Why we must reject the idea of Uganda being a monarchy

It started as a rumor. The Fountain of Honor denied it. Yet, its proponents consistently pursued their cause freely without hindrances, and some of us who stood with the people opposed the idea at the expense of our lives. They beat us to near death. That is how serious they wanted Art 102(b) in Uganda’s constitution repealed.

It is worth noting that by the time it was repealed, the Head of Government – cum the Commander-in-Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, had expressly declared his desire in expediting the process thereof.

Article 1(4) of the Constitution of Uganda while emphasizing sovereignty of the people provides that “The people shall express their will and consent on who shall govern them and how they should be governed, through regular, free and fair elections of their representatives or through referenda”.

This provision of the constitution imports that the people possess ultimate power over those they vote to lead them but, surprisingly, what we see today in Uganda is contravention of this article.

The leaders have usurped people’s power, consequently they are accountable to none. There is another move orchestrated by the NRM members of parliament to arrogate to themselves power given to the people under Articles 1 and 103 of the Constitution of Uganda, which provide for, among other things, sovereignty of the people and participation in voting their president by universal adult suffrage through a secret ballot. A rumor is already in circulation about the same.

The NRM government intends to introduce a system where the people will be denied to vote their president. Their proposition is to introduce a parliamentary model of government, where the executive obtains its legitimacy from the legislature with the head of state being different from the head of government.

This is the form of government that colonialists left in Uganda. In this model, the head of government is the prime minister with executive powers. The position of the head of state is usually inherent and its relevance is basically ceremonial.

It is thought that Mr Museveni is obsessed with power and yet so weak to face off with Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, for president. Instead, he is considering shifting goalposts in order to avoid it.

President Museveni has never trembled to a point of seeking to dodge voters until recently when Kyagulanyi sent signals to challenge him. The support that Bobi Wine enjoys, especially among the youths, is all around the country, which indicates that People Power will win with a big margin.

Museveni seeks to introduce a Westminster model of government to elude voters. Another school of thought can be that he may be desiring to prepare a monarchy out of Uganda for his retirement as king of kings.

The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament.

The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890.

However, many former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system like that of South Africa as their form of government. This system of government has got many disadvantages like reducing the voice of minority parties. Although anyone can form a political party, the large, established political parties have the most influence in a parliamentary system. Unless a coalition is necessary, those with large parties tend to ignore the needs of the smaller parties.

The system does not change royal influences, a parliamentary system is often overseen by a monarch or royal figure. They may have zero control or ultimate control over the legislation passed by the government. This position is not influenced by the elections which are held.

Thirdly, it reduces separation from the executive branch, the executive branch is directly influenced by the legislative branch in this system of government. That means people may vote for the party because of who they think will be the leader of the country instead of who they think will be the best candidate.

The system is not good for our country and, therefore, we must reject this move. Making a monarchy out of Uganda will be the worst mistake ever done in our history.

The author is the MP, Mityana Municipality.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd