The 1995 Constitution commences with the following words: “We the people of Uganda: Recalling our history. Do hereby, in and through this Constituent Assembly solemnly adopt, enact and give to ourselves and our posterity, this Constitution of the Republic of Uganda...”
The verbiage of the preamble invites one to imagine that the Constitution was written by the people of Uganda, which also means that every article contained therein was a compromise inserted by the people following consultations, negotiations, and tradeoffs.
Appearing on NBS TV’s Frontline talk show, government spokesman and apologist Ofwono Opondo, while debating the proposed Constitution Amendment Bill (on land) of 2017, stunned me when he claimed that the land rights enshrined in the Constitution were a handiwork of the NRM.
While Opondo is a loudspeaker for government positions, one may conceive and grant him amnesty if it may be assumed that he spoke in his personal capacity as a panelist. But when the same narrative proceeds from the head of state, then there is cause for worry.
The latest stunner came from President Museveni during his countrywide tour to ostensibly dilute ‘lies’ of the political opposition, which has been vocal against the compulsory land acquisition bill.
If media reports are to be believed, the president, in attempting to allay fears that the proposed bill aims to give government a free hand to grab people’s land, said it was the ‘Movement’ that granted land rights, and cannot be the same Movement government to take the rights away.
Although the Movement, under which the Constitution was made, was pitched as a no-party political system, it was a disguised political party.
Accordingly, if it’s what gave us the freedoms and rights, and imposed on us the conditions contained in the Constitution, two possibilities can be imagined:
One, the Constitution is not the people’s Constitution but a con and a dupe, which also means that the Movement can change it at its convenience or that of its chairman. This means we need to make a new Constitution that truly belongs to us.
Two, if it’s a Constitution of and by Ugandans, those who claim to have given us the articles contained therein usurp the sovereign power of Ugandans, commit treason in effect, and should be punished for it.
Beti Kamya must learn consistency
I was shocked by Kampala minister Beti Kamya’s baseless defence and her rebuke of the media on the floor of parliament regarding the firearm that was smuggled out of the House leading to the shameful fracas recently.
Can Beti Kamya stand up boldly, look President Museveni in the eye during a cabinet meeting and remind him of the matters she used to state while outside government?
Can she still advocate for each region and community in Uganda to manage their own resources and priorities?
What happened to Kamya of Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) who cleverly related to Victor Hugo’s catchword quotation: “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come?”