Why have Ugan­dans al­lowed this rot in House?

The East African - - OPINION - Michael Woira, Via e-mail

IT IS VERY sad that Uganda’s in­sti­tu­tions have be­come plat­forms for vent­ing per­sonal frus­tra­tions and set­tling scores.

The be­hav­iour of our mem­bers of par­lia­ment is a wor­ry­ing sign of de­cay­ing and de­gen­er­at­ing in­sti­tu­tions, that demon­strates that our democ­racy is far from be­ing con­sol­i­dated. Our MPS and politi­cians con­tin­u­ously dis­play a lack of deco­rum, re­spect, eti­quette and courtesy for our re­spec­tive in­sti­tu­tions. This is a sign of a coun­try not only at war with it­self, but in self-de­struc­tion mode.

State in­sti­tu­tions ought to be strong as they are the pil­lars of democ­racy; an at­tack on one opens a flood­gate for at­tacks on oth­ers. One may ar­gue that what is hap­pen­ing is a nec­es­sary stage in the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try’s pol­i­tics, but we have to be wary.

The count­less wran­gles, in­so­lence and dis­re­gard for par­lia­men­tary rules is a se­ri­ous is­sue that re­quires at­ten­tion be­cause many of th­ese MPS are tak­ing this au­gust House for granted. They are treat­ing it as a the­atre house where they can dance, ver­bally abuse each other and even de­stroy equip­ment, all in the name of “rep­re­sent­ing” their peo­ple, but re­ally just for the me­dia at­ten­tion.

First, dur­ing the de­bate on the age limit Bill, mem­bers fought and de­stroyed prop­erty, and to date, none of them has been held ac­count­able by any par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

Se­cond, the Speaker was re­cently at­tacked by a leg­is­la­tor and a min­is­ter. The mat­ter was never pur­sued and was even termed “a cul­tural is­sue.” Such cases of im­punity just go to show that par­lia­ment and its mem­bers does not ad­here to a code of con­duct.

Ugan­dans should start ques­tion­ing not just leg­is­la­tors but also sim­i­lar be­hav­iour by dis­trict and vil­lage coun­cils.

MPS should know that they are cho­sen to serve, in and out­side of par­lia­ment. That their job is peo­ple-ori­ented, in­volv­ing talk­ing about and lis­ten­ing to ideas, ex­plain­ing party or gov­ern­ment pol­icy to cit­i­zens and hold­ing the same gov­ern­ment to ac­count.

It is time Ugan­dan MPS ob­served the Stand­ing Or­ders of the House and abide by them to gain and keep the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence.

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