Mpuuga attacks Buganda caucus leaders over non-performance
Masaka municipality MP, Mathias Mpuuga has urged the leaders of Buganda Parliamentary Caucus to stop sleeping on the job and instead work upon unifying members of the caucus as agreed upon when they assumed leadership almost two years ago.
Mpuuga said this in his letter to the chairperson of Buganda Parliamentary Caucus, Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga [NRM Mukono South] highlighting his dissatisfaction in the way the caucus is run.
He says ever since they were elected, no meeting has ever been held to agree on common objectives of the caucus, a thing he said defeats the purpose of the caucus.
He said this neglect has disadvantaged the communities they represent because of lack of a common voice to champion social justice for Buganda. Mpuuga adds that some Buaganda MPs have been reduced to beggars in the corridors of power and in the process; they have surrendered their honor and power to the detriment of their suffering electorates.
According to Mpuuga, Buganda communities that used to be strong have now been weakened because they have not received the protection they need from their leaders especially members of parliament. Many have surrendered their sovereign right on their land and natural resources to the powerful power brokers.
“This is the greatest and dereliction of duty on our part as leaders, the defenders and protectors of our people, their heritage and culture.”
He said regional caucuses should help their regions instead of sacrificing them to political entrepreneurs in the name of wealth creation to manipulate them at will, owing to the poverty and desperation.
“We need to rediscover our rallying values as Buganda communities, demand for sustainable initiatives that will create capacity for our communities to support themselves, but not dolling out donations that enslave and patronise our people.”
Below is the letter.
BUGANDA PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS
SUBJ: WORRYING STATE OF AFFAIRS FOR THE CAUCUS
At the time of writing to you, we are a few weeks away from making two years into the service of our people in the 10th Parliament. I congratulate you upon the various accomplishments in the service of Ssabasajja Kabaka’s people and especially remaining a respectable face of the caucus and your constituents in especially in the most challenging of situations in the discharge of your duties. One of our key duties as members of the caucus is to be the indefatigable voice of our communities, since only members of the caucus are lucky to have an official platform through which we can bargain on behalf of our peoples and our Kingdom.
I am sure majority members of the caucus; as part of their campaign platform promised to ensure that the people of Buganda get their fair share of the “national cake”, and thatSsabasajja Kabaka and his Government is accorded the due respect they deserve . In making this promise, members had at the back of their minds the fact that, as a community of leaders from Buganda, we shall not get what we deserve, but rather what we bargain for; it’s the natural law.
The above rhymes well with our core vision of creating and preserving a sustainable collective voice to address the socio- economic and political challenges in the region and the entire country to achieve sustainable economic development. And from and through that rallying vision we set-out to;
(a) To create and preserve unity amongst the different representatives in parliament from Buganda region irrespective of the political affiliations and ethnic background for the development of the region;
(b) To create a collective voice on socio- economic and political policies and issues affecting the population and the electorates in the region;
(c) To lobby for policies and influence legislations in parliament for both national and in particular for the development of Buganda region;
(d) To promote education, health, economic livelihood and cultural development in Buganda;
(e) To mobilize resources and/or establish a fund to help members of parliament from the region in time of need;
(f) To network with other organizations, government department, policy makers and implementers to achieve the objectives of the cacaus; and
(g) To do all any such other things as are incidental or related to attainment of the above objectives.
This implied that, if we were to become potent bargainers on behalf of our people, we ought to have been a well organized and well oriented team, with clear team goals and aspirations; devoid of contradictions and conspiracies. This is not to become oblivious of the political contradictions we find ourselves in as a group of leaders coming from different political homes and ideological persuasions.
Two years since you assumed leadership of the caucus; at the backdrop of great promise and hope for a departure from the usual rituals, upon making a new Constitution which unlike the past offered the kind of strategic canvass which past teams lacked, we are coming off flat and more ritualistic.
One of the most depressing realities is that, we have never had a general meeting since your team ascended at the helm of the caucus. Meeting is a basic ritual through which members can evolve a fair understanding of their common objects, overcome suspicion and mistrust engendered by routine politicking and generally lack of knowledge on the state of affairs.
We also strategically classified meetings in our union pact, at particular times of the legislative cycle to rhyme with the budget cycle to facilitate membership in following up community demands. Unfortunately, no such meetings have been held since the colorful inauguration of your team. This is a missed opportunity for members to share in each others’ knowledge, on matters of legislation, budgeting and oversight.
The Buganda Parliamentary Caucus is second to none in terms of numerical strength; yet comes off as most disjointed, lacking in commonality of purpose, unable to raise a common voice on any matter affecting our peoples. The caucus for the record has never attempted to make a common bargain on any matter germane to needs of our peoples.
Because of lacking a common voice, to champion social justice for the region of Buganda, individual members have been reduced to beggars in the corridors of power brokers and political fixers; surrendering their honour and power in the process, yet come off with nothing worth sharing with their communities to change the course of their bedeviled lives.
Hirtheto, and until the machinations of the NRM regime took root in our communities, our people were a progressive lot, able to fend and protect their economic and social tough; there was no hunger, they could afford to grow and retain quality seeds for subsequent seasons, they could buy seedlings through their local cooperatives, and used known mechanisms to sort out contradictions and disagreements on land.
We cannot close our eyes on the cosmopolitan nature of Buganda; with a long tradition of assimilation, passed on across generations. Buganda greatly benefited from the assimilation policy, and the different cultures and ways of organization cross-fertilized the indigenous ways of organization to greater positive effect.
What used to be assimilation is now “surround and concur”. Our communities are under attack; the population in the Buganda country-side is under siege; impoverished and weakened. They have surrendered their sovereignty on land and natural resources therein to the powerful power brokers. They have not received the protection of their leaders, and especially their members of parliament. This is the greatest abdication and dereliction of duty on our part as leaders; the defenders and protectors of our people, their heritage and culture.
The powerful have overrun our communities; abused the sanctity of these communities, helpless and defenseless in face of powerful and connected, untouchable wealthy brokers; while we waste away in political expediency, and fear of visiting misfortune on our personal political and economic interests. Who is the defender of the Mubende mining communities, who is the protector of the displaced fishing communities across various landing sites in Buganda, whose livelihood has since been scattered without regard to their welbeing!
What will be the fate in finality, of communities and families inBulemeezi, Buluri & Singo whose land has been grabbed by cunning power brokers on which they have gazette square-miles for a song! What about the ecosystem in Buganda under attack from fortune seekers from within and without Uganda, but protected by the connected. For how long are we going to live in fear of the connected, as if their connection is on some powerful deity; we cannot challenge in face of the unprecedented abuse of our heritage!
The government of Uganda undertook a country-wide scientific agricultural-zoning study more than 20 years ago. These studied situated various crops, both annual and perennial to different parts of the country; with a view of guiding planners and leaders on the best forms farming suited for their communities. While these beautiful studies gather dust, are we not in good position to compel stakeholders in agriculture; who are hell-bent on overcoming their own poverty while sowing agricultural confusion in our communities to style up. Is it not a big let-down, for us to allow officials ofOWC to continue sowing confusion in Buganda communities, in the name of wealth creation! Where is our common voice in poverty eradication, engendered through the budget process!
Buganda region is part of what is called “Luwero_ Rwenzori” region, a creation of the Government to channel affirmative action funds and special programs to restore the war-ravaged communities in the Luwero_Rwenzori region comprising28 Districts; through infrastructure improvement, income generation and farm inputs. This special region under the OPM has for some time had a Minister, with an annual budget of barely UGX 3BN! The flimsy budgeting for this region is partly the result our passive approach to duty; turning our communities into beggar communities and without a voice.
How do we compare Luwero-Rwenzori say to other special regions established for the same purpose! Do we for example compare with NUSAF, which has had a consistent annual budgets in hundreds of billions, the recently launched Development Initiative for Northern Uganda with UGX.665BN! How do we compare with Karamoja; not oblivious of its special status and grave need, but in terms of the potential at the disposal of our communities untapped, but sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. I suppose their leaders have had occasion to deliberate on their common good through the regional caucuses, in part yielding such dividends to the communities.
We have instead surrendered our communities to political entrepreneurs to manipulate them at will, owing to poverty and desperation. We need to rediscover our rallying values as Buganda communities, demand for sustainable initiatives that will create capacity for our communities to support themselves; but not dolling out donations that enslave and patronize our people.
The above and many other reasons justify our commonality; the reasons for the purposeful investiture of the caucus before most of us joined parliament. We owe our communities strategic leadership. The “laissez faire” approach to service provision by the government is well documented, but we are here to act in the best interest of our communities. The poverty, disease and state of hopelessness in our communities is“all embracing” like the original NRM. Therefore our diverse political views should not stand in the way of demanding for justice and fairness for our communities.
The leadership of the caucus need to change their undeclared attitude towards the objects of the caucus and move to live up to the billing of the caucus. We took good time filtering and documenting our founding objects, which we validated with a Constitution.
We shall commemorate 2 solid yearssince this team was elected into office. The gift the team can afford the members in their honour is a 360 degrees change in execution of this honourable mandate, to wit;
1. Let the caucus honour the compulsory meetings as set out in the Constitution that will enable us fight for equity and parity in the distribution of resources.
2. Lets follow the emerging issues in our communities; especially land grabbing, displacement, insecurity, environment degradation, key government programs, creation of districts, constituencies and other administrative units
3. Implement the key deliverables envisaged at the assumption of office 2 years ago
4. Interest ourselves in key Constitutional developments
5. Build synergies across regions beyond ceremony & merry making with a view of establishing common ground for future cooperation
The status quo puts into serious perspective the relevance of the caucus, in view of the expectations of the Buganda communities. This otherwise vibrant community cannot be kept in permanent abeyance in the time of our service as members of parliament.
It is your legacy as caucus leaders at stake, and our reputation as the led if we so seek an appellation of sorts befitting our efforts in face of great need for care, deprivation and helplessness apparent in our shared communities.
Looking forward to a practicable response from our leaders.
Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba