Why have Ugandans allowed this rot in House?
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.