RX Radio Presenters James Onen aka Fatboy and Olive Najjuma have agreed that as much as the proposed bill to reduce the number of members of Parliament may be constructive and well thought out, it may receive minimal support.
The Rushenyi County Member of Parliament also former Woman MP of Ntungamo District, Naome Kabasharira seconded the bill to downsize the number of MPs in Parliament, citing that the 500 is too huge and too expensive a number to facilitate yet with no service delivery at the ground levels.
Fatboy said that Uganda's neighbor Kenya, despite having a higher population than Uganda, has fewer representatives in Parliament.
“Besides the many reasons, I think no political party would be in favor of this because having more MP seats means having more room to capture power and influence in the house. So if the number of MPs is shrunk significantly, it makes it much harder for even smaller parties to secure representation,” Fatboy argued.
However, Olive opined that the representation in Parliament would remain the same since different parties have influence in different regions. “For instance, NUP has a lot of influence in the central region and UPC in the north. So now I believe that if they are cut down, they will still have it because now we have the Members of Parliament, Woman Members of Parliament, the Youth members, those that represent people with special needs, and the army. There are so many and it's not really necessary.”
Fatboy added that besides being many, there was little productivity from the army and faulted them for paying little attention to issues that affect the ordinary citizens.
“Shouldn’t they be censoring the Internal Affairs Minister to summon that person to explain the kinds of torture Ugandan citizens are suffering at the hands of security? Because over the weekend you saw how all the international bodies of the European Union and the American citizens were decrying the inhumane treatment that Ugandan citizens were suffering from,” Fatboy commented.
Kabasharira also commented that people advocating for the formation of new constituencies are merely selfish whereas others lost and want offices. Currently, Uganda has 529 MPs from 135 districts whereas Kenya has 337 MPs and Tanzania has 393.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.