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Government of Uganda - Information You Should Know

Knowing how the government of Uganda runs is to your advantage. As you learn the inner processes of Ugandan politics and the operations of the country, you will better identify with every thing you read or hear, giving you a more comprehensive insight into Uganda and its peoples.

Uganda is a presidential republic and the President is the Head of State, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and at the same time the head of government.

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The Executive power is exercised by the Government, and the legislative power comes from both; the government and the parliament. Uganda runs on a democratic presidential and parliamentary system with universal suffrage for all citizens over 18 years of age.

Since July 2005, when the 19-years ban on political parties was lifted, Uganda is a multi-party system. The dominant among others or call them the 'big tent' parties are:

  • National Resistance Movement (NRM) - This is the ruling party, and
  • Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) - which is the main opposition party.
  • The Democratic Party (DP), the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and the Conservative Party (CP) are the oldest of the lot. Founded before independence (1962), the sway of these three political parties on the direction of Ugandan politics has gradually declined over the years but they remain influential and key players.

    There are also other less influential political parties particularly founded after 2005. These include among others:

  • Justice Forum (JEEMA)
  • Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) and
  • Progressive Peoples Party (PPP).
  • Laws, the Constitution and the President

    Separate from the executive and the legislative arms of government, the judicial system is its own independent entity.

    The laws that govern are laid out in the Constitution of Uganda. It lays out the rights for all, as well as carefully stipulating the divide of the powers of the country between the executive, the parliament and the judicially. This document is the country's fourth since independence in 1962 and was adopted in 1995.

    The President heads the Government of Uganda. He/ she is the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces. He/ She is in-charge of the Executive arm of government.

    The President is elected every five years by all citizens of 18 years and above through secret ballot. He/ she must have got more than 50% of the total votes cast in the general election to be declared elected and ensure a stable government.

    The Legislative Powers of the Government of Uganda

    These powers are shared between the Executive and the National Assembly - the Parliament.

    The Parliament is elected directly through the Ugandan people and does its business in the Capital, Kampala which is its seat.

    Those in Parliament are elected through secret ballot for a term of five years to represent their constituents. There are currently 386 members of parliament, among these;

  • 238 Constituency Representatives
  • 112 woman representatives - one for each district (112 districts)
  • Such numbers as determined by the parliament; 10 representatives of the Army, 5 youth representatives, 5 workers representatives and 5 representatives of persons with disabilities. (Parliament reviews these representations every five years to retain, increase or abolish and may even adopt new ones as and when it's befitting)
  • The Vice President and Ministers who, if not already elected members of parliament, are ex-officio members without the right to vote on any issue that requires a vote in parliament.
  • As an interesting side note, apart from the representatives of the army who are regarded as non-partisan, the rest of the members of parliament either belong to the different political parties or are independents.

    Those with party affiliation are seconded by their respective political parties before standing for elections and therefore in their different constituency representations, they still represent the views of the political party to which they belong.

    Districts, Municipalities and Townships

    Still with in the government of Uganda, the Districts are administrative levels with in the regions. They are governed by District Councils that are responsible for the local administration and are elected every five years through universal suffrage and secret ballot. These councils are headed by a District Chairperson.

    These councils work along side the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), a government official appointed through the Ministry of Local government. He/ she is the chief accounting officer at the district level.

    The townships, Municipalities and the Capital City - Kampala, are headed by a mayor who is also elected every five years. The word itself means 'master of citizens'.

    Down to the villages, these are also governed by village local councils.

    The government of Uganda rules successfully with in the established framework and as you appreciate the system, you will learn to respect the system and operate within it as you get familiar with the structure.

    When you travel to Uganda, or better still, living in the country for part of your life, it is good to learn about the government of Uganda so as to stay in the ring and understand what is happening around you.

    If my work and information is helpful and you like what you read on the site, please consider making a donation to support its development.

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