Many countries in the world have written constitutions which guide them through a universally acceptable type of governance,other countries like Britain do not have written constitutions but flow a well known system of governance that promote and safeguard the rule of law.Do you know any other country which has unwritten constitution?
Uganda, my mother country, like your country have a written constitution.
A constitution is a set of basic laws and principles that govern the actions of an organization or a country.It further describes the rights and duties of members or citizens and how they are governed.There are other laws besides the Constitution in Uganda and these are by-laws,customary laws and institutions’ laws which are made in conformity with the Constitution.
How are by-laws and other laws made in your country?
The constitution stands superior to all other laws,whereas other laws are made in conformity with the constitution.The constitution is made by all citizens through a consultative process while other laws are made by a group or institution concerned.The constitution guides all citizens while other laws may not apply to all citizens.While nobody is above the constitution,some people are above some laws.Other laws are limited to particular objectives,districts or local areas while the constitution is not limited to any particular objective or locality.The constitution applies to all aspects of life of the people while other laws apply to the operation of a group or institution.
The Historical background of the Uganda constitution.
Uganda had four constitutions since independence.
The 1995 constitution was made after national wide consultation.
Uganda had both Kingdoms and Chiefdoms before and during the colonial period.The Kings and Chiefs had both cultural and legal powers.Different ethnic groups had their awn traditional and customary laws which were not written.The customary laws were recognized as the major principles in administration and management of society.
Centralized kingdoms had kings while in non-kingdom areas the administration was in the hands of the clan heads,family heads,elders and councils.In centralized and non centralized societies,the leaders planned for development,settled disputes and conflicts that would occur in their respective communities.
The British system of administration was introduced when Uganda was declared a British protectorate in 1894.The laws which came with the British system replaced some of the customary laws.Some of the the customary laws continued to exist,even today they are still used to settle conflicts in the communities.
In 1961 the constitution making process started as the British colonial administrators were preparing Uganda for independence.This process led to the coming into effect ( promulgation) of the 1962 constitution.Uganda became independent on 9th October 1962 and since then Uganda has had three different constitutions i.e 1966,1967,1995.
The 1966 constitution was passed by parliament without debate and as such it is sometime referred to as the “pigeon hole” constitution because the prime minister then,asked parliament to promulgate without reading it and asked members of parliaments to collect their copies from pigeon hole after passing.It was later replaced in 1967 by a constitution which abolished kingdoms and chiefdoms and heads of districts.
In 1989,the process of making a new constitution in Uganda started.Government established the Uganda Commission chaired by Benjamin Odoki ( The Odoki Commission). The Odoki Commission collected people’s views before drafting the constitution.The draft constitution was debated four 18 months in the Constitution Assembly (CA) and finally promulgated on October 8th 1995.
The 1995 Constitution has 19 chapters which are arranged as follows:
Chapter One – The constitution.
Chapter Two- The Republic.
Chapter Three- Citizenship.
Chapter Four- Fundamental and other Human Rights and Freedoms.
Chapter Five- Representation of the people.
Chapter six- The Legislature.
Chapter seven- The Executive.
Chapter Eight- The Judiciary.
Chapter Nine- Finance.
Chapter Ten- The Public Service.
Chapter Eleven- Local Government.
Chapter Twelve- Defense and National Security.
Chapter Thirteen- Inspectorate of Government.
Chapter Fourteen- Leadership Code of Conduct.
Chapter Fifteen- Land and Environment.
Chapter Sixteen- Institution of Traditional and Cultural Leaders.
Chapter Seventeen- General and Miscellaneous.
Chapter Eighteen- Amendment of the Constitution,and
Chapter Nineteen- Transitional Provision.
Having knowledge and understanding of these chapters makes you more informed on issues of our constitution and helps you to understand Uganda as a sovereign nation.
Can you therefore explain in your own words the historical background leading to the current constitution of Uganda?
The national anthem is our national song which sung at important occasions and celebrations at schools or in our community.When the anthem is being sang,people should stand straight,to attention or if they cannot stand ,they raise up their right hand.Here goes our National Anthem:
Oh Uganda!May God uphold thee,
we lay our future in thy hand,
Together we will always stand.
Oh Uganda!The land of freedom,
Our Love and Labor we give,
and with neighbors all,
At our country’s call,
In peace and friendship we will live.
Oh Uganda!The land that feeds us,
By sun and fertile soil grown,
For our own dear land,
We will always stand,
The Pearl of Africa’s Crown.
What is you country’s National Anthem? Sing together with your friend.
What occasions have you ever attended when your national anthem was sang?
Together,we shall reach.