Note: This is our record of what transpired in the meeting. Not verbatim.

Highlights Of The Plenary Sitting Held On Wednesday, 11th July 2018

Discussed in the on July 12th, 2018

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The Rt. Hon. Speaker, Rebecca A. Kadaga, took the Chair at 3:09p.m.

  1. The Speaker,
  2. informed the House that the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Rt. Hon. Narendra Damodardas Modi, would address the House on the morning of 25th July 2018 at a time to be confirmed.
  3. noted the public outcry in response to the imposition of certain taxes under the recently passed Excise Duty Act, 2018on Mobile Money and on Over The Top (OTT) internet services commonly referred to as the Social Media Tax,
  • added that she had received petitions from;
  1. mobile money operators who claimed to have been run out of business because of the 3% tax imposed:- 1% on receiving money, 1% on sending money and 1% on withdrawal of money. The 226 petitioners from Kampala District added that there was double taxation since there was already tax paid on airtime purchases,
  2. Students who claim that the tax has made it more costly to submit their research proposals to their lecturers or to access educational materials on Whatsapp.
  3. Online Marketers who cannot afford rent for premises or staff salaries used the internet to market their good and services were also affected. She noted that this breached Article 40 of the Constitution on Economic Rights of the Citizens of Uganda and the Access to Information Act, 2005.
  4. noted the need for Government to listen more to the stakeholders in the process of reviewing the Act,
  5. guided that the House needs to improve on stakeholder consultations and directed the Clerk to Parliament to create an interactive application to ensure that Committees widen their stakeholder consultations on top of the usual face-to-face interactions,
  6. confirmed that she had received the list of Accounting Officers for FY2018/19 from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Secretary to the Treasury,
  • informed the House that she has received a communication from H.E the President addressed to the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development touching the issue of Members’ security. She requested the Members to find copies of the same letter in their pigeon holes,
  • informed the Members that she had learnt of the passing of the Late Abby Bbumba Ssebaggala, Husband to Hon. Syda M. Namirembe Bbumba and brother to Hon. Abdulatif Ssebaggala.

A moment of silence was observed in honour of the deceased.

  1. A. Hon. Otieno Okoth Richard, MP,  West Budama County North, NRM, raised the issue of forced circumcision of male babies in Busole Hospital in his constituency.

     The Rt. Hon. Speaker directed the Minister of Health to respond to this issue but the Minister was not present to respond.

B.Hon. Bintu Lukumu Jalia, DWR Masindi, NRM, raised the issue of the Hepatitis B pandemic that continues to afflict the people of Masindi. She stressed that if the outbreak was not well managed, given the district’s proximity to the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was likely to escalate.

     The Rt. Hon. Speaker directed the Minister of Health to respond to this issue but the Minister was not present to respond. 

  1. Hon. Lowila C.D Oketayot, DWR Pader, NRM,raised the issue of the illegal give-away of Government ranches in different parts of the country to unknown investors.

      The Speaker directed the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business together with the Minister of Agriculture to give an update on the issue of the giveaway of Government ranches around the country.

D.Hon. Lubogo Kenneth, MP, Bulamoji County, NRM, raised the issue of a loan from AFDB worth USD $100 million for construction of electricity transmission lines to benefit the people of his constituency among others.

The Speaker directed the Minister responsible for Energy and minerals to update the House on that loan at the earliest possible date.

E.Hon. Komakech Lyandro, MP, Gulu Municipality, DP, raised the issue of security threats being circulated on social media instructing the populace to stay indoors on 17thJuly 2018 as there were plans for a major assault on government that would result in a shut down of the establishment.

         The Speaker directed the Ministers responsible for Defence and Security to address the House on this urgent matter onThursday 12thJuly 2018.

  1. Hon. Nsamba Oshabe Patrick, MP, Kassanda North, NRM, raised the issue of rising power tariffs despite interventions by the August House by renegotiating the Bujagali Dam project.

The Speaker directed the Minister for Energy and Minerals to address the House on this matter on Thursday 12thJuly 2018.

G.Hon. Kakooza James, MP, Kabula County, IND., raised the issue of allegations by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development that the House passed the 1% tax on Mobile Money transactions in error despite Government’s proposal for the tax

The Government Chief Whip condemned the conduct of some Members of Parliament who address issues of contested rulings by presiding Officers in the media rather than using the provision in the Rules.

The Speaker directed the Minister of Finance to apologise to the August House before any further business pertaining to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development could be considered.

  1. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda presented the statement on the OTT and Mobile Money Tax.

The Speaker informed the House that she would consult further on the matter and come back to the House with a position on Thursday 12thJuly 2018.

  1. The Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), Hon. Ajedra Gabriel Gadison Aridru, presented the list of Accounting officers for the Financial Year 2018/19.

The Speaker noted that the Missions in Cairo and Tokyo as well as Fort Portal Municipality have two names of Accounting Officers each. This matter should be clarified.

The list was referred to the Committee on Public Accounts – Central Government, Committee on Public Accounts – Local government and Committee on Public Accounts – COSASE for verification and report back on Thursday 12thJuly 2018. 

  1. The Government Chief Whip requested for time, up to Tuesday 17thJuly 2018, to designate Members of the NRM to Sectoral Committees

The Speaker granted her request and directed that all designations to          Sectoral Committees be conducted concurrently.

  1. The House was adjourned at 5:08pm until Thursday 12thJuly 2018 at 2:00pm.

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