KAMPALA – A new poll conducted by Vision Group, one of the reputable media houses in Uganda, has named Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa the 2022 best – performing legislator.
The new poll released at the weekend, puts Ruhinda North legislator in number one position, and applauds his leadership skills in the conduct of public affairs.
In Saturday Vision (January 21 edition), one of the main national English-language newspapers published by the Vision Group, Mr Teyebwa was described as “an independent presiding officer of the House” and glorified for promoting and protecting Uganda’s interest on the International scene.
In the final Report Card that singled out the stars in the 11th Parliament, considered four major roles of a Member of Parliament including legislation, budget approval and appropriation, oversight, and representation of the electorate in Parliament.
Under oversight, they indicated that an MP is expected to monitor and bring to the attention of ministers, the public, and the Government misuse of funds, violation of law, and unlawful activities.
In the first part of a series released on Saturday, Tayebwa outshone his 529 colleagues in fulfilling these roles in 2022.
Tayebwa serves as the Member of Parliament for Ruhinda North County in Mitooma District and a member of the National Resistance Movement.
“The Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Ruhinda North (NRM) ensures decorum of Parliament. Just last month, Tayebwa directed MPs to stop making political statements under disguised as points of procedure or order. He later issued new guidelines on the conduct of business, on points of procedure and order during House debates,” the Vision poll reads.
“In November 2022, while attending the African, Caribbean, Pacific- European Union joint Parliamentary Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, Tayebwa condemned a resolution by the European Parliament, bashing Uganda’s East African Crude oil project saying it would increase human rights violations in the areas it is set to pass.”
It adds: “Tayebwa said the resolution was based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection.”
In September last year, the soft-spoken but no-nonsense Tayebwa protested a biased European Union Oil pipeline resolution, saying it amounts to “economic racism” for the West, which has contributed to high carbon emissions. Without mincing words, the deputy Speaker castigated any attempts to frustrate the development of the oil and gas sector in sovereign states-Uganda and Tanzania.
“The resolution is based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection. It represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania,” Tayebwa argued.
He explained that like many African countries, Uganda is a developing nation with unique development needs, and priorities, hence asking for the withdrawal of the motion because it was against the UN Charter that gives independent nations a right to self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources.
The responses by Tayebwa and Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, excited President Yoweri Museveni, who praised the duo for a job well done in defending the country’s economic interests and sovereignty.
“The remarks of the Deputy Speaker and the Attorney General in one of the dailies concerning the EU Parliament and EACOP interested me in making some comments of reassurance to our people,” said the President.
He added that; “Either way, we shall have our oil coming out by 2025 as planned.”
2022 was Tayebwa’s first year as Deputy Speaker, having served as ruling party chief whip for about six months.
Legislators across the political devide said together with Rt Hon Speaker Anita Among have brought life to Parliament.
Others MPs listed alongside Tayebwa include the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga. Mr. Mpuuga of the National Unity Platform (NUP) represents Nyendo-Mukungwe, a division in Masaka city.
Also listed are Mbarara City South MP Mwine Mpaka, the chairperson of the committee on trade, tourism, and industries; Fox Odoi, the West Budama and chair parliament’s committee on human rights; Sarah Opendi an independent MP representing Tororo District and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda the MP for Kira Municipality and Member of Parliament for Forum for Democratic Change.
Charles Ayume, the MP for Koboko Municipality; Dan Kimisho, the MP for Kazo County; Dickson Kateshumbwa, the Sheema Municipality MP and Patrick Opolot Isiagi, the MP for Kachumbala County were also praised for their commitment to serving Uganda.