OPINION | POLITICS
By Moses Balyeku
On September 13, a handful of legislators opposed to the amendment of article 102 (b) addressed a press conference at parliamentary building.
They among others threatened violence in Parliament even if Raphael Magyezi complied with parliamentary rules of procedure and presented his motion.
In light of their threats, it was only this newspaper that authored an editorial advising both parties; opposition and the ruling legislators to act calmly over the matter. Surprisingly, all the other notable Ugandans and institutions that would have condemned those inciting violence remained dead silent.
The aforesaid legislators’ threats came to pass during the subsequent two sessions of Parliament when the Bill was scheduled on the order paper. During the first session, when hooliganism was orchestrated, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga acted humbly by suspendingd the House. That hooliganism was unpalatable yet the speaker is supposed to be heard in silence.
Then on the following day, the same legislators disrupted the proceedings citing their dissatisfaction with Speaker Kadaga’s ruling in which she suspended the disruptive legislators. She did so because the legislators were in violation of rules; 73, 74, and 7(2). In addition, her action was in accordance with rules 77, 79(2), 80 and 8 as well.
After doing so, Speaker Kadaga suspended the house for 30 minutes to enable the Sergeant-At-Arms to have errant legislators out of the House. Regrettably, the suspended legislators didn’t comply. Only a few; Medard Segoona and Mubarak Munyagwa complied. The others instead turned more rowdy to the extent of throwing chairs and microphone stands at them. It is at this point that timely and necessary reinforcement was sought to evict them.
Surprisingly, the notable Ugandans, I expected to speak against the legislators who started inciting violence before, are now loudly demonising Speaker Kadaga. The actions of those notable Ugandans who remained silent when legislators were inciting violence, but are now condemning Kadaga are nothing but hypocrisy. I must confess that their actions have since deepened my appreciation of why Jesus Christ had no kind words for Pharisees and Scribes who were exercising hypocrisy.
Any notable Ugandan that has opted to play double standard over this matter has no truth in him. And by the way, God punishes those He expects to guide people fairly but opt to negate it for populist benefits. God manifested so to Eli in the book of Samuel.
Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who served as the priests of God in the temple. But when Eli was told of the iniquities of his sons like having sexual intercourse with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting, Eli in fear of offending them didn’t reprimand them. His behaviour motivated God to tell Samuel: ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God and he did not restrain them. Therefore, I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever’” (1 Samuel 3: 11-14). Thus, God punished Eli’s children by death during a war. On hearing about their demise, Eli also collapsed and died.
My humble appeal to those expected to guide Ugandans is to do so objectively. Doing so selectively in a bid to gain cheap popularity undermines you in the eyes of many. For instance, to apportion all the blame on Speaker Kadaga without blaming the legislators who orchestrated violence is shameful.
The writer is Jinja West Member of Parliament