Saturday, May 30, 2015

Role of Government (Parliament)

On Thursday we went to the Ugandan Parliament building.  We started with a tour.  On the tour we found out the media has access to parliament.  Journalists are sent to parliament sessions to report news to the public, but they are made sure to be held accountable for what they write.  It was interesting to find out that an object called a "mace" must be present for a parliament session to occur.  A committee structure is used in parliament.  Each committee has a chair person and a vice chair person who leads the session.  Motions are made to speak about a subject.  I was surprised and happy to find that women are treated as equals in Uganda's parliament.  The speaker of parliament, also known as the chair person, is actually a woman.  After the tour we were able to ask a member of parliament questions we had, and after we did that we were able to sit on a parliament session.  It became obvious, while sitting in on a session, that the Ugandan parliament is very corrupt.  What do you think about the high amount of corruption in parliament?  What are some examples of corruption that you witnessed?

6 comments:

  1. I was amazed and intrigued when we sat in on the parliament session. It seemed there was a lack of respect for persons speaking, as well as very rude behavior. Phones and tablets were out while videos and pictures were being viewed, many people scoffed at ideas and laughed, and a woman was even sleeping in back. It definitely gave me a bad impression of the parliament session.

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  2. I agree with Mitch. I was really shocked at how disrespectful the members of parliament were, and how they didn't seem to take their jobs seriously. After viewing a parliament session, it is easy to see why the corruption in the government in Uganda is as bad as it is. The Speaker would often dismiss a comment by saying "the government will take care of it" or "the government is responsible," but they ARE the government, and we did not see them fixing any problems brought up. Regardless, it was interesting to see how the country's government was ran and how the buildings were laid out.

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  3. I completely agree with you both. It was frustrating to see the session that we did, when I know that others and myself were extremely interested in getting seeing the government in action. It was shocking to see that members could feel so secure in the power that they hold that they would fall asleep during the procession. Its going to take some real rallying among the youth to reignite a passion for democracy and an end to corruption in Uganda.

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  4. All three of you have basically taken the words right out of my mouth. I was extremely disappointed by what I thought would be one of the most important parts of this trip. I agree with Rory when she talks about how shocking it was to see that members are secure enough with their power to be sleeping during parliament. It was sad to see in person part of the reason why Uganda is so corrupt.

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  5. I already knew of the corruption in the Ugandan government before our day at parliament, but I figured they'd do a better job of hiding how bad it really is. The president clearly functions as both the head of state and the head of government because the parliament lacks any sort of power. They spent their session talking over one another and sleeping. The most outrageous thing I observed was when one of the MPs requested that they end their session early the next day because they all had a "function" to go to. While talking about "issues of national importance", I noticed none of the substantial issues Uganda faces were brought up, only trivial details. Although Uganda calls themselves a democracy, the needs of the people are not being met and the government is sitting around. I think it's clear that a change in power is needed or at least the implementation of term limits. The older generation is complacent with Musevini's undemocratic rule because for them, at least he is better than Amin. It is going to take a lot to remove power from a president that has held onto it for so long.

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  6. I also found it very interesting that when we talked to one of the members of parliament directly, he openly admitted that he wouldn't seriously talk about the things that have gone poorly while he was in parliament because there is an election coming up. This for me solidified the fact that so many governement officials care more about their own self-advancement than the betterment of Uganda. I guess the same can sometimes be said for the US, too. This obviously is a hinderance for sustainable growth of any kind in Uganda.

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