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Veteran Fighter Proposes New Political System for Uganda

According to Lubega, this proposed system will bring the cost of administration down from the more than 500 MPs to 130, from 130 district leadership units to 48, and from more than 80 ministers and state minister to 54. The proposed system also provides for decentralized governance system where the local governments shall have more powers regarding mobilization and application of public resources.
At Kalerwe SDA Church, his local church, Lubega is only known as a ‘knowledgeable man who is widely read, and a counselor in the church’.

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A veteran fighter has suggested that Uganda adopts a third political system which can form the basis of development of the country, better than the Movement and the Multiparty political systems. 

The Constitution provides for the Multiparty System, the Movement System and “any other democratic and representative political system.”  It says that Ugandans shall have the right to choose a political system through an election or referendum, and that when one system is in operation, the others shall be in abeyance. 

Since the constitution’s promulgation, a third system has not been suggested, while the debate has concentrated on governance systems like federalism, unitarism, regional tier and decentralization. Now, Isaac Lubega has come up with another suggestion; the National Regionalism Movement, which focuses on a regional presidency but a national parliament.

His document provides for a Uganda divided into four regions; North, East, West and Central, with each region entitled to produce the country’s president, on a rotational basis.  According to him, the four regions should be subdivided into 16 ethnopolitical regions of Ankole, Acholi, Buganda, Bugisu, Bukedi, Bunyoro, Busoga, Kigezi, Lango, Karamoja, Madi, Rwenzori, Sebei, Teso, Tooro and West Nile, which hold local primary elections under the National Electoral Commission, to identify the suitable candidate to be presented for the national election. 

However, there should be no adult suffrage, and the president should be elected by district electoral colleges that comprise councillors and other district leaders that maybe elected democratically.  Lubega proposes that this will work with a law turning the districts into constituencies for legislative purposes, with each district represented by two MPs. He explains that when the president chosen from a region is in office, the MPs from the other three regions shall automatically be in opposition. 

According to Lubega, this proposed system will bring the cost of administration down from the more than 500 MPs to 130, from 130 district leadership units to 48, and from more than 80 ministers and state minister to 54. The proposed system also provides for decentralized governance system where the local governments shall have more powers regarding mobilization and application of public resources.

This is aimed at ensuring no President shall have a majority in parliament, and this will strengthen political accountability. Lubega says this is aimed at ensuring minimal or no conflict during the elections, as the system provides a chance for each region to produce a president, for five years.    

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The country has been ruled under at least four known systems since independence, including the Multiparty system, immediately after independence, the one-party rule between 1966-71 and the No-party military rule in the 1970s’. The non-partisan movement system was introduced and practised in 1986-2005, when the country returned to multipartism. 

It adds that appropriate measures shall be taken to enable local government units to plan, initiate and execute policies in respect of all matters affecting the people within their jurisdiction. The local government shall therefore have a mandate to collect most of the taxes and spend them for regional development. 

If the time was still on his side, Lubega proposes that the current election process would be called off and the current president leads a transition process to the new order. He says this would also do away with the vote-rigging and post-election violence.   

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He says he has delivered a copy of his proposal to the office of the President. He says this would even give Museveni advantage to organize a peaceful exit, which has not been experienced under all the various political systems.      

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Who is Isaac I Lubega?  

He is an Elder in the Seventh Day Adventist Church based at Kireka.  At Kalerwe SDA Church, his local church, Lubega is known as a ‘knowledgeable man who is widely read, and a counsellor in the Church’.  

He himself says since his youthful days he got interested in researching on political systems, political history and global leaders, especially in countries where there are conflicts and suffering of the people.   

Born in Luwero, Central Uganda, Lubega, like four of his brothers, is a veteran fighter in the National Resistance Army, and served as a spy.  His father, Ali Lubega also, a former fighter in the same army, died in the war in Gulu, northern Uganda in the late 1980s.  He stopped in senior four at a local school in Luwero before joining the bush war, and was demobilized in the mid-1990s. 

It was during his time as a soldier that he picked interest in learning about politics and governance in particular, but never joined mainstream politics.  His interest was in countries that went through armed liberation struggles before being stabilized, and this led him to read about political ideologies like capitalism and socialism. 

He says after the war, he decided to put his views or thoughts in writing, with a hope that this would give communities and leaders more options and approaches to improving social, economic and political situations. 

He has since written two books on religion and four on politics and governance, including “The Bodaboda Industry: How to eradicate indiscipline, thieves and murders in the bodaboda industry”, Nationalism, an insight into the diversity of Uganda’s ethnic formation, as well as “Kampala, the pearl City of Uganda”, a view on how Kampala can be transformed into a beautiful, clean and modern city.    

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