Shock as 35 Workers Unions endorse Dr.Ebuku for MP assignment
By Kitts D.Mabonga
As the electoral commission moved to nominate the special interest group parliamentary aspirants last week, it has emerged with shock that Dr. Ekwaro Obuku who is contesting to become the next member of parliament on the workers ticket has already secured 35 of the 43 Unions across the country which position puts him in an outright win situation just ahead of the next year’s vote.
PLOTTING FOR A BETTER FUTURE OF THE WORKERS FRATERNITY; Dr.Obuku in the middle stressing his points during his workers manifesto launch fete in Kampala last week.
He was flanked by Grace Loyo the national women leader at the Chemical Union as Balamula Zakayo the deputy secretary general National Union of educational institutions.
This website has established that Dr.Obuku has already consulted 35 different workers Unions out of the total 43 requesting their individual chairpersons, secretary generals and delegates to endorse him as their parliamentary representative given that he is a tested leader.
Dr.Obuku was formerly nominated by the electoral commission last week before he launched his manifesto project in a big style of which colorful ceremony took place at the Uganda Nurses and midwifery headquarters in Mulago were he told the press how he had decided to stand and seek representation of the worker s voice in the 11th parliament.
The report about his clandestine consultation with unions has sent shock waves among most of his opponents some of them being long serving incumbents in parliament of whom sources described as having failed to represent the interests of the workers but were bent on fronting different legislation like the controversial togikwatako bill among others which are not in the direction of the workers fraternity.
It has been reported that Obuku is looking at making a comprehensive workers compact by December next year of which would be a crucial document that brings all issues affecting the workers plight under one roof for effective scrutiny and thus seeking join legislative solutions with support from other friendly MPs.
THE MEDIA BY HIS SIDE; A cross section of reporters busy recording the event proceedings of which all works in the favor of Dr.Obuku who is naturally liked by the entire media fraternity in the country due to his hard stand on issues of the medical workers.
Obuku who is the outgoing president of the extremely vibrant Uganda medical Association [UMA] was sometime back beaten to pulp by security forces as he struggled to put workers issues on the table said he has experience with parliamentary work given that he used to visit parliament several occasions in trying to urge out issues of the workers among them, the 2018 inquiry into allegations of sexual violence in institutions of learning in Uganda, the 2019 data protection and privacy bill 2015 which was passed in 2019,the mental health bill 2015,indigenous and complimentary medicines bill 2015, the national biotechnology and bio safety bill 2012 [GMO] and the presidential amendment bill 2017 [article 102 [b] the presidential age limit among others.
He vowed to continue amplifying the workers voice on the floor of the house agitating for safe work spaces, better salaries, and promotions at work place and improving workers working conditions through advocacy, communication and social mobilization in both the media and boardrooms.
He said he would be ready to ensure that the workers compensation Act 2000 was implemented like defending workers whose employers clandestinely connive with hospitals to unfairly issue conditions which are not conducive or commensurate with the work efforts put out by the individual workers and also confront global capitals and multinationals using international trade agreements to recognize Unions in accordance with the labour Unions Act.
BUILDING WORKERS POWER
Under this arrangement he is aware that Ugandan workers are suffering because majority are not Unionized as only 6% are the ones who are Unionized which makes it difficult for their critical issues to come out in the public and late alone be heard by the policy makers for effective problem solving mechanisms.
He insisted that united they stand and divided they fall which calls for more numbers and membership as a deliberate strategy of making their voice strong and out rightly be given space and audience however he notes that visibility of Unions in the general public is very critical as the public would stand with them whenever challenged or intimidated by the powerful guys.
Obuku caused uproar when he stressed that he would strengthen the education and training of workers as a vehicle of equipping them with knowledge about labor laws, their rights and responsibilities such that they can effectively build their confidence to engage government in social dialogue on issues that directly affect them.
He vowed to move a motion on the floor of parliament seeking the establishment of the parliamentary forum on labour which would work as a vehicle to advocate for minimum labour standards and implementation of the relevant laws like the employment Act 2006,Occupational safety and health Act 2006 and labour Unions Act 2006 among others of which are geared towards helping the workers movement to stand up and speak out or demand for their constitutional rights in relation to the workers spaces.