Opinion: Niwagaba MP Constitutional Amendments going for VP Ssekandi’s position, maybe because his irrelevant at this point?
Wilfred Niwagaba MP is really gunning for replacing Vice-President Edward Ssekandi and also repeal the Prime Minister post of Dr. Rukahana Rugunda. Clearly, the MP has ideas and want another sort of governance put into stone or to be amended into law. As the Constitution would stipulate certain Executive and higher offices in the Republic. Like it does today with the VP and the PM, which the President shall appoint with the approval of the Parliament.
Niwagaba Independent MP are clearly that his trying to send a message, that is why Muhammad Kivumbi Muwanga (Democratic Party) and Betty Ocan Aol (Forum for Democratic Change). They have co-signed on this motion for leave for Niwagaba to finish the private bill to the parliament.
This is really a joint opposition bill and really trying to change the government by changing the constitution. This bill is also planning to find a legal ways of cutting down the size of the cabinet, because of how it has mushroomed under this President. Therefore, this is really directly attacking the NRM model of governance.
But, I will be fixated with is not the slimming of the cabinet nor the idea of how the cabinet members are picked/appointed. I feel it is more enriching to discuss the changes from VP to DP and repeal the PM.
Just look at vital parts of the amendment of the VP role into a DP!
“108. Deputy President,
(1)There shall be a Deputy President of Uganda.
(2)A candidate in a presidential election shall nominate a person who is
qualified for nomination for election as President, as a candidate for Deputy
“(14) The Deputy President shall-
(a) deputise for the President;
(b) be the Leader of Government Business in Parliament;
(c) be responsible for the coordination and implementation of Government
policies across Ministries , departments, and other public institutions
(d) perform such other functions as may be assigned to him or her by the
President, or as may be conferred on him or her this the Constitution.” (Constitutional (Amendment) 26th July 2019).
“13. Repeal of article 108A of the Constitution.
Article l08A of the Constitution is repealed” (Constitutional (Amendment), 26th July 2019).
If you have followed the VP and his life, his the most ceremonial public office in the Republic. Seemingly, his the face of the patronage and the laxity, since the President handles everything with his micromanaging. That is why the VP is mostly a busy body and someone that greets the President at functions or even at the Entebbe International Airport.
Surely with two roles submerged into one in away, that is what it seems by this constitutional amendment. That the possible changes would be an amplified VP and PM into a DP.
I don’t know what big difference this will do, as this role would be less ceremonial, but have actual powers. Also, being the safe-guard for the President and the one in his place. However, this is could have all been amplified with the VP himself. Alas, the Prime Minister is the one of most importance, as well, as the biggest budget with the projects underlining the OPM. This is why the repealing of this role would also affect everything being connected with the OPM.
Ssekandi should really defend his value, his importance and his ways. The VP should defend himself with a VP drive, ask for supplementary budget and maybe got on a VP Drive across the Republic. So, that people can see his face, know that he exists and even shake his hand. No, I am kidding with that part, but he needs to show his face value. Because, what has the VP done, except smiling on pictures at selected functions over the recent years?
VP Ssekandi might be a powerful man in the placement of the political order, but in practical sense. It seems like the OPM kicks him to the curb. The VP seems like useless position at this time and place. That is because his not giving enough daily remindings that his alive and kicking it.
That is why the opposition MPs are trying to revise the law. To get someone who has a real function and who does something while serving for the state. Not only getting the brown envelopes and going to funerals as the state official. There is clear need for something more and especially not only having the President doing this. Peace.