Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Uganda Parliament presentations were very educational. We learned about a lot of different Parliament information such as the history, seating situations, types of special groups involved, the process of a member or government bill, and more. There seemed to be quite a bit of mixed feelings about Uganda Parliament. The first speaker praised the "fair" Parliament system but the MUBS students did not seem to agree. They brought up questions about funding and corruption that led the speaker to refuse to answer anymore questions about that topic. I definitely felt some tension in the room. The next speaker seemed more reasonable and knowledgeable. He centered the discussion more on economics. I thought he was not as scripted with his answers but he was still in favor of the Uganda Parliament system. This is not surprising because these presenters work in or with Parliament and of course they want to give a good impression of it.
One of the discussed topics I found most interesting was the special group representatives. The different types of groups include women, disabled, youth, army, and labor unions. I think it is a great thing to have these types of people represented in government. The only issue is the size of these groups. With 385 or so Parliament members, I believe they could have more than 5 of them represent the youth or disabled.

What impressions did you get from the speakers and MUBS students? Do you think there is corruption in Parliament? What topics discussed did you find most interesting? Do you think the Uganda Parliament will be sustainable?

5 comments:

  1. I agree with you in that the first speaker from parliament made it sound like corruption was not a problem which makes sense that she will be biased since she works for Parliament and is not going to speak poorly about it because she will risk losing her job. She also touched on how the salary of the Parliament workers is fair and is lower than the salaries of the Parliament members of surrounding countries. While this may be true, it does not mean that the members are not being overpaid. Through talking with the MUBS students, they definitely thought there was more corruption in Parliament than the women made it sound and they also believed that the PM's were overpaid. If my calculations are correct, the parliament members make $96,000 (US dollars!) a year since they receive 21 million shillings per month (about $8,000) which would be a good salary in the US and would be considered an immense salary in Uganda. I think that the level of corruption is more than the Parliament representative made it sound but less than the MUBS students thought since citizens often overestimate the amount of corruption since it is very easy to mistrust government. I think the most interesting topic discussed was about the representatives from special interest groups. Although I do believe that each group should get more representation, I think the idea of having special interest groups represented is a step in the right direction to sustainability since it makes everyone feel like their voice is heard. I do think that in order for Parliament to be more sustainable they should consider cutting the salaries of Parliament members since even a small cut will make a large difference since there are so many members and that money could be used toward other pressing issues. One thing that I am interested to see in the future is whether the size of Parliament will continue to keep expanding, since I noticed that Parliament has recently grown by about 50 members every 5 years.

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  2. Corruption in the Ugandan government is very high! Like we mentioned in our presentation, 64% of Parliament members side with Museveni's beliefs at all times. This 64% also sways others to vote along with them. People are often also paid for their supportive vote. The Parliament rarely does not agree with Museveni. You could definitely tell that their is tension between the government and the public. When the first speaker said that Parliament members have one of the lowest paying jobs, the MUBS students verbally disagreed. I was talking to Sharon and she told me that the average Ugandan only makes 200,000 shillings per month (compared to the 21 million shillings the Parliament members make). Also, when the speaker asked not to talk about corruption anymore most of the MUBS students responded and said "Why not?". I found it interesting that the second speaker, even though he still sided with the Parliament, was more willing to talk about corruption. I think fighting the government corruption is in the hands of the younger generation. I hope to see corruption decrease in the government so that true sustainable development can occur.

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  3. I think the MUBS students had every right to be upset at Parliament. They were asking questions that related to them and their country, and the presenters would not answer truthfully. The way the presenters kept trying to avoid questions shows they were uncomfortable with the topic at hand. I agree that Parliament is corrupt. With 64% of the members being part of the military definitely puts votes towards Museveni. Ugandan Parliament has been running this way since Museveni has been in presidency, so in that aspect its been sustainable so far. But I honestly believe that if the Ugandan government does not change soon, it will not be sustainable. They are way to corrupt with the President receiving too much power. Parliament would be more sustainable if it allowed more representatives for the special groups and a lot less for the military.

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  4. I definitely agree with the tension in the room during the first session. the MUBS students were asking some very interesting questions though, so I think it helped better our understanding of the parliament from a Uganda citizen perspective. I think the special groups in place in the parliament are a sustainable action. It creates a more inclusive government rather than just allowing the elite to rule. I think the level of corruption within the government makes sustainability unattainable. To achieve sustainability there will need to be major changes in the government structure.

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  5. larry bimenyimanaJuly 3, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    first and foremost Uganda needs serious prayers. corruption starts from down. even younger guys these days are corrupt. religious leaders have to intervine in this matter. its true corruption is at its peaak in uganda. i have nothing to say about it

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