Public service.Our view: As Mr Oulanyah observed, our Parliament has the power, under Article 79(1) of our Constitution, “to make laws on any matter for peace, order, development, and good governance of Uganda”. It is up to his objective stewardship of the House to achieve these aspirations of our people.shodiscrimination.
The ringing endorsement of both Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and Deputy Anita Annet Among by Members of the 11th Parliament should reset the way our legislators work. While the internal NRM party campaigns were noisy, harsh and tense, the final national vote that ushered the two into office on Monday were relatively calm and without any dispute of the outcome.
Just as Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, who presided over the exercise noted, we too pray this same spirit of tranquil national contest for public office wells over into our often chaotic national elections. In this regard, our greatest hope in the 11th Parliament should be anchored on Mr Oulanyah’s promises to execute with utmost diligence the mandate entrusted to him and Deputy Among. Curiously, the Opponents of the new Speaker and Deputy ran on the key principles of independence, courage and spine, which they believed the new pair lack.
Their fear speaks to the principle of separation of powers of the three arms of government, which are independent as well as interdependent, namely the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary.
Mr Oulanyah’s pledge to provide leadership based on accommodation, clashes with accusations by his opponents who believe he is incapable of amplifying the voice of the voiceless, the ordinary and underprovided wananchi, strengthening cross-party participation and illuminating the women’s causes through Parliament. These fears are core to judging the superintendent of the oversight role of Parliament, which enacts laws generated by the Executive arm of government, and which laws are overseen by the Judiciary.
No doubt, Mr Oulanyah seems alive to these challenges and equally ready to deal with these difficult situations in a very direct way. But to prove their detractors wrong, the duo will have to stand on the Speaker’s promises of making amends that should be secured by the Speaker’s steadfast and professed principles of “…together, we should build bridges, mend relationships, rebuild friendships, and replace despair with hope.”
This assurance should work, should it be buttressed by the wider view expressed by the Speaker to put our country’s national interest above self and political party in improvement of service delivery to our citizens, by facing facts, using reason as guiding principle, upholding tolerance and mutual respect, and building harmony and consensus.
As Mr Oulanyah observed, our Parliament has the power, under Article 79(1) of our Constitution, “to make laws on any matter for peace, order, development, and good governance of Uganda”. It is up to his objective stewardship of the House to achieve these aspirations of our people.