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NRM caucus rejects federal system in Uganda

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Sep 29, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Sep 29, 2009
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    THE National Resistance Movement caucus yesterday rejected the federal system as demanded by Mengo, report Milton Olupot and Mary Karugaba. The legislators, instead, supported the idea of President Yoweri Museveni to have the regional tier implemented next financial year.

    However, they said the law to operationalise the new system of governance should be critically examined, to ensure that it was acceptable before it was presented to Parliament.

    The caucus meeting, the first since the riots that rocked Kampala and other parts of Buganda about three weeks ago, discussed the PresidentÂ’s address to Parliament.

    The closed meeting, chaired by the NRM chief whip Daudi Migereko, condemned the riots and the violence used by the rioters.

    The MPs also supported the order to use live bullets to shoot-to-disable rioters although some members cautioned that the Police should not use excessive force. They called for the suspects still in Police custody to be charged soon.

    Sources quoted the internal affairs minister Kirunda Kivejinja as saying 800 people had already been charged over various offences while 36 suspects were still with the Police.

    The MPs reportedly accused the opposition parties of inciting violence against the Government using the platform of Mengo. Minister Alintuma Nsambu said the opposition was behind the harassment he suffered during his recent visit to Masaka. Nsambu was stopped from delivering his speech by rowdy youth.

    While some MPs pushed for the abolition of kingdoms, others argued that they should be maintained but with limited powers, sources said. Gender minister Gabriel Opio reportedly pleaded that the kingdoms be maintained but their operations regulated.

    He informed the caucus of the efforts by his ministry to draft a Bill that will outline and regulate the activities of cultural institutions.

    The MPs said the law regulating the operations of the traditional leaders should be expedited. They also agreed that traditional leaders should stay out of politics. Most MPs, however, rejected the proposal of having gifts to cultural leaders declared to the Government.

    Museveni, in an earlier address, had accused some kings of receiving foreign funding to undermine him.

    According to sources, many contributors to the meeting agreed that the issue of kingdoms was increasingly being politicised and risked tearing the country apart.

    A junior minister from Buganda was quoted as saying the kingdoms were given too much power. He swore he would never kneel before the Kabaka.

    Present at the caucus meeting, which lasted for eight hours, were Baganda heavy-weights such as Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya and Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi.

    The First Lady, Janet Museveni, also attended.