By Henry K. Otafiire
A few weeks ago Hon Ibrahim Semujju Nganda announced his bid for Speakership race joining the incumbent Hon Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Hon Jacob Oulanyah. Hon Semujju ofcourse needs no introduction in our politics.
His regular and scintillating appearances in Parliament, on radio and TV have decorated our political commentary at a time when political debate has been punctuated more by mediocrity and inferiority than common sense, wit and revolutionary wisdom.
His views and opinions have become unsettling and uncomfortable to those who get served. He has consistently displayed the sort of indiscriminate rage that has made him a sensation and one of the most feared commentators on mainstream media. He has breathed an aura of life into our lucklustre and often boring commentary on TV and radio which has defined our current political commentary for sometime now. And in those bite-sized words lie a sort of mission statement, unwritten rule: Speaking truth to power and standing up to those who wield it whenever an opportunity presents itself without fear or favor.
He has enjoyed a garlanded and thrilling political career. The sort of raw, unbridled authenticity that makes him one of the most compelling commentators on Prime TV and radio audience. He has filled the void at a time when our mainstream media is struggling to get us pundits to help us understand the current affairs better. He has made us forget the mediocrity of what our TV and Radio have become dishing out well informed and impassioned analysis. The sort of commentary and a riotously and chestbeatingly good piece journalism our media has been deprived of.
After many years of our toxic, silly and sometimes stupid political debates, there has been a feeling out there that quality of debate in Parliament has degenerated to lowest ebb. Ofcourse, the house with it’s many challenges, has always been sprinkled with smart and articulate legislators. For Hon Semujju Nganda,
this is a role into which he was originally made for– and with hindsight, it is not surprising that he has done it with breath taking flair and finesse. It is a role that was honed and fine tuned when he was still in a newsroom at Daily Monitor and The Observer and it was a matter of time to be a wise sage he is today.
There is now a curiously quaint view gaining extraordinary consensus that debate and politics in general has gone to the dogs.
For some time, the arc of political commentary and debate has drifted from deeper insight, more immersive analysis to entertainment and showbiz. Semujju has singlehandedly driven engagement, stirred debate, prickled emotions which have been condensed into in shareable bite-sized social media segments making his TV performances an instant hit and waspishly courting a large audience across the political divide.
For those who have been around for some time agree that Semujju represents the golden yester years of our once respected August house. Days when accomplished legislators like Hon Nobert Mao, Hon Elly Karuhanga, Hon Eriya Kategaya, Hon Winnie Byanyima, Hon Francis Ayume and Hon Wapakabulo to mention a few occupied that Parliament. Seeing him debate one can’t help but reminisce such days with nolstagia.
Hon Semujju is seeking the office of the Speaker when Parliament is a shadow of it’s past. His moral and reputation is too big to command popular support in a house where wheeling and dealing have become common place. It is unlikely that he will overcome interests that have made and are determined to maintain that house as a rubber stamp: an institution vulnerable to the whims and sometimes sinister motives of the executive.
It’s also going to be difficult for him to circumvent many roadblocks on his race for Speakership but that is not surprising at a time when we are now building a Parliamentary complex the size of Wembley Stadium to accommodate more volumes of mediocrity isolating sober people like him who have remained a knight in the shinning armor.
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