Highlights: Today in Parliament
In the sitting of 28th July 2020, Parliament observed a moment of silence for the late Benjamin Mkapa, the former President of Tanzania. Rebecca Kadaga, who presided over the sitting, recognized him as a leader who worked hard towards the integration of the East African Community.
Regarding matters of national concern, Watuwa Grace MP Namisindwa District informed Parliament that the team from the Ministry of Health poorly buried the body of the first Ugandan who died of COVID19. “Dogs may have got to the body; this has sent an awful odour around the site forcing the security team to withdraw.” She said. The Speaker directed the Ministry of Health to intervene very fast to ensure that the body is well-buried.
Hon. Muhairwe Daniel raised a concern that government had started evicting people living near Kyangwali refugee settlement. He said that this could fuel the conflict between the indigenous people and the refugees. The Speaker asked the Ministry of Lands to halt the evictions.
The State Minister for Local Government, Magezi Raphael, presented a statement on the non-payment of honoraria or ex-gratia (allowances) to the leaders in lower Local Government. This includes payments to LC 1 chairpersons and councillors. He informed Parliament that the Ministry was making preparations for the payments for the smaller administrative units. The Minister added that the ‘LC1 chairpersons who are currently in office will receive bicycles in this quota of the financial year while the LC 3 chairpersons will receive motorcycles.’
The Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on National Economy, Lawrence Bategeka (MP), presented the report on the state of indebtedness. From the description, Uganda’s public debt increased by 12% in the financial year 2018/19 compared to the previous financial year. The external debt was at US $ 8.35 billion and domestic debt at the US $ 4.2 billion as domestic debt (external debt refers to the money borrowed from outside Uganda while domestic debt is the money borrowed from within). The committee report recommended that the government should reduce borrowing for consumption and implement the projects financed by loans on time.
Hon. Rose Mary Seninde, State Minister for Education, informed Parliament that the deadline for application for the students’ loan scheme which was supposed to be on 30th July 2020 was extended to 31st August 2020 to enable more students to apply.
Finally, the Speaker instructed the Minister for Kampala to report to Parliament and explain the new guidelines for the boda-boda cyclists, including the bod-boda free-zone in the City. This came after a concern that boda-boda cyclists were being arrested by Police while riding in Kampala.