"The writing of constitutions in Africa in the 1990s seems to have become fashionable after years of political wilderness following decades of one-party rule, military dictatorships and no-party regimes. African states engaged in the process of crafting new and democratic constitutions in search of democratic and legitimate governance based on the free will of the peoples, and to foster democratic traditions. Transition to democracy is a sacred undertaking, the challenge of which is to develop constitutional and institutional mechanisms in the hope of building viable and durable democratic values and practices that would guarantee political stability, peaceful and orderly change of government, the rule of law and the complete respect for human rights. Constitution-making must be seen as a means of bringing peace and creating a stable and prosperous African continent where the people take charge of the governance and their political and economic destiny in complete freedom. This study inquires into the extent to which this goal has been achieved, with particular reference to Swaziland and Uganda. Swaziland is the only absolute monarchy in the Southern Africa region after Lesotho adopted a democratic constitution in 1993, with the King becoming a constitutional monarch. Uganda has been operating under the Movement Political System (MPS) that, until recently, did not allow free political activity. ... The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 focuses on the circumstances (context) and gives an overview of the organizational structure. Chapter 2 deals with the concepts and basic principles of constitutionalism, democracy, and human rights. Chapter 3 scrutinises the legislative mechanisms that set the process in motion and how the constiutional mandate was executed. The chapter considers the effect of the enabling legislation on ratification and implementation of the rights enshrined in the African Charter. It also looks at the role of civil society in influencing the process. To a limited extent, a comparative case study of other processes in Africa, especially the South African and Zambian experiences, is made. Chapter 4 is a discussion of human rights instruments providing for the right to participate; article 13 of the African Charter, article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR). A discussion of the content and meaning of the right to participate in international law is made, focusing on the jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, as well as the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee (HRC). Chapter 5 is conclusions and recommendations." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2005.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Henry Onoria at the Faculty of Law, Peace and Human Rights Centre, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
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