The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has decried the lack of legislation to improve the socio-economic well-being of Ugandans.
Kadaga notes that most legislation has focused on civil and political rights leaving the issue of economic and social rights largely ignored.
She notes that Ugandans are entitled to economic rights as spelt out in Article 40 of the 1995 Constitution. She regretted that the economic situation of most Ugandan’s has remained dire.
Kadaga was speaking at the official opening of the 19th Uganda National Prayer Breakfast slated for October 8, 2017 at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
This year’s Prayer Breakfast will run under the theme: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Pastor Toruli Olusegun from the Institute of national transformation Nigeria is expected to be the main preacher of the day.
“We were supposed to have enacted a law under Article 40 on economic rights but we have not done it,” Kadaga exclaimed.
She regrets that the major focus for leaders currently is the constitutional amendments and other political laws like the local government act.
The Speaker was addressing the 3rd annual women’s forum of the Uganda national prayer breakfast at Hotel Africana.
Kadaga cited the example of recent fires that have razed city markets where the majority of the urban poor eke out a living pointing out that the leaders merely offer condolences without coming up with any meaningful assistance.
“We visit and say sorry and then we leave the people to find their feet again, where is our intervention,” she queried.
At the start of her address, the Speaker issued a veiled attack at leaders who make laws for selfish interests by quoting the Bible from the book of Isaiah Chapter 10: 1-4.
“Just look at those law makers who write evil laws and make life hard for the people. They are not fair to the poor. They deprive the rights of the poor and allow people to steal from widows and orphans,” Kadaga read out the verse.
She remarked that God knew that there were those few who legislate for the many and left instructions for them.
She also hinted on other social ills that encumber the country like lack of decent housing and access to safe water.
“We are surrounded by slums, we pass through the slums everyday going to the city coming back and there are Ugandans in those slums we have not said much about their housing and their needs,” she points out.
The Speaker urged the women legislators present to rise up and make a difference in order to change the situation the country is faced with.
She challenged them to come up with tangible solutions since they now have a platform and the voices to be heard as opposed to the past.
“When many laws were being made we were not there so there that’s why you find that at Parliament they did not expect women so there was only one toilet for women, the whole building you see there,” she recounted.
The occasion was graced by a panel of notable women who made presentations on solutions and tips on various issues affecting women.
The first panelist was Jolly Gonahasa who made a presentation entitled: “Sustaining holistic families, Marriages and parenting in this modern age.”
She was followed by the deputy chief justice Mariam Wangadya who was filling in for the IGG Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja.
Wangadya remarked that it was no accident that various women had been entrusted with influential positions in various organizations, noting that women are the custodians of justice and human rights.
She stated that corruption is at the centre of the erosion of the nation’s moral fabric and undermines service delivery.
“It is not by accident that it is a woman who is confronting these things,” she said in reference to Justice Mulyangonja.
President Museveni, Speaker Kadaga, Members of Parliament, religious leaders and other related stakeholders are expected to attend this annual event organised by Parliament.