We should think of proportional representation instead of a coup
Posted Thursday, January 31 2013 at 02:00
The reason MPs have severely disagreed with the Executive position could be that they (Parliamentarians) have a more accurate feedback about people’s issues.
One, they say is an incidence; two is coincidence but three is commitment. The Minister of Defence Dr Crispus Kiyonga, the UPDF Commander in Chief, General Yoweri Museveni and the Chief of Defence Forces, General Aronda Nyakairima, have one after another repeated the message about the army taking over the government! Is this the legendary ‘wheel coming full cycle’, from the ragtag army that preached a fundamental change, through sham elections and are now back to military rule?
What has incensed ‘Mzee’ and his clan of Generals so much that they are left with no option but to resort to the long forgotten and internationally derided military coups? Previously, the regime had done so well using patronage, dishing freebies and chopping up districts to enhance divide and rule. Have all these failed?
All the people who have spoken have insinuated that the army will take over if Parliament turns the country to anarchy. Just for the record, about 75 per cent of MPs of the 9th Parliament belong to the ruling party. The same ruling party emptied the treasury during the 2011 elections to enable their MPs buy their way into the House. Is that the reason Mr Museveni is shocked and angered that the ‘idiots’ whom he spent so much money on, to have them fixed in parliament are giving him a hard time?
But the President should not exhaust his store of insults nor exhaust himself with threats of military takeover, he only needs to be reminded that today’s so called party indiscipline was bred and nurtured by him through the then famous individual merit system!
On his arrival, Mr Museveni castigated parties, saying they were divisive. He encouraged individualism that was dressed in the beautified language of individual merit. Now the very system he nurtured is haunting him.
NRM legislators ate and danced nights away in Kyankwanzi; the party should have used this time to exorcise its members of the ‘evil spirits’ of individual merit!
But also, why doesn’t the Executive ask the hard questions as to why its Members of Parliament are behaving in such a manner. This reminds me of Daniel Goleman’s word cited in Stephen Coveys ‘The little Big Things’ . Daniel Goleman says, “ How can a high level leader like… be so out of touch with the truth …, In fact, the higher up the leader climbs the less accurate his self assessment is likely to be. The problem is an acute lack of feedback especially on people’s issues.”
The reason MPs have severely disagreed with the Executive position could be that they (Parliamentarians) have a more accurate feedback about people’s issues. The so called rebel MPs are more popular because they represent what the ordinary person feels. Look at the grief that was poured when Cerinah Nebanda (RIP) passed on!
And why wouldn’t MPs go against the Executive when they are the ones feeling the heat from the populace! Since government has absconded from its cardinal duty of providing basic services, the citizens (voters) have turned their demands to their MPs.
I read about proposed Constitutional amendments to ensure MPs do not freely speak against their party. I think that if such a law is passed under the current framework the MPs will be in a precarious position.
Rather, the Constitution should be amended to replace Constituency MPs with proportional representation (PR). PR will enable Mr Museveni have a firm grip on all his MPs since it is the party which selects the members to represent the party in Parliament.
The party will also easily recall any member without fear of the risk of losing that constituency. Finally, PR will wave off the pressure on MPs who sometimes have to act in the interest of their constituents since under PR, the electorate vote a party not an individual.
That is the way to go not the old fashioned coups.