By Josepha Jabo
SPEAKER of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga’s decision to reject a petition to recall Parliament has rubbed some MPs the wrong way.
Right from the start, the petition, that was spearheaded by Ajuri MP, Denis Hamson Obua, was marred by confusion. There were conflicting reports of signatures being ‘lost’ and found, ‘disappearing’ and reappearing.
Whereas the untimely death of Butaleja Woman MP, Cerinah Nebanda took us all by surprise, it was not necessary for MPs to collect signatures to recall Parliament for a special sitting to discuss these events. Some Members of Parliament are on record for making reckless statements alleging government could have had a hand in her death.
They said this despite the fact that President Museveni had a good working relationship with Nebanda and even called her his daughter. He also said she was a cheeky girl. These MPs have never retracted their statements even when it became clear from the toxicology report that the late legislator died from overdose of cocaine and heroin.
Following the trend of events, the current stand-off between Parliament and the Executive was created by an overreaction from ‘rebel’ MPs over Nebanda. At the root of it, the ill-conceived petition was a power play by some MPs who wanted to prove they are mightier than the President.
This is not what Ugandans need. Ugandans want a Parliament that works with the President and not against him; a Parliament that is committed to service delivery and fighting corruption.
Above all, what is the purpose of a recess? As part of their oversight role, since they broke off at Christmastime, MPs were supposed to spend this recess interfacing with their voters and monitoring government programmes in their constituencies’ not waste time running around collecting signatures!
Parliament’s recess will end on February 4, 2013. If any Parliamentarian has anything of value to contribute to the Nebanda investigations and inquest he or she can submit this information to the relevant authorities.
The Writer works for Uganda Media Centre