Thought and Ideas
Minister Kibuule in hot soup as Shs2m saucepan irks lawmakers
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 01:00
“When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it for long. Take the reason about the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power” -- Hugh White.
The State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Mr Ronald Kibuule, is in the eye of the storm over the derogatory
comments he made about rape and indecent dressing.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Tuesday summoned the minister to explain himself for saying women and girls who wear
miniskirts or dress indecently and are raped in the process should instead be charged with inviting the crime.
The minister made the remarks while addressing youth in Kajara County, Ntungamo District.
The minister’s comments drew stout criticism from women legislators and feminists in the country who demanded that he resigns; scoffing at his remarks on the miniskirts as utterly oblivious, despicable and barbaric yet others in
Parliament accused him of peddling ‘nihilism’.
When the minister surfaced on the floor of Parliament with a personal statement, he endured the wrath of a stormy
Parliament. His explanation to the House was philosophical in some ways.
The minister said his statement was “misunderstood” and denied okaying raping of women and girls who wear miniskirts
but his desperate attempts to hoodwink Parliament that he was “misquoted” was defused by the Daily Monitor audio
The minister said: “I am a law abiding citizen of this country, I am a husband to wives, a father of girls and I have
sisters. I can never advocate for rape which is a capital offence in the laws of our country.”
The minister said he only stated that loose miniskirts, sagging trousers and very short skirts has partly contributed to
rape. The Speaker did not allow debate on his statement and he was let off the hook.
Away from minister Kibuule’s frolics, the MPs on the Public Accounts Committee were shocked on Wednesday to learn that
Ministry of Defence officials bought an ordinary saucepan at Shs1.8 million.
Ms Edith Buturo, the under secretary of Finance and Administration who represented the Permanent Secretary, Ms Rosette Byengoma, told PAC that the price looked exaggerated because the saucepan was bought during a “war situation”.
The Committee rejected her explanation after it emerged that while there are costly saucepans, the one in contention was actually “ordinary”.
It emerged that in the financial year 2010/11, the Auditor General found that M/s Jimmex Ltd was awarded a contract to supply accommodation items to the ministry at Shs255.1 million. Consequently, payments were made in September and December 2010.
However, the Auditor General observed that most of the prices at which the items were supplied appear exaggerated as the difference between the estimated prices and the actual prices at which the items were supplied was found “abnormally high”. For instance, a gas cooker estimated at Shs1 million was bought at Shs7.7 million and a cooking saucepan at Shs1.8 million.
Teachers back to class
Education minister Jessica Alupo on Wednesday put on a smile of a “victor” while reading a brief statement to
Parliament-- announcing that the teachers’ union had struck a deal with government on the standoff that had paralysed
public schools across the country.
The teachers, however, gave government only 28 days to look for Shs139 billion needed to implement a pay raise and vowed to go on strike again if nothing happens.
The teachers went on a sit-down strike on September 16 as schools opened for third term.
The Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) accused the NRM government of failing to keep a promise to raise their pay, which ranks among the lowest in the region.
However, from the minister’s brief statement, she announced that the teachers had agreed to suspend the strike. It also
emerged that the teachers who had vowed not to go back to class without a 20 per cent pay raise had made a deal with the government, conceded defeat and agreed with the government position that there is no money for them in the 2013/14 Budget.
The lawmakers who let down teachers in their quest for a pay raise were, however, concerned that in the agreement
reached on Tuesday before suspending the strike, the government did not indicate if it would take any of the proposals
from the teachers. Instead, it indicated that Unatu leadership and a Cabinet sub-committee will study the proposals,
including their cost implication before a final decision is taken.
Without delving into the nitty-gritty of the deal, junior Finance minister Matia Kasaija assured Parliament that the
promise for a 20 per cent pay raise for teachers will be fulfilled in 2014/15 financial year without fail.
However, in the deal, teachers have proposed to the Cabinet sub-committee that the pay raise be effected in January
2014. The minister said this proposal is subject to further discussion as teachers go back to classrooms.
Westgate Mall siege
In the wake of the al-Shabaab attack in Kenya, Parliament on Tuesday called on government to beef up security in the
country. Kenya last week held three days of national mourning for the victims of the al-Shabaab attack on Westgate mall in Nairobi. At least 72 people were confirmed dead and more than 175 others injured in the four-day siege.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, proposed a minute of silence in respect of the victims of the terrorist attack on Westgate mall.
The MPs used the opportunity to remind government to be on high alert since the terrorists have already sent warnings of impending attacks in Ugandans.
The lawmakers called upon Uganda to be vigilant even as other MPs condemned the government failure to issue National Identity Cards to Ugandans. There were also concerns over Uganda’s porous borders.
Internal Affairs minister Aronda Nyakairima said: “Our country is safe and they have wanted to attack us from time to
time but due to [our] vigilance, they have not. We are not relaxing and we are stepping up measures to ensure the
country is safe.”