Does law­ful ‘tran­si­tion of Pres­i­den­tial Pow­er’ Spook NRM MPs?

By: Jacky Kemigisa

His­tory is made in the 9th Par­lia­ment, chaired by the Speaker Kadaga, as mem­bers of Par­lia­ment failed to agree on a de­ci­sion to ap­prove a mo­tion.

“Since I have been Speaker, we have never failed to re­solve a mo­tion” said Speaker Kadaga

Dr. Bayigga Michael P. Lu­lume (Buikwe County South – Buikwe Dis­trict) moved a mo­tion seek­ing leave from Par­lia­ment to in­tro­duce a bill the pres­i­den­tial Tran­si­tional Bill 2014, which is a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill. (Mean­ing it is in­tro­duced by an in­di­vid­ual and not Gov­ern­ment)

luyiggaAc­cord­ing to the draft bill pre­sented by MP Lu­lume, Some of the de­fects in the cur­rent law in­clude the lack leg­isla­tive frame­work to pro­mote or­derly ex­ec­u­tive power in con­nec­tion to the ex­pi­ra­tion of term of of­fice of a pres­i­dent and his in­au­gu­ra­tion.

PART IV of the bill– pro­vides for the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony to be con­ducted in the cap­i­tal city. It also pro­vides that the day the swear­ing in of the Pres­i­dent-elect shall be a pub­lic hol­i­day. It fur­ther pro­vides for the sign­ing of a cer­tifi­cate of in­au­gu­ra­tion by the Pres­i­dent and the hand­ing over of the in­stru­ments of power and au­thor­ity by the out­go­ing Pres­i­dent to the Pres­i­dent- elect. (All these, ne­ces­si­ties of any young democ­racy)

When the speaker asked if Mp Lu­lume could be granted leave, there was a loud NO, a fe­male voice that later gained mo­men­tum as other NRM MPs fol­lowed her de­ci­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to Par­lia­men­t’s rules of pro­ce­dure, it’s a right of a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment to seek leave of Par­lia­ment to in­tro­duce a bill, how­ever, mem­bers of Par­lia­ment have a right to re­ject the pro­posal.

The prin­ci­pal ob­ject of this bill is to make pro­vi­sions for the pro­ce­dure and cer­e­mony for the as­sump­tion to the Of­fice of Pres­i­dent.

It achieves this by pro­vid­ing for the req­ui­site arrange­ments for as­sump­tion of of­fice by the Pres­i­dent­ elect in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the Pres­i­den­tial Tran­si­tion Com­mit­tee and pro­vid­ing for the pro­ce­dure for as­sump­tion of the, of Pres­i­dent by the Pres­i­dent-elect, and his or her ac­cess to in­stru­ments of power and state se­crets.

Did the NRM re­jec­tion of the mo­tion mean that they hate or are scared of the tran­si­tion of power?

Who­ever came with the phrase, one can­not leg­is­late in as­sump­tion; must have re­ferred to the NRM MPs’, for re­ject­ing a mo­tion on a bill whose con­tent they had nei­ther seen nor ex­ten­sively dis­cussed.

It’s like a teacher award­ing a stu­dent ze­ros in an exam, be­cause they do not like their hand­writ­ing with­out read­ing the an­swers that the stu­dent has writ­ten.

The Leader of the op­po­si­tion, Wa­fula Oguttu pleaded with the NRM MPs’ to ap­prove the mo­tion to give chance to MP Lu­lume to pre­sent a new bill.

“ This bill is a pure rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a democ­racy, its aim is on peace­ful trans­fer of Pres­i­den­tial pow­ers, it will be like shift­ing power from Mu­sev­eni to Mu­sev­eni if he wins” Said LOP Oguttu sar­cas­ti­cally.

But the NRM MPs’ who are strug­gling from fear of the un­known per­sisted.

The NR­M’s out­line re­jec­tion of a bill with­out any ob­jec­tiv­ity is a scream­ing si­lence on how many of the Ugan­dan laws are passed, it poses ques­tions on whether MPs’ even read the con­tents of a law or judge it bas­ing on its ti­tle.