Opinion: What Message Were The Opposition MPs Sending?
Written by Tumwesigye Abdu on May 25, 2021
Yesterday it was a cocktail of activities at Kololo ceremonial grounds as newly elected lawmakers in the 11th parliament vote the house speaker, the race seemed to be tight at the beginning because both camps from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) were strong indeed, when Kadaga′s camp lured the ground seemed to develop cracks, and when Oulanyah′s barked, walls looked shaking, and yes, when Ssemujju campaigned you thought it is just time delaying him to be sworn in as the next parliament speaker.
At the end of the day, the noise went silent from the two camps, I mean that of Hon. Alitwala Rebecca Kadaga and Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, as the saying goes, he who laughs last, laughs best, indeed the humble but confident from the start, Omoro constituency MP Hon. Jacob Oulanyah took the day with 310 votes, followed by former boss at parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga with 197 votes, then would be opposition candidate from the opposition party
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Hon. Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda became 3 rd with only 15 votes, a total of 522 members of parliament cast valid votes since two other members chose, one to vote Kadaga and Oulanyah at the same time and another member voted for Hon. Anita Among who was not in the race for speakership, 5 members of parliament didn’t show up on the highly awaited day and reasons are yet to be availed to us.
That was a brief background on what transpired in the house yesterday, but my concern today is about the opposition members of parliament who with no doubt voted for well-known long time NRM cadre Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga basing on statistics at the end of the exercise, when I talk of the opposition MPs, am supposed to mean National Unity Platform (NUP), FDC, Justice Forum (JEEMA), People′s Progress Party (PPP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP), but parties like UPC and DP look to be in an open relationship with the ruling NRM and the party chairman testified in his speech after the voting of the speaker.
Anyway, NUP has 58 members in the 11 th Parliament, FDC has 32 members, JEEMA has 1 member and PPP 1 member, DP 9 members and UPC 9 members, the total of these would be opposition members is 110 members and the 11 th parliament has got 73 independent members of which over 30 are believed to be opposition leaning, that is a total of close to 150 members expected to vote for opposition candidate Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda but only 15 managed to respect their voters who voted them as opposition members at the expense of NRM members because am sure NRM fielded candidates in all slots across the country.
There was reasoning these members had while fronting their NRM candidate Kadaga that NRM has the majority in parliament and so no opposition candidate can win in the house flooded by yellow legislators, yes it is true that over 350 members purely subscribe or believe in the Kyaddondo road-based political party, but this reason was shallow and can only be accepted by ordinary citizens, if you know that NRM can win any race in parliament without even your backing as opposition why do you dare to dampen the sea of NRM law makers?
Simply vote for your candidate of the opposition to uphold the thinking of your electorates and the candidates from the ruling party tire themselves around their big number, this can be of an advantage if you remain as one block of opposition, since you can even lobby a few more members from the bickering NRM and perhaps your candidate wins the race.
In the same low thinking that an opposition candidate cannot win the contest in parliament, members resorted to weighing who is the better ′evil′ from the ruling party, this is laughable and indeed an amazing thinking,
“if you not for Satan, don’t come nearer to his market even for window shopping” Mukono Municipality MP Hon. Betty Nambooze once noted while appearing on a television show.
No doubt, almost all opposition legislators apart from the 15 who voted for Ssemujju, voted former speaker Hon. Rebecca Kadaga claiming that she’s a better ′evil’ Kadaga!!!, a person who was in the chambers when law makers were serving beatings from the army in 2017 during the popular ′Togikwatako′ days and was deputy speaker in 2005 when the members then amended the constitution to remove term limits, kindly let me know of any bill that has been passed by parliament and president consented to it yet he never wanted?, how many motions have been passed by parliament and the executive, security forces implemented them under the leadership of Hon. Rebecca Kadaga?, the same Kadaga has been a member of parliament since 1989 moreover on affirmative action seat which was created to uplift as many women as possible, but one woman has ring-fenced it for herself only, former minister of state for regional cooperation, minister of state for communication and aviation between 1998 and 1999, minister of parliamentary affairs from 1999 to 2000, deputy speaker from May 2001 to 2011, speaker of parliament from 2011 to 2021, aged 65 years and you still want to uphold the same woman as if in the entire country or region of Busoga as some reasoned to support her has no any other better woman to be lifted to top, shame upon you opposition MPs .
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