Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
POLITICAL FEDERATION OF EAST AFRICA NEEDS A CLEAR ROADMAP
18 October 2006
- Uganda Peoples Congress welcomes the efforts of the three Heads of State of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to expedite the process towards the realization of the long cherished dream of an East African Federation. UPC through its foresightness in 1963 readily embraced the establishment of political, economic and social Federation of East African States.
- The way in which the issue of the Political Federation of East African States is being debated, the time frame set to start the implementation of fast tracking the federation and the rationale being used to involve key stakeholders like the people, institutions of the state and democratic institutions such as the political parties in the process raises serious concerns to UPC.
- The Uganda Peoples Congress considers the following issues critical for the success of the East Africa Federation:
- Peoples Sovereignty
- Security and Defence
- Diplomatic relations
- Economy and Monetary policy
- Practical harmonization of Political Systems
- UPC believes in invoking the sovereignty of the citizens of the three East African States. After the Wako committee which sought opinions across the region from mainly professionals and members of civil society. It is imperative that, the people be involved through holding a referendum in the respective countries one point in time. This not only safeguards the people's sovereignty but will popularize the federation as evidenced with the European Union and prevent it from collapse as it happened in the 70's because cooperation was built around the individual personalities of political leaders without the people playing a central role in its endorsement.
- The harmonization of different policies regarding defence and security within the region is an issue. We note that Kenya and Tanzania have National Armies that are truly modern and professionalized and are subordinate to civilian authority, loyal to state institutions and have clear command structures. This is significantly different in the case of Uganda. The institutions of other security agencies like police and intelligence agencies are better developed in those countries than those in Uganda.
- The framework for diplomatic relations must clearly be agreed upon and thoroughly debated in the respective legislative assemblies of the three East African States to ensure that they are harmonized since diplomatic relations is the key to handle challenges posed by the current globalization in terms of political, economic and social relations.
- In terms of the economic and monetary policy, UPC urges the Monetary Policy Coordinating Committee of the Central Banks of the Partner States to expedite the work of re-introducing a single currency within the stipulated timeframe of December 2009 but should also come up with marketing strategies to popularize that currency in advance in the same way the Euro was promoted.
- It is clear that, democratization and political developments in the three states are at different levels. Whereas in Kenya and Tanzania, government institutions such as the Judiciary, Parliament, Electoral Commission and other democratic institutions like Political Parties are at higher stage of development, here in Uganda most of these institutions are in shackles. UPC calls for practical strategies for harmonization of the political systems to enable meaningful participation in order to realize a workable political federation of East Africa.
- Finally as we pointed out, the timeframe within which the implementation of different programmes has been stipulated to realize the political federation of East Africa States is not only inadequate considering the magnitude of the work log, financial constraints and lack of information among the citizens but demands more harmonization of different policies and involvement of all stakeholders for sustainable success. We call upon the Government of the three East African States to take our concern seriously.
For God and my Country
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda Peoples Congress