Mon, Nov 21st, 2011 Mon, Nov 21st, 2011| Tanzania Prof. Dani Wadada Nabudere Prof. Dani Wadada Nabudere will always remain in the annals of East Africa as a great constitutional lawyer that was, and fierce political heavyweight undaunted to speak his mind. His legal and political footmarks are well documented in the East African sub-region. His sudden death therefore will be a great loss towards the full realisation of the east African unification dream he espoused. To most Ugandans, he will be remembered in political, academic and legal combat zones. First, he participated in post-Independence Uganda early 1960s by virtue of his membership of the country's ruling party then, Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), and later, when UPC ceded power to Idi Amin's murderous regime in 1971, he was among a few who brought the wheels rolling on the late dictator through a protracted political struggle based in Dar es salaam, Tanzania in 1972. Throughout the years till his death he has presented papers, written books and taught at the country's major higher institutions of learning. Memorable contributions Notably, his other major contribution was enormously felt as a member of what became the Constituent Assembly (CA) for Budadiri West, Mbale during the making of the country's first Constitution underNational Resistance Movement (NRM) rule that climaxed in 1995. It was from the CA that I became interested in the professor's speeches and writings prominent in most dailies at the time. His speeches were needless to say, quotable quotes by reporters, academically breath taking and it goes without saying that his well researched newspaper commentaries, an epitome of a scholar of high calibre were often granted space by editors. In Dar es Salaam, the don was very popular in academic and political circles. He taught constitutional law at the University of Dar es salaam for many years in the 70s, and on several occasions later, an invited political guest speaker at the university. In the course of such political gatherings I came face to face with Prof. Nabudere on January 16, 2006. We were attending the annual Walter Rodney memorial lecture at the University of Dar es Salaam's council hall, and the professor was a panelist along with Prof. Ali Mazrui, a Kenyan scholar teaching in the United States. The moderator, Prof. Othman, a Zanzibari, introduced Nabudere superfluously, with the kind of introduction unheard of in his native Uganda. He praised the don for his contribution to the unification talks between Zanzibar and Tanganyika that gave birth to what is now Tanzania. Prof. Haroub explained that, unknown to most people, when former Tanzanian leader Julius Kambarage Nyerere was negotiating the union with the president of Zanzibar, Abeid Amani Karume, in 1964 only two other people were present in the room where the talks were being held. Mr, Roland Brown, provided legal counsel on the side of Nyerere, and Nabudere for president Karume. These two lawyers, a white man from Britain for Nyerere, a black man from Uganda, provided legal guidance to the two fallen presidents on the legal technicalities and jargon of the union document. In later commentaries corroborating this, on the ‘articles of the Union', Prof. Haroub writes that when the union discussions were at an advanced stage, Nyerere is said to have called in his Attorney General at the time and asked him to draft a Union Agreement without anybody knowing. In the case of Zanzibar, the Attorney-General, Wolfgang Dourado, is said to have been sent on a one-week ‘leave' and instead, a Ugandan lawyer, Dan Nabudere (according to his own account), was brought in to advise Karume on the draft submitted by Tanganyika. Both Brown and Nabudere were present in the Karume-Nyerere discussions. These four people concluded what is commonly referred to as ‘articles of the union' whose contents to date is still contentious. Without his input, perhaps the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar would not be there. Today that union is being taken as a benchmark for many other integrations attempts as a success story around the world. As fate would have it, the four people in that famous union negotiation in 1964 including Prof. Haroub the scholar, have all passed on, but the fruits of their union counsel are still visible for all to see. May the soul of Prof. Dani Nabudere rest in peace, and may his country Uganda, experience the same unification dream devoid of tribalistic, political and religious divisions envisioned by him in the Tanzanian case.