In October 2014 in reaction to the non-approval by Members of Parliament (MPs) of President Museveni’s nomination of Haji Nasser Sebagala to be a Government of Uganda (GoU) Minister I wrote:
I am not dismissing the value of papers. However, a balanced system and policies that weight both the wisdom attained from formal global-western education of the ‘educated elite’ (papers) and that from the African knowledge systems (elders with experience) is the better one. The formal global-western education system is not the only source of knowledge and wisdom. It is just one amongst many.
Is it not the human right of all Ugandans to offer ourselves for leadership and to participate in the leadership of our country? Isn’t it about time that we come up with a system to vet our leaders on the basis of their practice, what they have done for our Country and their experiential knowledge other than that which is signified by papers? Considering the many problematic bills that our current parliament has debated and passed – which have later been challenged in courts of law or which have since been rendered dead-letter laws, my assertion is on the mark.
Our MPs came into parliament on the weight of their papers (how seemingly easy these are to forge – some papers were actually successfully challenged in courts of law). When they get into parliament on the basis of their paper-weight knowledge, our MPs on our behalf vet presidential appointees. Suddenly, people who in the past had gone through rigorous campaigns and had been voted into public office by thousands of Ugandans are rendered unfit, because the MPs determine their papers as wanting.
This system is nothing but faulty. Just wondering, has anyone ever carried out a study to find out if ministers with more papers do better than those with less or no papers? Judging by the inability of some MPs to remember what they studied at school, as reported in the media, how can we rely on papers as a basis for deciding one’s level of knowledge and wisdom?
And why does our speaker continue to wear a blonde wig, a sign of global-western wisdom? A costly one at that, I might add. We spend millions buying the blonde wig and millions to maintain it, while jiggers go on the rampage in Busoga, in particular and in Uganda in general. Surely, we need to re-think this. Read more
My thoughts then are still relevant today in light of the Peter Sematimba circus. Yes, I most definitely do not condone him forging papers as it is judged he did. He should not have to. Put into the bigger picture I would rather have an MP with Sematimba’s experiential and proven entrepreneurial acumen than perhaps two thirds of those who in the past qualified as MPs and even those now qualified as MPs on grounds of their paper-weight qualifications, pan intended.