■ Says EALA elections are now held in Uganda because of him
■ Read about how he filed and urgued a case that freed DP, UPC and other parties to compete for EALA seats
■ Shows the scores and challenges of EALA
■ Gives an overview on DR Congo joining EAC
PHOTO: Hon. Mbidde tabling the crossborder Legal practice bill in Parliament
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
EARLY next year 2022, Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde, a lawyer who filed and successfully urgued a case, East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) seats to be competed for by all political parties in Uganda, will be biding farewell to the Arusha based Parliament where he has been Member of Parliament for two terms.
EALA MPs strictcly serve for two terms. Two weeks back, DP’s NEC elected Dr. Gerald Blacks Siranda to take over the party flag after Hon. Mbidde.
Originally, only two political parties, National Resistance Movement (NRM) and opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) used to share among themselves all EALA seats, the two appointed their favourite members to be sent to the Arusha Parliament.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde, the reigning Democratic Party Vice President who also a visiting lecturer at Soka University, Chiba University and Kyoritsu Women’s University in Japan, realised that this was contrary to the treaty. He identified loopholes and moved to stop this.
Giving News Editor Website an interview, Mbidde who is a former Guild President of the great Makerere University told us that, “I filed and successfully urgued Application Ref. No. 6 of 2012. This case freed Democratic Party and all other political parties to compete favourably for EALA elections as opposed to the TWO (FDC and NRM) that were originally allowed to appoint who of their members should go to EALA.”
“Of course their actions were not backed up by any law. I defeated them and now all political parties including new comers NUP and independents can contest for EALA slots.” Hon. Mbidde proudly said, on spoiling NRM and FDC’s EALA deal.
When the race was opened up in 2012 for other contestants from different political beliefs in Uganda, Democratic Party (DP) and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) competed for EALA seats and won.
In fact since competing for EALA seats started, FDC has been left out due to their political mistakes.
A QUICK REMINDER ABOUT FDC
In 2012, they boycotted EALA elections. When the Blue Party held primaries, Salaam Musumba and Anita Among (now Deputy Speaker after defecting to NRM) contested for the party ticket. All ended when FDC is not fronting a candidate in the final elections.
In 2017, Party Secretary General Hon. Nathan Nandala Mafabi sent two names to the Parliament of Uganda (the electoral college). Those sent were; Florence Ebi and Ingrid Turinawe Kamateneti.
It’s important to note that, FDC held EALA primaries and each of the two camps within the party fronted candidates. The Dr. Kizza Besigye’ camp endorsed Ingrid Turinawe while the Gen. Mugisha Muntu’s camp (who was then the party President) fronted Florence Ekwawu Ibi, former Kaberamaido district woman member of Parliament.
In the elections which were carried out at the Najjanankumbi Party headquarters, Muntu’s camp won Besigye’s camp. But because SG Mafabi was a Besigye’s man, he got intrigue on Florence Ibi’s win. In his letter to Uganda Parliament introducing the official party flag bearer, Mafabi also included Ingrid Turinawe on the list an act which confused and angered MPs hence they rejecting both candidates.
Six NRM candidates, one DP candidate (Mukasa Mbidde), UPC’s Chris Opoka and Independent’s Susan Nakawuki Nsambu went through, the rest is history.
In an interview with Hon. Mbidde, reasoned that having set a precedent, new political parties like the National Unity Platform (NUP) can now think of fronting EALA candidates in the forth coming elections. It is no longer an NRM/FDC business as it was.
RELEVANCE OF EAST AFRICAN COPERATION (EAC)
Asked about the impact of EAC to the common person in Uganda, Hon. Mbidde talked about a common market, among others.
Mbidde, the proprietor of Elsie Hotel in Masaka City said, “Of course our economies are still under producing so the populations don’t directly feel the impact. But even physical infrastructure developments like the Kampala – Masaka Mbarara Road, are all EAC projects. There is also Visa and tax free entry into EAC countries for intra-trade purposes (if goods are made in East Africa) and have a certificate of origin, etc.”
ABOUT DRC JOINING EAC
Currently, East has six member countries namely Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan. The latest to apply for inclusion is Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Giving an overview about this development, Hon. Mbidde told this news website that DR Congo is welcome.
He said, “The bottom line is the enjoyment of economies of integration. DRC has a population of 89 million people. The addition of their market to the EAC generates an aggregate demand of over 229 million buyers and sellers.”
Hon. Mbidde however told us, DR Congo is not yet cleared to join EAC. The Summit just approved commencement of final negotiations ( Last 3 steps) and they are easy though.
Asked what are these steps, Hon. Mbidde said, “The last step shall be the final admission by Summit for joinder by the 22nd Summit of the heads of State .
The remaining two include meetings with state organs and perusal of checklist documents on Security, Good governance etc. On fulfilment, DRC will definitely be part of EAC.”
DOES EAC LOOKS INTO DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE OF MEMBER STATES?
Hon. Mbidde said yes. He cited Article 6(d) and 7(2) of the Treaty saying it enjoin it to do so on account of Good governance, social justice and equal opportunities to citizens.
Asked about member counties which do not practice this yet EAC just looks at them making some citizens to consider EAC to be irrelevant, Mbidde said, “Of course it should be noted that EAC has challenges on Democracy, Respect for fundamental human rights, Accountability/corruption issues and Security.”
“It also however has referral organs for resolution of disputes e.g The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Court that Citizens can use. Of course few of us use these courts.” MP Mbidde told News Editor Media.
10 YEARS OF HON. MBIDDE @ EALA
● Filed and successfuly urged a case of DP V Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi for opening the African Court on human and peoples rights to their citizens.
● Mbidde Foundtion V EAC Ref No 5 of 2015 that saved the impeachment Of Speaker Margaret Nantongo Ziwa (a Ugandan) for over 2 years.
● Intervened in Birundi V EAC that saved the Current Speaker Rt. Hon. Martin Ngoga from removal by Court.
● Filed a matter against Kenya and also negotiated with South Sudan President Salvar Kiir for the Re election of EALA members that had wrongly been appointed
● In Parliament, in 2013 he was the Chairman of the Legal Committee, Chairman of the Communications Trade and Investment Comittee 2015 and now serving as a Comissioner EALA a position equivalent to that of a cabinet minister in charge of East African Affairs.
● Hon. Mbidde tabled the crossborder Legal practice bill
● He moved motions on free work permits
● Lobbied several African leaders for the benefit of the EAC peace and development
● Accessed aid through Mbidde Foundation for over 1m US dollars per year and hundreds of the people of Uganda have benefitted.
● Hon. Mbidde has cemented the relationship between EALA and the IPU.
WHO IS FRED MUKASA MBIDDE
Fed Mukasa Mbidde is a Ugandan lawyer, politician, human-rights activist, mass communication specialist, motivational speaker, businessman and philanthropist.
According to Flash Uganda Media, Mbidde is an MP in the 3rd East African Legislative (EALA), representing Uganda since 2012 on Democratic Party (DP) ticket.
He was born on 15 October 1973 in Masaka District to the late Emmanuel Mbidde, a former headmaster and Ms Mary Kintu, a retired teacher. Mbidde is the second born child of his mother and some of his siblings include; Henry Mbidde and Balaam Mbidde who are lecturers at Makerere University.
His father was a pure African man who had many women and children, for this reason, Mbidde grew up with his mother and could only visit him during holidays. Mbidde describes his mother as a loving and caring mother.
Hon Mbidde attended Nakyenyi Primary School in Lwengo District before it was curbed out of Masaka District, a school where his mother taught, for his primary education.
He joined Kabwoko High School for his middle school education, then Masuliita Boarding School and Kampala High School from where he completed both O’ & A’ education.
After secondary school, Mbidde was admitted to Makerere University from where he attained a Degree in Mass-Communication in the year 2003. Following his Bachelor’s degree, Mbidde proceeded with school and in 2009 he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB).
In 2010, the Law Development Centre (LDC) Kampala awarded Mbidde with a postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip. Leg. Pract).
Additionally, in 2005 Mbidde received some leadership training at the Norwegian School of Leadership and Theology (HLT).
In 2014, Mbidde was engaged in legal Practice in Sub-regional Courts at the Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.
Mbidde entered politics in 1999 as a member of the junior wing of the Democratic Party (DP), the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD).
Mbidde first gained prominence in 2001 while serving as the Guild President for Makerere University.
Before this, while at MUK, Mbidde served as the deputy treasurer for the party and secretary for Students’ Affairs.
He later engaged in the Makerere University guild presidency elections on the UYD ticket and won the race in all polling stations basing on many reasons.
He is infact branded as one of the most noteworthy guild presidents of the 2000s. He advocated for sponsorship of all female students with the automatic addition of 1.5 bonus points to every girl student upon admission to the university which went successful.
As a result, a balance between the number of girls admitted to Makerere University and that of boys who were the overwhelming majority before then emerged.
Mbidde also advocated for and succeeded in the creation of the Makerere University ICT Institute and successfully acquired the necessary funding from Norway Government. During Mbidde’s reign, there were no strikes because of his excellent negotiation skills whenever there was a strike scare.
Mbidde created the Ministry for Private Students Affairs to handle the issues of the then neglected privately sponsored academicians. Privately sponsored students by then were considered second class scholars and were denied privileges enjoyed by government-sponsored students. So, his efforts altered this perception positively.
He improved the security situation at the university by advocating for and succeeding in the removal of old fashioned hall of residence guards who were then using bows and arrows and replaced them with the current Makerere University Army that uses guns and wears green uniforms, the colour of his political party, alongside creating a perimeter wall fence around the university campus.
He as well worked upon the university sanitation issue replacing the then smelly and neglected gigantic garbage heap that existed between Makerere University School of Law and CCE Complex girls Hall with the now-famous Club Five, a student recreation facility at the university.
The gigantic garbage heap had become a home for madmen, drunkards and rapists.
Mukasa Mbidde additionally initiated the annual Japan-Uganda Students Conference held at Makerere University among others.
As the guild president of the oldest university in the country, Mbidde was given the title of Otak Olwenyi (meaning fighter) and the name Okello by the Acholi Makerere University Students Association (AMUSA) and the Acholi Sub-region elders.
Mbidde as well-received Japanese Recognition Awards from Chiba University (ACYPL) award, an accolade is given to young political leaders annually by the American Council.
In 2005, after his guild presidency, Mbidde became the National UYD Vice President and in 2006, he became the National Deputy Campaigning Director for the senior wing of DP deputizing Norbert Mao, currently DP president.
In 2007, Mbidde significantly participated in the demonstrations intended to save Mabira Forest from being sold to private companies.
Same year, he engaged in the parliamentary by-elections race for Kalungu East County, Masaka District before it turned Kalungu District but lost in controversial circumstances. However, Mbidde till today blames President Yoweri Museveni for the loss because of his involvement in the campaigns.
In the 2011 parliamentary elections, Mbidde contested for the same post in the constituency but lost and conceded the loss this time.
Mukasa Mbidde is a philanthropist in Uganda and has sponsored elections of some members of parliament in Uganda. He is also a co-sponsor of the activities of DP as well as the Catholic Church in Uganda.
Mbidde is so passionate about boxing and has sponsored many boxing clubs in Uganda. Additionally, Mbidde being a lawyer has often offered pro bono litigation to indigent clients as well as assist Diaspora members as far as land matters are concerned.
He co-sponsored the construction of a Kabaka monument ‘Nantawetwa’ at the historical Kabaka Njagala road junction in Mengo with KCCA and received recognition from KCCA.
Fred Mukasa Mbidde began working during his S.4 vacation as a newspaper vendor and by S.5 he had saved enough money to buy his first car a Toyota Carina.
Currently, Mbidde is a practising attorney. He has been in practice since 2011 and is a member of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), the East African Law Society (EALS), the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and People’s Rights (African Court Coalition).
He is a consultant for Kenya Human Rights Commission in Freedom of Movement specializing in the law of Treaties, Corporate Financing, Mergers and Acquisitions, Conveyancing and Trademarks.
He runs a private law firm in the names of Mbidde & C Advocates and the patron Mbidde Foundation a legal based NGO. Most times, Mbidde has joint instructions on high profile cases with Justin Semuyaba of Semuyaba Yiga &Co Advocates.
He has been the brain behind most cases filed by DP, because he’s the Chief Legal Advisor of the party. Of late, Mbidde’s legal practice has been inclined to Sub-regional courts especially the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
Mbidde has many friends in Japan who have supported Mbidde Foundation programmes over the years and the Financial Times Newspaper (1999-2000), he closed it down because Ugandans were not interested in reading economic literature.
For views/comments on this story, WhatsApp editor on 0772 523 039 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org