First and foremost, my learned friends will agree that from a positivist school of thought, the law is the law and no wahala.
That means that if the law has set requirements for everyone to be subservient to, the only way one can dispense or circumvent them is when that part of the law is amended or repealed. Now, I have seen many people arguing that a certain elected politician commonly known as Mr. Update a.k.a Segirinya Mohammed/ Richard should not face the music over forged academic documents and that he has previously proven to be a good leader!
That is hubris and shameful. Let me kindly remind all of us that morality, fairness, and feelings are not the law. The framers of our constitution knew very well that educational level must be a criterion for one to enter into the political race. So yes, if you want to serve in an elected office, you have all the time to go get the minimum academic qualifications. Why would one masquerade as educated whereas not in order to contest for a position which is above your academic qualification?
Secondly, there is an underlying assumption that a certain level of education equips one with a certain level of comprehension skills. Legislators are mandated to pass laws, believe me, or not, some laws are so technical and complicated that I strongly believe that higher academic qualifications should be the way to go.
Let us look at some government documents, they are so complicated to a simple eye but can be deciphered by a well-equipped individual, by equipped I mean one with expertise that comes from education. For example, National Budget Framework Paper, Ministerial Policy Statements, other government documents like Vision 2040, and National Development Plan II...... it may end in tears if one is not well equipped.
Remember that our elected leaders are supposed to read and analyze such documents for the good of this nation. Do you all remember Hon. Syda Bumba when she signed important finance papers without reading them? Imagine the amount of money the government has lost due to such laziness and malingering.
Lastly but not least, in respect of government transactions with development partners and other governments; our leaders have found themselves in a situation where they have to enter into contracts on behalf of our country.
Imagine a situation where a complicated contract is presented and one leader has to append his or her signature and bind this nation in a contract that we cannot get out of?
Case in point: Heritage Oil Vs. URA where whoever signed the contract missed the clause on dispute resolution that provided that arbitration would be in London (This clause was very unfavourable to Uganda as a nation).
Please note that one may be educated and they are just a sellout who decides to plunge the nation into an abyss of bottomless mess, but this kind of leader needs another well educated one to counter his or her tactics.
My thoughts are that we are in a global village, and as much as the education system in Uganda may not be the best, we need it so that at least we shall compete favorably and be able to take part in global matters at equal footing with other stakeholders.
The writer is an advocate of the High court of Uganda