By Jessica A Badebye
United States President Barack Obama’s speech while addressing the African Union (AU) caused a lot of excitement amongst the Ugandan population this week. Obama said that the way to go for Africa is for African leaders to give way for the next generation as they are already wealthy enough. “I don’t understand why people want to stay so long especially when they’ve got a lot of money. Nobody should be president for life,” Obama said at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Many Ugandans including the opposition have welcomed the statement with open arms which in reality seems to be an illusion. Many elected leaders in the country who have served for more than two terms have picked nomination forms in their respective parties, which proves that it is typical of Ugandan elected leaders to cling onto power. Interestingly, many of legislators have continuously pointed fingers at the current ruling government of the National Resistance Movement as if President Obama’s statement was only geared towards Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. It is true that many actually do subscribe to late President Godfrey Binaisa’s philosophy of “Entebe ewooma” which is loosely translated as “The chair is sweet” to actually mean that “Power is sweet”.
In confirmation of the fact that “Power is sweet,” parliament recommended a creation of 65 new counties. This follows the Local Government minister Adolf Mwesiyge’s presentation of a proposal to parliament to approve the creation of 33 new constituencies prior to next year’s elections which instead put legislators into haggling for more. It is upon the same that legislators recommended that more constituencies be created which will increase the number of MPs from 384 to 425. Although the move has been greatly opposed by the opposition, arguing that it is another financial burden to the taxpayer, government does not seen to be bothered much considering that legislators recently received UGX(Uganda Shillings) 100million as fuel arrears to facilitate them in the seemingly tedious forthcoming season. Incidentally none of the legislators has returned the money.