I appreciate MPs who are putting up a fight against Article 9 of the Oil and Petroleum Bill that seeks to give the Minister of Energy powers to license and regulate oil and petroleum operators, because, among other reasons, there need to be checks and balances in the industry. My concern, though, is the absence of a comprehensive strategy to fight and prevent corruption. The ad hoc, piecemeal approach by parliament and the cheering public indicates lack of an understanding by both, of the big picture. The faceoff between the executive and the legislature dates back to 1989, when the NRC debated the extension of the NRA(M) term in office, beyond the four years granted by the 1986 Decree No 1, followed successively by the 1994 federal debate in the CA, the 2000 Referendum Bill to entrench the Movement as a political system of choice for Uganda, the 2005 Constitution Amendment debate that lifted Presidential Terms’ Limit, the 2009 Land Bill, and more recently the Mbabazi / Kutesa /Nasaasira / Mutebile / Bigirimana interdictions.
The executive won all the above contests and some MPs, sensing that they might lose the Oil Bill contest as well, are calling for a referendum. This should foretell Hon Karuhanga what he should expect when he tables the Restoration of Presidential Terms’ Limit Bill. Surely by now, the nation should realize the invisible but formidable power (of the president) that hovers over parliament as MPs try to serve their consciences and constituencies.
A fighter of average skill may initially underestimate her / his foe but after a few regular, well received punches and a bloody nose, s(he) re-assesses not only his / her own strategy, but the source of strength and Achilles’ heel of his / her opponent as well. Blind punches and a barrage of words left Golola humiliated.
President Museveni started his war 50 years ago, as a teenager in High School. By his early 20’s he had determined his ideological path. It took him ten years to build an army and five years to fight a war that landed him in State House. State House enabled him to influence the making of a constitution that gives him all the ammunition he needs to get away with anything in this country.
80% of the Constitution of Uganda bestows authority on the Presidency. S(he) is Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, appoints all public officials, from the rank of commissioner upwards, may create and staff more offices at will, manages the Consolidated Fund, has prerogative of mercy and cannot be arraigned before court, all preplanned and well calculated.
What ammunition, (including ideological), does an MP (that joined politics yesterday), have, to take on one so armed to the teeth?
Any President of Uganda will be powerful and invincible as long as the source of his / her power, the Constitution, remains intact, unless, of course, unconstitutional means are evoked to deal with him / her, which, I hope will never be necessary again.
Ad hoc, piecemeal reactions by MPs and demonstrators, to a few milestones along Museveni’s well calculated path might keep this country in this painful existence, but Uganda Federal Alliance is proposing the comprehensive approach, of a National Referendum, through which the powers of the Presidency will be reduced, like happened in Kenya. The process will be launched on Monday 17 December, 2012, in Lira Municipality at 2.00 PM.
Hon Norbert Mao, President General of DP will be the Keynote Speaker, while Hon Chris Opoka, MP for EALA on the UPC ticket, will present the Kenyan journey from dictatorship to power devolution.
You don’t want to miss this!
Beti Olive Kamya-Turwomwe
President, Uganda Federal Alliance
0783 438 201