Ugandans are fond of burying their heads in the sand instead of confronting the matters of concern directly in order to get lasting solutions. Uganda’s biggest problem todate is the presidency. If that can get sorted out, the rest will follow accordingly.
The way Uganda’s presidents come to the throne leaves a lot to be desired. If it is not by the gun, it’s by manipulation and/or crooked means. On 14th January, 2021 Ugandans went to the polls and what was announced is still questioned. What is being given less attention is the fact that many Ugandans find the current presidency very painful and not satisfactory given the way the process was handled. So much is written on the wall that speaks to this all over the country. But how has this happened? Certainly there are several things behind the scenes that many of us may not be aware of but what is clear is that parliament did allow this to happen through the manipulations and mutilation of the constitution.
Parliament has allowed the introduction of “life presidency” in Uganda, which some people in the leadership today fought when President Idi Amin Dada attempted to have it. What is most disturbing and regrettable is that the constitutional changes over matters of the presidency happened under the guidance and stewardship of both the immediate past Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th parliament.
There is no doubt that the two officials are excellent in their work but regarding the issue of a president keeping in power endlessly, they totally failed and what is painful too, is that they knew the consequences of lifting the presidential term limit and age limit, they were actually aware that it was to serve individuals interests and NOT the public.
If I may recall from the verbal and written literature, the citizens said a big NO to those changes and in any case the preamble of our constitution speaks to this matter very clearly and loudly.
Most of the recent political deaths, political imprisonment, emergence of a big number of political widows, political orphans and people living in abject poverty, are arising out of the selfish and wrong actions made to entrench individuals into statehouse. Believe it or not, like it or not this country would today be experiencing a different political atmosphere if the current president had not appeared on the ballot paper. I hear mbu there would have been war and insecurity if President Museveni had not been returned to power. War and insecurity! Caused by who? Don’t we have a “professional army” and a professional police force? Would they just look on and fail to keep peace?
Therefore, the position of speaker of parliament need not be ring-fenced for the two honorable members of parliament and I wish to implore Members of Parliament of this 11th parliament to be wise and use their intuition to get the right person to lead the house. CEC is not parliament and I don’t think that it is right for it to determine who should be the next speaker. The MPs should also not be duped into accepting and being bound by the choice of CEC. MPs deserve to be given their independence and respect. Remember you are in parliament in the name of those people in your constituency and not the CEC members. Your vote for the speaker should not be guided by what we hear “facilitation” or emotions, ethnicity, or fear of what others will say. It should be your decision less of any baggage or influence. What the 11th parliament needs is a speaker who is firm, non-partisan in taking decisions, not one who takes his party to be the alpha and omega, who is objective, human and one who will understand the right way, follows the right way, and shows the right way – one who serves above self. If I may ask, what are the other candidates who expressed interest from FDC and DP lacking? Why not offer them a chance?
John Mary Odoy is a Senior Citizen and advocate for Human Rights and Good Governance.
Tel. 0782457990 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com