The crucial tasks ahead of the 11th Uganda Parliament and what ought to be done?

The restoration of the Rule of Law and the independence the three arms of government (Separation of Powers).
This can only be attained by enacting a law that prohibits the president from appointing ministers from Parliament (Legislature). Once this is done it will help restore the sovereignty and integrity of Parliament and avoid conflict of interest.
Conflict of interest arises when an MP serves Parliament and the Executive, this contradicts the principle of Rule of Law and Good Governance.
Parliament will no longer be used as a Rubber Stamp, one of the cardinal roles of Parliament is to check the actions of the Executive in form of Checks and Balances.
For example we have seen Parliament calling the different Ministers to explain and give accountability of the actions of the Executive arm of government a case in point is when the Ministers; of Security Gen. Elly Tumwine and the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odong were called to explain the brutal massacres that took place on 18th November 2020 in Kampala and her neighbours. The state cannot simply act without accountability.
The appointment of Judges including the Chief Justice (CJ); the Judicial Service Commission must be granted full powers to appoint and or disappoint Judges without the approval by the President. The status quo as far as the appointment of the CJ and Judges makes them subordinate to the President, this jeopardizes the judicial process especially when the case is political and the President is seen to have an interest in it.
For example in the 2011 Presidential petition made to the Supreme Court against Mr. Museveni and the Electoral Commission, it was established that there were electoral malpractices and irregularities but on the five-man bench the three judges, namely ………………………………….. upheld the election results regardless of the irregularities and malpractices cited, however the other two judges, retired Justice George Kanyeihamba, ……………………………..………… decided that the 2011 Presidential election results be annulled, but because of the democratic nature in the courts of law, the decision of the majority takes the day.
The judiciary was vividly seen in the Togikwatako case where parliament moved to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda particularly article 103(b) which sought to remove Presidential age limit to favour of Mr. Museveni this generated a lot of heat in the country. This is when the Judiciary was put on trial and its integrity and credibility tested.
One could easily see that the decision made by the Supreme Court was to appease Mr. Museveni, the boss.
It is incumbent upon Parliament to trim the powers of the President as far as the appointment of the Electoral Commission is concerned. The Electoral Commission must be appointed by an independent body which does not have any interest in the electoral results such as the Judiciary. The Electoral Commission is a judicial body which is hinged on the principle of Fairness.
The cardinal responsibility of the Electoral Commission is to organize FREE AND FAIR elections in Uganda, but if bias is cited in the electoral process then that is unfortunate.
“He who pays the Piper determines the tune” how do you expect the Electoral Commission to act fairly when it’s the President appointing its Chairperson and other Commissioners? How do you expect free and fair elections when the boss is interested in the electoral process?
Uganda must borrow a leaf from her neighbours such as Kenya and Tanzania.
As regards peace and stability, the army and anyone having served as an army officer should be barred from contesting for the presidential office in Uganda.
Looking at our past and elsewhere militant regimes have done us a disservice, for example Iddi Amin, Titto Okello Lutwa now Mr. Tibuhaburwa Y.K. M who rules with the barrel of the gun, he organizes elections but never allows fellow contestants to freely participate in it.
Militarizing the police is another problem when we see military men appointed to head the Uganda Police examples are General Kale Kaihura as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Major General Sabiiti Muzei Deputy IGP, now Major Lokech serving as Deputy IGP.
Police is supposed to handle civil matters and the military handle armed rebellions and external aggression.
To wrap it all, the roles of Police and the military are well stipulated in the laws of Uganda. But because of militarizing the Police, that‘s why we see innocent civilians being shot dead without any due regard. We saw the panic during the 11th November 2020 riots when Police and military arbitrary shot over 60 dead and scores hospitalized with serious injuries.
Reinstate the presidential age limit and also emphasize the constitutional safeguards such that our constitution is not easily manipulated by self-seekers.
Revising the Oder and Public Management Act to ensure peoples’ rights of speech and assembly are not violated by the Police or anyone else.
There must be room for the people to express themselves in case of a grievance. People must not be suppressed where they need to express themselves either by way of speech or in non-violent manner. It must be known that anger, frustration and such feelings is energy that need to be released and if it’s suppressed, it develops into bitterness which keeps the pressure growing which eventually may explode like a bomb.
All of us know, I assume, the consequences a bomb are non-constructive but rather destructive. The result of such pressure can be seen when Mr. Museveni and his allies went to the bush to fight Dr. Milton Obote after the alleged vote rigging, the result was the loss of life where almost half a million people died.
Bombs do not build villages but rather destroy them, leaders must not drive the people on to the wall but rather turn their ears and listen to them. People attempting to strike is a sign that they have a burning issue that needs to be addressed, beating, tear-gassing and shooting them is not constructive but simply escalates the situation. A peaceful demonstration is constitutional but the regime, because of its oppressive nature, cannot allow even a glimpse of such.
The principle of Metaphysics about matter and energy (matergy) states that matter and energy cannot be destroyed but can only be transformed. Anger, bitterness and frustration are forms of energy if not well disposed properly can result into a disaster.
The writer is a former University Lecturer
Buyondo Paddy
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