Uganda Forum Against Corrupt Entities

Fight corruption in your community

The tranny of Special interest groups in Uganda. It is time to reform affirmative action in Uganda and eliminate representatives of special interest groups from parliament.

It is admirable to remedy and eliminate the effects of years of discrimination and reform the structural elements that fostered and entrenched the discrimination against marginalized groups. Affirmative action is one of the measures used by employers, academic institutions and the Government to empower previously marginalized groups. True affirmative action looks at the circumstances of a member of the marginalized group and his or her abilities and gives that person an advantage over an advantaged person with equal abilities. For instance, if have two candidates for a job, one a woman and another a man. Affirmative action allows you to give an advantage to the woman (because women were historically discriminated against) where both are of equal ability.

However, Uganda has instead distorted affirmative action to become favoritism in favor of special interest groups and discrimination against the rest of the population. Instead of Affirmative action for women and girls, we have quotas reserved for women on the basis of sex rather than effort and ability and quotas reserved for other special interest groups for no reason except their specific characteristic that the government has chosen to favor. So as a result we have members of Parliament who represent workers, the elderly, person’s with disabilities, youth and women.

Obviously it is preferable that every Ugandan regardless of level of education, sex or religion or level of wealth be adequately represented in parliament. A representative is legislature is usually legitimate and representative of the will of the people as long as it is not distorted by bribery, polarisation and dark money interests. However, where certain groups are given disproportionate representation then the legislature becomes distorted. Representative democracy assigns relative equality to each citizens vote such that each representative is expected to represent roughly the number of people. This is the reason why constituencies are supposed to have roughly the same population such that each representative represents toughly the same number of people.

To ensure that every citizens vote is equal to that of other citizens the Constitution requires that each person has only vote. Whether you are green, blue or black or yellow you get only vote. However, affirmative action has distorted this basic requirement of one man one vote. In Uganda certain people get a general representative and a special representative. Some get to have more than four representatives. For example if I am a woman, person with disability, worker and a military officer I am entitled to a general representative who represents my constituency, a woman member of parliament, a worker’s representative, a representative for person’s with disabilities, a representative of the military and if am above 60 years a representative for the elderly. In the circumstances, I am entitled to more than five representatives in Parliament yet some middle aged man who is unemployed is entitled to only one representative in parliament.

This sad and facially unconstitutional situation whereby some people have more than one representative whereas other have as many as five Representatives is a direct result of affirmative action policies that impose quotas in favor of women, the military, workers, person’s with disabilities, the youth and the elderly. Why does a woman deserve a extra representative just because she is a woman and a man doesn’t deserve one. To what extent is the state allowed to favor one gender over the other in the name of affirmative action before it becomes outright discrimination. Since we have addressed the flawed affirmative action policies that Uganda has chosen to put in place we shall not repeat ourselves. We just wonder why we have representative and you have two or five.

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