KAMPALA – Following the failure by the 10th Parliament to hold its plenary sitting has seen the debate on the need for Parliament to have a panel of speakers reemerge with some MPs throwing doubts on whether the panel will solve the problems in the institution.
The Thursday’s plenary sitting that was cancelled followed the absence of both the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
Ibrahim Ssemujju (Kira Municipality) MP and the Opposition Chief Whip said that the proposal to have a panel of speakers won’t solve problems at Parliament.
He said, “Even if you are going to have twenty speakers who are going to adjourn parliament when it is already inside that will change nothing. People ought to respect parliament as public institution, people ought to be accountable.”
Helen Kaweesa, Acting Director Communications at Parliament said the two presiding officers were engaged in state duties with Kadaga, who was slated to chair the sitting failing to anticipate her meeting with President Yoweri Museveni would enter into plenary time.
She explained, “Parliament didn’t sit today because the Speaker was at a state engagement and it took longer than it was expected. We didn’t anticipate that the engagement she was in would stretch to the time and she communicated when she realized it had gone beyond the time and communicated the House wouldn’t be available.”
Deputy Speaker Oulanyah was attending the African Pacific-European Union Conference in Kigali-Rwanda.
Parliament was meant to deal with a number of issued including a statement on the status of Uganda’s properties in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu by the Minister of Finance.
The Ministry of East African Community was also meant to present a report on the progress of East African Community, while the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness was also slated to present a statement on floods damage in the country over the past four months.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, had also lined up a statement on the brutality on some leaders and delegates of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) by the Uganda Police Force on Dr. Kiiza Besigye.
Another item that was to be discussed was the financial implications of implementing the presidential pledge to provide sanitary pads to girl students and Janet Museveni Minister of Education and Sports, was meant to present this statement.