KAMPALA – Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has lashed out at members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) caucus for trying to usurp powers of Parliament by using their meetings to dictate activities in Parliament and warned them against undermining Parliament.
Kadaga made the stunning warning during Wednesday’s plenary sitting following a matter raised by Mathias Mpugga (Masaka Municipality) sought her clarification on resolutions made during the Monday caucus meeting at State House Entebbe where the party agreed to uphold the 15% tuition increment at Makerere University as well as throw out the Administration of Parliament Amendment Act 2019.
Mpuuga said that two weeks ago, Parliament debated immensely about matters of Makerere university and directed the Education Committee to investigate and report back to Parliament on 13th November but was shocked when media was awash with information relating to a meeting of the ruling party caucus that sat and resolved on this matter.
He said, “Of course, I am not oblivious of the fact that they have every right to sit in caucus, there are members in the caucus that Parliament directed and they were part of the resolution to water down or to even forestall the Committee of Parliament. I am aware caucuses can sit, but on a matter that Parliament has taken a decision about, wouldn’t this kind of arrangement render the work of this committee nugatory.”
In response, Kadaga said that although she doesn’t attend caucuses but she also read somewhere that some MPs had taken a position in that meeting and cautioned MPs against undermining Parliament saying, “When we enacted the administration of parliament act, we wanted to be free from executive but now members are lifting issues here, going to the executive to undermine parliament. I don’t attend those caucuses but I just want to retaliate, stop undermining parliament, stop undermining this institution.”
Ssemujju Nganda, Opposition Chief Whip tasked Ruth Nankabirwa to explain which other platform exists that can rescind decisions taken by Parliament.
An angry Nankabirwa defended the party’s decision to hold caucus telling off Ssemujju that the office of Government Chief Whip was created by law and its functions were known which include whipping members and that caucus has rules that guides its members.
She said, “The issue of Administration of Parliament Act had taken a decision earlier on and my role was to remind them and wanted to know if they had rescinded. Regarding the issue of Makerere University, the Minister of Education had to give clarification you don’t just come without caucusing and organizing. I don’t know which rule I broke, it could be through ignorance.”