Opinion: Omonya forgot the duties of the citizens

Lawyer Rama Omonya failed in his article today in New Vision. As his trying to use the Constitution to point that there is only way to criticize the President and his actions. That the public are only legally allowed to go after the Member of Parliament. This is all because of the 10 billion shared to all MPs as part of the Supplementary Budget

Especially this part triggered me:

Our constitution does not provide the citizens with such profound powers over the executive. The social accountability mechanisms for citizens to hold the Executive accountable only come in a general election after every five years or a referendum” (Omonya, 2020).

I am not a citizen of the Republic, but can read the Constitution of 1995 myself and know there is a article number 17(d) and 17(i), which states:

17. Duties of a citizen.

(1) It is the duty of every citizen of Uganda—

(d) to protect and preserve public property;

(i) to combat corruption and misuse or wastage of public property” (Constitution 1995).

To top it all off, there is article 107(b) which states:

(1) The President may be removed from office in accordance with

this article on any of the following grounds—

(b) misconduct or misbehaviour— (I) that he or she has conducted himself or herself in a manner which brings or is likely to bring the office of President into hatred, ridicule, contempt or disrepute; or (ii) that he or she has dishonestly done any act or omission which is prejudicial or inimical to the economy or security of Uganda” (Constitution 1995).

Yes, that removal can only happen, if there is a motion from the MPs and the Speaker has put forward a tribunal for the inquiry and investigation in the allegations of the President. So, the Lawyer is right on the money there.

Still, if the citizens are supposed to follow the duty, they are supposed to be angry at both the MPs for the usage of 20 million shillings on themselves and cuss out the President for his Classified Expenditure, the State House and the Office of the President. All of these funds needs to checked and balanced. Not only the MPs, unless their duty is only to lower-ranking officials. Which the duties of the citizens doesn’t state. Unless, the lawyer can elaborate that for me?

He also wrote this: “In summary, the citizens have every iota of rights to the bay for the blood of the MPs over the sh10b and it is for the MPs to the bay for the blood for members of the executives who are mismanaging the “other” trillions as our laws dictate” (Omanya, 2020).

It’s the duty to combat corruption and misuse or wastage of public property. This is not based on where it happen, as long as it happens within the Republic. It does not state who is acting corrupt, who is misusing the power or wasting the public property. That is all fair game, if this article has value and not only symbolic. Because, Omonya make it seem that way.

Because, there is nothing stating in the duties of the citizens to only look into the Local Councillors, Mayors or Members of Parliament, but not the President. The duties are very clear and the citizens are righteous to do so. Even if they don’t have direct powers, but they can push their MPs to petition a motion for a tribunal. That would be justified to investigate the classified expenditure and other questionable use of public resources. So, there is also oversight of the President, not only in the General Election like lawyer states. Since, the duties are there as citizens. That should be fundamental. Therefore, the citizens should push on the buttons of the MPs to look into the Executive. Not only call fire for the little burning bush of 10 billion shillings, but also the trillions of shillings in questionable allocations. Peace.

Reference:

Rama Omonya – ‘Why the public must be mad with the MPs and not the executive’ 01.05.2020, link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1518425/public-mad-mps-executive

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