By Ronald Muhinda
The National Assembly of the People’s Government of Uganda has been inaugurated in fulfilment of People’s Government promise to establish a parallel People’s Parliament in the aftermath of lifting the age limit from the constitution.
At the launch of the TUBALEMESE campaign after raping the constitution, President Kizza Besigye made a commitment to Ugandans to facilitate establishment of the National Assembly that would pursue political and legislative interests of majority of Ugandans (85%) who had opposed their lifting of age limit.
Immediately, People’s Government officials launched an undercover survey across the country to consult people whom they would to lead them. Forms with strict guidelines and qualifications were also sent across the country for People’s Assembly MPs to show interest.
Those processes have led to creation of nearly 500 strong National Assembly of unpaid legislators (doing voluntary legislation) that will be crucial in fighting the Junta and ensuring the constitution of Uganda is restored.
The Assembly MPs elected Hon. Oduman Okello as Speaker and Cissy Sempa Nabatanzi as Deputy Speaker.
Speaker Oduman Okello from Bukedea defeated three others contestants Muwada Nkunyingi, Mike Otim and Guma Nuwagaba. Nabatanzi defeated six other contestants who were vying for Deputy Speaker.
Part of the agenda of the first session of the National Assembly was to approve Cabinet of the People’s Government and a new structure of Advisory Council of State that will advise the Presidency.
The Assembly is composed of 93 MPs that voted against lifting the age limit and representatives from constituencies of MPs that voted to rape the constitution.
The National Assembly will be the supreme legislative organ above other Assemblies that will be formed at the Regional, District and lower level Local Government.
Addressing the inaugural first session of the National Assembly, President Kizza Besigye said the assemblies and other political formations will aim to address the issue of governance and disenfranchisement.
“We believe that Uganda is politically divided into two: those who grabbed power and those whose power they grabbed and want to return their power in full. We are a government of the disenfranchised who want to become a government of the enfranchised,” Besigye said.
Besigye added that for people to quickly get back their power, they need “wide unity amongst those struggling to regain our power.”
For his part, the Deputy President Erias Lukwago said their new assignment in People’s Government comes with “no benefits, emoluments and privileges but rather sacrifice.”
Lukwago “wholeheartedly welcomed all duties assigned to me as Deputy President of People’s Government……….including the attendant risks.“
Lukwago said that members choosing to be part of the People’s National Assembly was “making a very serious commitment to the struggle to remove NRM junta” and cautioned MPs against “despondency, disillusionment” saying such behaviour could “derail the struggle.”
Conservative Party President John Ken Lukyamuzi said all Assembly MPs must prepare themselves for real defiance, if the National Assembly is to endure.
“This question of saying that whoever wants to speak must seek permission from IGP is out. We have power and the liberty to cause any Assembly whenever we want,” Lukyamuzi said.
For his part, FDC Party President and also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council Patrick Oboi Amuriat empathised the need to use “non-violent means to achieve political change in Uganda”.
THE PEOPLE’S GOVERNMENT CABINET*
- Wrn Kizza-Besigye
Deputy Prime Minister
Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju
PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL OF STATE
- AMB. WASSWA BIRIGWA
- JOHN KEN LUKYAMUZI
- Patrick Amuriat
- BETTY AOL Ochan
- CHAPAA KARUHANGA
Nabantazi Cissy Ssempa
*2. Foreign Affairs*
Nathan Nandala – Mafabi
*4. Internal Affairs*
*5. Local Government*
Owek. Joyce Sebugwawo Naboosa
*6. Trade Industry & Coperatives*
*7. Defence and Security*
Hassan kaps Fungaroo
*8. Energy & Mineral Resources*
Muhindo Harold Tony
*9. Works and Transport*
Virginia Plan Mugyenyi
*10. Education Science & Technology*
*11. Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries*
Phillip P. Okin
*12. Labor. Gender &Social Dev’t*
*14. Youth & Sports*
*15. Information & KCCA*
Mp Bakireke Nambooze
*16. Water & Environment*
*17. Tourism & Wildlife*
*18. Public Service*
Jack wamanga Wamai
*19. Planning &Economic Devt*
*20. Justice, Constitutional & Attorney General*