A cross section of residents in Kayunga District have expressed dismay over the continued absence of area Members of Parliament in their constituencies since December last year following the passing of the age limit law.
The area MPs being castigated include Amos Lugoloobi (Ntenjeru North), Ida Nantaba (district Woman MP), Fred Baseke (Ntenjeru South) and George Kumama (Bbaale County).
The aforementioned MPs, all subscribe to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) except Mr Baseke, who is an independent.
Mr Moses Kiranda, one of the dissatisfied electorates at Kitimbwa Trading Centre in Bbaale constituency, said he has not seen Mr Kumama since he went against their will and supported the removal of presidential age limit from the Constitution.
Voters speak out
Apart from Ms Nantaba, who did not vote because she was out of the country, the other three MPs supported the removal of the presidential age limit and extension of their term of office from five to seven years.
“We have many issues, which we want him to address but he is nowhere to be seen. I heard he only comes to his home village of Nakyesa,” Mr Kiranda said.
Mr Deo Byamukama, who was one of Mr Kumama’s campaigners in 2016 Parliamentary elections, lamented how the latter doesn’t pick up his phone calls any more.
Mr Mohammed Ssendyose of Ntenjeru South blamed the absence of the MPs on commercialisation of politics.
“What do you expect an MP who went to Parliament through buying votes? He has to disappear to save some money,” Mr Ssendyose explained.
He advised residents to learn from this experience and vote people who can respect their views and always stand with them.
Mr David Lutalo, of Kiribedda Village in Ntenjeru South, said they are surprised that Mr Baseke, who used to criticise his predecessor, Mr Patrick Nsanja, for not regularly visiting his constituents is doing the same.
But Mr Lugoloobi attributed his absence from the constituency to his busy schedule, saying he is trying to lobby projects for his people.
“We have indeed neglected our people but we are cooking something good for them from Kampala. When our plans are done, they will see us regularly as they used to do,” Mr Lugoloobi said.
Ms Nantaba’s supporters in Kayunga Town had early this year prepared to give her a hero’s welcome for not being present during the Parliamentary vote on lifting presidential age limit but she has since December last year also not publicly appeared.
Speaking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, Ms Nantaba, who also doubles as State minister for ICT, said she is always in the constituency, only that she cannot be everywhere given the big size of the constituency.
“When I am in Galilaaya Sub-county, my people in Kangulumira complain that they don’t see me but I cannot be everywhere at the same time,” Ms Nantaba said. After the passing of the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 2017 into law last December, angry electorate vowed to “punish” their MPs who voted in favour of the Bill, a choice they say was contrary to theirs.
Both Mr Lugoloobi and Ms Nantaba, were during the consultative meetings, forced to wear red ribbons, which symbolised the opposing of the passing of the Bill into law.
The duo promised not to support the Bill but Lugoloobi went against his word when voting in Parliament, reasoning that he wanted to maintain a good relationship with his party.
Commenting about the conduct of his party members, the Kayunga NRM chairman, Mr Moses Kalangwa, said he would invite the four MPs for a meeting on the matter.
“The MPs absence in their constituencies is having a negative impact on the party (NRM), as leaders ,we are going to address the issue and I will convene a meeting with them and find out what the problem is, I am sure they come ,” he said.
A total of 317 MPs voted for the removal of the age limit from Constitution against 97 who opposed it while two abstained.