simply wants to secure massive endorsement of his one man rule disguised as a 'no party system' in order to legalise it as the democratically chosen political system of Uganda.
"When the draft of the Constitution prepared by the Uganda Constitutional Commission was released, I read it from cover to cover and was disappointed to discover that the political system, which was the sine qua non of the constitution was again missing. Therefore, in 1994 I published an alternative draft constitution, to rival the official draft of the Government, then being debated by the Constituent Assembly Delegates. My alternative draft excited many scholars and politicians, particularly the law - teachers from the Faculty of Law, Makerere University. They organised a special conference for the then sitting Constituent Assembly Delegates at the Uganda International Conference Centre, to discuss the alternative draft. I was requested to present a paper in that special conference, to elaborate and clarify on some salient points raised in my draft, particularly the issue of federo.
"During the course of a stormy debate on my paper, some opponents of federo put forward the Government's dubious 'Decentralisation of Powers to Local Authorities' as adequate empowerment of the people of Uganda. Therefore there was no need for federo', they argued.
"In response to their argument, I explained to the participants that the people of Uganda wanted federo. I knew this because I organised seminars in all parts of Uganda, in my capacity as Director of Information and Mass Mobilisation at the NRM Secretariat. During the discussions of many political problems in those seminars, there emerged an ubiquitous demand by the people, from all parts of Uganda, for power to manage their own affairs. This demand was acknowledged by the Uganda Constitutional Commission and it became the first Article in the draft constitution then being debated.
"The people wanted to take charge of their own affairs because they bitterly complained that 'concentration of powers in the hands of thieves in Kampala' had led to inexcusable failures of the Government to pay salaries of their teachers and other civil servants who were working in the outlying districts. At the same time the Government failed to keep hospitals and dispensaries in rural areas well supplied with essential drugs. As a result, thousands of peasants have died from curable diseases.
"The ubiquitous demand implied that if the people of Uganda were to take charge of their own affairs, their teachers' salaries, ensure proper management of the Government hospitals and other state functions, it would be imperative that they organise themselves into an elaborate system of administration for orderly management of their affairs, which would make their districts autonomous states. This would imply having a state in Acholi, another in Ankole, Bunyoro, Buganda, Busoga, Toro, Teso and indeed, in all areas occupied by major ethnic groups. The question is; how shall we bring such states together to form a nation of Uganda? The most definite answer was; they will have to federate. For this reason the best political system for Uganda has remained to be federo.
"This explanation received overwhelming applause from the then highly charged audience. The Executive Director of the Foundation for African Development (FAD) took note of the enthusiasm with which the participants debated decentralisation. Consequently, he convened another special conference at the Sheraton Hotel for the Constituent Assembly Delegates and other leading Ugandans to discuss the issue of decentralisation. I was again asked to present a keynote paper at this conference. That I did, and the paper received a standing ovation."
Dr. Lwanga, together with George Nkwanga, was the Chairman of the Federal Democratic Movement FEDEMO.
George Nkwanga together with Dr. Lwanga, was the Chairman of the Federal Democratic Movement FEDEMO. He was a member of the Okello ruling Council, was murdered by the Okello junta in the feuds of its dying days.
Hon. Wasswa Lule is the MP for Lubaga North. Hon. Lule conception of federo is limited to Buganda.