Posts Tagged ‘Parliament of Uganda’

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah and Speaker Kadaga

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah and Speaker Kadaga

Game of thrones, should have focused an episode on Ugandan parliament. Only difference is that our speakers fight sometimes for the “right thing” but the end game is promotion, popularity and little concern of the public or taxpayers money, we are collateral damage.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah made the first move this year as he reversed the decision to expel senior journalists from parliament. The ‘evil letter’ written by Clerk to Parliament, an order from parliamentary commission headed by Kadaga expelling all senior journalists from parliament.

Speaker Kadaga reacted by calling for an editor’s meeting, sticking to her guns, asking them to change the journalists covering parliament, although she had valid reasons, she has no authority to tell editors who to assign what beats and who to pull out.

Kadaga hit below the belt as she made history setting into motion a process that could put her on a collision course with her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah after she controversially overturned his decision that Parliament would not handle issues about KCCA before a definitive resolution is made over the Lord Mayor’s fate. Speaker Kadaga ruled that her deputy’s decision was “personal”.

Deputy Speaker Oulanyah in December last year ruled that Parliament would not handle business about City Hall unless the government decisively settles the disputes surrounding the contested impeachment of city Mayor Erias Lukwago. A Ministerial committee led by the Premier Ruhakana Rugunda was set up to handle the matter amid skepticism from the Opposition.

However-matters about KCCA were again on the floor as the Junior Finance Minister Fred Omach rose to present budget estimates for the City Authorities for the 2015/16 financial year.

MPs’led by the Leader of opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu brought the matter of Parliament’s position to Ms Kadaga’s attention warning that handling KCCA issues violates procedural rules as the House had committed not to handle KCCA issues.

I have extracts of the Hansard. On that day the [Deputy] Speaker advised government that we would not entertain any mater from KCCA until the political problems were solved. I would like to draw your attention to this and to ask this Parliament that we should respect our own decisions so that we are not a laughing-stock out there—when we say something let us respect it,” Mr Oguttu said.

What the Rules of procedure say:

Rule 78: “Decision of the Speaker or Chairperson” plainly instructs that the Speaker’s decision cannot be reviewed without a motion. Rule 78(2) states that: “The decision of the Speaker or Chairperson upon any point shall not be open to appeal and shall not be reviewed by the House except upon a substantive motion made after notice.

What happened was not a decision of the [Deputy] Speaker but also a decision of the House. If as legislators, we are to observe our own rules of procedure, a matter to do with KCCA cannot be dealt with until a substantive motion has been moved,” Mr Nuwagaba argued.

But Ms Kadaga ignoring all the opposition’s concerns ruled saying that Oulanyah had taken the initiative not to preside over matters about KCCA.

“The issue the Deputy Speaker was talking about was his personal decision not to preside over any matter on KCCA until the issues of governance were resolved.I want us to be realistic-what if the [impeding KCCA] Bill was brought for First Reading today, will he then say we shall not consider it. Where else would we have the Bill done other than this House? The Deputy Speaker said in his own words, in his own name. He said Jacob Oulanyah would not preside over KCCA issues, “MS Kadaga ruled.

Extract from Hansard on 19th Dec

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, this issue of KCCA has posed a difficult situation in this House not only once, but many times and for some reason it happens when I am in the Chair. (Laughter) It is not a good situation to chair when outstanding matters that are easy to solve continue to be a problem and pose a threat to the progress of debate in the House.

I had earlier made a directive to the government side that this matter of KCCA should be resolved so that when matters come from KCCA we are able to, in a bipartisan manner, handle them expeditiously. Today, I will state again that personally, – and this is for the record – if these matters of governance in KCCA are not resolved with finality, I will not be ready to preside over a matter involving KCCA again. (Applause)

This is because it is a stressful experience, there are legitimate concerns being raised and these concerns are genuine. We requested that the matters be resolved and they are not. Each time I sit here, I get headaches about these matters. So, whether the loan is approved or not, if by the time we resume in February next year, the matter of administration and governance in KCCA is not resolved, no matter should be brought to this House that has anything to do with KCCA and the House expects that Jacob Oulanyah will be presiding; I will not. (Applause) I will not, because I am only a human being and I cannot preside over the same thing over and over.

Rt Hon. Prime Minister, I urge you that by the time we resume in February next year, if you will not have resolved this matter of governance in KCCA, be put on notice; Jacob Oulanyah will not preside over any matter involving KCCA if these governance issues in KCCA remain outstanding

I would like your commitment that you will adhere to what I have just said.

The leader of Opposition sarcastically asked Speaker Kadaga to state the right time, when the speakers preside over the house as people and when they are speakers of Parliament n your Kadaga.

“I seek clarification Madam speaker, when are you Kadaga the person and when are you the speaker of Parliament while seated in that chair? “ asked LOP Oguttu.

As if that wasn’t enough Kadaga last week tasked the Rules Committee to check the Hansard there by reviewing Deputy speaker Oulanyah ‘s ruling on the report on a petition. Oulanyah had ruled adopting the committee report on a petition on Land eviction of people of Lwemiyaga after no MP rose to debate the report, it was then adopted. After the adoption, MPs’Nzoghu, Ssekikubo seek to review ‪Parliament’s decision on its petition by Lwemiyaga County of Mar 3, 2015. MP Nzough and Ssekikubo, responsible for the monitory report begged the speaker to go back on his ruling to which Oulanyah rightly rejected, reminding them of time keeping.

The clash of the puppet masters continues, Deputy Speaker Oulanyah, your move!



History is made in the 9th Parliament, chaired by the Speaker Kadaga, as members of Parliament failed to agree on a decision to approve a motion.

“Since I have been Speaker, we have never failed to resolve a motion” said Speaker Kadagamacaroniskeleton

Dr. Bayigga Michael P. Lulume (Buikwe County South – Buikwe District) moved a motion seeking leave from Parliament to introduce a bill the presidential Transitional Bill 2014, which is a private member’s bill.(Meaning it is introduced by an individual and not Government)

According to the draft bill presented by MP Lulume, Some of the defects in the current law include the lack legislative framework to promote orderly executive power in connection to the expiration of term of office of a president and his inauguration.

PART IV of the billprovides for the swearing-in ceremony to be conducted in the capital city. It also provides that the day the swearing-in of the President-elect shall be a public holiday. It further provides for the signing of a certificate of inauguration by the President and the handing over of the instruments of power and authority by the outgoing President to the President- elect.

(All these, necessities of any young democracy)

When the speaker asked if Mp Lulume could be granted leave, there was a thunder NO, a female voice that later gained momentum as other NRM MPs’ followed her decision.

According to Parliament’s rules of procedure, it’s a right of a Member of Parliament to seek leave of Parliament to introduce a bill, however, members of Parliament have a right to reject the proposal.

The principal object of this bill is to make provisions for the procedure and ceremony for the assumption to the Office of President.

It achieves this by providing for the requisite arrangements for assumption of office by the President­ elect including the establishment of the Presidential Transition Committee and providing for the procedure for assumption of the, of President by the President-elect, and his or her access to instruments of power and state secrets.

Did the NRM rejection of the motion mean that they hate or are scared of the transition of power from one president to another?

Whoever came with the phrase, one cannot legislate in assumption; must have referred to the NRM MPs’, for rejecting a motion on a bill whose content they had neither seen nor extensively discussed.

It’s like a teacher awarding a student zeros in an exam, because they do not like their handwriting without reading the answers that the student has written.

The Leader of the opposition, Wafula Oguttu pleaded with the NRM MPs’ to approve the motion to give chance to MP Lulume to present a new bill.

“ This bill is a pure representation of a democracy, its aim is on peaceful transfer of Presidential powers, it will be like shifting power from Museveni to Museveni if he wins” Said LOP Oguttu sarcastically.

But the NRM MPs’ who are struggling from fear of the unknown persisted.

” Let this matter be deferred, for members of Parliament to Dialogue and get more information on the bill.” said Speaker Kadaga After realising how ridiculous members of the NRM sounded.


The NRM’s outline rejection of a bill without any objectivity is a screaming silence on how many of the Ugandan laws are passed, it poses questions on whether MPs’ even read the contents of a law or judge it basing on its title.

The first time I was hearing the term, ‘munyago’. In my little brain, the term did not make sense.

During a discussion in the Parliamentary newsroom, it a fairly large room equipped with desktop computers, Internet, all provided for by Parliament of Uganda.

However some journalists carry their own laptops.

The conversation,  whose content kept bouncing back and forth but the common denominator was the term Munyago, many of the parliamentary reporters joking and laughing their heads off about who gets the hugest ‘Munyago, and which MP provides the particular Munyago’..

Munyago is a luganda briberyslang, Luganda is on of the many languages spoken in Uganda, The term was introduced to parliament by Honorable Ssekikubo, one of the Rebel’ MP’s during the famous oil debate.

The term Munyago in Luganda means ‘ to grab something’, like grab something that is not initially yours but once you take it, you own it’ the member of parliament .

Honorable Ssekikubo used the term to refer to the public theft of government funds and luck of transparence in the oil sector.

Munyago ‘ was then born as the latest slang among the Parliamentary Reporters.

The life of many of the Parliament journalists and I can say many of the journalists in Uganda is fiction material, in regard to journalism ethics, but if one attempted to write it as a novel, the result would be preposterously unbelievable.

It is all but impossible, to find a neutral voice when it comes to some journalism practitioners, the easy with which the parliament reporters speak about Munyago, was a rude awakening to, and a realization the journalism do not survive the corruption in Uganda.

My only questions are ‘ where the hell, did professionalism go? Where did ethics go, conscience?

Ohh well I guess they went with the poverty level and poor pay of journalists by media houses.

Many of the press briefs, conferences that reporters attend, and their content is not really headline materials or blockbuster story.

The workshops that journalists attend and UGX100, 000 is handed out to each as transport refund and allowances for a conference is just a corrupter of the young.

You know like Kelly Rowland’s song,’ Baby I maybe you motivation’ Or for some that had parents giving you candy just to make you sleep or do whatever the parents want.

The MP’s also use is a ‘little red bull’ to boast the journalists morale to write their story and if possible write it from their angle.

Various youth functions and press briefs, the journalist are given transport refund, that many call ‘munyago.

What is more ridiculous is that there is no distance traveled or costs incurred, considering that the press brief room is only two floors ahead and there is an elevator for those that cannot take the stairs.

Not all journalists take this money that is signed for but most do take it.

A friend made an argument, that since the money is already signed for, and in the hands of whoever is holding the function, it is okay to take it and give to either street children or give it to charity.

For if it remained n the hands of the MP’s, they would still pocket it.

I do not know what you think, but for just a splint second, I actually thought it was a good idea, like ‘Good Corruption’.

At some point I think the public needs to know that the disease has widely spread, it’s the new cancer.

This is not only leverage for the government on the journalists because you sign for the money given, but also an assurance that many of the journalists are no different from them.

Some of the press briefs journalists go for, the incentives given is only food, or drinks.

My highlight of the ‘Munyago’ was during the chaos on the Public Order Management Bill

The opposition in their press brief gave out sodas to reporters.

That same day, the government/NRM in their press brief, gave out sodas and 20,000 to the journalists that attended the press conference.

So there is a  ‘Munyago’ competition between the opposition and the NRM, about who is voted the best ‘Munyago giver’ like many of the reporters say.

The bribe is also a campaign tool to many of the politicians, because if they are covered by all the radio stations and television stations, that is boasting their candidature, for the voters will listen to their ‘honorable saying something and feel represented, hence a second term at parliament. Uganda’s latest self-importance syndrome

About the quest for the truth in an unspecified, ye important institution like parliament, there is a long way to go!

I will catch you later folks, for now I can say a prayer for corruption in my country, FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.