Uganda: Since When Was Marriage a Yardstick for Leadership?

By Alpha Male

This country is certainly gifted by nature, and more. We never tend to run out of stuff to muse about and get us talking.

So, we are over with the election of speaker to the 10th parliament. Before that we talked and talked about the MPs’ accents and dress sense as they took oath, and took note of who came with which spouse.

As for my geezer folk at the pub, they have put that new Gomba Woman MP on notice; she is quite an eye candy and conspicuously showed up for swearing-in, sans-partner. The noses are up in the air to sniff every scent from the new cabinet. But for this, we shall need a fortnight to discuss, draw parallels, analyze and what not.

Let’s go back to the election of speaker, after all this whole treason thingie going on about Dr Besigye has had its day in the sun, some 11 years ago; so sikipya! While Rt Hon Kadaga’s election was a fait accompli, the one for her deputy provided the talking points, gave some goose pimples and got tongues wagging, even though the result only cemented what was previously also held as a fait accompli.

The big boss was physically present and his effect is well-known; if anyone doubted, check the results again. But what was of more interest were the jibes in the campaigns. One MP, while campaigning for Hon Nsereko, decided that ‘all is fair in love and war’ and promptly pulled the gloves off.

“Nsereko is a married man,” he said, “with children… and DNA results show that he is the father to all of them.”ory

Okay, we all know or have heard about Oulanyah’s marital woes. Previous to that marriage, Oulanyah was a widower, having lost his first wife and mother of some of his children.

So, you tell me; has it come to the point that for one to become deputy speaker and, by extension, hold a sensitive political office, they must be blemish-less on the marriage and family front? Perhaps you may want to agree. But two disturbing facts come to mind; had the speaker position been contested for and a similar argument arosorye, especially about the person who eventually became speaker, wouldn’t it have sounded insensitive and outright chauvinistic?

I couldn’t agree more. But somehow, this honorable member with a moniker akin to a painkiller brand didn’t find it immaterial to the task of deputy speaker, and insensitive to the person and family of Oulanyah, to drag his marital issues here!

Well, true, Nsereko is a married man; but marriage, if it has to be fronted to show high moral turpitude, it should be contextualized to reflect adherence of the parties to the vows, especially fidelity, then ask me.

Do you want us to put this man’s marriage under the microscope? You may be amazed at what will show up on the screen. And that can be said for the over two thirds of the 400-plus members that were in that house.

We already have too much to deal with when it comes to the personalities that have assumed office as MPs; let’s not crowd that spectrum by drawing in their private lives in relation to family, never mind that perhaps a failure for one to manage their family speaks volumes of their ability to manage a bigger societal unit.

But the jury is still out; should we ensure that our MPs are a communion of saints among men whose morals ‒ home and away ‒ remain the envy of many? If yes, then the Electoral Commission may have to organize fresh elections!

By the way, just so that we know, our leaders are really a reflection of who we are!


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