In Uganda’s constitutional order, the three arms of government are all subordinate to the Constitution from which they derive authority.
None of the organs is supreme. Rather, sovereignty rests with the people from whom all state power is derived. And yet, in the day-to-day affairs of the state, these organs are actually possessed with a lot of powers and authority.
While the functions and powers of each of the three arms of government appear to have been clearly set out in the Constitution, in practice, there have been instances of conflict and tension among the three.
In the recent months, the legislature accused judges and magistrates of being unpatriotic and biased, and being responsible for the increased rate of violent crime in the country.
Good governance demands that the institutions ought not to squander public resources to fight each other. There is need for coordination between the three organs to ensure that the public good is fostered. However, the co-operation should not be open-ended.
To avoid abuse of power, there is need for a system of checks and balances to ensure that no single organ exercises absolute power.
The co-operation between the three organs must be limited to enable the system of checks and balances to operate and ensure that each organ does not fall into temptation to exercise arbitrary powers. Such limited or tamed power can only meaningfully exist if the cooperation between the organs is limited to well-defined areas.
They have a duty to resist any persons seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order.
Explore cheaper forms of power
Uganda is richly endowed with abundant energy resources, which are fairly distributed throughout the country.
The level of utilization of solar energy is still low, requiring increased use of solar PV systems in rural areas as a way of improving rural electricity access. This can make energy access easy for refugee camps, rural health centers rural schools, among others. This can rapidly spur business development and improve the lives of local communities.
Access to the national grid is at just 26 per cent with all the heavy investments that have been made in on-grid power sources and 24 per cent access for off-grid electricity.
Therefore, more attention should be put on improving off-grid energy access like the use of solar PV systems that are cheaper. More feasibility studies should be undertaken to harness cheaper energy sources like solar.
On December 2, 2019, cabinet agreed that a feasibility study is undertaken on the Uhuru falls site along the Murchison falls. This comes at a time when the current total installed capacity of electricity in Uganda stands at 1,182.2MW, although this is not reflected in the lives of the majority in Uganda. The country has for years faced challenges of payment of unutilized power from expensive dams.
There is no way we are going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all if we do not explore cheaper renewable energy sources like solar.
There is no need of destroying the beautiful Murchison falls for something that is already not benefiting the majority of Ugandans.
Ordinary Ugandans need Rwanda’s market
Rwanda’s closing of its border seems to have hurt Uganda’s economy seriously. We may never be sure of the extent of the damage. Uganda seems to need Rwanda’s market more than Rwanda needs Uganda’s. Or, Rwanda’s economy is more resilient such that they could keep away from trading with Uganda.
There will be lessons learnt from the border standoff on both sides, which should illustrate to us that having a good neighbor is great for the economy.
For whatever reasons the two leaders have feud with each other, Rwanda’s case is much clearer that one should not benefit from an economy that he is attempting to destroy or destabilize.
Rwanda has had complaints against Uganda – mostly that Uganda’s security has illegally held Rwandan nationals and tortured some for spying for Rwanda. Many of us in Uganda do not understand this complaint. The difference between Rwandese and Ugandans, especially in the security circles, is hard for us to tell.
What we know is that most of the Ugandan army and security personnel are children and bazukkulu of former Rwandese refugees in Uganda, most of whom helped Museveni shoot his way to power in 1986. President Kagame was one of them.
Further, “Rwandese” is a contrived tribe recognized in the 1995 Ugandan constitution. In fact, people of Rwanda or Ugandans of Rwandese origin seem to enjoy unfettered privileges and favours in Uganda than say, former Sudanese, Kenyans or Congolese refugees. In fact, most indigenous Ugandans do not have such luxuries in their own country as our cousins from Rwanda.
The big question is, why would Uganda want to destabilize Rwanda? In fairness of things, Rwanda may be like Uganda on many fronts. However, Rwanda has set itself a stride away on its social policies to meaningfully eradicate poverty and reduce social inequalities. Rwanda has built a defined stable economy and recently Rwanda released its first homemade (assembled) Volkswagen.
In short, Rwanda has made a more quantitative and qualitative socio-economic progress than Uganda within the same timeframe. Rwanda has done much better in managing rent-seeking or political corruption among its political elites and public services when compared to Uganda.
If Rwanda has a legitimate security concern, let the government of Uganda respond to these concerns so the borders are opened. The feud between Kagame and his former mentor, Mr Museveni, is affecting ordinary Ugandans who draw their livelihood by trading in Rwanda’s market.
According to a fresh report by Webometrics, Kampala International university (KIU) has been ranked the best leading private chartered University in Uganda, 109th in Africa and 206th in the sub-Sahara together with its sister Makerere University still the number one in public universities in Uganda and number 11th in Africa.
Webometrics is a system for ranking the world’s universities, based on the volume of the web content and visibility and impact of their web publications. Since 2004, the Ranking Web (Webometrics Ranking) is published twice a year and data is collected during the first weeks of January and July. It covers more than 27,000 higher education institutions worldwide.
KIU regards each student as a unique individual who brings a contribution to the learning environment. In 2017, KIU opened up an institute of technical and vocational education in Ishaka-Bushenyi with an effective curriculum. KIU being a fast-growing institution attributes its growth to many of its alumni.
Prince Obed Twijukye,