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Wednesday, 4 June 2003
 
Parliament met at 10.30 a.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.
 

PRAYERS
 

(The Speaker, Mr Edward Ssekandi, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to order.
 
OPENING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE SEVENTH PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA
 
PROCLAMATION
 
THE SPEAKER: Proclamation by Edward Ssekandi, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda:
 
Whereas Clause (2) of Article 95 of the Constitution provides that a Session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Uganda and shall commence on such time as the Speaker may, by proclamation, appoint;
 
And whereas the Second Session of the 7th Parliament ended on the 16th of May 2003, upon the prorogation of Parliament;
 
And whereas it is now expedient that Parliament is summoned to commence the Third Session;
 
Now therefore, in exercise of powers conferred upon the Speaker by Clause (2) of Article 95 of the Constitution, it is now proclaimed that the First Sitting of the First Meeting of the Third Session of the 7th Parliament of Uganda shall be held in the Parliamentary Chambers, Parliament House, at 10.30 a.m. on this 4th day of June 2003.
 
Given under my hand at Parliament House, Kampala this 4th day of June 2003. (Applause).
 

COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
 

THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, in the Distinguished Visitors Gallery this morning are 28 Parliamentarians from the Republic of Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, United Kingdom, Malawi, Eritrea and Zimbabwe. (Applause) They are in Uganda to attend the three-day Regional Governance Meeting that has been organized by the British Council.
 
The Members of Parliament from United Kingdom are Mary Ann Stevenson and Sandra Brobbery.
 
From Malawi we have, hon. Martha Nasho, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources, and hon. Alice Sumani, the Minister of Gender and Community Services. Others are hon. Loveness Gondwe, Vera Ngoma and Alice Ntondwa Mwale.
 
From Eritrea there is hon. Adhanet Andom and hon. Tsegereda Abraha.
 
From Ethiopia we have Dr Ethiopia Beyene, hon. Asmaru Berihun, hon. Hitaye Miale and hon. Meselech Wodajo.
 
The Zambian MPs are hon. Bataba Wamulume and hon. Rose Banda, who is the Deputy Minister, Office of the Vice President. (Applause).
 
The Zimbabwe Members of Parliament are Zanele Mukwedeya and hon. Janah Ncube.
 
The Kenyan Members of Parliament are hon. Alicen Chelate, hon. Cecily Mbarire, hon. Dr Naomi Shabaan, hon. Esther Keino, hon. Jane Onoka, and hon. Jane Ongolo.
 
From Tanzania we have hon. Monica Mbega, hon. Ruth Msafiri, hon. Esterina Kalasi, hon. Amina Salum Ali and hon. Flora Mahika. They will be joined by five Members of Parliament from Uganda.
 
Honourable members, I am very happy to welcome you back from the short recess and to the commencement of the Third Session. I hope you have been able to meet your constituents and brief them about what was done in the last Session.
 
For the first time, and on your behalf, I will welcome the hon. Member for Bubulo East, Mbale who will be sworn in later.
 
During the recess there were major changes in the Government, which you will notice from the changes in the sitting arrangement in the House.
 
I wish to thank the Member for Kigulu South, Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, for the great contributions she made in this House as the Vice President. I wish her the best in her new role and other engagements.
 
I wish to also thank the following former ex-officio members: hon. Kategaya, who was the First Deputy Prime Minister -(Applause)- hon. Bidandi Ssali, the long-serving Minister for Local Government. I also wish to thank hon. Miria Matembe, Woman Member for Mbarara District, hon. Sarah Kiyingi, Woman Member for Rakai District, and hon. Muruli Mukasa, Member for Nakasongola County.
 
I thank them for the good contributions they made in the House in their capacities as ministers in charge of their respective portfolios. I wish them prosperity in their new capacities.
 
At the same time, I wish good luck to honourable members of this House who have been nominated for new responsibilities as Vice President, Ministers and Ministers of State. The process of dealing with their nominations will start soon.
 
I also think it is proper, before conclusion of this subject, to thank hon. Felix Ogong, who has been the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, for the great job he has done during the period he served in that capacity. We wish him well in his new position.
 
His Excellency the President will make his State of the Nation Address to Parliament tomorrow at 2.00 p.m. Details of that will be issued later. Thank you very much.
 
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT TO APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT OF HON. PROF. GILBERT BUKENYA AS VICE PRESIDENT OF UGANDA
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, on 23rd of May this year, I received a letter from State House. It was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, Kampala. The subject was, Nomination of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya for the post of Vice President. It read as follows:
 
Pursuant to the powers conferred upon the President by Article 108 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I hereby nominate Prof. Gilbert Bukenya to the post of Vice President. His name is accordingly referred to you for parliamentary approval.
 
Signed: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President.
 
The next item on the Order Paper is consideration of this nomination by the President. The procedure will be as follows: there will be a motion to consider the nominee for approval, and members will contribute to this motion. At the end of the contributions, we shall have a vote on the motion. Rule 75(b) of our Rules of Procedure says:
 
There shall be secret voting in the House in respect of (b) the election or removal of a person holding office under the Constitution or under a law made under the Constitution.
 
So, we shall end this item by voting and then reading out the results of our voting.
 
MR WAPAKABULO: Mr Speaker, I want to seek clarification on how we shall vote. I will have to go to State House before we conclude this debate, so how do I record my vote? (Interjections) I cannot vote on a nominal motion, there must be a motion first. It has not been moved yet, but I wanted to seek clarification.
 
THE SPEAKER: Let us see how we shall proceed. Perhaps it will not be long before we vote. I will decide what to do after we have heard the motion and the debate.
 
THE PRIME MINISTER (Prof. Apolo Nsibambi): Mr Speaker, honourable Members of Parliament, I beg to move that pursuant to Article 108(2) of the Constitution, this House approves the appointment of Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya to the office of the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: Seconded.
 
PROF. NSIBAMBI: Mr Speaker, on 21 May 2003, Her Excellency Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, the Vice President, tendered her resignation to His Excellency the President in order for her to pursue further studies. The President appreciated her services to the country and accepted her resignation.
 
In accordance with Article 108(2) of our Constitution, His Excellency the President appointed, subject to the approval of Parliament, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya as the Vice President.
 
Prof. Bukenya is a Ugandan who is 54 years old. He is married to Dr Margaret Bukenya and they have three children. (Laughter). Honourable members, I have said only three children, but remember they work so hard and despite that they have managed to produce three children.
 
He qualified with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Makerere University in 1976.
 
In 1982 he obtained a Diploma in Public Health from the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene, London.
 
In 1983 he obtained a Masters of Science Degree in Community Health from Ross Institute, University of London. In 1991, he obtained a Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Health from the University of Queensland, Australia.
 
He has contributed 35 publications and papers, mainly in the area of community health. Those publications have inter alia appeared in the East African Medical Journal, Papua New Guinea Medical Journal, the Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, International Journal of Epidemiology, and Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology.
 
He has been an external examiner at the universities of Zimbabwe and Rome, Italy and a visiting lecturer at the University of Queensland Medical School, Australia. He has carried out several consultancies both in Uganda and abroad.
 
The point to note about external examining is that, the one who does it is recognized as an authority in a certain area of specialization by prestigious universities. (Laughter). That is why I have mentioned it, although I had not articulated the importance of external examining.
 
I wish to assert, as his fellow academic, that Dr Bukenya is a qualitative professor of international repute. (Applause). At this juncture, I must summarize his work experience as follows:
 
He was a medical officer in Nyeri, Kenya and Nairobi City Council. He was Deputy Medical Officer in charge of Uganda Police Medical Department. He was a lecturer at the Institute of Public Health, Makerere University. He had a stint at the University of Papua New Guinea before he returned to Makerere University in 1991. There, he rose through the ranks to the post of Professor of Public Health on 15 April 1996.
 
The following is his political career:
 
He has been a Member of Parliament from July 1996 up to now, representing Busiro County North constituency in Wakiso District. In October 2000 to July 2001, he was Minister of State for Trade.
 
In July 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Minister in charge of the Presidency until 23 May 2003 when His Excellency the President appointed him the Vice President, subject to the approval of Parliament.
 
The following are some of his attributes, which make him deserve being in a position of great responsibility:
 
First, as already noted, he is an eminent international scholar and researcher who has the capacity to analyse how external factors affect our internal factors (Laughter)- and suggest practical solutions to our problems
 
That word, practical is very important because there was a time when people used to think that professors are theoretical people, who are not even accessible. But I want to mention that we have a practical professor here in the name of Prof. Bukenya.
 
Secondly, he is a good listener, an attribute that inter alia enabled him to be elected chairman of the Parliamentary Movement Caucus, a task he performed very ably. (Applause). He was a political embracer of different shades of political opinion. This quality has also endeared him to honourable Members of Parliament and to his constituency.
 
Third, he is a peace lover, a quality that was exhibited when he stayed in Northern Uganda trying to understand and solve factors afflicting the area. (Applause).
 
Fourth, he has promoted teamwork wherever he has worked. How many people have promoted teamwork? This is a very important attribute.
 
Lastly, despite his great achievements, he is accessible and modest. (Applause).
 
Before I conclude my submission on Prof. Bukenya, I must take this opportunity, on behalf of Government, to thank Dr Speciosa Kazibwe, the former Vice President, for services she rendered diligently to Uganda. If I were speaking about her, I would have spent another hour here. But today I am dealing with this motion.
 
Of course it is also propitious that I should pay tribute to the following colleagues who are now serving elsewhere: hon. Kategaya, hon. Bidandi Ssali, hon. Matembe, hon. Muruli Mukasa and hon. Sarah Kiyingi. (Applause). They have promoted good governance.
 
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Parliament approves the appointment of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya as Vice President. I thank you.
 
MRS LOYCE BWAMBALE (Woman Representative, Kasese): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity. I rise to second the motion moved by the Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, seeking the approval of Parliament for the appointment of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, MP Busiro North, for the post of Vice President of Uganda.
 
As many members of this House may recall, when the post of the Vice President fell vacant when Her Excellency Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe Naigaga tendered in her resignation to the President, I was one of those women who stood up and put it on record that I had a desire to lobby for this post to be filled by another woman. I wanted to do this so that the women of Uganda may continue with this status of high-level decision-making.
 
Mr Speaker, on Monday this week, when I received a personal call from the nominated Vice President to second this motion, I recalled these words. I thought twice, I contemplated and perhaps meditated. As a veteran politician who represents the UWOPA caucus and the interests in this House, I had based our claim for this post on the existing government policy embodied in Article 32 of the Uganda Constitution. It supports affirmative action, and I beg to read it. It says,
 
(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the State shall take affirmative action in favour of groups marginalised on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom, for the purpose of redressing imbalances which exist against them.
 
(2) Parliament shall make relevant laws, including laws for the establishment of an equal opportunities commission, for the purpose of giving full effect to clause (1) of this article.  
 
After reading it, I was convinced that I was right in supporting that policy of government. But, Mr Speaker, the President, by law, is entitled to appoint anybody he chooses to be Vice President. (Applause). He has chosen Dr Gilbert Bukenya and we shall respect his choice. (Applause).
 
We are aware that we, Members of Parliament, have not yet effected affirmative action by the State. Therefore, I had no legal command or law in place that I would have stood on to continue to insist on the wish of the women. This is a lesson to women groups and pressure groups. We need to have immediate laws in place that we can use to legitimise our claims (Interjection). Mr Speaker, I need your protection because I made a statement (Interruption).
 
THE SPEAKER: You are protected.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: Mr Speaker, as interest groups, we need constructive allies such as Prof. Gilbert Bukenya to advance our politics. In the current environment, the most sensible political strategy is to support the existing force and abandon a war that we have already lost. What we need now is to exploit the available opportunities and to continue to demand for our rights.
 
Honourable members, we need to remember the qualities that have been described in Prof. Bukenyas CV, which have been ably articulated by the mover of the motion. I looked at them very carefully, and I noted the following:
 
One, when Prof. Gilbert Bukenya was the chairperson of the Parliamentary caucus, his vice chairperson was a woman, hon. Aleluya Ikote. It means Prof. Bukenya is gender sensitive in his administration. I therefore appeal- (Interruption)
 
DR STEVEN CHEBROT: Mr Speaker, is it in order for the Member of Parliament from Kasese to insinuate that it was Prof. Bukenya who appointed hon. Ikote, when we are the ones who elected hon. Ikote to that post? Is she in order?
 
THE SPEAKER: Unfortunately, I am not a member of the caucus. Therefore, I do not know.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for that protection. I am aware that before anyone is put in a position of leadership, you are normally consulted about the people you want to work with. We normally lobby, and I want to believe that members lobbied.
 
My support is based on three categories, and I beg to be protected. (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, we should be conscious of time and make brief contributions. Proceed and wind up please.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My support is based on three brief categories of requests to the nominated Vice President.
 
One of those categories is to request the new Vice President to strengthen the institution of Parliament, for good governance and democratic principles. Of recent, the Executive and Parliament have been at loggerheads. But in order to have good governance, all the three pillars of the State, the Judiciary, Parliament and the Executive, are supposed to work together.
 
Using his leadership skills, I want to believe that Prof. Gilbert Bukenya will work very hard so that Parliament, the Judiciary and the Executive work in a complementary manner.
 
My second request in seconding this motion is a special request from special constituencies - the interest groups as embodied in our Constitution. These are the youth, the women, the people with disabilities, the workers, et cetera.
 
I would like to use this opportunity as I second the motion, to transfer a direct agenda to the desk of the Vice President concerning these groups. In his function as Vice President and as he chairs Cabinet, we would like him to support the following issues, which are still pending:
 
One, the special group, the women, would like him to support the Family Relations Bill and to bring it here quickly. (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable member, before you come to what you want him to do as Vice President, you must approve the appointment. Otherwise, he will not be able to do what you are asking him to do.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have noted that he is going to have a lot of work. And after your advice, I see that there is need for us to hurry and approve this motion, so that he may do his work in these areas where special interest groups expect him to come in.
 
I would like also to remind this House that the people of Kasese had seen presidential material in Prof. Gilbert Bukenya. (Applause) In May last year, when he was Minister in charge of the Presidency, he visited Kasese District and associated himself with the developments of the Rwenzori region.
 
THE SPEAKER: Please, honourable member, wind up. 
 
MRS BWAMBALE: I want to use the example of my constituency. I want to put it on record that the people of Kasese support this nomination, and that the special interest groups have a lot of expectations. And as Parliament, we hope to continue working together for the development of this country.
 
Mr Speaker, a lot has been said, but it would be unfair for me to sit down, like the previous contributors, without recognizing that Her Excellency, Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, did us a lot of good (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable member, we are dealing with Prof. Bukenya.
 
MRS BWAMBALE: I would like to wind up by requesting the honourable members to support the motion, and to speak publicly and clearly in support of the motion. Mr Speaker, I beg to support.
 
DR JONNY BULAMU (Luuka County, Iganga): Mr Speaker and honourable Members of Parliament, it is a pride to be a doctor. (Laughter). It is not therefore doubtful why I should support Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya. More so, it is almost known that this post is always for doctors. (Laughter).
 
Mr Speaker, I am being teased that I might be in the queue, but no. Some good writers said the world is a stage and all men and women are mere players. They have their exits and their entrances. It is to this mark that we must value those who have seen the exit, and inestimably welcome those who have seen the entrance.
 
Mr Speaker, I stand to recommend and give evidence that there is worthiness in support for Prof. Gilbert Bukenya. Medicine is an exacting science. You cannot go wrong. There is no guesswork. That evidences to you that he is a calculated prepared academician.
 
Earlier on, the Prime Minister told you that he has inestimably contributed to the world of science in research and in writing. This in itself means that he has also contributed to the society of Uganda, to the communities of Uganda.
 
He is a confident fellow. Why confident? Because confidence is unquestionable when it goes with preparation. He has been prepared. You cannot do medicine, research and writing when you have not prepared.
 
Mr Speaker, some of these things that he has contributed to inestimably, have been the very thorn in our feet in Uganda. He has done research in areas like malaria, typhoid, HIV/Aids, trypanosomiasis, nutrition, systomiasis, water quality. All these have not only benefited science researchers but also the people right down at the grassroots. With this, we know he has prepared himself for leadership of society.
 
He has not only exhibited academic excellence, but also leadership within the academicians. I will tell you one small thing. It is one thing to become a doctor and a professor, but it is another thing to be a leader of doctors and professors. Dr Bukenya has been one. It means his fellow academicians gave him respect for it, and they have appointed him one.
 
Surely, it is like the child of mercy who, like a gentle rain from heaven, dropped on him and ushered him into another stage from medicine to politics, to learn the mechanism of dynamic communities and societies. No wonder, his boss saw him worthwhile and moved him a step higher. It is at this juncture that I think the young man (Laughter)- I call him young because compared to a man like me, I think he is young.
 
His previous assignment as Minister in charge of the Presidency prepared him for the appointment of Vice President. He must have shown that he has a vision. You must have a vision that you must follow, love and nurture in order to succeed.
 
Mr Speaker, because everybody wants to contribute, I move to recommend that the motion be supported. Thank you very much.
 
THE THIRD DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr James Wapakabulo): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this motion. I am doing so early because, as I told you, I have to go for some other national duty.
 
I will declare my interest from the beginning that Dr Balibaseka Gilbert Bukenya is a personal friend of my family. As a senior government lawyer far down in South Pacific, in Papua New Guinea, I was the leader of Ugandans, who were not few, and also president of the Pan-Africanist Association of the South Pacific. So, in my capacity, I received news that a young Ugandan family had arrived in town to teach at the university. We organized and welcomed them. That is when I first met Dr Bukenya.
 
I was a lawyer, he was a doctor, but he showed promise to the extent that by the time he left, he was the leader of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Papua New Guinea (Applause). While he was heading the faculty, he was also studying at the University of Queensland. And as you saw from the record, he came out with a Ph.D.
 
I had to leave to come back here in 1986. Among the people who wished me well was Dr Bukenya. I made it my duty to keep in touch with him. When he came on holiday, he would stay with us at Kololo with his family. We discussed the question of coming home because some other Ugandans had already come home from that area. Dr Kaberuka, who is Presidential Economics Advisor as you know, Mr Kimuli who became General Manager of National Housing, and before us Mr Njuba had all come back here.
 
I asked him, Can you come home? He said, yes, but where do I stay? It is very difficult to get accommodation. I told him to start building a house before he came, and I allocated him a plot in Ntinda. As Minister of Housing, I had many plots. So, I allocated him one. (Laughter). But Dr Bukenya said, how does one live in Uganda? It is economically very difficult. I told him, we have managed, I am sure you will manage too. He will tell you that story himself. I do not want to go into details.
 
He came back home all the same, and he got a job in Makerere University. Prof. Sentenza Kajubi was then the Vice Chancellor. Dr Bukenya settled in Uganda, he did a lot of consultancy and work at Makerere. But one day after the Constituent Assembly, he came to me and said, Maj. Kiwanuka does not intend to stand again in Busiro North. What do you think? Should I give it a try? I said, Yes, I think you should give it a try given your qualities, and he did. So, here we are with a Vice President (Applause).
 
Dr Bukenya is a hard working person. From what I have said, he is a person who consults and believes. Therefore, the choice of Dr Bukenya is correct. He is a person of quality who will not only fill the office left by Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, but also bring his talent of hard work, friendship and capacity to work with others in caucus. Those who were in the previous Parliament all know that.
 
With those qualities, he will lend support to the President in fulfilling his mandate under the Constitution. I personally have no doubt that Dr Bukenya will be a success story in the position of Vice President. I would like, therefore, to commend him and his candidature to this House for confirmation in the appointment as Vice President of the Republic of Uganda.
 
Before I sit down, Sir, let me also say a word of appreciation to the person who served before him. I am talking on the assumption that the House will approve. We should not lose sight of the fact that Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe did a great job in serving Uganda between 1994 and now. (Applause). Sir, I beg to support the motion.
 
MR EMMANUEL DOMBO (Bunyole County, Tororo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Today Parliament convenes to fulfil one of the most important constitutional obligations - we have to approve the person we feel should occupy the Office of the Vice President.
 
Mr Speaker, this is a landmark constitutional provision. It enables the people of Uganda, through their representatives, to evaluate and see whether the people who are sent to positions of responsibility are credible and have the ability and trust that they want them to have.
 
Mr Speaker, we shall also use the same opportunity to evaluate our process of vetting. Assuming the person we are to vet was not a member of this House, we should evaluate whether the time is enough, and the opportunity available, for us to get the required information to enable us to make an informed decision.
 
Mr Speaker, I stand here to make a comment on the person of hon. Gilbert Bukenya whom the President has nominated to occupy the office of the Vice President. To us, the appointment of hon. Bukenya comes, like I mentioned some days ago, as a pleasant surprise. It is pleasant because hon. Bukenya has grown from a Backbencher, an ordinary person, through the ranks of chairman of the Movement Caucus, a minister, and now he will be elevated to office No. 2, if approved for Vice President.
 
While hon. Bukenya was with us at the Back Bench, I recall that we at times wondered whether he was a Movement person or a Multipartyist. He was free with every Member of Parliament, irrespective of his political belief. (Applause). To us in Parliament, this is a quality that is required of an individual who is growing and taking up even more challenges in positions of responsibility.
 
Mr Speaker, it is good we are sitting here to consider a person who has been with us through the 6th Parliament and the 7th parliament. Assuming it was a person who has not been with us, we would have definitely had no opportunity to gather the necessary information that would have enabled us to make an informed decision. That is why in future, proposals and amendments to the Rules of Procedure will be necessary.
 
In churches, they publish marriage banns and people submit information. It may be necessary for the public of Uganda, which may be in the know about the history of the persons nominated, to bring the necessary information if such persons have not been members of this House. For instance, it is the desire of this House to see that the person getting that position must not have any black spot, so that the Office of the President and Vice President is protected.
 
A few of us, Members of Parliament, took it upon ourselves to begin inquiring into the previous public life of hon. Bukenya. Mr Speaker, in the media, there has been a lot of information about Dr Bukenyas record while he was in the School of Medicine in Makerere. There was an audit query where hon. Bukenya did not give accountability, and therefore, there was an edge to report to that effect.
 
We got concerned and wondered, if this is the case, should this be the person to occupy the Office of the Vice President? While inquiring, we came across a letter from the University Secretary, then hon. Avitus Tibarimbasa, which was clearing hon. Bukenya.
 
Mr Speaker, the essence of this letter, which I will lay on the Table, was to clear hon. Gilbert Bukenya, that despite the query debt (Applause)- hon. Bukenya has since satisfied the office of the Auditor General and he has no query to answer. Therefore, because of this letter, I have no hesitation at all to support hon. Bukenya and recommend that he be supported to the Office of the Vice President.
 
Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I think hon. Bukenya will have the opportunity to read the Hansard, if he is approved, because he is not here to listen for himself.
 
In the past, there has been a myth that this country has run short of people with the ability and capability to rise beyond the position of Vice President. The approval of hon. Gilbert Bukenya gives us an opportunity to place somebody in a position of responsibility. If approved, let us hope that he will use the Office of the Vice President to demonstrate that this country has people who can even rise beyond the Office of the Vice President.
 
Mr Speaker, I also wish to say to hon. Bukenya that once he is approved to the Office of the Vice President, we will not expect his conduct to tremendously change. We do not expect him to forget what he has been, but to remember what he did that enabled him to elevate further. The people he passes while he is climbing, he may meet them one day when he is coming back. I wish to support him. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
MR ALEX ONZIMA (Maracha County, Arua): I thank you, Mr Speaker. I will begin by saying that I support the nomination of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya for the Office of Vice President. The Bible is very clear on leadership, once you become a leader, you should be humble and serve the people and not be served by the people.
 
Mr Speaker, my bigger constituency, the Church, has already blessed the appointment -(Laughter)- of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya. Although it is only about five per cent of the laity, I respect the decision of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
 
Having said that, I want to make the following important national observations. Nearly 18 years ago when President Museveni became the President of this country, we first had a Vice President who was nearly twice the age of the President. This man was later elevated to the Vice Presidency, and he came from the central region.
 
After that, the late Cosmos Adyebo, who served for a short time, filled the office of the Prime Minister. He was removed and replaced by Kintu Musoke also from the central region. He retired and since then, this office is filled by the Rt hon. Apolo Nsibambi who also comes from the central region. And today, we are witnessing the approval of a Vice President who again hails from the central region.
 
Mr Speaker, when you look at regions like Bunyoro and Toro, which are over 95 percent in support of the Movement, it has taken them nearly 20 years to get a Third Deputy Prime Minister -(Laughter). 
 
When you look at the composition of the Cabinet, you find that an equally high percentage of the ministers are our brothers and sisters from the West. The East and North are totally ignored. And yet we come here and talk proudly, with our heads high, saying that it is nearly 40 years after our independence. What independence is this? What does this mean? Does it mean that we are a nation? If we are a nation, we want unity and we want services to reach all parts of the country without any discrimination whatsoever.
 
Mr Speaker, I have been thinking aloud about the way the Executive has been apportioning appointments in this Government. Before President Museveni came to power, we had leaders like Obote and Amin. These are leaders who, in one way or another, had problems with the Mengo establishment. They used means within their reach to suppress the Mengo establishment, and yet this is an establishment that had played a key role in the politics of this country.
 
My understanding is that, the reason we are now witnessing this kind of imbalance in Cabinet and in other aspects of Government is because the Movement has a deliberate plan to kill Buganda kingdom. That is my view. (Laughter). They are not using guns, but they want to use siasa to kill the kingdom deliberately.
 
If you look at the appointments of all the chairpersons -(Interruption)
 
MR WAMBUZI: I am sorry to interrupt hon. Alex Onzima, but I could not take it any longer. Mr Speaker, is hon. Alex Onzima in order to insinuate that the appointment of hon. Bukenya is not being done on merit, but on tribal basis and not in good faith? Is he in order?
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon Onzima, can you substantiate your statement about the killing of Buganda?
 
MR ONZIMA: Mr Speaker, I said, and I repeat, that the intention of the Movement leadership is to kill Buganda politically (Interjections)- Yes, if you had not moved the point of order, I would have told you what you want to hear.  
 
I was saying, apart from these political appointments, when you look at the chairpersons of the statutory commissions, all of them are from Buganda. So, you can see that there is hardly any leadership of the Movement agitating for the federal system. When the members of the Mengo Government presented their views on the federal system, the political leaders of the Movement from Buganda were conspicuously absent. (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Onzima, the motion we have on the Floor is about Prof. Gilbert Bukenyas appointment. You either support it or you do not. I do not think you should talk about Buganda. This motion is about a candidate, and therefore, your contribution should be directly about that candidate.
 
MR ONZIMA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I made my point very clear that I do support the motion. But, of course, in the process of the debate, members raised other issues. Members talked about Prof. Bukenya and Dr Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe. Is Kazibwe on the Order Paper? (Laughter) No.
 
Mr Speaker, maybe I should conclude. You can also see that people are talking about the third term. We have heard voices from all over the country, even the Movement historicals from the west, come out openly to say that they do not favour a third term. But have you heard any muganda, other than Bidandi Ssali, talk against the third term? None of them have talked about it except those who are not in the Movement. (Interruption)
 
MRS ZZIWA: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Is the member holding the Floor in order to provoke members from Buganda continuously? He is provoking them on federo, on third term, and saying they are politically marginalized in the Movement. And yet Baganda are in this House and they can effectively talk for themselves. Is the member in order?
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, I made a clarification on this issue. As of now, we do not have a general debate. We shall have a general debate when the President addresses us and when we deal with the Budget. Let us concentrate on the motion on the Floor, namely, whether Prof. Bukenya is suitable or not, and then we proceed.
 
MR WACHA: Mr Speaker, I had wanted to talk on the general principles of appointments by the Executive. Following your ruling, if I stood up and talked on those general principles, would I be allowed to go ahead?
 
THE SPEAKER: I have said this motion is about Prof. Bukenya who has been nominated for Vice President.
 
MR ONZIMA: Finally, Mr Speaker, I want to say this on behalf of the people of Maracha, we support the nomination of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya for the Vice President. But I also want to pledge here, very strongly, that the people of Maracha will never again support future appointments that will take the present position of imbalance. Whether it is going to be within this Parliament, or the 8th Parliament, I will not support it again. I thank you.
 
MR WACHA: Mr Speaker, seeing the trend that this debate is taking, that there are only two sides on the matter, I move that the question be put.
 
THE SPEAKER: Hon. Ben Wacha, I have not seen the two sides.
 
MR WACHA: Mr Speaker, it is either yes or no. We can determine that by the vote. I insist that the question be put.
 
THE SPEAKER: No, I think it is within the powers of the Chair to decide on whether to put the question or not. I think members who want to contribute should do so.
 
MR OMARA ATUBO (Otuke County, Lira): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It is a great pleasure for me as person who has known the candidate, to contribute to this motion. I thank you for having given me this opportunity to speak on this important motion. The Office of the Vice Presidency is an extremely important office. It is the life of the nation.
 
 
It gives me great pleasure to have known the candidate close to 40 years ago, in our school days at St Marys College, Kisubi. I find it extremely interesting, and although it is just a question, I support the motion. I think this is a unique opportunity, as Ben Wacha has said, for us not to simply look at the individual and put the question. We need to look beyond. It is an opportunity to discuss some very important national issues related to that office.
 
As I support my old friend, I can talk of two other relevant issues about him and the office he is going to hold. These issues are nationalism and the issue of respect for life, which I think doctors do appreciate a lot. I have no doubt he is going to protect life. I have no doubt that he is an intellectual, and that intellectualism he has will blend with the degree of the nature of the government, which tends to be militant and militaristic.
 
Prof. Bukenya, being a civilian and an intellectual, moves into the Movement Government with a number of military people. Somebody once said that the Movement Government is a marriage between professors and generals. But I am talking in terms of moving at a higher level in which intellectualism blends with militarilism and elevates it to a level that neutralizes it, in the interest of nationalism.
 
The history of the Movement is well known. I do not think that Prof. Bukenyas intellectualism is a new thing, as a number of OBs here know. As some of us may recall, like hon. Omwony Ojwok, hon. John Kawanga, hon. Edward Ssekandi and many others - (Interruption)
 
CAPT. GUMA: Mr Speaker, I thank hon. Omara Atubo for giving way. I want to inform him that hon. Gilbert Bukenya is not a civilian as he has put it. He has been training somewhere in Jinja, but I dont know which course he has been doing.
 
MR ATUBO. Mr Speaker, if Prof. Bukenya has been introduced to some form of military training, I think this is in line with militarism and militancy. He will be able to know what goes on there, and therefore, blend it and possibly rise to the level of neutralizing it or putting it aside. And hopefully, these two things will no longer be the greater issues in the politics of this country.
 
As I was saying, people like hon. Ssekandi, hon. Kawanga, hon. Omwony Ojwok and hon. Basaliza remember the days when we used to go and challenge the Ruhakana Rugundas in Mwiri and Amanya Mushengas in Budo. We would also polish our shoes for dances in Gayaza and Namagunga. (Laughter)
 
Mr Speaker, those days, Prof. Bukenya did not have much time for those things. I can assure you that we used to leave our books for him to take care of. When I see him today, a great politician, a Vice President and a President in the making, it gives me great hope for this country.
 
Prof. Bukenya, as I said, is an intellectual from St Marys College Kisubi, but he is also a God-fearing person. He is a religious man and he respects life. I have no doubt that as a doctor he will not kill life but will preserve it. The politics of this country must move away from killing life into preserving and protecting it. Therefore, I believe that Prof. Bukenya is singularly prepared for this preservation of life in his new office today and in future.
 
Mr Speaker, I have said there are things that excite me about Prof. Bukenya; his intellectualism, nationalism and so forth. On the issue of nationalism, during our days at St Marys, we had 40 tribes from East and Central Africa, including a person like Samson Kwaje, who is now the spokesman for SPLA. Those were our contemporaries. So, I see that Prof. Bukenya, having interacted with these 40 tribes and gone beyond, is not going to be misused to champion narrow provincial interests.
 
I have great hope that Prof. Bukenya will look beyond those who are talking about tribe and religion. I am a Langi and a catholic. I have nothing to be ashamed of and I rise above those things in most of my dealings.
 
I believe that those who have appointed Prof. Bukenya, hoping that some narrow political interest will be achieved, shall see that he will possibly be wiser than them and rise above this. Therefore, Mr Speaker, I wish my OB great success in his new office. I beg to support the motion.
 
MR JOHN ERESU (Kaberamaido County, Kaberamaido): Mr Speaker, I represent the people of Kaberamaido County in this Parliament. Today is a very important day for all Members of Parliament acting on behalf of the population of this country. We have come to give our approval or disapproval on their behalf, of the appointment of hon. Gilbert Bukenya to the office of the Vice President. For us in Kaberamaido, we would like to support this nomination.
 
However, it is also important that while we give this support, we use this occasion to reflect on the Office of the Vice President in Uganda. When we wrote the Constitution and promulgated it in 1995, we created the Office of the Vice President, but I think we made a fundamental error.
 
The Constitution has been adopted, and we agree and follow it to the letter as it is now. But in regard to this office, the people of Uganda and I would like to see the Office of the Vice President occupied right from the time when a person stands as a candidate for the Office of President.
 
In other words, we should have a running mate system so that the people of Uganda are clear when they go to vote. They will go to vote knowing who the Vice President of their country will be. This responsibility would then not be given to us but to the people of Uganda, who are the overall bosses of the leaders of this country.
 
Coming down to Prof. Bukenya, I would like to say that he has been one of us and he has served very well in different capacities from the time he was elected in 1996. History has it that we went to the same school, though at different times, St Marys College Kisubi. I took time to go to St Marys College Kisubi over the weekend to find out the truth. He left a good record there academically.
 
Mr Speaker, may I inform members that St Marys College Kisubi keeps very good records of students who pass through their hands. Hon. Hilary Onek could testify to this, having been a very good dancer of waltz. When I joined he was in senior 4.
 
On a very serious note, while I support the nomination, I also think that although the Vice President acts as President in the absence of the President, there should also be certain duties assigned to him or her. I request the appointing authority, or the Office of the President for that matter, to make known the specific roles the Vice President plays when the President is within or outside the country.
 
We have had situations in our constituencies where people ask us about the role of the Vice President. The people of Kaberamaido ask me whether the Vice President has a functional role, and what his specific roles are. We have also had cases where the Vice President sometimes handles the duties of the Ministry of Gender, usurping powers of the Minister of Gender or those of the Minister of Trade. What does the Vice President actually do?
 
Mr Speaker, these are very important matters. I do not want to suggest that the Vice President should overthrow the President (Interruption)
 
PROF. NSIBAMBI: I did mention that under Article 112, the Vice President chairs Cabinet in the absence of His Excellency the President.
 
I also want to mention that the Vice President carries out functions assigned to him or her by His Excellency the President. For example, the former Vice President has been in charge of reviving co-operatives. So, I do not see any problem.
 
The Executive functions belong to His Excellency the President, and he assigns them to the Vice President and ministers in accordance with Articles 108, 113 and 114 of the Constitution. There are those functions which are clearly stated under Article 112 of the Constitution. I thank you.
 
MR ERESU: The information given is good, we are happy about it, but we want to see it happening. Mr Speaker, since there are so many members who would like to contribute to this debate, I would not like to say much but also give them a chance.
 
I conclude by saying that we must, as a Parliament, make sure that while we make this approval, the Vice Presidents Office should be functional. It should not be a window-dressing office. It should not be an office where people simply go and appear.
 
In most parts of Africa, because of power concentration in the hands of the President, the Vice President becomes a picture to be shown around. We would not like our country to be like this. We would like our country to have functional people. The ministers should also be functional and should have the authority in the ministry in which they have the jurisdiction, to move and shake. That is how government functions. It should be a co-operative effort.
 
While we support this nomination, this is the time to recap. Since the constitutional review process is in place, we should think about the selection and the process of how the Vice Presidents Office is finally occupied. I thank you.
 
MR REAGAN OKUMU (Aswa County, Gulu): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. When these appointments were made, I took my responsibility as a Member of Parliament representing Aswa to consult my people and talk to them about it. While I stand to support this motion, I would like to make the following observations:
 
I knew Prof Gilbert Bukenya in the 6th Parliament and I do agree with some of my colleagues, especially hon. Dombo, who said that Prof. Bukenya would cut across the Movement-Multiparty divide. I remember when the Movement Caucus at one time had become almost hostile and non-functional, the need to change the leadership arose. I participated actively in mobilizing supporters for Prof. Gilbert Bukenya to be elected the chairman of the Movement Caucus in the 6th Parliament.
 
Here was a gentleman who would invite even those who did not believe in the Movement to participate. He was moving with the principle of our Constitution that the Movement is all embracing, and therefore, all of us should be entitled to making decisions in the Movement Caucus. And we were very grateful for that.
 
I remember, Mr Speaker, in the 6th Parliament, I was a member of the Committee of Presidential and Foreign Affairs, and we had a lot of problems The committee had to contribute a lot towards improving the Office of the Vice President at that time.
 
The Vice President was at the time isolated somewhere around Katonga Avenue, far away from the Presidency. We contributed a lot in terms of advice and on how the Office of the Vice President should be improved. We said that the Vice President should have an advisor on a number of things. If you make reference to our committee report, you will be able to see the contributions we made towards improving and uplifting that office.
 
However, the Prime Minister put it that Prof. Gilbert Bukenya is a peace lover. I agree with that. He has often travelled to the North, and not only stayed at the highest level but also lowered himself to talk to the common people.
 
The last time he was in the North, however, he erred a little. He went to consult people, but there was an arrangement that he should have moved with some Members of Parliament, notably hon. Nobert Mao and Prof. Ogenga Latigo. But he blundered by pushing these people off the helicopter while he was flying to Kitgum. We think this was not fair. Prof. Ogenga Latigo is here and he will testify to this.
 
While we do appreciate that Prof. Gilbert Bukenya is a peace lover, I would like to take this opportunity to urge him -(Interruption)
   
MRS BYAMUKAMA: Thank you, honourable member for giving way, and I thank the speaker. The member holding the Floor has talked about some people being pushed off the plane, and yet to my knowledge they are still alive. Could he clarify on this?
 
MR OKUMU: Mr Speaker, it was on the point of entry, when the helicopter had not taken off yet.
 
The point I am emphasizing here is that we do appreciate, as Members of Parliament from the North, the attitude of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya towards the fight for peace. But we strongly urge that if this Parliament approves him to become the Vice President, he should learn to work with everybody, because everybody needs peace. Even those in opposition need peace and those who support the Movement System need peace. We would strongly advise that he adheres to steering the state towards protecting each and everybody.
 
Thirdly, there is talk in the corridors, and when I was talking to my constituents they said that there are tendencies of playboyship in Prof. Bukenya. Many people always say that the Professor is sometimes not very serious on certain serious matters. If this is true, I urge him to do away with the playboy business. He is now taking a very responsible office and he should be a little bit serious.
 
Lastly, I hope that hon. Gilbert Bukenya would make the Office of the Vice President a strong one, because these offices depend on the personality holding the office. It is my wish that he will make the Office of Vice President a strong one that would even render (Interruption)- I am concluding, honourable minister. I am on another point, I am concluding.
 
MRS JANAT MUKWAYA: Thank you very much honourable colleague for giving way. I want to seek clarification, although I would have been more comfortable with a point of order. For purposes of the Hansard, can somebody refer to a colleague as a playboy without substantiating it? For purposes of the record, I think that is not good.
 
In the 1960s when I read about playboys in certain books, the connotation was not good. Thank you.
 
LT GEN. MOSES ALI: Hon. Reagan Okumu has even confessed that he heard this in the corridors. It is the corridor saying that professor is a playboy, so it is not his conviction. If he heard it in the corridors, why did he come and repeat it here? I urge him to withdraw those remarks because it is not his belief. If he heard it in the corridor, why bother us with it? Thank you. (Dr Wandira Kazibwe entered the Chamber)
 
THE SPEAKER: Well, I want to welcome the hon. Member for Kigulu South, Dr Speciosa Kazibwe. (Applause). Feel comfortable where you are. (Laughter).
 
MR OKUMU: Mr Speaker, let me also take this opportunity to welcome the former Vice President, since I was on the Floor, and welcome her to the Backbench.
 
I thought I was very clear. I said, while I was consulting my constituents. I was not talking about the corridor here. I was referring to my consultations, and I thought I was clear. And I said that if it is true, then the Professor should do something.
 
We expect Prof. Gilbert Bukenya to make the Office of the Vice President a strong one, which would, to a great extent, render the Office of the Prime Minister irrelevant. We are actually spending a lot of money on maintaining these huge and constitutional offices, and we hope that with appointment of this personality, we would be able to move forward. I support this motion and will work with the Professor. Thank you.
 
MRS ROSEMARY SENINDE (Woman Representative, Wakiso): I thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to first of all extend, on behalf of the people of Wakiso, congratulations to Prof. Gilbert Bukenya upon his nomination as the next Vice President. I have no doubt this august House will support this nomination. As we all know, leadership comes from God. I have no doubt that Prof. Bukenya is Gods choice.
 
Secondly, basing on his academics, his working experience and the great contributions he has made to this nation through the Presidents Office, I am sure he will be the best doctor for the sicknesses of this nation.
 
I am certain we shall strongly respect Article 108(2), which gives His Excellency the President powers to appoint. I strongly believe that His Excellency critically made his analysis and actually consulted before making this choice. I have no doubt he made the best choice out of the many.
 
I worked with Prof. Gilbert Bukenya in Wakiso District and I found him a brilliant man. He is a hardworking man and so co-operative; he is a real man. (Laughter). The reason I say so (Interruption)- Mr Speaker, I beg for your protection. The reason I say so is because my colleague has just said that Prof. Bukenya is a playboy, but I say he is not. He is not a playboy but a real worker.
 
Prof. Bukenya has united the people of Wakiso, and I have no doubt he will unite the people of Uganda. Mr Speaker, he has done a lot in Wakiso. He has brought a lot of development to Wakiso, which I am sure will extend to other parts of the country.
 
I believe once Prof. Bukenya is approved, we shall give him our support, bearing in mind that there is nobody in this country or in this world who is 100 percent perfect. He needs our support in order to deliver. So, we must expect him to work only if we give him support, without thinking he will work as an angel.
 
Finally, I would like to commend the great contributions that our former Vice President, Dr Speciosa Kazibwe, made. Her Excellency has held the torch for all of us women leaders, and we thank her for that work. We shall never forget the great contributions she has made to this country. (Applause).  
 
I would also like to convince my colleagues that as women leaders and as women of Uganda, like the chance we gave to our former Vice President and helped her, we shall also help the new Vice President to perform. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
DR SPECIOSA WANDIRA KAZIBWE (Kigulu South, Iganga): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker and honourable members of this august House.
 
I feel elated because at this time of my life, I am able to do what people in Kampala elected me to do in 1989, which I was not able to do fully as a backbencher, and what the people of Kigulu South elected me to do from 1996 up to now.
 
Mr Speaker, I choose this very seat because when I first came to this Parliament in NRC 1989, this is exactly where I sat. (Applause). So, I want the august House to know that I have come round, full circle. I am an elected Member of Parliament. I was elected when I first came here, and now I take my rightful place on the Back Bench as a representative of Kigulu County South Constituency, Iganga District. (Applause).
 
Before I go to the motion on the Floor, I would like to say that what is being said on the Floor this morning is a reflection of the experience of Ugandans, whose representatives are in this august House. This is the experience of what it is to see somebody in the seat of a Vice President. Before I became Vice President, I never had the opportunity to see a Vice President in action in this House. Those were the days we all know. I will not go back to them.
 
Mr Speaker, when I first came here, I did not know I would even go to the Front Bench. I started here, then I went to the Front Bench, then from there I went into that corner, which is vacant now, waiting to be taken up by my professional colleague, Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya. (Applause). I do believe we shall approve him, because if we do not, then we do not approve of ourselves. We all come from the same stock - our people. Article 108 of the Constitution puts in place the Office of Vice President. Many Ugandans have not actually internalized what this particular Article means.
                                                                                                                                                                          
I would like to look at the Constitution and read it for you again, because I have had to read it since November 1994. I say that because I have had to refer my actions and activities - what I became when this Constitution came into effect - to it. Mr Speaker, I have had to do this to the detriment of those who have been listening to this over and over again. Unfortunately, I am not sitting next to Prof. Nsibambi. He is the one who has always done this for me -(Laughter)- and I have to thank him for that. Article 108(3) says:
 
The Vice President shall-
 
(a)  deputise for the President as and when the need arises; and
(b)  perform such other functions as may be assigned to him or her by the President, or as may be conferred on him or her by this Constitution. 
 
So, when we have a motion on the Floor from the President, through the Speaker asking this august House to approve the appointment of Prof. Bukenya for Vice President, that is the job he is going to do.
 
Mr Speaker, when you are Vice President, you become what others would wish to be. They imagine, If I were there, I would do this. If I were there, I would speak like this. If I were there, I would not be a playboy. Well, if you do not want to be a playboy, stay where you are. What is wrong with being a playboy and what is a playboy anyway?
 
I am saying this from experience. I would not wish this country to stop people from being Vice Presidents for fear of emasculating their own beings, their own selves. I refused to have that happen to me. (Applause). 
 
I hope that my professional colleague, using the expertise that was taught to him in Medical School, his Masters in Community Health and his PhD in Public Health, will, without fear or favour, tell the people in this Parliament that this is not correct. Otherwise, we are going to have the status quo as business forever, as usual. We are elected into leadership. We are chosen to be leaders because we have to lead, not from behind but from in front.
 
I am glad to say that I am happy that the ambience in this House is certainly much better than when I came here in 1989. (Applause). The members are better groomed and they smell better. (Laughter). Mr Speaker, could I be protected so that I proceed? I pray that you give me a few more minutes because I have not spoken like this for so many years, and I am really (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: I think members are saying that your neighbours have represented us well, to prove that we are not smelling. (Laughter).
 
DR WANDIRA KAZIBWE: Mr Speaker, I must say that when Ugandans were saying, Kazibwe has a foul mouth, it is because many people fear to tell others the truth. When the National Resistance Movement came in, the President stood out there when he was being sworn in, and said this is a fundamental change. A fundamental change where leaders must not say only what pleases the people; a fundamental change where leadership must do the undoable to take people out of bondage.
 
I hope that my professional colleague will remain what he is. The Vice Presidency is at the will of the appointing authority, the President, but he has been Bukenya for so many years. He has been a doctor who we know and respect, and we have approved of the decisions he has made for so many years.
 
Being here is not a profession that makes you sever yourself from all that you know and have learnt for the betterment of the people. In each profession, there is a way cut out for you to make a difference for the people of Uganda, for the people of Africa, for the people of the whole world.
 
As a doctor, I believe that is what a doctor should do - talk about cleanliness. I believe the religious also know that cleanliness is next to Godliness. So, why should any Ugandan not like or even approve of somebody who is telling people in this august House, reminding them that they were chosen by God as leaders and they must be next to God? I have no apologies for those statements.
 
Mr Speaker, I hope my colleague will read the Hansard, because there is no Vice President in this country who has been there for as long as I. So, apart from reminding you of what is in the Constitution, I would also like a Vice President who is alive, who is human, who hurts, laughs, cries with you, is happy with you, hopes with you and puts a shoulder for you to cry on. Yes, the Vice President must be a real man, just like I have been a real woman. (Laughter). I am not ashamed of that. I am proud of being a woman.
 
I must at this point say that the media could make ones life so miserable. I want to tell my colleague that when he reads the Hansard, he will find that the media is also playing its role. Let them play it. Each one of us is given their own key. Some are C, others are B+, others are A- others are major and others are minor. If you choose to play the flat key all the time, nobody will remember you ever existed. Otherwise, why are we here?
 
I want also to remind members that Prof. Bukenya is lucky. There was another Vice President, a man of the same profession, in this Movement Government. For me, there was none. So, I want to tell him that he should be prepared to pioneer even those things that people would not wish him to talk about.
 
There are certain things which people talk about to further their own aims That is not a place to sit when you want to further your own aims He already got his doctorate, but learning does not end, he could get another one in another field.
 
I am not going to do my doctorate in surgery. I have sat for so long; I do not want to go and operate people because now I am a grandmother. I must have wisdom to give guidance in an area that I am most conversant with now - policy and economics. (Laughter) Yes, what is the use of having a professor? There are professors who do not have PhDs! To profess is to teach.
 
If you go through his CV and you see what he has gone through, it shows he is systematic, he knows where he wants to go and he targets and persists in acquiring what he wants to do. I also want to tell him that when he feels that he has actually served up to his optimum, he should be free to ask the boss, like I did, to allow him to go and start living. That job is a job of suffocation. It is a prison. That chair there, oh, I am telling you, you get suffocated! (Interruption)
 
CAPT. GUMA GUMISIRIZA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I want to get some clarification from hon. Kazibwe. She has told us she is going for her PhD in whatever field of medicine. We would want to find out whether she is also giving up Kigulu South so that people who have interest can go there (Laughter).
 
DR WANDIRA KAZIBWE: Mr Speaker, you know I am one person who disappoints many people a good number of times. Whoever is waiting to take over my constituency had better wait until I decide to do what I did to the Presidency. I was elected; the people of Kigulu South elected me to come here. They are the ones to say, Maama, now that you want to get a PhD, we do not want you anymore.
 
Mr Speaker, if you were to do a roll call, how many Members of Parliament sitting here are studying and are not even saying they are going to relinquish their seats? Why is it that Speciosa Naigaga Bwotana Ekyeru Kyabita Wandira, the daughter of - (Laughter)  is the one? Every time anybody says anything, they say, now she has left the Vice Presidency, let her relinquish the seat.
 
I remember during the valley dam saga - it is in the Hansard - people stood here and said, that woman, God gives her too much. She is the Vice President, she is a Nalongo, she is a doctor, she has a Masters in Surgery, she is a Minister of Agriculture, and on top of that, she is handling the fight against corruption. Only that! Let me tell you, people who are redundant are disorganized. It is those that are busy that know what to do. So, if you are redundant, get more things to do and I can assure you, you will do them very well.
 
When I said I am going to read, I said I would not be able to do that, so let me relinquish the post of Vice President. Nobody in this august House will go and sit my exam for me, but all of you are eligible, on top of so many other Ugandans, to be Vice President. My PhD will not hold any of your names, it will be mine and I will take it with me to the grave. But all of you can aspire for Vice Presidency. That is what the Constitution says.
 
Hon. Guma, you better change your seat and join me because you were very good company when I was sitting there. (Laughter). Change your seat and then we shall talk.
 
Mr Speaker, in supporting the motion on the Floor, I would like to say that many times people can get you to play their own tune and to work their own agenda. But in accordance with Article 108, a Vice President has no agenda of his or her own. A Vice President deputizes for the President. A Vice President is given work by the President.
 
In my case, the President wrote my schedule and clarified. People are saying she should have her own mark. Which mark? They said that I should have a cause for orphans like any other woman. I was here as an elected Member of Parliament. I am not a spouse or somebody to go into agendas, because people expect me to chase agendas.
 
As Vice President, that man whom we are going to vote for is going to get the Presidents manifesto. That is his agenda. He must have an ear for the President; he must have an ear in Parliament; he must have an ear out there in the population; and he must have an ear for the other arms of the State and the security agencies. You need somebody with stamina.
 
I am glad that Prof. Bukenya, even as he has reserves here (Laughter)- will need those reserves to get the energy to be able to do that job (Interruption)- Mr Speaker, I am about to end.
 
I would like to end by saying that people have talked about replacing. You cannot replace anybody, and we are all aware of this. You cannot say that Naigaga was there and you are replacing her, no! Again, the Constitution does not say that. The person picked for any particular job, apart from being anointed by God, is also the person fit to do the job at that particular point in time.
 
We also forget this sometimes, so we compare and say, when so and so was minister, this happened. When so and so was Member of Parliament in this constituency, this happened. That is why even when you think you have replaced another person in your constituency, people never stop complaining because we target the wrong things when we should be looking at the task.
 
What is that task that hon. Bukenya is called to do to support our President? At this point in time, it is heading the Government of the Republic of Uganda at a time when Ugandans are being asked to move from the Movement to a multiparty system. It is a very difficult time. Those of us who were part of parties and have gone to the Movement, and will stay in the Movement, know what it is. The DP will not see me there.
 
Hon. Wadri, you play your tune now because we were the people talking for the parties during that time when things were difficult. When I was a young girl in my early 20s, it was very difficult. Hon. Wadri did not say much because he could not. It was only those who were sharp, like myself, who stuck out our necks to speak (Laughter). Yes, I am on record. I was the national mobiliser of the womens wing of the Democratic Party. These were babies! (Laughter) I know what I am talking about.
 
Mr Speaker, I am not going to say that I thank the honourable members for having voted for me in 2001. This is the Parliament, which continues to make me what I have been and to help me make my political image as good as it is, though some people are trying to pull it down. But I am used to those things.
 
I have such a thick skin now. People want to pull me down, like hon. Mabikke who said I would not fit in the shoes of the President. Your feet are one inch long! (Laughter). But I am also saying this because in politics, when you hold a certain position, many people think they are better than you. (Interruption)
 
THE SPEAKER: I think the point is going to be whether we would have to ask hon. Mabikke to remove his shoes so that we can see whether what she said is true. (Laughter).
 
DR WANDIRA KAZIBWE: Mr Speaker, I think I was using what we call weighing. When you look at somebody, you look for a standard. As a surgeon, I can see the size of his shoes (Laughter). 
 
I want to say that when everything is said and done, I think we are going to have a wonderful time with me in the Back Bench, sitting and looking at hon. Bukenya near the Prime Minister, and looking at my colleagues with whom I have worked with for so many years. You have really given me hell sometimes, but I thank you for making me tough. Now I do not believe that anybody in this world can stop me from achieving what I believe is good for my people. You have been my teachers. I have learnt a lot from all of you who have ever been on the Front Bench, even those who are no longer there.
 
I want to thank those on the Back Bench with whom I have worked closely. I must say that during this short term of my Vice Presidency, I was unwell during the first year, but I tried. I want to assure you that mobilization is in my blood. I did it during Amins days when I was on campus, leading some of you who were striking at that time when nobody could do so.
 
I want to tell the women of Uganda that now I am back in full force (Applause). Yes, and I want to assure you that if you want to fight for a cause, you do not have to be the number one to be able to do so. Once you know your cause, organize; that is the key word. Organize, and that is precisely what we are going to do.
 
The women of Uganda will organize for progress. They will organize for political emancipation right from the grassroots. They will organize for more education for women, for their girls and their boys so that the future holds a gender balanced Parliament and a gender balanced playing field at every level. God willing, with life ahead of us I believe I now have more time to play that role.
 
Mr Speaker, I want to thank you and your Deputy, hon. Kadaga, very much for the support you gave me as I led the Executive on behalf of my President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. It enabled me, even during the difficult times, to know that what we need to do for this country is to work as a team. I believe that you are capable, and you will give the same support you gave me when I held that office, to Prof. Bukenya.
 
I thank you very much and I want to say, as the immediate vacatee of the seat, I think the President has not made a wrong choice. He has not made a bad choice. He has chosen the right person to assist him, to deputize for him in order for him to achieve what is contained in the manifesto that he was elected to implement. I thank you very much (Applause).
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you. Honourable members, according to my record, 11 members have so far contributed.
 
MR BAKKABULINDI: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I have been listening very attentively since the beginning of the debate on this important motion. All through, I have not heard any person opposing the motion. Mr Speaker, looking at our clock, it is almost approaching 1.00 oclock. I now beg to move that the question be put on this important motion. I beg to move.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, a motion has been moved. He says he has not heard anybody opposing the nomination, but maybe there could be one. If there is none, then I put the question to his motion.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
THE SPEAKER: I am not going to put the question the ordinary way. As I said, according to our rules we should have secret voting on this issue. So, we are going to start the process of a secret ballot, and then you cast your vote as you feel. So, bring the ballot box and turn it down.
 
Honourable members, we are going to call out names according to the alphabet. You will get your ballot paper, go and mark it and then put it in.
 
(The voting exercise started)
 
MS KIRASO: Mr Speaker, if I heard correctly, the Clerk read the name of hon. Fabius Byaruhanga. I want to be clarified.
 
THE SPEAKER: The position is that ex-officio Members of Parliament do not vote.
 
(Voting continued)
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, I believe the honourable members present have finished voting. I will ask hon. Rugumayo to be our returning officer and the staff of Parliament will assist him. If you have not voted and you want to vote, please come in and vote.
 
Honourable members, to enable hon. Rugumayo take charge, proceedings will be suspended for 30 minutes and then we come back to receive the results.
 
(The Proceedings were suspended at 1.05p.m)
 
(On resumption at 1.35pm, the Speaker presiding_)
 
THE SPEAKER: When we suspended the proceedings, we had appointed hon. Rugumayo to take charge of the votes. I understand he has completed counting the votes. I now call upon hon. Rugumayo, the returning officer, to announce the results. According to our rules, the approval is given when we have a simple majority of those voting. Once you have the quorum and you have the majority, then that is the approval.
 
PROF. RUGUMAYO: Mr Speaker, honourable members, since you appointed me as returning officer, I will read out the results of the count. The total number of votes cast were 187. Those in favour are 169  (Applause)- those against are 18, and there were no spoiled votes.
 
Mr Speaker, I leave it to you to pronounce the verdict of this vote. Thank you.
 
THE SPEAKER: Honourable members, in view of the requirements of the Constitution that the approval must be by a simple majority, it appears that we have not only a simple majority but also a majority of the total number of members, which is 300. Therefore, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya has been approved as Vice President. (Applause). Would you let the Vice President come in.
 
(Prof. Bukenya entered the Chamber)
 
THE SPEAKER: Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, on 23rd of last month, I received a letter from His Excellency the President of Uganda nominating you for the post of Vice President, which had become vacant. Pursuant to that nomination, which was communicated to you, Parliament has today, under Article 108(2) of the Constitution, considered this nomination and has approved your appointment by 169 votes against 18.
 
This satisfies the requirements of the Constitution that the approval must be given by a simple majority of those voting. But as you heard, this is a majority of the total membership of Parliament. Therefore, I confirm that the Presidents nomination has been approved. Now you are the Vice President, you will take an oath and then you can transact your business.
 
Your Excellency the Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, you are most welcome and we congratulate you upon this achievement. (Applause). We wish you success in your job. Unite the country, serve the people and not yourself, and God will be with you. Thank you very much.
 
THE VICE PRESIDENT (Prof. Gilbert Bukenya): Mr Speaker and my honourable colleagues, in the last two weeks I have learnt a lot. I have learnt that there are friends all over Uganda and friends across groups. I have also learnt that there are concerns about our country and how it should be managed.
 
Allow me, first of all, to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President for nominating me to take up this most challenging office in our country. This is a great honour to me. (Applause).
 
I must also thank you, Mr Speaker. I also thank the mover of the motion, the Rt hon. Prime Minister, the seconder of the motion, hon. Loyce Bwambale, and all of you colleagues who have spoken in support of the motion. Indeed, I thank the entire august House for the confidence you have put in me, for approving me for the position of the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda. (Applause). I am humbled by your overwhelming support. Thank you.
 
This occasion would not have been here if the people of Busiro County North did not elect me. These wonderful people have been electing me since my first attempt in 1996. I am very grateful to them, and I promise that I will continue to serve them. (Applause)
 
Mr Speaker, the office that I am assuming is a challenging one. The road map to tackling the challenges ahead cannot be surveyed by me alone. Therefore, I look forward to working very closely with all of you, honourable colleagues. Our country must be transformed from peasantry to modernity, and we are the principle stakeholders in making sure that this transformation takes place speedily.
 
We must design and implement strategies that will lead us to prosperity. I will, therefore, look forward to regular interactions and consultation with honourable members of this august House. Where necessary and possible, I would like to travel with you to your districts so that we all listen to the problems of the people and together we find solutions to them. (Applause)
 
I want to re-emphasize that my efforts, while in this office, will centre on the struggle to transform our society from peasantry to a modern and prosperous society. Mr Speaker, in my constituency, I still have people who cut grass, dry it and put it in bags to make mattresses. We must transform that basic background in future.
 
To achieve this transformation, we need to have in place a number of what I call, primary issues. One, we need a deliberate programme of investment, particularly in agriculture and agro-processing, that supports and promotes the private sector.
 
Mr Speaker, we need a vested interest to push for exports and an aggressive mechanism for markets. We need a mechanism to attract both domestic and foreign investment in industries, including service industries and factories.
 
We need the provision of realistic and competitive incentives to investors, and tailor-made educational programmes that will enhance science and technology that is crucial to industrialization. (Applause) Mr Speaker, we also need a strategy to strengthen and accelerate regional co-operation for markets.
 
Those are a few of the ingredients that set a firm foundation for sustainable economic growth, which will create employment, especially for the youth. They will also provide a wide tax base, which is needed for accelerating social and infrastructure development. Therefore, Mr Speaker, the planning authority, which has come in timely, must be supported by all of us. (Applause).
 
Mr Speaker, the above may not happen at all, unless extra efforts are taken to ensure unity, peace and freedom for all Ugandans. I, therefore, appeal to all of you to come together and address the problems in Northern Uganda. The problem of insecurity in Northern Uganda is for all Ugandans, and together we must find a permanent solution.
 
Mr Speaker, in order to have sustainable unity, we must recognize that our country has diverse and heterogeneous norms and values. My noble task will be to respect and uphold these values and norms so cherished by the different social groupings, for the purpose of evolving a national consensus on unity in diversity.
 
I will provide leadership in the struggle for reconciliation and dialogue. Honourable members, let us listen and talk for the sake of our country. I am therefore inviting the religious, cultural and community leaders, as well as civil society, to join me in the struggle to restore high morals and values in our society.
 
Mr Speaker, I cannot end this speech without recognizing the great work my predecessor, Her Excellency, Dr Wandira Kazibwe, has done. It is very difficult to say some intimate issues, but I have been honoured by Her Excellency the Vice President, who has been so crucial in modelling me. Because of that, I have moved from a technical field to a political field of leadership. So, I want to thank Her Excellency, Dr Wandira Kazibwe. I wish her good luck, particularly in her studies, and I will volunteer to assist where necessary. (Applause)
 
Finally, Mr Speaker and honourable members, I want to reassure the leaders of marginalized groups in our society, in particular women, the youth, the disabled and the elderly, that I will always be your ally. (Applause)
 
I want to once again express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you for the good words you have said about me. The only thing I can say is, with Gods blessings, we must transform this country. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
 
THE SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Members of the Appointments Committee have a meeting. I suggest that we hold this meeting in the usual place at 3.00pm.
 
With this we come to the end of todays business. The House is adjourned until tomorrow when we meet at the International Conference Centre to receive the Presidential State of the Nation Address. Thank you very much.
 
(The House rose at 1.45 p.m. and adjourned until Thursday, 5 June 2003 at 2.00p.m)



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