Uganda Clan Leaders' Charters

 

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Produced by CCFU in 2011.

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The Uganda Clan Leaders’ Charters 

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The Uganda Clan Leaders’ Charters • The Bedhu Mi Kwo Mir Ajaa Pa Jutela Mi Thekwaru Mir Alur • Ekighandiiko Kyabakulu B’ebika Mu Busoga Okulaga Ebisanizo- Ebiragiro- Namateeka • Tic Me Tekwaro A Lango • Or Nyo Kiporuno Owesyö Nyo Nk-`Tote Ompö Poy Chole Pöytoghikoro Pökot • Ekihandiko Ky’abebembezi B’enganda Z’obukama Bwa Tooro

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Table of contents Introduction...................................................................... 2 1. Background...................................................................... 2 2. Drawing up a Clan Leaders’ Charter.................................... 3 3. Use of the charters.......................................................... 3 4. The clan leaders’ charters - Common values and principles....................................................... 4 5. The clan leaders’ charters – Roles and responsibilities... 6 6. The clan leaders’ charters – Aspirations, commitments and expectations...................................... 7 Individual charters............................................................. 10 1. Alur cultural leaders’ charter........................................... 10 2. Busoga clan leaders’ charter............................................ 24 3. Clan Leaders’ Charter for Lango ..................................... 42 4. Clan leaders’ charter for the Pokot.................................. 58 5. Clan leaders’ charter for Tooro........................................ 72 

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Introduction 1. Background In Uganda, clan leaders play an important role in influencing community perspectives, attitudes and responses to changes, as well as initiatives in their immediate vicinity. The roles of clan leaders vary from one region of the country to another but generally range from the ‘cultural’ (performing cultural rites, reinforcing or modifying cultural practices, upholding cultural values - e.g. integrity and accountability, being custodians of tradition, among others) to development-related and political roles (which involve community mobilisation, resolving conflicts, and promoting government programmes). In spite of this, clans are rarely recognised as a valid institution to address the challenges our nation and our communities currently face. And neither are the roles clans play clearly defined or codified. This lack of clarity sometimes results in ambiguous boundaries of authority, manipulation by politicians, and may render clan leaders’ otherwise positive intervention in cultural and developmental matters, ineffective. It was therefore felt important to start developing a set of guidelines – or charters – for clan leaders. This was done by clan leaders themselves, in five regions of the country. It provided an opportunity for clan leaders to reflect on their past and current roles; on their aspirations and on the values and principles they seek to adhere to. Given the enthusiastic response accorded to this initiative by the clan leaders themselves, it appears that this charter has fallen on fertile ground and reflects a strong desire for recognition. 

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2. Drawing up a Clan Leaders’ Charter The texts that follow are based on submissions obtained from 355 clan leaders and cultural resource persons in 5 regions of Uganda (Tooro, Lango, Busoga, Nebbi and Pokot). In addition to clan leaders, focus group discussions were held separately with women cultural leaders in three of these regions. This consultative process was facilitated by the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda in the course of 2011. It involved two stages: wide consultative meetings with a larger group of leaders, followed by a drafting meeting, where a smaller group of leaders distilled their colleagues’ thoughts into proposed charters. This document presents the fruit of these deliberations: first (in the main section), by outlining the common, overarching conclusions reached in all 5 regions (based on a necessarily somewhat arbitrary selection of key points), then by presenting the clan charter developed individually in each of the regions, in both the local language and with an English translation. The financial assistance of the Uganda National NGO Forum and of Development Research and Training (DRT - Mwananchi Programme) for this process is gratefully acknowledged. 3. Use of the charters This document has been prepared as a guide for all clan and other cultural leaders in the country. It may be used as a reference document in a variety of circumstances and situations, such as at clan meetings, when officiating at public functions, when settling disputes, when seeking collaboration with other leaders, etc. The main sections of this document have been drawn from the 5 regional consultations. They may therefore neither be considered entirely appropriate nor relevant in all other parts of Uganda. The reader is therefore encouraged to consider this document as a starting point, liable to revisions and improvements, also keeping 

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in mind that culture is not static – the charters are likely to evolve with the times. 4. The clan leaders’ charters - Common values and principles a. Who is a clan leader? A clan leader is often (but not necessarily) a married man from the ethnic group, he is recognised and/or elected by his community because of his impeccable conduct, as well as the fact that cultural leadership is a gift from God. Women may hold leadership positions in the clan institution but are not heads of clans. Although the cultures in the five regions are diverse, there are cross-cutting principles and values that clan leaders uphold in general. One becomes a clan leader if one is knowledgeable about traditions and culture, but one is also designated, trusted and respected by the community one leads, hard working and with a sense of vision for the clan. This implies that a clan leader will act as a role model and adhere to the following code of conduct. b. Code of conduct 1. A cultural leader should be a tolerant, democratic, patient, discreet, respectful and gender sensitive person, driven by a sense of duty. 2. He will therefore be well groomed and dressed in accordance with local tradition and norms, avoid drunkenness and other forms of unbecoming behaviour, including sexual immorality. 3. A clan leader should also be scrupulously honest, generous, law abiding and avoid any form of corruption and violence. 

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4. He will also follow traditional norms and values as to his personal conduct; be courageous and willing to sacrifice for others; at the same time, he will be adaptable to positive changes, capable of critical thinking and decisionmaking. c. Key values and principles An effective and respected clan leader also adheres to the following principles and values in his work: 1. Truth and justice: A cultural leader discharges his responsibilities according to the principle of truth and justice 2. Team work, participation and involvement: A clan leader works hand in hand with his council/members and seeks the participation and cooperation of all in his deliberations, decisions and actions, whether from the clan or other clans 3. Unity: A clan leader promotes unity, avoids using religion or politics to divide the clan 4. Peace promotion and non-violence: A clan leader promotes peace and rejects all forms of violence 5. Equity and inclusiveness: A clan leader ensures equity and inclusiveness amongst his subjects; he does not discriminate against anyone, listens to advice and shows respect to all women and men. 6. Concern for the vulnerable: A clan leader has concern for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged in society. 7. Transparency and accountability: A clan leader treasures transparency and accountability to his people; this is what assures his legitimacy. 

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5. The clan leaders’ charters – roles and responsibilities a. Upholding and promotion of cultural norms: all our communities are driven by ancestral values, many of which need to be protected, upheld and promoted, such as those of equity, honesty and unity and others listed above. b. Performance of cultural rituals and ceremonies: clan leaders are responsible for ensuring that cultural ceremonies and meetings are regularly and appropriately held, and membership updated, in accordance with people’s rights. They are also the repositories of the clan’s history and are responsible for its documentation (including the recording of its rules and regulations); they protect clan assets and heritage sites. They are also responsible for condemning and taking appropriate action to prevent any abuse of citizens’ rights by cultural practitioners. c. Conflict resolution: clan leaders have an important role to play in building consensus, mediating and resolving community and family conflicts. This is done in total respect of the laws of Uganda, but fosters reconciliation whenever possible. Where a conflict goes beyond their capacity to mediate or where the law of the land has been breached, clan leaders will refer conflicts to the Police or other appropriate authorities. d. Arbitrating over land disputes: clan leaders have this particular responsibility, in areas of the country where customary land tenure prevails. They also support kinsmen, help mediate between them, and interprete government land laws and customary land laws. e. Mobilising for development: where development initiatives - from government, or a cultural institution or from within the local community - demand people’s participation, clan leaders mobilise this participation, in accordance with cultural values, whether in terms of labour, financial contribution or moral support. 

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f. Promoting peace and unity: even though many Ugandan communities have become ethnically mixed, and often geographically dispersed - sometimes across the world clan leaders should ensure that peace, unity and a collective consciousness prevail at all times and that they therefore take appropriate action to defuse any conflict before it becomes violent. Hospitality and equity, including welcoming visitors to the community, will guide their actions in this respect. g. Social protection: clan leaders have a special responsibility to ensure that all in the community, including the very poorest and least able, have adequate access to food and shelter. h. Liaising with other institutions: in undertaking the above, clan leaders liaise with other authorities, whether governmental or otherwise, whether local or beyond, to ensure their effective and safe implementation. 6. The clan leaders’ charters – aspirations, commitments and expectations 1. Clan leaders will strive to have a written development plan; development activities will be undertaken in partnership with Government and other development actors, and community work will be promoted. 2. Clan leaders are especially concerned to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people; to support access to quality education for all, through bursaries where necessary, and to re-instate traditional community development initiatives, such as those fostering food security and granaries at household level. 3. Clan leaders expect to enforce discipline in various ways, including cursing gross offenders, for instance with regard to environmental protection and food security measures. They support laws against early marriages, defilement and those which promote girl child education. Issues related to the sale of land and related disputes should be 

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handled by cultural leaders before they are forwarded to the civil courts 4. The important role played by clan leaders needs to be recognised and supported by other institutions, including Government 5. Clan leaders expect to monitor Government development initiatives and will help with community mobilisation in this respect 6. Clan leaders adhering to the present code of conduct will expect respect from other citizens. 

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The Uganda Clan Leaders’ Charters

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Individual charters ONE Alur cultural leaders’ charter 10

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THE BEDHU MI KWO MIR AJAA PA JUTELA MI THEKWARU MIR ALUR A. BERO PACIK MI THEKWARU 1. Ajaa: Jatela mi thekwaru timu tic ii ajaa 2. Rwodhi calu mic pa mungu: Bedo jaratela mi thekwaru otye mic pa Rubanga nyakacwiya mu-ai i nyolere pa suru moko 3. Camu ker: Rwoth nyolo rwodhi 4. Diku cing i tic: Rwoth omako onywak tic ku kegia pare 5. Dikiri: Jatela mi thekwaru utye jadik dhanu 6. Waku lwak: Jatela mi thekwaru utye jawak lwak 7. Kweciri ikum nek ku undu dhanu: Jatela mi thekwaru yiyo ngo nek i ngom pare 8. Weko kare mi wec ma thwolu: Rwoth bedo ngo won kom i dipu pare 9. Ciru lembe: Jatela mi thekwaru ciru lembe 10. Nenu dhanu ceke marom: Jatela mi thekwaru nenu dhanu pare ceke marom ma akoyakoya upe 11. Bedo i kura muporire ma yanyu dhanu ngo: Rwoth neno nia dhanu pare ukwo ku kura muporire man maber 12. Woru: Jatela mi thekwaru umako uworire man ewor dhanu pare, masagu ne mon 13. Paru pi dul ma dwond-gi nok: Rwoth umako upar pi kwo pa dhanu ma dwondgi winjire ngo (Nyithi kic, mon-tho, etc) 14. Kwero bedo ngeca ni mego/mon: Jatela mi thekwaru kwero pi tiyu ku mon calu bong 11

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B. TIC MA JUTELA MI THEKWARU Tic Macon 1. Rwodhi obedu ku copu mi cogu yamu marecu (jwei) masendu dhanu pare macalu angyew, nyamuralu, juruga, ku mange 2. Rwodhi ubedu jutela iwi dhanu migi 3. Rwodhi ubed utiyu ku Gafumente karacelu man jubed juculu gi musara 4. Rwodhi ubed ujoko ajok man ubed unwangu kony matung tung ibang lwak migi calo gyero udi, furu podhu, culu fizi. Gibed gimiyo kony bende i kabedo mapeko utye iie 5. Mon ubedu ku tweru i kaal; macalu miyo Pii mi lam, Peke, man ketho rwodhi 6. Rwodhi ubed upidu kesi madok ikum lemb Ngom, Nek, Yen marecu mi nek, Kuroga, Kwoo, man lemb jok. Rwodhi gidiku kind dhanu ma nek utimire ikindgi. Lembe edar i pacu ku dhu dongu 7. Lamu dhanu ma gitimu dubu man gipyemu akakaka ku cac ikum jutela. 8. Rwodhi ubed ujolu welo ceke mubinu ingom migi (Kadi uring lwiny ku dhanu ma lembe usendu gi ipacu migi) Tic Makawoni Tic mi thekwaru macon dong madwong ne Gafumente utingu. Tic ma jutela mi thekwaru udong kude utye maegi; 1. Gyeru Abila 2. Yiku lemb jok pi kelo bero i pacu 12

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