By Moses Nuwagaba
I read the news that the Uganda Law Society (ULS), in an extraordinary meeting, resolved to suspend the Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, with great consternation. Whereas it is prudent for the Law Society to choose any disciplinary measure against any member they find errant and whose conduct brings the integrity of ULS into serious disrepute, I find the reasons advanced to suspend Nyombi rather strange.
First of all, the main work of the Attorney General is to be a legal adviser to President, cabinet and the Government in general. This is a job Nyombi has done the fact that his opinions may have sparked controversy notwithstanding.
Save for the cases of NRM rebel MPs and Justice Odoki’s re-appointment where the courts of law have not pronounced themselves, Nyombi’s opinions on the cases of the appointments of Honorables Nantaba and Gen. Aronda as ministers, the Public Order Management Bill and the powers of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development in management of Uganda’s oil resources were, to a large extent, upheld by Parliament.
This, therefore, means the outcomes ceased to be Nyombi’s personal views but the legislations and rulings duly passed by Parliament. Indeed no Member of Parliament has bothered to file a minority report on any of such rulings and thus each of them is bound by the principle of collective responsibility to support such decisions.
It is foolhardy, an act of witch-hunt and utter mediocrity, therefore, by the learned members of the Law Society or anybody else to continue to hold grudges against the Attorney General, in his individual capacity, for any disagreement that the person may have over a legislation or ruling made by the whole Parliament. In fact to continue to harass Nyombi over this rather finished business is to insult our Parliament for it suggests that the august House is full of people who can’t reason and are only in the House to listen to Nyombi and then shout aye.
The correct procedure should have been for the aggrieved members of the Law Society to seek legal redress on any of the legislations and rulings they find untenable. The measure of whether Parliament was right or wrong to pass such legislations and rulings would then depend on how many of the said decisions by Parliament are reversed by the courts of law. Nyombi’s suspension by ULS was, therefore, not well thought out and lacks legal, scientific and commonsense basis.
It was simply omnibus mob justice that ought to be condemned by all civilised people. And in fact if the purpose of their suspension was to prove that the Attorney General has become an NRM sycophant then their irrationality traceable in the deliberate decision by the ULS to ignore procedures qualifies the Law Society as not neutral either.
The writer is a social, political commentator. email@example.com