Governance determines who has power, who makes decisions, how other players make their voice heard and how accountability is rendered. Good governance is in fact a prerequisite for peace and development. Ultimately, the application of good governance serves to realize government and societal goals. The five widely accepted principles of good governance are:
Legitimacy and Voice
Participation – all men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their intention. Such broad participation should be built on freedom of association and speech, as well as capacities to participate constructively. Consensus orientation – good governance should mediate differing interests to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the group and, where possible, on policies and procedures.
Strategic vision – leaders and the public should have a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development, along with a sense of what is needed for such development. There should be also an understanding of the historical, cultural and social complexities in which that perspective is grounded.
Responsiveness – institutions and processes should try to serve all stakeholders. Effectiveness and efficiency – processes and institutions should produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources.
Accountability – decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society organizations should be accountable to the public, as well as to institutional stakeholders. This accountability should differ depending on the organizations and whether the decision is internal or external. Transparency – transparency should be built on the free flow of information. Processes, institutions and information should be directly accessible to those concerned with them, and enough information should be provided to understand and monitor them.
Equity – all men and women should have opportunities to improve or maintain their well- being.
Rule of Law – legal frameworks should be fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on human rights.
Separation of powers – Separation of powers is a political doctrine of constitutional law under which the three arms of government (executive, legislature, and judiciary) are kept separate to prevent abuse of power. Also known as the system of checks and balances, each arm is given certain powers so as to check and balance the other arms of government. The way to safeguard against tyranny is to separate the powers of government among three arms of government so that each arm checks the other two through checks and balances.
System of Governance:
In accordance with the Fifth schedule to the current Constitution of Uganda, Uganda will be governed under a federal system of government comprised of the following regional governments: the Eastern Region, The Central Region, the Southern Region, the Western Region and the Northern Region. These regions would be led by democratically elected Governors.
Generally, an overarching national government shall govern issues that affect the entire country, and the regional governments shall govern issues of local concern within the region. Both the national government and the regional governments have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other.
In a constitutional monarchy like Buganda for example (by virtue of the October 18,1955 Agreement, which was signed by the Kabaka, His Majesty Edward Mutesa II and the Governor of Uganda Protectorate Andrew Cohen), the regional government would have the King as the Head just like the Queen/King is the Head of the UK. In other regional governments where there is more than one King, the people shall decide through a referendum on whether to have a rotational regional government King. The King will not have political and executive powers as these will be held by the elected Governor of the Regional Government. The King would undertake constitutional and representational duties such as acting as a focus for regional identity, unity and pride; giving a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognising success and excellence; and supporting the idea of voluntary service.
As part of the implementation of the regional governments, we shall ensure that there is an upper house of parliament, the Senate and the lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives. The Senate shall mainly represent the regional governments, and serve to protect the interests of the regional governments and their local governments whereas the House of Representatives shall determine the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government.
My government seeks to promote good governance by ensuring the following:
- Guarantee human rights for all Ugandans
- Re-instate presidential term limits to 2 terms of five years each
- Put in place institutional structures that can guide orderly succession of key offices like the one of the president
- Reduce the parliament (house of representatives) to not more than 200 members and cabinet (upper house of parliament) to not more than 20 to cut down on the tax payers’ burden
- Promote separation of powers and independence of the three arms of government (i.e executive, legislative and judiciary) to avoid abuse of power
- Ensure that all members of Cabinet are not members of Parliament i.e. Ministers should be ex-officio members of Parliament
- Strengthening and empowering respective government officers to ensure accountability and effective delivery of services
- Reduce the age limit for key positions like president, judges, ministers to vacate office on attaining the age of 70 years to allow new generations’ access to the decision making arena