Uganda: Which Religion Will Prevail in Parliament?
May 20, 2006
Posted to the web May 22, 2006
Pastor Joshua Mugabi
It is the dominant belief of any society that determines its progress or retrogression. And so shall it be with the members of the Eighth Parliament. While it is assumed that this Parliament will have two wings - the opposition, and government, it is the belief factor that will determine the height and direction of flight of these lawmakers.
The beliefs of these lawmakers will influence their choices for the good or evil of Uganda. This fact can be verified by the conduct of the members of the Seventh Parliament who believed that the solution to Uganda's woes lay solely in the the President's Office.
So they never exercised their legal right of independent opinion as counsellors and brain resources to government. While I believe in consensus as the basic guiding factor for positive action, I know the proverb that states that it is the men around the leader that make or break him.
While the concept of multi-partyism is supposed to eradicate this problem, it cannot because those who have made it to Parliament are supposed to hold onto their tickets even after boarding the shuttle. Parliament is supposed to be the culmination of the wisdom of Ugandans debating issues objectively without bias.
This nation will not prosper if debates are rigged through lobbying and manipulation that stems from the principle of "let's bring/keep our man in the hot seat" and frustrating those with a different opinion. This nation needs men and women who transcend their parties, religious affiliation and local politicking; they must lead with courage and a vision.
But character trait comes from possessing faith in the transcendent God whose ultimate vision is His glory covering all the nations. It is this faith that gave the church the courage to speak boldly to the government concerning the way forward for the nation of Uganda. The church believes that God chooses and empowers men to function with outstanding ability.
He raised a shepherd boy David into a great King in place of King Saul, the darling of Israel who had failed in his kingly duties. The story of King Nebuchadnezzar demonstrates God's involvement in the affairs of nations.
He restored him to the throne after serving his 7-year sentence of living like a wild animal. It is this same truth that Jesus proclaimed to Pilate in John 19:10-11. It should be restated to all those in any office of power. Unfortunately this truth faces great resistance with the notion that religion and the State must be kept separate.
The church should not be only left to operate at funerals and functions of the government so as to appease the conscience of the religious community. The voice of conscience propagated by the church is quashed although it creates a vacuum that has to be filled.
As an alternative, mediums have been consulted and adopted as the Africans culture; not religion. These mediums have smartly asked for legal protection together with their use of usual blood sacrifices. We now refer to them as traditional healers, holding the same portfolio as medical doctors in this nation.
We must remember that people become like what they worship. Those who hold this belief system adopt the behavioural pattern of these mystics by continually being absent physically but invisibly present to claim sitting allowances. Important decisions will be abandoned to fate as the ancestors choose to bless or punish the nation.
With the church silenced and the traditionalist appeased, one voice of the Muslim will be left to sound strongly in Parliament. Muslims believe they are marginalised and so they must be attended to even when their demands offend the majority opinion. Hidden in the cleft of the minority, they will be allowed to front their agenda at the expense of other belief systems while evangelical Christians will be required to be professional and condescending in all matters of legislation.
The over 30 Muslim MPs will first and foremost front the Islamic agenda; to gain prominence in all spheres of government. Unless those who held the Bible, to swear in their vows, stop paying lip service to the Christian faith, the religion that will prevail in Parliament will be Islam.
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