OPINION: Hon. Nyakecho Should Apologize to the people of Kilak North

Annet Nyakecho

By: David Martin Aliker

On Thursday 1st , rx September, order 2016 Hon. Akol Anthony who represents Kilak North constituency in Amuru district accused dozens of Members of Parliament for having received Ugshs 1m and a bag of 50 kilograms of sugar each to supposedly support the contentious new amendments being referred to as the ‘Age Limit Bill’.

Hon. Anthony (FDC) voluntarily revealed to the journalists at Parliament on Thursday that he and 26 others were invited to the eastern town of Jinja where the “bribery” took place on August 25th.

On reaching the hotel at 11am, pharm Akol found 23 National Resistance Movement MPs and 2 other opposition legislators. The meeting had been depicted as a Parliamentary Forum on Food Security but according to Akol, there was nothing related to the reluctantly mentioned topic.

According to him, three MPs; Mr Robert Ssekitoleko (Nakifuma North) – (the mover of the motion), Paul Amoru (Dokolo North) and Mr Peter Mugema (Iganga) were in charge of the meeting. However, he said, when they saw him and two other Opposition MPs, they tapped Mr Ssekitoleko and abruptly ended the meeting and took them to Mayuge Sugar Factory where they were given Shs1 million and a bag of sugar.

Hon. Akol said, “To my surprise, when I came to Parliament the following day, the people I saw organizing the meeting were the very people presenting the Bill so I decided to report to my Leader of Opposition.”

Speaking to Daily Monitor, Ms Annet Nyakecho (NRM Tororo) confirmed that the controversial trip to Mayuge Sugar Factory, where the MPs were allegedly bribed from, was an outreach visit by a select group of MPs who had been invited by the factory bosses to lobby them for support when the Sugar Bill comes to Parliament.

Ms Nyakecho also confirmed receiving Shs1 million and a 25kg bag of sugar. She however said, “The MP is making things up. If he wants popularity, let him undress. You know some of these MPs take opium.”

The reason, I am writing this article is that I find Ms Nyakecho’s criticism of Hon. Akol in bad taste. To imply Hon. Akol could have taken opium does not only dishonor Hon. Akol but that of all members of parliament as drug addicts.

Honorable Akol does not speak for himself but represents the concerns of the people of Kilak North. Therefore any insult on the person of Akol is an insult on the People of Kilak North that he represents.

Most unfortunate, is to make reference to the Honorable member to undress if he wants popularity is to insinuate the women of Apaa who are represented by Hon. Akol did so to gain popularity. I find this criticism from a woman member of parliament very dehumanizing of our mothers who protested to find justice through stripping.

Many people would like to ignore this as something unserious and doesn’t deserve our attention. However, history teaches us that dehumanizing propaganda is more divisive and not good for a country that seeks to unite its people.

When Tutsis’ were referred to as Inyenzi (cockroaches), its outcome was more anger and hatred. When northerners were referred to as Anyanya, it dehumanized them and made them lose identity as a good people.

Our history is clear about the expressions of anger and hatred from the North. As northern Uganda recovers from its two decade conflict, their focus is rebuilding broken bridges.

The new breeds of young leaders like Hon. Akol are mandated to rebrand and repackage the image of our communities and enable us contribute meaningfully to the nation. These negative narratives that dehumanize the north and make them lose identity cannot be tolerated.

It’s an uncouth culture and habit that should be condemned in the strongest possible words and unbecoming of our national leaders. I therefore think Hon. Nyakecho should apologize to Hon. Akol and the people of Kilak North.

Hon. Nyakecho should resist the temptation of resorting to public bullying of new members of parliament.

This in my opinion should not stop her in any way to defend herself and express herself against the accusation of bribery to the people of Uganda.

Conclusively, we hope in the future Honorable members of parliament will conduct themselves in a manner befitting of their status as national leaders and will be exemplary in their conduct in public


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