Understanding and Fitting Into The Post-Trump-Election World

Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
bsaint3@outlook.com; http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Americans elected Mr. Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. The presidency of the United States is the most important job in the world, due to America’s global dominance in virtually all spheres – economic, socio-cultural, military, political, etc. Mr. Trump was sworn in, and inaugurated as President, on 20 January 2017.

President Trump literally hit the road running, making bold and controversial decisions, and pronouncements. His most far-reaching, and widely reacted to decision is the Executive Order, slapping a three months suspension on movement into the United States of people from seven Muslim-majority countries namely, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. The President explained that this was to give US authorities ample time to tighten border control measures, so as to prevent dangerous people from entering the United States.

The decision, coming soon after Inauguration Day, was sudden, unexpected, shocking, and quite disruptive to many people. Several were detained at airports across the US, and many more around the world were either denied visas to the US, or simply had their American visas cancelled. But the Order was later nullified, and set aside by US courts, although President Trump has vowed to reinstate it, and have it prevail. We wait to see how he will do so.

President Trump’s Executive Order faced, and received widespread criticism, and condemnation from people, both within and outside America. I am more concerned with the reactions of non-Americans. Suffice to say that for most contemptuous Americans, their negative reaction is just an overflow of their anger, and hostility towards Mr. Trump, accumulated during the campaigns, and their eventual loss in the polls, since most of them supported Mrs. Hillary Clinton for president. For them, this is just another golden opportunity to publicly humiliate the man they hate with a passion.

For the rest of us, non-Americans, Mr. Trump’s nationalist, exclusionary, and somewhat isolationist policies and rhetoric, are a wake-up call; a notification – perhaps a reminder – that things cannot, and will not remain the same anymore. For so long, America has played a godfather role in the world, so much so that a sense of expectation has been created among people of other nations that the United States will always be there for them especially, during difficult times, no matter what. Today, any talk or act, contrary to this expectation, unnecessarily sends chills down people’s spines.

But it is important to understand that under President Trump’s administration (and I dare say henceforth after him), America will not be a guaranteed place of refuge anymore. Therefore, countries and their citizens are challenged to sort out their own issues and problems, instead of either running to, or surrendering them to America for resolving. Much as the United States is a migrant nation, it should be appreciated that it cannot, strictly speaking, continue being as such, compelled and obliged to accept foreigners as of right. Like everything else, this too must come to an end, so that the American society settles, with known membership, and well laid out procedures of acquiring citizenship. And concerning allegations that President Trump hates Muslims, I don’t think he does. Rather, his comments are a calling upon Muslims to revisit their religion, and eliminate merchants of evil, operating behind the banner of Islam. Of all religions in the world, why should it be Islam on the spot, for the wrong reasons? Something, somewhere, isn’t right, and should be rectified.


Traditional Leaders Are Lower Than And Subordinate To National Leaders

Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
bsaint3@outlook.com; http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com

In late January 2017, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, of the Republic of Uganda, appointed ambassadors, and heads of diplomatic missions, and forwarded the appointees’ names to Parliament for approval, in accordance with Article 122(1) of the Constitution.

Appointee No. 35 was His Highness Gabula William, appointed Ambassador, in charge of Special Duties, in the Office of the President. His Highness Gabula is a traditional leader in Uganda, serving as the King of Busoga Kingdom. His official title, among the Basoga, is Kyabazinga. His appointment was controversial, with some people supporting, and others opposing it. Those against seem to have been the majority or most vocal; because I am reliably informed that he later rejected the appointment.

The reasons, and merits or demerits of the Kyabazinga’s appointment as ambassador, are not my concern, and point of discussion here. Those are largely speculative, and I wouldn’t like to engage in speculation. Rather, my points of interest are legal matters that came up in the debate.

The first, and most important, was a quasi-legal issue on the appointment’s social implication on the status of the Kyabazinga, and pride of Busoga kingdom in general. As required by Article 122(1) of the Constitution, such appointments must be approved by Parliament, which is headed by a Speaker. There is a specific committee of Parliament that vets and approves (or disapproves) presidential appointments. It is called the Appointments Committee, and according to the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, it is chaired by the Speaker of Parliament. In Uganda’s case today, the Speaker is a Musoga lady, Right Honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. She is a no nonsense, and very independent minded legislator. As far as Busoga society, and kingdom affairs are concerned, culturally speaking, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, is a subject of the Kyabazinga, and therefore subordinate to him. Those opposed to the appointment partly based their objection on this, saying that the King cannot appear before his subject, to justify himself, for whatever reason. They even issued threats of a constitutional petition challenging the appointment in courts of law.

Yet Rt. Hon. Kadaga, as Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, is a national leader who therefore, necessarily is superior to cultural leaders, because Uganda is a republic, not a monarchy. Therefore, national leaders take precedence over traditional or cultural leaders. Indeed, Article 98(2) of our Constitution states that, ‘The President shall take precedence over all persons in Uganda, and in descending order, the Vice President, the Speaker and the Chief Justice shall take precedence over all other persons in Uganda.’ Please note that the Constitution says ALL PERSONS, which means that there are no exceptions envisaged here. Therefore, Speaker Kadaga takes precedence over, and is therefore, superior to her traditional leader, His Highness Gabula William. If the Kyabazinga does anything (like accepting a presidential appointment) that requires him to appear before his otherwise cultural subject, he must comply. One cannot eat his cake, and also have it. The law must be followed.

The second issue was on the legality of the appointment. The argument was that according to Article 246(3)(f) of the Constitution, traditional or cultural leaders, like the Kyabazinga, are prohibited from having or exercising ‘… any administrative, legislative or executive powers of Government or local government.’ This argument is correct, because being an ambassador, necessarily entails having or exercising administrative powers of government. I contend that those without any administrative, legislative or executive powers are lower than, and subordinate to, those with them.