The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Federo Activists Call for New Approach

Pro-federo Baganda politicians and activists used the Buganda annual conference today to press for a new approach to talks with government over the kingdom's demands.

Firebrand MPs Medard Sseggona and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda led the charge, asking the kingdom's negotiation team to raise the bar from merely attending talks to action.

"For how long are we going to engage in negotiations? We need a new approach to move into action for Buganda to become independent," Sseggona said, drawing thunderous applause from a lively audience at Hotel Africana.

Israel Mayengo, a former minister and federo activist wondered: "Buganda has all the characteristics of a nation; from a distinguished culture, language and organized governance structures, so why can't we get the status we deserve?"

Ssemujju noted that Buganda has been in negotiations since 1884 when the British colonialists took away power from Kabaka Mwanga but there's 'nothing positive out of such talks since. Several other speakers including Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Beti Kamya of the Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA), MPs; Godfrey Kiwanda and Betty Nambooze, and the kingdom information minister Peter Mayiga, echoed similar sentiments.

Earlier, Buganda Katikkiro John Baptist Walusimbi called for unity among Baganda as the kingdom continues to engage the government on the quest for federo and return of its property. The Katikkiro noted that the annual conference (Ttabamiruka) has played an important role especially in galvanizing the youth in the kingdom over the last three years.

In her opening remarks, the Nnaabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda urged Baganda to respect and preserve the kingdom's values (ennono n'obuwangwa), which make its people unique. Vice president Edward Kiwanuka and FDC party president Gen Mugisha Muntu were among the top politicians who attended the conference.

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi was due to close the conference last evening.

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