Uganda Today PARLIAMENTARIAN’S ONE YEAR PARTYING AND POLITICS OF OPPORTUNISM
In 2015, while listening to CBS FM recorded voice of the then NRM chief whip in Parliament Ruth Nankabirwa, giving reasons why there was need to extend the tenure of parliamentarians from a five year term to seven, i was disheartened and astounded to hear her say that the “first year is for celebrations and eating Mpombo”
In her speech she laboured to analyse and justify why five years are too short a period for meaningful and serious deliberations to formulate laws that can foster development in the country.
Suffice it to say that I have neither ever been a parliamentarian nor do I scientifically know the breadth and length of a typical constituency but with due respect, I found Nankabirwa’s reason of one year of celebrations with no work, in no small measure, a very ridiculous assertion giving credence to an open secret held by many Ugandans that the majority of our parliamentary representatives are self seekers and opportunists who totally lack patriotism and national development priorities.
Sir Churchill described Uganda as the pearl of Africa and other explorers praised the then Buganda’s administration structures as being wonderful and that they had not seen them elsewhere in the world!! But let’s pause and do some serious soul searching to establish the cause of this retrogressive trend yet our uneducated forefathers managed to put our country on the world map.
The problem stems from the Parliament its self; Parliament enacted a constitution that vests almost unlimited power to the president who uses these powers to breed politics of patronage. That is why; there is an urgent need than ever before to amend the constitution not only to cater for electoral reforms but to have amendments that will clip powers of the president that give him a lee way of appointing:
1.The Army Commander
2.The Inspector General of Police
3.The Commissioner of Prisons
4.The Chief Justice
5.The Chairman and Commissioners Electoral Commission and
6.The Governor Bank of Uganda
If this is achieved, the country shall have halted parliamentarians from making laws that benefit the president and a few of them. Take for example the 6th and the 10th parliaments that lifted the presidential term and age limits caps respectively just to benefit only one Ugandan president Museveni so that he could run for another term in office. The NRM government ever wants to use their legislators basing on their numerical strength in the house, to give a false impression that Uganda cannot progress without Museveni. Whenever their sinister plans are achieved, many of these parliamentarians stand a chance of being appointed ministers thus earning remuneration as cabinet ministers and legislators. That is why the proponents of an idea barring cabinet ministers from being legislators are spot on in this regard. President Museveni being such a self centred astute person has fully exploited these loopholes to his benefit. Just like a child who owes his livelihood upkeep to his parents, even under circumstances he inwardly knows that his parents are wrong, he can’t dare say it because he knows the far reaching repercussions he can’t stand.
From the aforesaid, one can clearly see that Ugandans can never get rid of parliamentarians who take a full year partying without getting rid of politics of patronage. Getting to parliament now is a do or die venture that makes some of the hopefuls go to the extent of selling off their homes and other properties to fund their campaigns!