GULU — Ruhinda North Member of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa has rallied legislators from Acholi Sub Region to support his deputy speakership bid—promising to front legislators’s welfare, unity, quality of debate among others.
Mr. Tayebwa made the call during a meeting with MPs from Acholi held Bomah Hotel, Gulu.
The meeting was attended by 22 MPs elect including the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ocan and Eng. Hillary Onek who is the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.
“I understand the issues to do with our welfare and we will be very strong about them,” he told MPs.
MP Tayebwa reasoned that MPs shouldn’t be selling their private property to do government work in Parliament.
“You going to be given a car, it has no driver, it has no maintenance…… Those cars aren’t tax-free. You’re to get a car of 100 millions but you’re to pay a tax of 70 million back to government” he said.
Quoting controversy in the institution of speakership at Parliament, Tayebwa promised to be a unifying factor—while ensuring everybody including back benchers get an opportunity to contribute to Parliamentary proceedings.
“I want to bring the office of speakership down to the back benchers. There things we just joke around them with but I have seen the experience of a back bencher. There’s a big difference between them (back benchers) and seniors in Parliament,” he said.
A back bencher is a Member of Parliament who does not hold the portfolio of Minister both in government and the Opposition.
Back Bench Members cannot occupy the front seats in Parliament since they are reserved for Ministers.
Leader of Opposition Ms. Acan thanked Mr. Tayebwa and whished him well ahead of heated deputy speakership race.
Ms. Acan warned MPs to be very careful on acquiring huge loans from money lenders—noting that: “at the end of five years you will be more miserable and poorer than you joined Parliament”.
For the time she has spent in Parliament, Ms. Acan said she has witnessed newcomers in the house drowning in the sea of loans and becoming poorer for good.
She said most MPs do come in Parliament with huge debts, and government has used debts as leverage to hook them to pass bills that are in his favours by promising to clear them off.