Two weeks ago two Senators had their names cleared of charges of misconduct by a Committee of their peers. It was an entertaining distraction from the usual grind of the legislative process.
Two Senators stood respectively accused of public brawling and obstruction of justice by the Senate’s Committee on Conduct.
The story of Senator Kagabo as reported in this paper provided high drama to the point that at the end of the proceedings the only mention of his colleague’s (Senator Kamanzi) accusations of obstruction of justice was a short paragraph stating that the Senator was cleared of that charge.
The story goes that one day as the Senator was departing on a trip to Europe, a car nearly backed into him.
Now, most people would spring out of the way of one tonne of metal but our Senator fearlessly took on the offending vehicle and took out one of the indicators with a kick. As a warning to young readers, do not try to repeat the Senator’s heroics, it can end rather painfully if anything goes wrong.
To his credit, he compensated the driver for the damage to the car and to their credit the Senate investigated the incident and warned the good Senator. What was worrying was the reaction of some of his colleagues who alleged that he acted in self defence [physical confrontation is now an acceptable reaction for a moving vehicle in close proximity], that it had been an assassination attempt [hardly stuff out of the ‘Day of the Jackal’ – death by reversing vehicle] and that the driver himself should be hauled in for careless driving. This is a worrying look into attitudes of some of our representatives towards their constituents.
It would appear that a few Senators have reached the point where they have been much more valuable than the simple voters that put them into their current positions.
If the sessions on the Senators were entertaining, reports of a Deputy who beat his 12 year old brother into a coma were not.
No reason for the episode in brutality were given in this paper but one is left to wonder at the level of brutality and Mike Tyson-like strength required to beat a person into a coma. The House of Deputies did the right thing and lifted the Deputy’s immunity.
I think that in this incident lies an opportunity for the House of Deputies to perhaps widen from the current focus on gender based violence and highlight domestic abuse in its various forms.
If the focus of this scribbler’s piece so far has been on the legislative arm of our government, events in Libya continued to be the focus of governments everywhere.
Protests in Libya have been a bloodier version of the ones that took place in Egypt and Tunisia resulting into large numbers of refugees to these same countries. The UN has since placed an arms embargo on Libya and travel bans on Colonel Gaddafi, his adult children and high ranking officials in his government.
In the meantime, the cost of democratic revolt was being passed on to the rest of the world. The ICE Brent Crude Futures Index was hovering at around 113$ at the time of writing. For context, it hit 100$ around the time of the Egypt protests in the middle of last month. Two weeks later it had gained over 10$ on the basis of lost production of Libyan oil.
To cut a long story short, do not be surprised if pump prices break the 1000F barrier for the first time in April, unless there is heavy subsidy by the government, which will bring a whole
set of fiscal headaches of its own.
Start saving up for increased prices in cash power, public transport fare, foodstuff and imported goods because things are just about to get expensive.