Friday 22 Feb 2013
While President Museveni and Dr Besigye’s face off with pen-on-paper instead of teargas and “ajjagenda (“he will go”), is appealing, I was disappointed that “Uganda’s leading politicians” spent so much space discussing the fast tracking of Brigadier Muhoozi. Has Uganda’s instability since 1964 been due to Presidents fast tracking their sons in the army? Weren’t Gen Muntu, Gen Aronda and Colonel Besigye fast tracked by the same Museveni who is fast tracking Muhoozi? Were they the most senior, eligible, competent, deserving and best choice for the positions of Army Commander, Chief of Defence Forces and Minister, respectively? Was it not the President’s arbitrary discretion? Was it ok to fast track them just because they are not his sons? Did NOT fast tracking their sons in the army make Amin and Obote good leaders? Surely the problem of Uganda is more complex than fast tracking of Muhoozi.
ALL top jobs in Uganda are nominated and appointed by the President through assignment of the constitution. These include the Vice President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Chief Justice, Justices, Judges, Ambassadors, Presidential Advisors, heads of the army, police and prisons, Permanent Secretaries, RDC’s, CAOs, Boards and Commissions of Govt Institutions and Statutory Bodies such as the Electoral Commission, Bank Of Uganda, Uganda Revenue Authority, Judicial Service Commission, Health Service Commission, Education Service Commission, Public Service Commission, Human Rights Commission, Law Reform Commission, Local Government Finance Commission, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Forestry Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda Cotton Authority, National Agricultural Research Organization, National Environmental Management Authority, National Planning Authority, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda Electricity Regulatory Authority, Auditor General, Inspector General of Government, Attorney General, Solicitor General, DPP, KCCA and now, the Oil Sector Regulatory Authority. Muhoozi is just one addition to this army of beneficiaries of Museveni’s indulgence.
These, and Muhoozi’s appointments are the consequence of a Constitution that heaps all the appointing authority on the President. The overall effect of this constitutional one-man show is that each of these State and Govt officials, who run Uganda with the President, has a personal stake in the Museveni Presidency and actively or passively contributes to its perpetuation, hence the inability to change Presidents, if we want to!
This is the core of Uganda’s problem which needs to be addressed.
If anybody, including Beti Kamya, became President under this constitution, s(he) would generally fill the above positions with people s(he) trusts or those recommended by people s(he) trusts. They, in turn, would be indebted to the appointing authority and the vicious circle of patronage would continue.
Most of the political issues in Uganda are traceable to the Constitution-created-one-man show.
Can the desired autonomy of the executive, judiciary and legislature work when the Executive appoints the judiciary and 20% of parliament, as provided for in the constitution? What is the effect of fusing a supposedly non-partisan State infrastructure with a legally partisan Govt? Is it pragmatic that parliament, of which 20% are appointed by the executive and 60% constantly hoping to be appointed during a cabinet reshuffle, or to be bailed out in time of need, oversee the performance of the executive?
Shouldn’t Uganda’s constitution be reshaped for its rightful role of steering Uganda to democratic order?
I invite President Museveni and Dr Besigye to raise the level of debate above Museveni and his family, (who will be part of Uganda’s past some day), to the infinite future of Uganda, by evaluating Uganda’s Constitution’s ability to provide a conducive environment to promote democratic order, of which separation of powers is a key feature.
Beti Olive Kamya-Turwomwe
President – Uganda Federal Alliance