Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Party Headquarters, Uganda House,
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
FEDERATING COUNTRIES OF EAST AFRICA SHOULD TAKE INTEREST IN JUBA TALKS
01 November 2006
- Uganda Peoples Congress embraces the idea of political federation of East African states at some stage. In the eyes of UPC therefore, the fastracking of the federation would mean that;
- Federating countries take interest and steps to clear obstacles that would act as an impediment to the smooth federation process.
- Establish benchmarks and checklist to promote certain agreed standards in the area of political, economic and social policies.
- Recognize our historical heritage and contributions of past leaders within the framework of international instruments that will act as a foundation to confront the global challenges.
- Uganda solves its own governance system first.
- Uganda Peoples Congress is concerned that federating countries have not taken keen interest in resolving the impediments like the Northern Uganda conflict that has raged on for the last twenty one years. We note with great disbelief the indifferent attitude taken by the governments of Tanzania and Kenya towards the on going peace negotiations in Juba.
- We applaud the contributions of the Southern Sudanese Government, United Nations, the African Union and the European Union for their keen interest to resolve the Northern Uganda conflict. While these international bodies are making important contributions, our neignbours have chosen to remain silent and yet they have greater stake in the peace process since it affects the federation. How can then Uganda entrust their future to the political federation of East Africa?
- The attempts to erase the historical contribution of Dr.Apollo Milton Obote as one of the founder Presidents of the Organization of African Unity and East African Community is not only absurd but is the greatest attempt to distort the history of the continent and the East African Region.
- Corruption is another serious impediment to the political federation of East African countries. In Uganda it is sad to note that it has become endemic and the majority of our leaders are engrossed in the practice. This is evident in the non action on several reports from the various commissions of inquiries, the latest being Justice Ogoola report which has not been implemented and the saga surrounding the national identity card project.
We also note that, Kenya and Tanzania have their own national identity cards. We appreciate the establishment of the East African passports which is affordable by a small class. However the East African identity card is the key to promoting citizens participation in the process.
- Respect for human rights and the rule of law. This should be one of the serious benchmarks for the fastracking of the East African federation.
Respect for individual rights of citizens in different countries and the rights of democratic institutions like political parties and civil society organizations is the key to the success of the federation. However, we note with great concern the prevalence of safe houses belonging to paramilitary organizations like Violent Crime Crake Unit (VCCU), the violation of human rights in Karamoja sub-region and the impunity of grabbing and allocating public land to individuals, the latest being the Uganda Railways corporations land.
- Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) notes the level of disparity in the development of state institutions like the Judiciary, Parliament and Local Government institutions in the region. While Kenya and Tanzania have stronger state institutions those in Uganda are wanting.
- Finally, we reiterate our call to the three East African leaders and all the countries like Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan who are posed to join the federation to seriously address the issue of Northern Uganda Conflict and actively get involve in the peace process. Other issues like corruption, Human rights and the rule of law, Building of state and democratic institutions should be simultaneously tackled as we move towards the federation. Otherwise we should borrow a leaf from the European Union and move step by step.
For God and my Country
Miria Kalule Obote