Highlights of the Plenary Proceedings of Tuesday 14th April 2020
- The Sitting, presided over by the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Rebecca . A. Kadaga, commenced at 2:19 pm.
- In her Communication, the Speaker;
- Reiterated that the rational for the change in venue for House Sittings, initially from the Chamber to the Conference Hall and ultimately to the parking yard, was in fulfillment of the guidelines for the mitigation of the threat of COVID-19 in the execution of Parliament’s constitutional obligations,
- Commended the offer by the Minister of Health of 500 re-usable face masks for Members;
- Dispelled the impression of some sections of the public that Parliament was unduly bent on convening Sittings inspite of the threat of COVID-19. She reiterated that the continued Sittings of the House was in fulfillment of Parliament’s Constitutional obligations, notably;
- Article 152 which bestows unto Parliament the power to authorize the imposition of taxes, which is a pre-requisite for revenue generation to finance the Budget
- Article 155 (4) which requires the House to consider the estimates of revenues and expenditure laid before it by or on the authority of the President
- Article 156 (1), which mandates Parliament to consider the Appropriation Bill that provides for the issuance from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet planned public expenditure.
- Commended health workers for ably playing their role at the frontline of combating the threat of COVID-19,
- Informed Members that Parliament had offered its fleet of buses and coasters to the Ministry of Health to aid the transportation of health workers.
- Decried the delay by Government in implementing a 2015/16 Parliamentary recommendation to establish a Maritime University at the Namasagali campus of Busitema University. She attributed the movement of the MV Kalangala to Mwanza, Tanzania for servicing, yet the Maritime University would have conveniently done this.
- Guided Whips to comply with their party quotas in adherence to the limit of 80 Members expected at a Sitting of the House.
- The following Urgent Questions were raised:
- On the unwarranted intimidation and harassment of a health worker of Ediofe Health Centre III, by the Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Arua, for wheeling a patient to Arua Referral Hospital on Thursday 9th April 2020 after failing to secure an ambulance from the Arua District Taskforce on COVID-19; raised by Hon. Atiku Bernard, MP Ayivu County.
- Directed the Minister for the Presidency to rein in the errant Deputy Resident District Commissioner
- Undertook to nominate the health worker for an award in June 2020, for her exemplary, heroic and selfless behaviour.
- On the alleged delivery by National Medical Stores, of dismal and unsuitable supplies for combating COVID-19 to Jinja District; raised by Hon. Walyomu Muwanika Moses, MP Kagoma County.
The Speaker directed the Minister of Health to investigate the matter and update the House by Thursday 16th April 2020.
- On the destruction of buildings and equipment at Lalogi Health Centre IV by heavy rains on 12th April 2020 and the limited supply of safe water in Omoro due to the non-functionality of numerous boreholes; raised by Hon. Lamwaka Catherine, Omoro DWR.
The Speaker directed;
- The Minister of Health to address the plight of Lalogi Health Centre IV,
- The Minister of Water and Environment to ensure the supply of safe water to the affected population in Omoro District.
- The following Statements were made by Ministers;
- On failure by Government of Uganda to comply with the Financial Action Task Force [FATF] policies and subsequent suspension of Uganda passport holders resident in the Republic of South Korea from remitting money using Western Union and other remittance services; by the Minister of State for Finance in charge of Planning, Hon. Bahati David. He undertook to investigate the matter and report back to the House on Tuesday 21st April 2020.
- On failure by the Uganda Mission in Germany and that in South Africa to attain the minimum 50% pass mark on the Certificate of Gender and Equity Compliance in respect of their Ministerial Policy Statements and Budget Estimates for the FY 2020/21; by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Affairs, Hon. Okello Oryem Henry.
- The reports on the following Sectoral Committees on the Ministerial Policy Statements and Budget Estimates for the FY 2020/21 were tabled and referred to the Budget Committee:
- Education and Sports
- Environment and Natural Resources
- The House passed a Motion moved by Hon. Veronica Eragu Bichetero, MP Kaberamaido County to suspend Rule 24 (1) of the Rules of procedure, which stipulates that the quorum of Parliament shall be one third of all Members of Parliament entitled to vote.
The Speaker guided that for the period that the guidelines apply, quorum of the House shall be one third of the 80 Members eligible to vote during a Sitting.
- The House passed the following Bills:
- The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2020
- The Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- The House was adjourned at 5:20pm to Wednesday 15th April 2020 at 2:00pm.