The debate on whether it was right and fitting for Government of Uganda to allocate and to spend significant resources to fly out to the United States for treatment the Speaker, Rtn. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, rages on. This past week, Democratic Party President, Hon. Norbert Mao, threw the spanner in the works, so to speak, by aligning with those questioning:
- Why demonstrations now when it is a leader of northern Uganda descent?
- Why were demonstrations, for example, not held when the late Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the Governor of Bank of Uganda at the time, was accorded similar and likely even more?
Similar sentiments, as a matter of fact, are being expressed by some, as well, who question the manner in which an elaborate and an expensive state funeral was accorded to the late Prof. Mutebile and none to the late Hon. Fr. Simon Lokodo, who for a significant time served as a Member of Parliament (MP) and a cabinet Minister.
Why such seeming differences in honoring those who served our nation well? When it is leaders from the greater south, the sky is the limit, so to speak; versus when it is leaders from the greater north, then the sanctimonious chorus of “it is a waste of public resources” is deployed, the thesis goes.
We cannot be dismissive of questions which suggest discrimination and inequality. They are valid questions that ought not to be dismissed as “silly cheap talk”. We must debate them calmly. This is particularly an important culture for MPs to adopt.
MPs are the ones responsible for approving decisions on allocation and utilisation of public funds, but they are the same ones who come out of the August House to lead pretend outrage. This kind of Machiavellianism and MPs behaving as though afflicted by Schizophrenia should not be condone.