Monday, May 29, 2017

VIDEO: #Uganda parliament has no moral authority to cry fowl

On May 19, the Speaker of the Bunge, or Parliament of Uganda, lost her cool and blasted the Executive branch of government for ignoring the Bunge's resolution passed 10 days ago requesting Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to postpone switching off unregistered SIM cards.
A motion calling for postponement was moved on May 18 by Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza and the Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, expressed full support for the motion which was debated and a resolution passed on the same day.
According to Saturday Monitor of May 20, less than 24 hours after Parliament triumphantly passed a resolution urging UCC to extend the May 19 deadline by one year, government defied the resolution and instructed UCC to block all unregistered, unverified and un-validated SIM cards throughout Uganda with effect from midnight, May 19.
Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the "arrogant" minister of ICT and National Guidance, never mind what "National Guidance" means, called a press conference on May 19 at which he confirmed government's directive that unregistered SIM cards would be switched off despite Parliament's reasonable and pro-people resolution to postpone this unnecessary exercise which is driven by fear, but disguised as national security!
According to Sunday Monitor of May 21, Tumwebaze's action "rattled Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who accused the minister of failure to listen to the views of the helpless population and irregularly attending Parliament sittings".
The Speaker further accused Tumwebaze of "acting in total disregard, disrespect and disdain of Parliament by insisting on switching off unregistered SIM cards" a move she described as showing a "high level of arrogance" and hence "unacceptable and cannot go unchallenged." Who can disagree with that pertinent description of the minister?
In conclusion, the enraged Speaker told MPs: "I am proposing to present this matter to the Rules Committee. I am sending him for contempt under Rule 211 of the rules of procedure." Well, that was quite strong and tough talk from the usually soft-spoken and smiling Speaker of the Bunge.
July 12, 2005: A day of infamy for Uganda's Parliament!
In one of the most despicable, indefensible and treacherous events in the history of Uganda, Members of Parliament amended on July 12, 2005, against the wishes of the vast majority of Ugandans and for a mere Shs5million each, article 105(2) of the 1995 Constitution and hence lifted the cap on the two-term limit for a President, a move which has had dire consequences!
Since then Ugandans have experienced untold anxiety, sorrow and suffering as well as stress and uncertainty about a peaceful future for our country.
Like the biblical Esau who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of soup, Parliament sold its constitutional mandate in 2005 to Sabalwanyi for peanuts! Twelve years later, Sabalwanyi can afford to insult millions of Ugandans by bragging publicly that he is not anybody's servant! No MP has had the courage to stand up to defend in Parliament the honour and dignity of Ugandans! All that Ugandans can do, for now, is gnash their teeth in agony and disbelief!
With all due respect, MPs who abdicated to Sabalwanyi in 2005 have no moral authority whatsoever to demand and expect the Executive to take them seriously on any matter, including implementing Parliament's resolutions which the Executive doesn't seem to like.
Parliament has been rendered inconsequential by greed. As a result, the Bunge has been reduced to a theatre of the absurd, a rubber stamp and a door mat! It is a tragedy of monumental proportions which has effectively rendered the people of Uganda voiceless in national affairs!
Word from the grapevine is that talks are under way, behind closed doors, between some MPs and agents of you know who with a view to amending article 102(b) of the Constitution which provides for a 75-year age limit for the President.
It is alleged that when the price is right, a latter-day "Judas Iscariot" will, for 30 pieces of silver, move a motion in the Bunge to remove the age limit for a presidential candidate in time for the 2021 elections.
History has a tragic way of repeating itself and I would not be surprised if the rumours making the rounds today come to pass in due course. So keep your ears to the ground and prepare for any eventuality!
I am told some wananchi are already preparing to cross the Mediterranean to Greece or Italy where thousands of desperate and oppressed Africans are migrating weekly to seek greener pastures! For me, I have decided that at my age I am going nowhere!
Using my only weapon, namely prayer, I am praying for delivery from the enemies of the people of Uganda who callously and shamelessly desecrated and raped the Constitution of Uganda in 2005 and others who are scheming to do so again. One hopes that they will be consigned by our Lord to hell, where they belong, and suffer eternal damnation down there!
Make no mistake, God is watching and the Lord knows the cause of our troubles. He has heard the cries of wananchi for justice and freedom. I know from Scripture that the Lord has promised to repay!
May God bless Africa!
Mr Harold Acemah is a political scientist, consultant and a retired career diplomat.

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