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Mwenda’s model and Buganda’s federo

By Rajab Kakyama

The monarchy should not be held back by claims that “we should move together as a country”

Refer to: “Divided we stand, united we fall” (The Independent Feb.14). Well done, Mwenda. Finally you augment Buganda’s “Federo” (Federal) demand.

You argue that “all political systems are capable of making self-defeating policies. If such policies are designed and implemented by a large political federation, it would extremely difficult to reverse them in the event of failure. This is especially so in our countries, which are ethnically and religiously diverse and, therefore, political consensus is difficult. It is different in fragmented polities. You only need one of them to attempt an innovation. If it succeeds, it will spread to others through emulation.”

Such an interpretation recognises that societies need not to be at the same level of development. Buganda by 1894 had attained a state status- under a feudal system with a national language and an army to protect her borders. Unfortunately, the detractors of Federo today tend to counter that by claiming “we should move as a country”. To the contrary, sociologists like Emile Durkheim take exception. In `How do societies hold themselves together?’ Emile first asked the question, “Why would people be moved to stay together as a society? His observation was founded on two bases:

i) Mechanical solidarity- as the similarity among people of the same society which makes them feel akin to each other and comfortable with each other. ii) Organic solidarity- which are the benefits of economic cooperation, for instance, a group of people with varying specialized skills. The challenge, most especially with developing states is that, these two reasons for staying together as a society, operate under a natural tension. To build the kind of division of labour that yields large returns of organic solidarity it is necessary for people to be different from each other. One person must be a designer and another must be a machinist. This must diminish the similarity that builds mechanical solidarity.

As a people, we need a sense of identity; a sense of belonging and recognition. To many, it might appear to be a “small matter” but at least not for the people of Basque in Spain, Quebec in Canada, the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, once the Eritreans in Ethiopia and Biafrans in Nigerians.

If the people of Bunyoro held a referendum in 1964, how different is it for Buganda? If you cannot sing right in your bathroom, how do you expect to” wow” the crowds when you take it on the grand stage? If the East African Community is to succeed, the trials are in how we resolve our internal qualms.


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