MOU lacks transparency, participation and accountability

Until we receive copies of the MOU we shall continue to ask questions because this is a public, not a private, issue. It is also an issue that goes beyond the interests of Buganda. As they say when Buganda sneezes, Uganda catches a cold.

The MOU apparently signed by the Kabaka of Buganda and the President of Uganda has raised many questions largely because little is known about the process involved in its negotiation and signing.

We understand that negotiations regarding the return of Buganda kingdom began between Museveni and Mutebi during the guerrilla war when the two met in London and again somewhere in Uganda and continued thereafter until about five years ago when everything came to a halt because of fundamental disagreements.

But these discussions regarding public assets have remained shrouded in secrecy. There are stages in the negotiations when things have to be kept secret. But when secrecy becomes a permanent feature or the public is given information that is hard to swallow then suspicions begin to emerge as they have regarding the MOU. This exercise has lacked transparency and participation as well as accountability, the three elements that mark good governance.

Comments on Uganda’s National Agricultural Policy

Dear Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho

I have read the final draft dated December 31, 2011 prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. You sent this document to me among others for comment through Ugandans at Heart Forum. I will make comments of a general nature at this stage. At a later stage I will make comments paragraph by paragraph. Let me start with the good news.

First, there is a wealth of information on this sector prepared since NRM came to power in 1986. The information is contained among other documents in publications by the World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO); Modernization of agriculture; Jossy Bibangambah; Eric Kashambuzi; and UDU’s National Recovery Plan (NRP) which was transmitted to the government through the ministry of Foreign affairs and numerous articles including one by Kashambuzi which was published in the New Vision in August 2011. These publications have adequately identified successes, challenges, processes and expected outcomes.

Report of the Secretary-General

Boston Conference October 8, 2011

Birth and Christening of UDU

Madam Chairperson

Fellow Ugandans

Ladies and gentlemen

I thank you all for attending the first ever United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) conference.

I thank in particular Ugandans in the Boston area. Since the stolen February 18, 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections, the group has championed demonstrations that have taken place in Washington DC, New York City and several times here in Boston. The group participated actively in the Los Angeles conference where the umbrella organization was born and christened United Democratic Ugandans (UDU).

The first chairman of UDU Mr. Mubiru Musoke is from Boston as well as the leader of gender affairs Ms Dorothy Lubowa Stweart. Mr. Joseph Magandazi a UDU committee member who is also from Boston and represents FDC has championed work that has established networks here in the United States and between UDU and FDC.

The Boston group is hosting the first conference of UDU. We thank them for the warm welcome that has been extended to us. Please join me in giving them a round of well deserved applause.

The UDU committee was mandated to: