By Job Matua
The writings are on the wall for the ongoing Campaigns for Speakership and Deputy Speakership.
Whereas it is not the time to do so, all Candidates interested in the race are already talking to MPs and campaigning full gear. This was started by the Incumbent Speaker Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga according to the confirmation made on NBS morning breeze by one of the MPs in her team, Hon Asumani Basalirwa of Bugiri Municipality. Hon Basalirwa confessed that Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga called him immediately after he was declared winner of the Parliament and told him that she needed his support for her Interest in Speakership.
It is therefore, Intellectual dishonesty to say there are no ongoing campaigns.
IMPORTANCE OF PARLIAMENT
In any liberal democracy, the most important Institution of Government is the Parliament/ Congress. The Executive is the implementation arm of Govt and always seen as the Important arm but technically, it is not true.
It is Parliament where all representatives of the people sit and debate National Issues. Every Constituency is represented but above all, every Interest group envisioned in the Constitution is also represented.
Parliament is therefore, the only truly National Institution in both form/appearance and substance ( National Issues it handles).
The Sacredness of this Important Institution must be protected and preserved by all of us irrespective of whether one is political or apolitical. Losing that sacredness is worse than losing the Soul and Heart of our Country in-terms good Politics and Democracy.
The excited legislatures and some gullible people who think the issues of Speakership and Deputy Speakership are non of the businesses of Citizens are wrong 100%. I watched Hon Kibalya Mourice of Bugabula South demonstrating this ignorance on NBS frontline talk show program last Thursday. I have equally seen this on the various WhatsApp platforms I am on and on Twitter. I am told some people on Facebook equally feel MPs should be exclusively the ones to discuss the issue of Speakership.
On a WhatsApp platform dominated by NRM flag bearers, one Senior MP of Buyaga Constituency Hon Barnabas Tinkasiimire wrote something extremely dirty to say the least. My continuous guidance to them some few arrogant MPs on the platform led to my unceremonious removal on the ground that I am not an MP yet many people that I personally know who are not MPs are there on the platform.
MONEY IN THE CAMPAIGNS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
Money is exchanging hands in these campaigns. The aspirant who cries the loudest is the lead distributor of the money.
The fundamental question is; why must candidates who think they are competent for the job distribute money? Why buy the conscience of MPs? Why pay money to online news channels to prevent writing of articles critical of Aspirants? Why gang opinions of Citizens?
If the good people in the Country don't wake up to fight such obscenity in our politics especially involving the important institution that is Parliament, we are finished.
The practice of election of Speakers in Common Wealth Countries is that the preferred candidate is supposed to be dragged into the seat. What on earth in Uganda that our Aspirants want to buy purchase the seat? This in my view is the final rape on sacredness of the Institution of Parliament. The people spending this obscene amount of money will use Parliament as a transaction chamber to get back their spent money with profits.
The tax payers will be eaten properly to bones. Oversight role of Parliament will become over steal role. committee sessions will turn into money harvesting platforms whereby the public is deceived with tough talking MPs on camera and transaction brokers off camera.
Then the eaters will have no mercy on the eaten( The tax payers).
We must also carefully examine how MPs on Independent tickets get appointed to become members and Chairpersons of Committees of Parliament. It is another abused opportunity.
In a nutshell, the Citizens and all interested people must quickly intervene and save our Parliament from being sold to highest bidders.
We must do so in order to save ourselves from the dangers of having a failed Institution with that Importance. The last thing we must all not lose is the House of Representatives. Let us redeem our Parliament and make it great again.
The Author is a Senior Member of National Patriotism Corp-Uganda/ Pan-Africanist.