By Mike Ssegawa
If you want peace, don’t speak about Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. This explains why a group of members of parliament can dare declare that a colleague cannot step in some parts of the country. These are hired guns to intimidate people who honestly demand that their leaders conduct themselves in a given manner.
Persis Namuganza is not a likeable person. She easily says words that disturb other people’s peace. We saw it in the Aidah Nantaba spat over land issues. And also, Namuganza made a mistake to incite villagers against another leader.
However, two wrongs don’t make right. Kadaga’s response lacks decorum especially that she is the senior leader of the two ladies.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Persis Namuganza’s row is in principle over Busoga Kyabazingaship. But sponsoring violence and militia is a security issues which touches the nerve of all Uganda.
The key question here is, is Kadaga above reproach?
As soon as Namuganza castigated Kadaga for showing up in Bukono at the installation of a traditional chief disagreeable to the rival faction backed by Namuganza, we have seen rehearsed press conferences and demonstrations in Busoga and Kampala. None of these groups are discussing the pros and cons of the subject Namuganza and Kadaga are conflicting over but are quick to tell the junior minister to back off their Kadaga.
A few weeks ago when Kadaga was dragged to court, we saw similar groups emerging and demonstrating outside court challenging the court procedure against Kadaga. We last saw these rowdy gangs sorrounding court at Makindye magistrates court when Former police chief Gen Kale Kayihura was summoned and kifeesi gangs wanted to attack lawyers and magistrate in the case. Is this the rule of law Ms Kadaga admires?
This is not by coincidence. Speaker Kadaga is showing dictatorial tendencies which should be checked by right thinking members of the public. She should not take personal issues with anyone who disagrees with her or points out where she has erred. As one of the top leaders in the country, she should condemn acts of violence done in her name, but her silence says it all – she has blessed them.
This is however not surprising.
Kadaga’s tyrannical conduct have always showed. But she had not gathered the power and money chest as is the case today, to buy patronage.
In the media fraternity, for example, it is well known that Kadaga has fought journalists who run stories that are critical of her public service record. It was not by mistake that parliament went ahead to start vetting who reports at the House where journalists seen as critical were stopped from reporting at parliament.
It is also a well known fact in corridors of parliament that Kadaga rewards with foreign trips the MPs that sing her praises and turns her back on anyone who is not part of her kitchen cabinet.
Kadaga should be restrained. Violence in Busoga must be condemned. Namuganza might be wrong but reacting to her disagreement with Kadaga with recklessness and unleashing militias on her is uncivil. Savage. And quite irresponsible.