May 2, 2013 | 21:30 Hours
The Speaker of Parliament, the Honourable Rebecca A. Kadaga MP has pronounced herself on the eviction of 4 members of Parliament from the NRM party. Quoth she, Article 83 of The Constitution covers the circumstances under which an MP’s seat may be declared vacant and the present scenario is most definitely not catered for. Let the talking heads run riot.
Gabriel Epenu, host of NTV news at nine then handed over to an unnamed reporter who proceeded to interview Julius Galisonga, introduced to us as a constitutional lawyer. More on that in a bit. When the reporter was done with Galisonga, we returned to the studio where Epenu introduced his studio guest, Robert Kirunda, a lecturer of law at Makerere University and a political analyst.
Now, I have a vested interest in ‘how lawyers be’, to use a Ugandanism. My baby sister is in training to become an advocate and I am constantly bothering her with info on law firms, interesting cases, inspirational lawyers/barristers/solicitors & advocates, so when I see stuff where lawyers are involved, I take notes.
And boy, did I take some notes tonight.
On air, Kirunda was the lovechild of Denny Crane and Alan Shore with Harvey Specter as his nursemaid. He was eloquent, he looked straight into the camera, he spoke up, he enunciated his words, his diction was precise, he was informed, quoting case law here, precedent (William Lenthall & Charles I) there, and throwing in a Latin maxim or two here and there with explanations for good measure. He was on point, and then some.
Let me digress a bit.
My dear learned friends, as far as I know (unless you are an ambulance chaser), your chosen profession frowns upon advertisements of yourself. Your work, I suppose, should speak for itself. But just like you cannot tell that a beautiful woman has a heart of gold unless you are initially attracted by her beautiful kiwaani and other material inducements, we cannot tell that you are a ‘good and successful lawyer’ unless we hear you speak and see your shiny suit and Mercedes C200 – the apparent choice of motor for almost every lawyer I went to school with.
In that respect, Galisonga shone. I mean, his suit did. And little else. Listening to him prattle on was like being in a kafunda discussion chaired by an administrative clerk. His biggest contribution was asking on which side of the parliamentary aisle the 4 expelled MPs would sit.
And as for this business of introducing him as a constitutional lawyer; granted he might very well have majored (is that the right term?) in constitutional law but when you’re watching national news, one expects to be presented with the expert opinion of … an expert. When I think of experts on constitutional law, my mind prepares to bow at the feet of Prof. G. W. Kanyeihamba, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, Peter Walubiri, Busingye Kabumba et al not an individual who until today I knew only as the lawyer of one Bad Black. Yes, I read everything.
As I was saying, when you’re in a business where people will hire you for the quality of what comes out of your mouth, it pays to adhere to the advice of Mark Twain, ‘it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt’.
I would have asked for Kirunda’s phone number but my aforementioned baby sister will be my lawyer of choice when she finishes LDC shortly.
And now, to borrow a quote that Robert Kirunda used, ‘Vox Populi, vox Dei!’
Go Kadaga!! Good on you for stating the obvious.