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Absence of ministers, MPs paralyses Parliament business

By Vision Reporters

Added 28th August 2020 09:11 PM

The Constitutional Amendment Bill could not also be handled because neither the chairperson of the legal committee Jacob Oboth nor the mover of the Bill, Wilfred Niwagaba, was present.

Absence of ministers, MPs paralyses Parliament business

Oboth

The Constitutional Amendment Bill could not also be handled because neither the chairperson of the legal committee Jacob Oboth nor the mover of the Bill, Wilfred Niwagaba, was present.

PARLIAMENT|MINISTERS|ABSENTEEISM 

KAMPALA - The absence of several ministers and MPs who were supposed to present reports and statements paralysed Tuesday's plenary.

There was no minister from the gender ministry to present the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) (Amendment) 2019 for a second reading.

On the same Bill, none of the co chairs of the joint finance and gender committee was there to present the report on the Bill.

The finance committee is chaired by Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi while the gender one is chaired by Alex Ndeezi, who represents people with disability (central region).

The Constitutional Amendment Bill could not also be handled because neither the chairperson of the legal committee Jacob Oboth nor the mover of the Bill, Wilfred Niwagaba, was present.

The Labour Disputes (arbitration and settlement) Amendment Bill could not also be handled due to the absence of both the minister for gender and parliament gender committee chairperson.

Key minister absent

Due to the absence of the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, the motion for reconsidering the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill could not be moved. Many other items were skipped due to the absence of the relevant ministers and MPs.

There were about 23 MPs in Parliament on Tuesday out of the total number of 452.

Musasizi


The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, expressed disappointment that most ministers were not present and tasked the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa with telling the House why.

Nankabirwa said the ministers had all received the communication regarding Parliament's sitting just like all MPs and, therefore, she could not tell why they were absent. She moved out and made attempts to call some of the ministers.

With an annual budget of sh688b, it means that on average Parliament spends nearly sh2b every day on transacting legislative and oversight business on behalf of the nation.

Whenever general elections are approaching, the number of MPs in Parliament always goes down as many of them retreat to their constituencies to fight for political survival.

Busy season

MPs belonging to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) will, starting next week (September 4), be participating in party primaries for choosing parliamentary flag-bearers.

Considering that nominations for the local government contestants will take place next month, nominations for parliamentary candidates in October, and nominations for presidential candidates in November, the 10th Parliament is increasingly finding it difficult to transact business normally.

Kadaga also announced that of all the MPs and staff of Parliament that were tested for COVID-19 in July, none was found to be positive.

Kadaga notified MPs and Parliament staff about another round of COVID-19 tests that began on Tuesday.

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