On Friday, the short-lived Speaker of parliament Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah took his final journey of no return to Ayom-lony village, Lalogi sub-county, Omoro district twenty days since his demise at the University of Washington Medical, a cancer centre in Seattle where he had been taken early February with terminal illness. It has also been a period of truly national and colourful mourning, an outpouring of emotions, paying tributes to and celebrations for a short life lived fully. Many will remember the nicknames Oulanyah gave them as acquaintances.
This week, the Extra-Ordinary Summit of six Heads of state from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan admitted the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the East African Community (EAC) creating one of the largest blocs by geographical size and natural resources potential on the African continent.
My first meeting with Jacob Oulanyah, the deceased former Speaker of the 11th Parliament, was 1987 when as a teacher at Trinity College Nabbingo l had accompanied my students to an academic seminar at Kololo secondary school where he was a senior six student. After the seminar, Oulanyah told me that he had earlier attended Dr Obote college Boroboro, Lira and Layibi college, Gulu, both prominent schools then. He was member Kololo S.S.
Last week Parliament overly dominated by the NRM took an unusual decision to impeach Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zzake and stripped him of membership on its top organ, the Parliamentary Commission over his vulgar spat against Deputy Speaker Anita Among, woman MP Bukedea district. After verbally insulting Among with sexually explicit words on the floor that cannot be repeated here, an aggressive and unapologetic Zzake went to his twitter page, deleted the comments, believing he had erased the trail.
The proposal by the Ministry of Finance to consumptive public bodies not to increase the ceiling of their travel budget in the next financial year 2022/23 is brewing up an unnecessary storm among members of parliament (MPs) who perhaps believe that their work is being undermined. Either out of misunderstanding or otherwise, MPs are insisting that they must be given more money because their work is so important which no one actually disagrees with. One hopes that the storm doesn’t cascade to the other branches of government like the judiciary.
Not so long ago, to be precise at the end of January 2022, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba took a bold step to end the Uganda/ Rwanda standoff that had existed for over three years. This standoff had led to the closure of the borders of the two brotherly countries. The amount of loss between the countries in terms of trade, social cohesion and of course human lives is unquantifiable.
In December 1948, the CIA station in Munich West German linked up with a group calling itself the Supreme Council for the Liberation of Ukraine with the purpose of tasking its members to gather intelligence from behind the Soviet Iron curtain. The men were part of an underground movement among Soviet immigrants scattered in Europe after World war Two.
The ongoing events in Ukraine where Russian President Vladimir Putin this week ordered “special military operation” following his recognition of two territories of Donetsk and Lugansk held by separatist forces since June 2014 as sovereign, demonstrates the continuing tragedy of great-power politics. Russia appears to be paying back the bombast western axis in their own currency.
This week government kicked off mobilization for the Parish Development Model (PDM) starting with Bukedi sub-region, one of the poorest according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Standards (UBOS). The districts include Tororo, Busia, Bataleja, Kibuku, Budaka, Butebo and Pallisa where most households with an average of seven people subsist in crop and livestock on less than four acres of land without meaningful commercial productivity.
Ancient Greek Philosopher Socrates, and Jesus Christ said to have lived blameless lives were arrested, charged, convicted and executed because knaves accused them, and in Uganda today we have many knaves passing for MPs, journalists, writers, human rights ‘defenders’ and foreign diplomats some from countries with dubious human rights credentials.