Know your country: Key civic facts about Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country and is one of the six countries that comprise the East African Community. Kenya is its eastern neighbor, Tanzania is in the south, Rwanda is in the South West, Democratic Republic of Congo is in the West and South Sudan is in the north.

Theoretically, Uganda is a democratic state. The people are the power that makes Uganda. Political leaders are elected by the people and Parliament, the country’s legislative body is comprised of the people’s representatives.

According to chapter two of the Constitution of Uganda 1995 (the Constitution), the country is one sovereign State and a Republic. Being one sovereign state means that the country may not be divided into other smaller states without the change of the constitution to permit it. All changes to the constitution are approved by the people through a referendum or their duly elected representatives in parliament. Uganda is however divided into districts on the local government level. It is through districts that government power is decentralized. As at the time of writing this, there are currently 111 districts in Uganda.

The boundary of Uganda is set out in schedule 2 of the Constitution. It is not as expanse of as that of Kenya or Uganda and it is majorly delineated subject to mountain peaks and rivers.

The capital of Uganda is Kampala.

The official language is English. Attempts to make Swahili the national language have been futile. However, the constitution makes provision for any other language to be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes.

Uganda does not have a state religion and the constitution binds the country not to adopt a state religion. That notwithstanding, the Constitution guarantees the freedom to practice any faith or creed or religion.

The national symbols are the national flag, the national coat of arms, the public seal, the national anthem and the seals of the courts of judicature. These symbols command respect and have a binding effect. For example, when a court order does not have the seal of court, it cannot be said to be genuine. It gets its binding effect from the seal imprinted thereon.

BY SAMALI BITALA

This article appears in our digital law newsletter, The Deuteronomy Vol 6, Issue 2 of June 9th, 2017

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