One of the dangers of social media is that people have too much time on it and their minds sometimes wander aimlessly. Take the example of a photo of President Museveni last week, when he was in Burora in Kibale district, which was posted on various Facebook pages, including Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s.
The photo showed a huuuuuuge rally, with the crowd enjoying the old man with a hat. But it was not long before some idle minds (or call them NRM haters) started alleging that the photo was three-dimensional; that it had people looking at the main camera, others apparently cheering something or someone to the right of the camera, while a third group appeared to be listening to another speaker to left of the camera.
They claimed that they had expected the photo to be one-dimensional, with people facing the camera. They did not imagine that a big rally of a big candidate can have many centres of attraction. Wolokoso has examined the photo critically and is glad to declare there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Just ignore those idle Facebook types!
Did Byabagambi want to manufacture MPs?
Works and transport minister John Byabagambi might have capacity to manufacture roads even where it is least expected, but does he have the same capacity to manufacture human beings?
This seems to have been the question on Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s mind last week, as government laboured to have the Constitution Amendment Bill 2015 passed.
Byabagambi was one of the MPs who responded late to the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa’s futile efforts to raise the numbers required to vote on the amendments. But after two rounds of counting, there were still not enough MPs to make lawful legislative decisions. Suddenly, Byabagambi shot up, as if he had a burning bright idea on how the numbers could be raised for the crucial vote.
Bemused, Oulanyah simply ‘shot’ him down: “Honourable minister, there is nothing you are going to do to manufacture more members.”
Well, Nelson Mandela is quoted as having said that ‘people say it can’t be done until you do it’.
Museveni fears tax misfortune
It is the campaign season and you have to feel for tax authorities and anyone involved in regulating wananchi. It is that time when politicians present themselves as the most pro-people leaders, and the technocrats as the problem.
While meeting mayors and district chairpersons across the country recently, President Museveni banned anyone from levying taxes from roadside vendors across the country. Never mind that the local authorities have to raise revenue to supplement meager grants from the central governments.
“How can you levy taxes from a roadside vendor? Eh! You will bring us misfortune you people” a jolly Museveni told the officials.
Mafabi accuses Busiki MP of doing ‘see me’
Although MPs are such ‘big’ people, some of them talk for purposes of being seen to be talking – at least going by the claims of Budadiri West MP Nandala-Mafabi.
Last Thursday, when parliament started debating the Constitution Amendment Bill 2015, Mafabi unleashed an unprecedented attack on the bill, describing it as empty.
This attack didn’t go down well with Busiki MP Isiiko Mpongo, who shot up on a point of order. However, deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah didn’t see any water in what Mpongo was saying, thus ruling in favour of Mafabi.
When he regained the floor, Mafabi fired a clever shot at Mpongo.
“I thank you very much for the wise ruling Mr speaker, and I would like to congratulate my colleague, the member from Busiki, who wanted to stand up so that your people can see that you have spoken. They have seen you,” said Mafabi, cracking his colleagues.
Taking ‘corruption closer to the people’
In its bid to justify the demarcation of dozens more constituencies, government said it wanted to bring service delivery closer to the people of the gifted republic of Uganda.
This has been the justification for government to demarcate both more districts and constituencies in the past, but some MPs are not convinced.
“We beg to move that parliament approves these constituencies such that we can take services closer to the people” said Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the chairperson of parliament’s committee on Local Government and Public Service.
Yet before she could conclude her justification, one MP heckled her down: “No, it’s bringing ‘corruption’ closer to the people.”
Well, well! What if corruption is also a service?
A constituency for 800 people?
Members of Uganda’s parliament can be a really melodramatic group. Who has forgotten stories of otherwise honourable members wearing dried banana leaves or dancing kadodi to show support for President Museveni?
The other day, as parliament started debating a government motion creation of new constituencies, the most dramatic MP award went to Kibale Woman MP Robinah Nabbanja, also the NRM treasurer.
Nabbanja accused Adolf Mwesige, the minister of local government, of “cheating” people of Kibale (for failing to carve out another constituency).
“We are struggling to access services, Mr Speaker!” she started. “You were there recently; you saw how impassable our roads are… why is it that the government which we have supported dearly take us through all this?” Nabbanja cried.
“Which crime did I commit? I am representing 800 people… but they also deserve equal representation. Why is it that the minister of local government discriminate us like this, why are you cheating the people of Kibale?”
Wolokoso was genuinely bothered. A constituency for 800 people? Or did she mean she represents 800,000 people?