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Ministers need to discard personal grievances against the speaker

Speaker Anita Among

Speaker Anita Among

The recent suspension of Uganda’s parliament due to the absence of cabinet ministers in afternoon sessions exemplifies the government’s flagrant disregard for both taxpayer money and the democratic process.

This reprehensible conduct compromises not only the reputation of our leaders but also the efficacy of the nation’s premier legislative institution.

The absence of all 82 cabinet ministers from a parliamentary session is not a mere oversight; it represents a calculated act of protest against the speaker of parliament, Anita Among. Although personal conflicts and grievances may exist, it’s imperative to note that these ministers are public servants with the duty to govern the nation.

Such conduct erodes the principles of accountability and transparency—fundamental pillars of a well-functioning democracy. While the speaker’s actions warrant scrutiny within the context of her role in maintaining order and adhering to parliamentary regulations, addressing
the root issues is crucial.

It is unacceptable to disrespect the speaker in parliament, as alleged, but it is equally intolerable for ministers to stage a boycott of parliamentary sessions as a retaliatory measure.

The absence of decisive leadership in the cabinet exacerbates the existing problems. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja appears to grapple with issues of self-confidence, impairing her ability to manage her colleagues effectively. This leadership gap leaves ministers feeling unaccountable and disengaged, betraying the trust of the citizens who expect them to serve their interests.

President Yoweri Museveni’s likening of his cabinet to Jesus’s disciples, characterized as fishermen, is both troubling and misguided. While intellectual diversity has its merits, it does not compensate for a lack of competence and dedication to the task at hand. Such a comparison raises serious concerns about the qualifications and self-assurance of some ministers, casting doubt on the government’s capacity to implement crucial programs and policies.

Moreover, the ministers’ primary allegiance seems to be to the president rather than to the nation, undermining the fundamentals of democratic governance. In a functional democracy, ministers should be accountable to the people and their elected representatives in parliament, not solely to the head of state.

This skewed loyalty risks engendering a government more invested in serving the interests of a select few rather than the collective
good of the nation. Ultimately, it is the taxpayers who finance parliamentary sessions, and they rightfully expect their elected officials to act with integrity, diligence, and a commitment to democratic principles.

Anything short of this constitutes a breach of public trust and a squandering of their hard-earned money.

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