Monday July 21 2014

Deputy Speaker right on poor quality of debate

By Editorial

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s criticism of poor quality of debate of Members of Parliament should not send the MPs into a rage. And the legislators, too, should not castigate Mr Oulanyah. He is only the bearer of bad news on the sorry performance of most MPs.

Even Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru agrees. He says some of the legislators are more of business men and women than lawmakers. Like Mr Mwiru, Mr Oulanyah is also only relaying a piece of information, and MPs should not blame him for the content. Besides, Mr Oulanyah is best placed to score this House. Even as Western Youth MP Gerald Karuhanga says researchers do not match the huge number of MPs, let Mr Oulanyah not buckle under pressure from MPs. Some of them cannot in fact consume research, review new laws and issues and talk science, economics, and culture to power.

So when some MPs say Mr Oulanyah is every bit as blameful as they are for the fall of standards, why then should the MPs not want to hear his message? Perhaps, Mr Oulanyah is only the wrong person to deliver the correct but unwelcome news.

But just how unpopular are Mr Oulanyah’s observations? Has the country not all along known of the MPs’ weaknesses? Are the MPs not better known for absenteeism, and clamour for allowances? And Kyegegwa Woman MP Ms Flavia Kabahenda agrees. She says most MPs only clash over microphones not to reflect on key views and policies in the House but to avoid being inducted into the hall of shame of silent MPs. So, let MPs not condemn Mr Oulanyah for having spoken straight-from-the-heart. Rather, the MPs should debate his unpopular message on its own merit.

And this dramatic conversion of Mr Oulanyah should provide a chance of renewal for most MPs. As the Deputy Speaker says, most MPs have nothing to write home about their performances. Mr Oulanyah says the majority contribution of most MPs is only to spit out unimaginative opinions, largely pedestrian views on politics. And the Deputy Speaker should know better because he has watched and directed the MPs’ debates for the last three years.

Let Mr Oulanyah stand up on the floor of Parliament and re-sound these words on some MPs’ lack of intellectual sharpness for every MP to hear. So lawmakers like Ntungamo Municipality’s Yonah Musinguzi should not make Deputy Speaker the fall guy for the dip in standards.
Don’t shoot the Deputy Speaker; he is only a messenger.