Why Won’t Some MPs’ leave af­fir­ma­tive seats?

By: Jacky Kemigisa

The af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion for youth, women and dis­abled in Par­lia­ment was in­tro­duced by the 1995 Uganda Con­sti­tu­tion, Sec­tion 32 “Af­fir­ma­tive Ac­tion in Fa­vor of Mar­gin­al­ized groups”.

It was sup­posed to give a voice to what many con­sid­ered  lack­ing in terms of rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, one would nat­u­rally think that af­ter a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment has held the same seat for over 10 years, they would be eman­ci­pated enough to go and com­pete in the Gen­eral seats but this is not the case.

In the 10th Par­lia­ment we still have mem­bers of Par­lia­ment who are back on af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion seats like the Speaker Hon Re­becca Kadaga, who is listed as one of Ugan­da’s pow­er­ful women. She would be able to take on any man or woman run­ning at any con­stituency but no, she prefers to run un­der dis­trict woman MP.

MP Og­wal Ce­cilia is the op­po­si­tion chief-whip who will be serv­ing her 5th term in the 10th par­lia­ment, that is 25 years in Par­lia­ment. Og­wal is among the most re­spected mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and as such,  the speaker nor­mally gives ex­tra time in re­spect to her age, each time she speaks on the floor of Par­lia­ment.

With her se­nior­ity in Par­lia­ment, you would think she has been eman­ci­pated enough, but she still con­tests on “woman dis­trict MP card”. There are other MPs like Alex Ndeez who have rep­re­sented dis­abil­i­ties have not paved way for oth­ers to re­place them in Par­lia­ment.

Is it pos­si­ble to have term lim­its for all the af­fir­ma­tive seats? So that no one is al­lowed to serve more than 2 terms in of­fice? That way,  we not only give oth­ers a chance to serve, but also have new faces that will prob­a­bly come with new ideas.

 Be­low is a list of some of Ugan­da’s longest serv­ing MPs [25 years +]

  1. Sam Ka­hamba Kutesa (NRM)
  2. Cris­pus Kiy­onga (NRM)
  3. Kahinda Orafi­ire (NRM)
  4. Henry Ka­jura Mu­ganwa (NRM)
  5. Amama Mbabazi(NRM)
  6. Adolf Mwe­sige (NRM)
  7. John Nasasira (NRM,
  8. Elly Tumwine (NRM)
  9. Gilbert Bukenya (NRM)
  10. 10.Ed­ward K Ssekandi (NRM)
  11. Re­becca Kadaga (NRM)
  12. Syda Bbumba (NRM)
  13. Daudi Migereko (NRM)
  14. Jim Muh­wezi (NRM)
  15. 15.Ruth Nankabirwa (NRM)
  16. Khiddu Makubuya (NRM)
  17. Em­manuel Dombo (NRM)
  18. Rea­gan Okum (FDC)
  19. Alex Onz­ima (In­dpt)
  20. Bakka Bu­lindi (NRM)
  21. Hood Kat­u­ramu (NRM)
  22. Fe­lix Okot-Ogong (NRM)
  23. Mar­garet Babadiri (NRM)
  24. Michael Werikhe (NRM)
  25. Pe­ter Lok­eris (NRM)
  26. Sam Ly­omoki (NRM)
  27. Phine­has K Manoni (NRM)
  28. Ka­tumba Wa­mala (NRM)
  29. Rose Na­mayanja (NRM)
  30. Vin­cent Nyanzi (NRM)
  31. Alex Ndezi (NRM)
  32. Kabakumba Masiko (NRM)
  33. Ge­of­frey Ekanya (FDC)
  34. Ce­cilia Og­wal (FDC)

There are many of the long serv­ing MPs who were ousted in this 10th Par­lia­ment, Oth­ers opted out like  Amama Mbabazi and  John Nasasira.

Those who lost In­clude: Ge­of­frey Ekanya (FDC), Sam Ka­hamba Kutesa (NRM) Cris­pus Kiy­onga (NRM) Kahinda Orafi­ire (NRM), Henry Ka­jura Mu­ganwa (NRM, Gilbert Bukenya (NRM), Jim Muh­wezi (NRM) among oth­ers.

Maybe what Uganda needs is term lim­its for both Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and the Pres­i­dency.