Parliament is a Cost Centre Rather than an Ideas One

In an article titled: “Shock As 200 Members Of Parliament Go Mute,” it was pointed out that:

“The Hansard shows that out of the 376 legislators, despite the huge opportunities for them to speak; only 176 members were able to stand up and speak in a full month, though on average, at least 70 members can speak a day!

This therefore means each Member of Parliament amongst the 376 legislators has the opportunity to speak at least every month only if they stand up to speak.”

Moreover, in 2011, once they stumbled through the swearing in camaraderie, their first order of business was to throw out the media and all other observers, and behind closed doors, it is alleged that they proposed to increase their emoluments to more than 15 million shillings per month.

Furthermore, the Government has reportedly purchased two brand new Mercedes Benz vehicles at 838 million shillings as ceremonial cars for the Speakers of Parliament, in addition to the latest top of the range V8 Toyota Land Cruisers that they reportedly use for travel to their constituencies.

Comparatively, 31.1 percent of Uganda’s population, an estimated 8.4 million persons, were categorized poor at the time; each surviving on less than 72 thousand shillings per month. Millions of Ugandans at the time were eating only one meal a day and millions more were unable to take the minimum dietary requirement of 3000 calories per day.

In Uganda, we have come to accept and to promote a paradigm in which leadership at the top is perceived as the time for privilege for the individual to amass wealth and not as the time for the individual to render service above self to his/her country-folk.

So, unlike other nations, it seems leaders in Uganda measure their success not on what-have-I-done-for-my-country-today but rather what-have-I-taken-from-my-country-today”. The maiden actions of our current MPs and their subsequent actions too – staying mute in the house -show that they do not take the oath that they took seriously.

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