Rugunda to face MPs for vetting

By Vision Reporter

PRIME Minister Prof. Apolo Nsibambi has put the matter of vetting Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to rest. Rugunda, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council, will appear before the appointments’ committee for vetting, Nsibambi said on Thursda

PRIME Minister Prof. Apolo Nsibambi has put the matter of vetting Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to rest. Rugunda, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council, will appear before the appointments’ committee for vetting, Nsibambi said on Thursday.

The premier was reacting to a request by Apac District woman MP, Betty Amongi (independent) to the Government to give its position on the matter.
Dr Rugunda was appointed in December 2008 and assumed his duties in New York in January this year.

FOOD CRISIS HITS THE COUNTRY

The food shortage in the country is as a result of prolonged drought, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

State minister for relief and disaster preparedness Musa Ecweru said chief administrative officers had sent reports of famine to his office.
Ecweru was reacting to a statement by Opposition Chief Whip Kassiano Wadri that there is “extreme famine” in West Nile as a result of the long drought and uncontrolled sale of food to South Sudan.

Wadri, who is Terego MP, warned that the people had been surviving on mangoes. He expressed uncertainty over what will happen when the mango season ends.

MPS FIGHT PERFORMANCE REPORT

A consultative meeting at Parliament between MPs and the African Leadership Institute turned rowdy on Tuesday as the MPs attempted to block the release of their performance assessment report.

The row started when the institute’s director, David Pulkol, informed the members that the second parliamentary performance scorecard would be released at the end of May. The first report, which angered MPs, was released in December 2007.
The announcement attracted boos and heckling from the MPs, who demanded that the report should not be published. The MPs, who vehemently opposed the methodology used to assess them, said the report was not in good faith, and called it a tool to arm their political opponents.

Pulkol explained that the objective of the assessment was to deepen democratic governance and promote accountability by those in leadership positions.

<.b>TANZANIAN NATIONAL among those KILLED BY PGB SOLDIER
A Tanzanian national was among the seven people killed when a Presidential Guard Brigade (PGB) soldier shot at people in a bar on William Street in Kampala recently.
The six people injured in the incident included a Kenyan, defence minister Dr Crispus Kiyonga told the House. He said the Kenyan and Tanzanian High Commissions had been informed about the fate of their nationals.
Private Nicholas Mucunguzi of PGB shot at people at Top Bar before turning the gun on himself.

Reacting to the statement, MPs questioned the safety of the President. They urged the Government to set up an inquiry into the matter and to compensate the victims.

UGANDA TO HOST AU SUMMIT
Following a successful Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007, Uganda is set to host another high profile African Union summit next year.
However, foreign affairs state minister Isaac Musumba said the funds allocated for the summit were insufficient. He said the ministry had a funding gap of sh12.74b in the 2009/2010 budget for the summit.

ONEN recalling not political

First deputy premier and East African Community affairs minister Eriya Kategaya said on Monday that the dropping of Ambassador Julius Onen as the deputy secretary general of the EAC should not be politicised.

Some MPs from northern Uganda operating under the Greater North Parliamentary Association recently warned that the region would secede from the rest of the country due to “marginalisation.”

The MPs attacked the Government for dropping Onen and called for renewal of his contract. Kategaya said Onen’s contract came to an end and it was not renewed.

“Should we have his appointment politicised?” asked Kategaya.

MPS ASK FOR CONSOLIDATED FUND BANK STATEMENTS

MPS REJECT FUNDS FOR NEW DISTRICTS
MPs seem to be wary of demands for creation of new district given the country’s meager resources. MPs on the budget committee on Wednesday refused to approve Sh3.68b meant for creation of new districts, municipalities and town councils.
They demanded for a list of the proposed districts that were supposed to be approved by Parliament.
Others argued that existing districts were under funded and new ones were not able to collect enough revenue.
They asked for a feasibility study that has been done for the proposed new districts.

MPS REJECT SH10B PATRIOTISM FUND
MPS on the budget committee on Tuesday refused to approve the Sh10b meant for patriotism clubs and facilitators.
They argued that there were other pressing needs. The chairperson of the budget committee, Rose Akol stressed that they would not approve the money unless stakeholders are consulted and a concept paper is presented.

NRM CAUCUS SUPPORTS BAN ON BUVEERA
THE NRM caucus has overwhelmingly supported a move to widen the ban on polythene bags to cover the 100 microns polythene.
The caucus on Monday endorsed a private members’ bill by Mbarara Municipality John Kigyagi to ban the 100 microns polythene. Currently only the 30 microns polythene are banned.
The bill, National Polythene materials and Plastic bags management and control bill 2007 seeks to regulate the importation, manufacture, distribution, sale, use and disposal of polythene materials and plastic bags in Uganda.
If passed, polythene dealers will face up to five years imprisonment or a fine of US $ 1000 to $ 5000(about sh2m-sh10m) depending on the quantities one is found with.

PARLIAMENT has asked the ministry of finance to table bank statements of the governments’ consolidated fund.
MPs on the finance committee expressed fear that the fund was not being properly managed as such could lead the country into a financial crisis.

Next Week...
Pending business includes reports of the Uganda Human Rights Commission 1999-2007, a loan request to finance the second environmental management capacity building project and the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Bill, 2008.

Rugunda to face MPs for vetting