By Leonard Mulinda
According to Coombs and Hollady,three elements are common to a crisis to wit a threat,surprise and a short decision time.
It’s a public secret that Hon.Persis Namuganza, the State Minister for Housing is at the verge of being censured and only trying to salvage her predicament through proxies like the NRM party’s Secretary General-Hon.Richard Tadwong.
From the look of things,NRM as a ruling party is facing one of the hardest conundrums at the moment of wanting to eat the cake and have it at the same.The NRM with majority in parliament needs to be seen disciplining its errant members if sanity is to prevail.Whether you like it or not,the party needs more of the August house than the embattled Minister from Namutumba. Legally,the balance of convenience is against the troubled Namuganza if faced with such a scenario.
In crisis management,there are theories to wit attribution theory, situational crisis communication theory, stakeholder theory and contingency theory.These theories best describe what M7’s party must do.If the ruling party’s wish is to rescue the current situation from exploding,it would have identified, assessed and intervened to return the indi- vidual to his/her prior level of functioning as quickly as possible and to lessen any negative impact on future mental health.This kind of approach captures the essential elements of crisis management that include prevention, planning,practice and perform.These terms remind individuals/organizations to minimize threats,develop crisis plans, rehearse these plans and execute them effectively when needed.
If the ruling party means well for the August house,it would employ a number of crisis intervention models that involve establishing a relationship, understanding the problem and taking action.This model uses achieving rapport,boiling down the Problem and contracting for action.
However, the mass party is just firing anyhow.The party executive recently met with their chairman in state house and its alleged that rescuing the minister was as well discussed.To a keen observer,even when they have the numbers in the house,majority if not all members in parliament are determined to discipline the minister meaning no party cohesion is at play.The party should let the principle of separation of powers be felt since parliament is one of the three arms of government.Others being the executive headed by the President and the Judiciary led by the Chief Justice.
There seems to be uncoordinated movement of troops already.While Hon. Tadwong keeps assuring the public that something is being done to rectify the impasse,parliament is in a combative mood to do the needful.It’s current ineptness aside,the party needs more of the August house than an individual MP or Minister.The leadership of the party should thoroughly do a diagnosis on Min.Namuganza’s past and current cases before rushing to her rescue otherwise currently NRM,which is more less fire fighting to save face,is only addressing the different symptoms of her rants than solving the real problem that punctuates the Minister’s term of office in the house.
Unlike the previous leadership at parliament,the current one led by the amiable and workaholic Rt.Hon.Annet Anita Among,the August house is fully enjoying the unity of purpose principle and MPs are not ready to tolerate anyone who deviates from it. It explains why gathering signatures for the censure motion did not take long to be concluded.
In the censure motion championed by Agago North MP,Hon.Amos Okot,MPs are convinced that they have had enough of Namuganza’s misdeeds including but not limited to undermining the house itself and the leadership therein.
“For the 5 years an MP is sent to the August House,you swear several oaths that include defending the sanctity of parliament at all times and it’s presiding officers”,Dr.Frank Nabwiso (ex-Kagoma MP) revealed noting that there’s no way any sober legislator will not stick to this principle.
It’s on record that Namuganza gave former Speaker of the 10th Parliament, Rt.Hon.Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga a run for her money by claiming that she had betrayed both their party and its chairman in the way she presided over the house.To the MPs then and now,its abominable to disrespect the presiding officers.
Sources say current MPs are not ready to side with a chaotic and troublesome colleague whose history in battling presiding Officers at parliament is known yet in the end,they suffer more during their term of office.
To their credit,MPs assert that the current parliamentary leadership led by Speaker Annet Anita Among is people centered.
“Since her elevation to speakership 9 months a go,we are getting results as a house.She is closer to all MPs and above all,she has a listening ear coupled with being a team player and problem solver”,an MP said.
All done and said,the Minister should eat a humble pie and seek for forgiveness since humility is a virtue for a leader of her caliber.Being defiant and unrepentant in a house whose majority respects the leadership therein is treading on a slippery surface.
Relatedly,the ruling party should interest itself in reigning over its errant members like the minister such that escapism is not an alternative.At the moment,the center no longer holds since things have fallen apart already.
Previously Ministers like Jim Muhwezi Katugugu and Sam Kahamba Kutesa have ever been censured while others like Mathew Rukikaire (RIP), Syda Bumba, Prof. Khidu Makubuya,Al-hajj Ali Kirunda Muwabe Kivejinja (RIP) were compelled to resign.
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