Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, says it is not entirely true that President Museveni threatened to dissolve the parliament of Uganda.
Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo had dared Museveni on threats to dissolve parliament after it emerged that while meeting NRM MPs, the head of state had hinted on doing away with the legislative house.
“Amin did it and ruled without a legislature, you will not be the 1st to do it,” Ssekikubo told Museveni.
“Between 1971 and 1979 (Idi Amin dictatorship – Ed), there was no parliament…Don’t think that you are in heaven; do what took you there. You should know where the power of that parliament comes from… in fact, I can do away with that parliament,” Museveni is quoted by The Observer telling MPs.
“And we brought it [parliament] back, so do whatever you are doing knowing…” Museveni said while attacking the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga for instituting an adhoc committee to probe the brutal arrest and torture of MPs yet there was an ongoing court process.
The president said the committee hasn’t even bothered to interface with him yet it’s his convoy that was pelted with stones.
Ssekikubo, on the other hand, told the president that Parliament as an institution cannot die at the whims of one person unless he wants to overthrow the Constitution.
“Parliament is not cabinet that he presides over, it is an independent arm of government whose roles and functions are clearly outlined in Articles 77, 78 and 79 of the Constitution,” Ssekikubo noted.
“President Museveni didn’t say he will or can abolish Parliament,” Opondo said while appearing on NBS “Frontline” programme.
He added: “I was there, the media tends to misquote people. He was asking the Parliament to do better for the areas they represent.”
He said the government of Uganda welcomes dialogue but any dialogue outside the constitution of Uganda should just be additional.
“There is no intention by Museveni to abolish Parliament. It’s you to accept what you read in the media but I’m telling you the fact. He can’t do that.”
NRM Vs FDC dialogue
Opondo said there are contradictions in the NRM party also just like FDC but “we try our best to clear them out. If people feel NRM has completely failed to clear its contradictions, they can vote us out via the ballot box”.
He said a dialogue can’t be a replacement to elections. It can only be a complementary factor.
“The one who kills more isn’t the one who wins. The Government of Obote and Amin killed more but they didn’t win. The NRM largely won because of denying people the war. We don’t think there’s any dialogue better than elections.”
He added: “If you look at the people who have been assaulted more, it is people in Government. Hon Ibrahim Abiriga was even killed and others assaulted.”
Opondo said NRM understands what violence means. The reasons Ugandans are able to feel freedom is because of tolerance.
“A faction in FDC can’t be in the same place with another of the same party. The strong disagreement and hatred in FDC is visible.”
He said people take personal rights as the ultimate and forget the rule of law.
“What is unfortunate for me is, you can’t easily distinguish the leaders from people they lead. One in terms of understanding and two discipline.”