Pundits are toying with the idea of a challenge coming from a self-proclaimed Ghetto President, Robert Kyagulanyi, the youthful Ugandan MP popularly known as Bobi Wine. Worried by the rising star of Bobi Wine, president, Yoweri Museveni, is spending hours on state TV discussing the achievements of his government before a bored audience in what is widely seen as an attempt to ward off a major political firestorm. Until he became an MP in June 2017, Kyagulanyi, now famous for his ‘People Power slogan’, was only known as a singer who had managed to build a successful music career despite the steep odds that were stacked against him. Although he has been an MP for just over a year, Kyagulanyi has been instrumental in helping the opposition and independents win by-elections through campaigns.
Members of Parliament, UPDF officers, and other government employees have missed emoluments for the last two consecutive months. Three legislators speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that they have been waiting in vain. “All emoluments have been put on a stop for now and everyone is wondering what is happening,” one of the MPs said. The affected emoluments include inland travel, which involves visiting constituencies and monitoring service delivery, allowances for travel abroad, as well as sitting allowances. Another MP said “They said we are not the only affected group. The UPDF and other government agencies are facing the same problem, there is no money.”
It is this problem that has also led to the non-operationalization of some of the new districts and respective administrative units including new municipalities. The MP further said the crisis had caused the suspension of posting of new Resident District Commissioners appointed by the President in June. This might also be attributed to a budget reduction of Shs100 billion. However, these claims have been dismissed by both the UPDF and the Ministry of Finance. Ministry of Finance confirmed that all institutions of the government, including Parliament, received their quarterly allocation for July, August and September in lump sum.
Uganda’s Constitutional Court has dismissed a petition seeking to declare polygamy illegal. Mifumi, a women’s rights advocacy non-governmental organisation, had petitioned the court to rule as unconstitutional the practice that allows men to marry more than one wife. Mifumi argued that polygamy denied the women rights to equality in marriage and was in violation of Article 21 (1) of the Constitution, which states that all people are equal before the law. But the five-judge bench court led by Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, unanimously dismissed the petition, first filed eight years ago. The court said the petitioners have failed to demonstrate willingness to pursue the matter by having many unnecessary delays. The court’s order was welcomed by respondents representing the Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association. Muslim law allows men to marry up to four wives. The practice is also common in many Ugandan tribes where it is part of traditional. Polygamy is also prevalent in many African communities.