Politics

EXCLUSIVE: How Bobi Wine has Performed on the Floor of Parliament Since 2017

Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, MP for Kyadondo East County MP has spoken a ‘whopping’ 7 times since he was sworn in as MP in July 11, 2017.

Bobi Wine beats several other MPs such as Kato Lubwama who have not spoken even once on the floor of parliament.

Bobi Wine made his maiden speech on September, 7, 2017 two months after he was sworn in.

In the 2017 Hansard, less than 100 out of 450 MPs had contributed in the plenary 10 or more times with Kalaki County MP Clement Ongalo-Obote(NRM) being the most active MP having contributed 210 times. He was rivalled by Ndorwa West County MP David Bahati(NRM), also state minister for finance who contributed 123 times. The other MPs in the top 5 are; NRM’s Ruth Nankabirwa (Kiboga district), FDC’s Nandala Mafabi(Budadiri West) and NRM’s Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko(Nakifuma County).

The Insider brings you verbatim of what Bobi Wine said on the floor of parliament since he was sworn in.

September, 7, 2017

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I rise to make my maiden communication to this august House. I appreciate my honourable comrade for the interruption because in the process, I was referred to us as an “honourable”. (Laughter)

Mr Speaker, at this particular moment, I would like to make it clear that I was elected into this honourable House as an Independent Member of Parliament and also expected my colleagues to know that I should not have been interrupted when giving my maiden speech.

I also rise to respond to the minister’s statement about the ongoing killings of women in a brutal and degrading manner. Anything that affects our wives, mothers, daughters and sisters affects all of us and it is indeed sad that we are experiencing this.

In my opinion, these killings represent a bigger problem and it is rather disturbing to me that we seem to focus only on the killings of our women, not the killings of all Ugandans –(Applause). It is my humble prayer that we approach and deal with the real cause not symptoms.

For a long time, we have had unanswered killings right from the Muslim clerics to high profile citizens in Uganda like the late Joan Kagezi, the late Assistant Inspector General of Police, Felix Kaweesi and many others, which cause me to worry. God forbid, I hope they do not come for the Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, just in Kyadondo County East alone, not a week passes by without finding a Boda Boda cyclist hacked to death and their motorcycle taken.

Yesterday, in Masaka District, two people were killed and we cannot tag it to robbery because nothing was taken from their shops. That moves me to communicate to the Government that it must not only wait until a problem escalates that it tries to act. Otherwise, they will be seen as fire fighters.

There has been enough reason for security organs to rise up. The manner in which these women are killed has a striking resemblance. If the criminal investigating departments acted after the first, second, third, fourth or the fifth woman was killed, we would be talking about something different in this House. It is unfortunate that we got that communication after the 21st death.

It is even more scaring to see that there seems to be an evident conflict between the Minister of Security and Inspector General of Police. This has moved me to question whether these two organs are trying to fail each other in their duties at the expense of the lives of Ugandans. (Applause)

Is it a deliberate move to divert the attention of the nation from pertinent issues by creating a wave of fear among the citizens?

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that the most important role of the State is to protect its citizens and any Government that fails at that has failed at everything. Mr Speaker, I beg to submit.

May 30, 2018

Thank you very much, honourable minister. I appreciate the fact that you mentioned that taxation is a duty and not a punishment. Allow me to inform you that over taxation is not only punishment but oppression.

Where I come from, mobile money is not just a business but a livelihood. Due to insecurity, people depend mainly on mobile money. I will give an example of a fairly decent Ugandan who earns Shs 1 million and they spend all that money through mobile money. If the taxation was levied once, we would not argue so much about it but since it is mobile money, it is charged on every transaction, received or sent. That means if that person receives that money, they are being taxed on their salary; when they pay for their children’s fees, they get taxed; and they continue to be taxed at every level, which I believe is oppression. At the end of the day, honourable minister, you realise that life is actually being taxed. Somebody is being taxed multiple times.

I am not going to raise an argument on the cooking oil or the motorcycles but I would like to suggest that we indeed drop this taxation idea. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

July 12, 2018

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I rise on a procedural matter, and I quote rule 81 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament under which I was ruled out of order.

Madam Speaker, in this very House right now, I see various Members putting on caps. An example is the Right Honourable Gen. Moses Ali. (Laughter) People wear caps to signify various meanings. I wonder if it is procedurally correct to single me out simply because of the colour of the cap I was wearing when there are Members in this House putting on headgear of the same colour. Is it procedurally correct to single me out and leave the rest to sit?

November, 27, 2018

MR ROBERT KYAGULANYI (Independent, Kyadondo County East, Wakiso): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I join my colleagues and the entire nation to mourn our people who perished in the lake accident.

In times like this, we all get rude awakenings; both the population and the authorities. Indeed, nobody is innocent of the mistakes that are continuously made on the lake. It was noted by some of the survivors that there were some life jackets on board but some party goers rejected them because they were spoiling their sense of fashion and pictures. Therefore, in one way or another, the people take the responsibility.

We thank the Uganda Police Marines and the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) for the swift move to save lives. Nevertheless, we must also remind ourselves that even when the police and the UPDF came to rescue our people, there were not enough boats. It had to take well-wishers from the nearby lake shores, including our own One Love Beach, Busabala, to bring boats and save people.

As we speak, the wreckage of the boat is still stuck at the bottom of the lake and it is presumed that some victims are stuck in there. However, we are using villagers to manually pull that wreckage out of the lake; that alone speaks volumes regarding our equipment to save lives, especially on water.

Mr Speaker, the World Health Organisation issued water safety guidelines in 2005, which were supposed to be followed by all countries. Among those guidelines was insuring water vessels and that all water vessels are equipped with tracking devices to track them wherever they go and most importantly, to provide emergency boats and life jackets on all those boats. Those are some of the things that we have not taken seriously.

Like my colleague, hon. Nsereko noted, we do not have a training facility for captains and the crew that run those boats. I believe that if Government moves to put such in place, we might probably mitigate further incidents.

I continue to condole with the victims and thank God for survivors. I beg to submit, Mr Speaker.

December 18, 2018:

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As a matter of national importance, I rise to complain about the illegal, unconstitutional and high handed conduct of the Uganda Police Force as regards stopping my music shows.

As you might be aware, apart from being a Member of Parliament, I am a professional musician. That is a profession that I practiced for close to two decades. Honourable members, just like some of you who are doctors, lawyers, pastoralists and teachers outside this House, I am also a musician and that is how my family survives. Indeed, through that trade, I employ hundreds of Ugandans.

Madame Speaker and honourable colleagues, since last year in October, the Uganda Police Force has made it a habit to sabotage my music concerts. In October last year, five of my concerts were stopped. Now this year in October, I organised a concert at Namboole Stadium but it was stopped by the police for reasons that have not been given yet. The administration and management of the stadium told me that they received instructions from the police not to host me.

On 2 December, I was supposed to attend a concert in Gulu at a place called Smiling Panda. Even though we had written to the police and met all the requirements –(Member timed out.)

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Apart from the 2nd, there was also the 5th of December. I drove back and I personally went to the police to face the Inspector General of Police. I sat for four hours but when the police got back to me, they brought guidelines that were dated that very day, the 5th of December, telling me that I had not been cleared because I had not fulfilled those requirements.

Besides that, my place called One Love Beach has come under attack because the police have instructed all promoters not to host shows there. Indeed, on the 9th of this month, we were supposed to hold a show there but the organisers were blocked by the police who informed them that they cannot hold a show at my place.

Apart from shows, Madam Speaker, I am not allowed to even attend church. On the 9th of this month, I was supposed to attend mass in Kangulumira but the congregation was teargassed because I was attending that mass. This Sunday, the 16th, I was supposed to attend mass in Lugazi but the church was surrounded by the police and people were beaten up. I did not attend that mass.

It is my hope and prayer that this honourable Parliament reins in the police and all security organs so that they stop abusing the laws of this land with reckless abandon. I beg to submit, Madam Speaker.

May 31, 2019

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity to pay tribute to the Rt Hon. Apolo Nsibambi, a dignified statesman.

Before us lies a good man. He represented the best of our country, Uganda. He represented decency, service and godliness. Even though he served under a regime that is marred with corruption, Prof. Nsibambi refused to be corrupted. His name was never heard in any corruption scandal. (Applause)

Even though he served among colleagues who were power hungry, he was not power hungry. As we all remember, he told the President not to re-appoint him in 2011 because he believed that leaders must serve and then retire respectfully.

Even though he worked under a President that keeps neither time nor his word, Prof. Nsibambi always kept time, and yes, he always kept his word. He always meant what he said and he said what he meant. We all remember when he castigated the people that are always around the President but never tell him the truth. I believe many of those members are here today.

While he lies before us silent, never to say a word again, may his words cause us to reflect on our turn, when we lie silent before Parliament or wherever we shall be, and what kind of funeral we would like to get. May his soul rest in peace and may his legacy live on.

May, 22, 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me an opportunity to make a personal statement under Rule 54 of our Rules of Procedure.

I rise to give a statement regarding the persistent injustices occasioned against me and the people I work with, both as a political leader and as an artiste, by the Uganda Police Force and other security agencies.

These violations have unduly affected my ability to carry out my duties both as a Member of Parliament and personally as a citizen of this country.

It will be remembered that in November last year in this Parliament, the issue of the illegal blocking of my music concerts by police and other security agencies was raised. This very Parliament directed the police and other security agencies to stop violating my rights and those of other people.

The leadership of the Uganda Police Force has decided to ignore the directive of this Parliament. As a result, since November last year, I’ve not been allowed to work or even hold a political rally anywhere in this country.

We have laws in this country and ordinarily any such matters would be resolved by courts of law or other institutions of Government.

However, regarding my concerts, the High Court failed to uphold my constitutional rights; choosing to rely on technicalities and ignoring the substance in total disregard of Article 126(2)(e) of the Constitution.

I petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission in respect to the same matter under Article 52 of the Constitution but up to date, we have not been invited for any hearing.

As far as I know, the Constitution is the supreme law of this country. I think time has come this Parliament needs to decide whether to follow the Constitution and laws of this country or to follow ‘orders from above’.

I know the issue of police brutality has been raised many times before this House but the situation is only getting worse, as a matter of fact I have been personally a victim of this brutality.

Recently, the police broke windscreens of our vehicle in a criminal manner before arresting us violently. Colleagues, we have been subjected to physical and psychological torture. I have personally been placed under house arrest; a practice that has been declared illegal in this country.

While I was under house arrest, the Minister of Internal Affairs informed this House that I had committed some offences for which I needed to report to the CID department.

I complied with the summons but while I was headed there on 29th April 2019, I was once again blocked by the same police- once again violently arrested, pepper sprayed, and driven to Naggalama police station.

I was arraigned before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court that afternoon. I could not apply for bail because my sureties were blocked from accessing the court premises by the police and military, which had cordoned off all the roads leading to the court and hence was sent to Luzira prison.

On the day I was granted bail, as soon as I stepped out of the gates of Luzira prison, I was immediately arrested by the police, bundled into a police van and driven off only to be dropped at my house later.

Mr Speaker, I have been denied the opportunity to participate in any peaceful demonstration; which is a right guaranteed by Article 29(1) of our Constitution. Whenever I and my colleagues write to the police notifying them of our intention under the Public Order Management Act, 2013, they simply ignore our letters.

This Parliament is mandated by Article 79(3) of our country’s Constitution to protect the Constitution, promote constitutionalism and constitutional governance in this country.

I implore all of you colleague Members, not to look the other way while rights and freedoms of Ugandans are being violated. Experience has shown us that when we sit back and watch these violations go unchallenged, each one of us will one day be a victim.

We are alive to the history of our country. There are many people who sat in this very House before and turned the other way while the rights and freedoms of the citizens were being violated. Some defended human rights violations with all their might on this very Floor. At different times in our history, right from the days of late hon. Grace Ibingira, there are those who vigorously pursued legislation which would violate the rights of citizens.

Unfortunately, those are the same people that became the first victims of the same violations they were championing or defending. I implore us, honourable members, to be very good students of our own history.

Finally, having interacted with many of our security officers, I have come to realise that many of them work under very unfavourable conditions.  As we all know, they are under paid, poorly accommodated and experience so much injustice and unfair treatment in terms of promotions as well.

I would like us to remember that they are also humans like us. They have families to look after and we should consider their plight as a matter of priority.

Mr Speaker, at the right time and with your permission, I intend to move a substantive motion for the improvement of the welfare of our men and women in uniform. I request all of you honourable members to support my motion when I bring it.

I believe that in many ways their poor living conditions are the reason why some of them treat us so inhumanly. If we treat them right, we shall have the moral authority to demand them to treat us right. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity and thank you colleagues for listening to me.

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