How do you solve a problem like Parliament?

What is the cause of malaria? Is it the germ, the mosquito, or the dwanzie who did not bring us the nets?
What is the cause of this?

Nti parliament has awarded MTN a contract to provide data and pay monthly OTT Tax for each member, to quote myself.

Parliament is supposed to be a defense line: To protect the powerless from the power-hungry, to keep the hungry safe from the greedy. But we messed up. We should have put up the nets, but instead we sent mosquitoes full of germs to our nation’s bedroom, in this analogy, parliament, and now we have fevers.

Yeah. I think I am the one at fault here.

I am urban middle class generation X. I live in an apartment in Kyanja and drink whiskey out of a tumbler, not a satchet. I have several pairs of shoes, glasses and wristwatches, even though I only have one pair each of eyes, feet and wrists.

I don’t know who my LC is. I don’t even know what: Male, female, Jedi, Sith, kree, skrull, sponge, starfish, Ironno. As for my MP, if it’s not Bobi or Semujju, it’s an amorphous, abstract concept. I am that type of person.

But it is negligent of any citizen to not pay close attention to elected leaders. If we are not watchful, they do things under our noses and get away with it, and we gradually, slowly but inevitably end up… well, we end up where we are now as Uganda, where we know that constant vigilance is the price of freedom but vigilance just shows us how little we have left, how derelict the thing became while we were slacking in our duty to watch, while we were buying slacks and watches. The type of person cannot remain hopeful after watching Parliament for long. We give up in despair. We just allow.

We don’t believe in parliament, we don’t trust you. We don’t expect anything from you. So when we read such stories, me and that type of person don’t feel any actual real outrage. Not even surprise.

This type of person that I am, this limp, ineffectual, damp-tissue, waste of a citizen, looks at parliament and says, “We know that type of peron.” We went to school with some of these MPs. Especially the younger ones. When we were in S1 they were in S6 and we can be bold in stating that the type of person who ends up in Parliament is usually smug, self obsessed, entitled and spoiled, their personalities made up of only two elements: greed and narcissism. They were the kind of fucks who would bully us and expect us to feel honoured by the attention.

Our MPs told us that the reason they constantly drain the little granary of this poor country, is us. We are needy.

They need to constantly re-up because it’s expensive being an MP. Many live under massive debt, they lament, because there is pressure from constituents who expect the MP to fund all the funerals and weddings and graduation ceremonies and baptisms and cleansing rituals and curse ceremonies in the area they represent. They spent truckloads of coin getting elected, and spend more staying elected, they need raises. After raises. After raises.

Followed by tax exemptions, and allowances, and increments, and more and more and more money.

But if I have identified the problem, perhaps I should take a stab at identifying a solution. It’s going to sound like I am being flippant, but stick with me. It might actually work.

Here’s the question… If it is so unrewarding being an MP,  why do you want it so bad anyway? Why don’t you just, not be an MP?

Is it because you are scared so shitless of the prospect of an unchecked tyranny that you can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t live with yourself if you are not out there on the frontlines fighting day after day, session after plenary session, holding back the hand of Thanos, so frightened that you will sacrifice everything, even plunge yourself and your people into ruinous debt just to make sure that he power of the executive branch is kept  in check?
Is that it? Is that why?

What’s the deal? What’s up? Is it that the Angel of Destiny, the Archangel Uriel, did appear unto thee and spake thus, “Lo, thou art anointed to save Uganda. Go forth unto parliament.” And now you, personally, must be there to help steer the budgets and the resources and the diplomatic relationships and the laws and freedom of your people, no matter how much it costs you, us, and Uganda, so you really have no choice?

Is that it? Is that the reason?

If that’s the case I am sorry. I have sorely misjudged you. I thought you were a selfish crook bent on draining your nation. Kumbe instead of offering blind insults like a hayra I should offer some helpful advice.

Let me offer helpful advice. I have learned my lesson.

How about, instead of stretching our nation’s thin financial resources even further, instead of getting cars, get the Safeboda app. Or a pioneer bus pass. That is way cheaper. I barely ever drive my own Spacio, not since I got the safeboda app.

Also, there is decent housing here in Kyanja for much cheaper than those bloated mansions you guys seem to be trapped in. This will free a lot of money to pay off constituents handouts.

Or…wait ..or… Wait. Hear me out… Or…

Just tell them no.

“O honourable member and Lord, majestic beyond the ken of a mere peasant like me, mighty and blessed, noble and graceful, I throw myself at your feet, fling myself at your mercy to plead. My son must wed his maiden: 17 million Shillings please. May the pagan gods of our local shrines bequeath upon thine lush beard even more luster,” they grovel.

Just say no.

“If you don’t give us money we won’t vote for you again,” they will say?

You reply, “Good. Then I can get out of this penury trap and get a real job.”

Here’s the thing. If everyone refuses to be extorted like this, that threat loses it’s sting. If they won’t vote for people who they can’t blackmail, who will they vote for? They will have to vote for someone.

I think they will end up voting actual honourable people instead.

Here’s my Idea. You know the saying, “If you really believe in what you are doing you will do it for free?” Or at least you will do it for as little money as you need to stay alive and fed enough to keep doing it?
You know, like those raggedy UPE teachers (the good ones, not the sex offenders) or those raggedy village priests ( the good ones not the sex offenders) or cops (as previously parenthesized again).

If MPs are poor, their constituents won’t expect anything more from them than an honest day’s work. Shiiiyet if you are any good they will be the ones sending you matooke and a chicken or two once in a while.

So, slash mp salaries allowances and incomes. Place these donations and stuff under the category of vote buying or voter influence and outlaw them, repeal that stupid OTT tax and let us proceed.

See? The problem has brought the solution.

2 thoughts on “How do you solve a problem like Parliament?

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