Saturday, October 8, 2016

When The Cats Away, The MPs Will Play

I know little about parliament and its workings. I do know there is a speaker - Rebecca (Below) and her deputy – Jacob. I also know there’s a chamber where MP debates stuff and the steps at the front where they give soundbites to us in the media which, we convey to you - the public through (and time here for a spot of shameless Vision Group advertising) - Sunday Vision, New Vision, Bukedde, Urban TV, Radio West, X-FM and the rest.

At New Vision, when foreign travel looms, there are procedures we follow – right from CEO, Robert Kabushenga to Editor-in-Chief, Barbra Kaijja. I suspect when Robert goes abroad, he informs Chairman of the Board, Company Secretary and Editor-in-Chief. Barbra too, when she travels, she would have told Robert and various heads of departments. 

At my level, Kalungi Kabuye and I were in the same department. If Kalungi went to SA to cover Face of Africa, I would know about it. Even if it was abrupt, I still would have heard about in the corridors or Head Of Department would have told me to cover for him or Accountant would have in passing said: “Eh TB, this year its KK going to SA?”

At State House, when M7 travels, its plainly obvious that he tells his deputy – Edward, that he’s off. And he goes a step further - telling Kale Kayihura, Katumba Wamala and that man who wears the most awful coloured uniform as you can see below and who is in charge of all rogue elements in the land – Johnson Byabashaija, because the trio are always at the airport to see him off

But in parliament its different because MP does not follow rules. Last month, Rebecca went off to Boston, USA to attend the UNAA convention. Nothing wrong with that. I presume before she went, her office put out a memo on the notice boards informing all MPs she would be out of office. If not, IT Chap configured her e-mail to send one of those auto ‘out of office’ replies that read something along the lines of: “Peeps its Becky. I will be out of office for two weeks attending a convention in Boston. In my absence, Jacob has the chair.”

So to Boston she flies and in the hotel corridors, of all people from her office, guess who she bumps into aside from shorts clad Kato Lubwama and Meddi Nsereko (Below) looking a tad shy of being slapped with a fashion police deportation order? Like Will Smith said at the start of Summertime – “drum rolls please” - it was her deputy, Jacob Oulanyah who was supposed to be back in Kampala manning the ‘chair’!

Strike a pause. Is that not akin to M7 breezing into the UN General Assembly with Oryem Okello and finding they got nowhere to sit because Ssekandi and Frank Tumwebaze didn’t tell him that they too were representing? Or like Man of The House sneaking to see Maid in the dead of the night and finding Shamba Boy already nestled on her boobie? 

Said Rebecca: “I was surprised to meet Jacob (Below) in Boston with a parallel delegation.” But didn’t Jacob read the memo? Didn’t Rebecca call him and tell him to hold fort while she’s away? Did he not hear her absence being talked about in the canteen or while standing at the urinal?

Jacob not reading Rebecca’s memo or Rebecca not reading Jacob’s memo means Taxpayer paid $8,640 instead of $4,320 to send two speakers to Boston to sit in the same room, listen to the same speeches and watch the same power point presentations. And upon their return, they found that while the cats were away, the MPs had played - with MP demanding sh50m in selfie burial allowances.

Incidentally, happy Independence Day. 

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