Opinion: If you cannot manage it in 5, you will not manage it in 7

Today Pastor Martin Ssempa wrote a piece for the Daily Monitor called ‘Why MPs need seven-year term to serve the country’. This is happening as the Constitutional Amendment is up for prolonging and making the Parliamentary Terms longer from the current 5 years to 7 years.

His arguments are artificial at best. They are the supposed sugar-coated flattery attempt to seal the deal on a third date. This isn’t the sort of arguments that hold any water in true argument.

The Members of Parliament have 5 years and its been a prefixed time for years. He uses the costs for running and the debt the MPs are getting for running their campaigns. So, it is a better investment for them, if they get 7 years instead of 5 years. He also says its a better investment to let them ride the same paid vehicle they are getting for that long instead of the now 5 years.

There are more simple way of stopping those expenses, right?

The first you can do. Is to revise the laws and make it less expensive to run as a candidate. The current MPs can ensure the costs of being an MP goes down. Have less allowances and have less perks. The MPs can usher in legislation that stops the commercialization of politics and the campaigns. Alas, that isn’t even in consideration in his argument. Which shows how flawed it is. When there are dire and very easy steps to undermine the costs for the taxpayer and for the state in concern with the MPs.

That would be cheaper for the citizens or taxpayers by the blink of an eye. If the MPs had less allowances, perks and other stipulated pay-incentives, which they happen to have today. The argument he has… they will be even more paid and have more time to settle in and get accustomed with wealth the office provides. A pastor is maybe not the ones to talk about greed, but that is “virtue” in the circles of power an influence. Therefore, the ability to stay longer. Might even trigger more entitlement and a more will to find new measures to enrich themselves. Not the opposite…

He also speaks of training and the time to serve. However, even the most seasoned and the ones who has been on several terms as a legislator or an MP. Haven’t necessarily done much in their time in office. This is not discussed in his piece. Neither the service delivery in general. Just the blunt idea that if given time. The ones becoming MPs will turn into seasoned Statesmen. If it was so… then the ones being in office since the early 1990s and early 2000s would have a better track-record and would be known for their legislation. Alas, that isn’t always the case and therefore… his idea is flawed.

The final stroke of genius is the biblical aspect of 7 years instead of 5 years. My counter to that. If you need two more years than what they have already had. Why do they need that and why couldn’t it suffice to do something earlier? Are the five first years barren years with no results and suddenly a yield comes in the magical sixth year before they campaign again on the seventh?

Well, this wasn’t cutting it for me. There was no substantial reason for me. Only a change of this kind will make the ones going for a monetary gain even more hardened. As they will benefit even more and they cannot be voted out. These will linger for longer time and their scandals might even be forgotten between elections. It is made for a one party control state. To keep their loyalist MPs and have their way. This isn’t to secure accountability or transparency, but give them a longer time to earn on their role as a representative.

The Pastor isn’t giving a remedy or a flair of hope. No, his polishing a path with good intent straight to hell. This here will not bring any of the good spirited intentions he might have. 7 years will only prolong the agony and the possible misuse of office. This here will not be for better educating or creating more profound knowledge of developing the state. The end-game is a grift and a hustle. Not a joyful ride to development and better institutions. That will be a lie and we’re not eating it. Peace.

Opinion: No need for a Constitutional Review, when you have a self styled President for Life!

Let me be clear, as long as Mr. 1986 and his Generals are in power. The changes and amendments of law. Will not be the betterment of the Republic. However, they will made for his clientele and cronies. They will be amended either to fit the Executive, the President, His Excellency or his closest associates who has stood loyally by him. It will not be for the greater good. That ship has left the port long time or go. Or for a landlocked country, that train has left the station.

Because now there is news of a 14 people appointed to a Constitutional Review Commission to consider various Constitutional reforms. These reforms are clearly following the Age Limit boosting of the Constitution of 2017. Also, the other amendments done to abolish terms before the 2005 General Elections. Therefore, it is now certain, that the President has eager to get his ways.

This is now coming up again, as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the President are planning again to revise the Constitution. Clearly, this is more on the land reforms. As the President had a second amendment in mind. Which he didn’t deliver at the same time as the Age Limit. As the President wants to secure easier access through law. So, that the state can access land and expropriate it when needed. Or whenever it is profitable for the ones in the State House.

There been things in sessions, but not acts which has been fruitful. Therefore, this process is a way of swaying it further and give it a nudge. Because, the President knows that he cannot push things to far at a time. Only micro-manage it little by little, so that people are getting used to closing of Radio Stations, Opposition leaders behind bars and other lingering around with treason charges.

Still, with all that in the context, the State and the Judiciary are certainly doing this to please the President. TO ensure his orders from above is followed and administered. This is only for appearances sake and not for the just cause. If so, why didn’t they appoint these people to look into properly the Age Limit Clause and Legal Argument of the Magyezi Bill of 2017?

It is because it didn’t matter that much, as the rule of law is the words of Museveni. He can change it and turn cow-turds into gold. That is what he does. That is the real metaphor for the ways of the President.

I don’t this, because I don’t trust the process and I always thinks there is an end-game for the President. He will configure some move or spectacle to get it his way. Where this might go, but the Judiciary wouldn’t do this, if there wasn’t any plans from the above. There are always some scheming going on and Museveni plays it like chess.

Therefore, he might be a slow king, but a king who knows the way. He always sends the useless pawns in his battles, the knights and the towers. But leave the queen to clear the table and for him to eat without even cooking. That is just what he does.

The same feat will be done here. It is just a matter of time. This Review will be centered on what Museveni. Not what the Republic needs. Peace.

Statement by Center for Constitutional Governance on the 20th Anniversary of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda (08.10.2015)

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Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the 1995 Constitution as Amended. Many, if not all African countries have Constitutions. It is one thing to have a Constitution; it is another to practice Constitutionalism.
Constitutionalism presupposes three things:
i) A belief in the Constitution by many political parties and political leaders. If the main political actors do not believe in Constitutionalism, you may have a constitution as a mere document with no constitutionalism;
ii) Recognition of its importance by the main actors in the citizenry or population. If the Constitution is of relevance to a few people in the capital, in the political parties or academia; then you cannot have constitutionalism where there is no minimum consciousness by major actors amongst the population.

iii) Presence of organized political forces that are not only interested in constitutionalism but are ready to defend it.
Once you don’t have the above three elements, you cannot have constitutionalism – a belief needed by the major political actors, recognition of its importance by the citizens or its major actors and the presence of organized political forces that are prepared to defend it. If these tenets are not present, constitutionalism becomes an academic or religious ritual; the way like many people say “our father who art in heaven, or hail Mary full of grace”.
A constitution may also become a ritual if the above elements are not present among the political leaders, among the citizen and if there are no organized political forces prepared to defend it
The passing of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2015 yesterday, 11th August 2015 by majority MPs, after totally dis regarding the peoples’ views amounted to an overthrow of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, as amended.

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The spirit of the Constitution is enshrined in its preamble and paragraph 5 of that preamble states that: EXERCISING our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance for our country, and having fully participated in the Constitution-making process. The sovereign and inalienable right of Uganda was usurped by the MPs through the failure of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament to integrate peoples’ views in their report and the subsequent total disregard of the peoples’ views by the whole House.
What we have in place after the 4th Amendment is a New Constitution that has no consensus of the people, which does not represent the peoples’ views and aspirations of the people on how they would like to be governed. This was in fact the birth of the 2nd “Pigeon Hole Constitution” of the Republic of Uganda.
Faced with a rubber stamp Parliament which ignores peoples views and goes ahead to amend the National Constitution ,the people of Uganda should therefore, strive to restore constitutional order premised on peoples’ views and aspirations on how they wish to be governed. We call upon the people to elect MPs that will respect their allegiance to the Constitution and commit to restore the sovereign and inalienable right of Ugandans by setting up a qualified Constitutional Review Commission to restore the supremacy of the people
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.