By Lawrence Kazooba
Uganda’s nine members to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) were elected by the 10th Parliament on Tuesday February 28, 2017. Congratulations.
However, the reception got in Parliament by Ingrid Turinawe, Forum for Democratic Change’s Secretary for Mobilisation while campaigning for one of the nine slots, has dominated the airwaves, and it will be talked about for a very long time.
Many voices have come out to condemn the conduct of members of parliament; however, what left many also wondering was why the powerful and influential Speaker, who was overseeing the exercise from her powerful seat in the House, did nothing about the situation.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is a no-nonsense woman. And she doesn’t hesitate to speak out her mind when she feels so.
However, on the afternoon of Turinawe’s embarrassment before the floor of parliament during her seven minutes presentation of her candidacy to EALA, the Speaker looked on in her wings and spectacles, as MPs especially from the ruling party’s side, turned the House into a disorganized market place.
Kadaga loves order in her chamber. She knows how to reign in her members, who fortunately respect and adore her a lot. However, in the case of Turinawe, she did and said nothing, even as Ingrid addressed her as “Madam Speaker” a number of times throughout her speech.
It was very clear that Turinawe struggled to be heard. And the Speaker herself, could not hear anything from the FDC woman’s speech. But it didn’t matter to her. And the fact that she could not protect a woman under attack in her Chamber, Kadaga misjudged the situation, and made a wrong call.
Kadaga, as an objective umpire of the games before Parliament, should have called for order. She didn’t. And it is not that she didn’t know what to do. She did. It is not that could not protect Ingrid, she could. It is not that she would not stop errant MPs from turning Parliament into a bar – she would.
It only leaves her unwillingness to protect Ingrid, and her collaboration with members, to humiliate the person of Ingrid and what she stands for.