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Kadaga explains sittings amid COVID-19 threat

By John Tugume

Added 15th April 2020 09:32 AM

Kadaga said Parliament has 2020/21 budget deadline to beat, so they cannot wait for lockdown to end.

Kadaga explains sittings amid COVID-19 threat

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Kadaga said Parliament has 2020/21 budget deadline to beat, so they cannot wait for lockdown to end.

 
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has explained that the House continues holding Plenary sessions amid the COVID-19 threat because they have a 2020/2021 budget deadline to beat.
 
Kadaga used her official Twitter handle to say the lockdown could also not stop the House from passing some taxation Bills.
 
"When the President announced the lockdown, we had a meeting. Some felt we needed to close but what if the lockdown continues till June; we would not have a budget. In the interest of the country, we had to continue doing some work.
 
"The Parliamentary year begins in June and ends in May. When the lockdown took place, we had already started handling the budget. We cannot shark our responsibility because of the lockdown; the country has to get the necessary taxation laws," Kadaga said on Wednesday.
 
"It is during the budget meeting that we carry out oversight on what was agreed last year; how much money has been used; was it put to good use etc," she added.
 
The Speaker said they had also modified their operations, whereby 95% of Parliament employees work from home.
 
She said: "As Parliament there has been disruption. We have had to make adjustments on how we work. Plenary now ends at 5.00pm. Before, we would sit past 7pm. We moved debating from the Plenary Hall to the Conference Hall; and we have now moved to the tent at the Parking."
 
Kadaga's explanation comes amidst observations by social media users that the MPs were not observing the social distancing directive as guided by President Yoweri Museveni in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
 
On Tuesday, the MPs passed two Bills; the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which proposes a levy for both processed and unprocessed tobacco and the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
 
 

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