Am an activist and not a boardroom politician says Betty Nambooze

On Friday many Ugandans received with a mixed- reaction the news that the NUP Principal Hon.Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu together with the NUP executive had appointed me to head the Government Assurance Committee (GAC). The fact of the matter is that many people had never heard about this committee. Mulungi is one of such people and by asking me why I had been appointed to head a committee she has never heard of or seen on TV…..She was making this observation for many other people.

Betty Nambooze Bakireke

As I promised, here is a brief about the GAC:

I don’t agree with those who allege and even condemn the former leaders who where in charge of this accountability committee for failing to make it visible. I equally disagree with those citing this committee as a weak outfit. And I promise that by the time we complete our term of leadership atleast majority Ugandans will be aware of the existence of this committee and how much we can achieve if the Chairperson and her team invest themselves into calling upon the executive to account to the people of Uganda.

The GAC is a permanently opposition led committee with a duty of carrying out oversight on the executive arm of Government.
The difference you will see will only be a result of the different management style of this committee. Most probably this is why we advocate for change of Government.

Politically I’m an activist and not a boardroom politician…..You will therefore see activism in whatever I do. As a Principal I don’t operate in silence because experience shows that silence and the expedience of being compromised are cousins. One thing that has made our opposition leaders to accept the executive set standards ,which are lower than is desirable is silence or indifference.

Ideological I believe in an accountable leadership…A leadership that believes in putting people first in all what we do and this is the true meaning of the phrase “People Power our Power”

The Committee on Government Assurances (GAC) in Uganda is constituted under rule 156 (1) (h) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Parliament. The Committee previously consisted of between 20 -30 Members of Parliament drawn from both sides of the House having been nominated by the Chief Whip of their side. On the side of the opposition the Chief Whip assigns membership of all committees in consultation with the Party Whips and by preference of members.

This time around I guess that we are to have some more members on these committees because of the numbers in Parliament. The Chaiperson holds this office until a new Committee is nominated and the end of a Parliamentary term or during a reshuffle as the leading opposition party leadership may decide.

In summary the Com­mit­tee on Gov­ern­ment As­sur­ances is man­dated to scru­ti­nise the as­sur­ances, promises and un­der­tak­ings given by Min­is­ters and other agents of Gov­ern­ment in Par­lia­ment from time to time and re­port on the ex­tent to which those as­sur­ances, promises and un­der­tak­ings, have been im­ple­mented.

Two, the GAC takes on the relevant Ministry where there has been de­lays in im­ple­men­ta­tion and the ad­e­quacy of the ac­tions taken. The committee also ex­er­cise such other func­tions that are not cov­ered by the above area as may be al­lo­cated to the Com­mit­tee by the Speaker from time to time.

Betty Nambooze Bakireke

The Committee re­port on the ex­tent to which such as­sur­ances, promises, un­der­tak­ings and any other mat­ters re­lated to the fore­go­ing have been im­ple­mented, and whether such im­ple­men­ta­tions have taken place within the min­i­mum time nec­es­sary for the pur­pose together with details of effectiveness to ensure value for money.

The whole concept that GAC pursues is service delivery across the Country as promised by Politicians. During election and as the do their work,Politicians and citizens enter into a social contract. The implementation of that social contract is the backbone of a peaceful, Democratic,accountable Government…..And it’s this contract that GAC should unwavingly pursue.

Like I said the other day, I and Honourable Gonzaga Ssewunga plus the Membership we are to get in a few days to come are to put fresh onto the seemingly bear bones of GACog and we pledge that in the first 100 day after it has been fully constituted GAC which is not going to be driven for a show will occupy it’s true position as the public watchdog.

Read also : Mathias Mpuuga Call for Unity Among Opposition as Patrick Amuriat blames Bobi Wine

Frank Fremer is a seasoned journalist, blogger and political analyst for over a decade in Uganda

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