The first half of the first session of the 10th Parliament, what has been handled so far
The 1st Session of the 10th Parliament opened up with the swearing-in of the members from the 16th-18th of May 2016 at Parliament of Uganda. Sessions of Parliament run for a year, which means there are five sessions for a five-year term of office. The first session of the 10th Parliament will therefore run until May 2017.
19th of May 2016 was set aside for the election of holder of the office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, and for the first time in decades, the President of the republic was present throughout the sitting to witness the function. The Right on Speaker, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, Woman Member of Parliament for Kamuli District sailed through unopposed, as Speaker, for her second term in office.
The office of the Deputy Speaker on the other hand was contested between the Member of Parliament for Kampala Central, Hon Muhammad Nsereko and Member of Parliament for Omoro County, Right Hon Jacob Oulanyah who had served in the 19th Parliament as Deputy Speaker, who emerged victor.
The 31st day of May 2016 was quite a remarkable day as the President of the republic of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, delivered his first State of the Nation Address to Parliament following his re-election in February 2016. The State of the Nation Address took place at Serena Hotel at 2:00 pm.
JUNE 8th Parliament approved the presidential appointee for the position of Vice President, Hon. Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka. This was followed later that afternoon by the budget Speech to Parliament by the Minister of Finance, planning and Economic Development on behalf of the President HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
17th June Parliament approved the Presidential appointee for the office of Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. This was followed by the approval of the motion to allow the President vary the number of Cabinet Ministers from 21 to 31 and other Ministers from 31 to 49.
JULY 13th Parliament carried out the administration of Oaths for ex-officio members of Parliament adopted a resolution under Article 179 of the Constitution for the alteration of boundaries of Omoro and Gulu Districts and proceeded to designate members of various Committees, Members of the Pan-African Parliament and members of the Common Wealth Parliamentary Association.
21st was used to consider and debate on a motion by Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi on the conduct of police towards civilians, a motion moved to reintroduce business that remained outstanding at the dissolution of the 9th Parliament was passed, and for the adoption of the Parliamentary Calendar for the 1st Session of the 10th Parliament. On the same day, the post-election economic and fiscal position of the country was laid on table.
AUGUST saw Parliament start to exercise one of its cardinal roles, government loan approval, as on the 9th thereof, a brief to Parliament on a proposal to borrow USD $14,300,000 from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to support the vocational education Project phase 2 was laid.
On 16th another request to borrow up to SDR 10.1 million (US$14 million) from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project was also tabled before Parliament for consideration.
On 17th Parliament Considered and debated the response of the Leader of the Opposition to the State of the Nation Address, 2016. On the same day, there was the first reading of the Leadership code (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was forwarded to the Committee of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny.
On the same day, there was a loan request to borrow up to SDR 106.4 Million (US$ 150.0 Million) from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank group to support the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) and referred to the committee on National Economy for consideration.
Another request by government for approval by Parliament for it to borrow up to Kuwait Dinars 3.5 Million (US $ 11.32 Million) from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to finance the construction of the 33KV and 11KV distribution project in six Districts of Uganda namely; Kiryandongo, Kibaale, Nebbi, Bushenyi, Kasese and Rukungiri and referred to the Committee on National Economy.
23rd First reading of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Treaty Implementation Bill, 2016. The Bill was forwarded to the Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry for consideration. Two days later, there was a motion by Hon Ssekitoleko Kafeero seeking leave of the House to Introduce a Private Member’s Bill, Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2016 under Article 94(4) (B) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. This was later denied by the Speaker of Parliament on grounds that the grounds were unfounded and differed indefinitely.
On 14th there was a request to borrow up to SDR 71.0 Million (US$100 Million) from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Grid Expansion and Reinforcement Project tabled before Parliament.
However, following the publications on different media houses about parliamentary expenditure, On 15th September the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline was directed the to examine the negative publications made with a view of charging the responsible media houses with contempt of Parliament.
Also on 15th, parliament adopted the report of the Committee on National Economy on the Proposal by Government to Borrow up to SDR 106,400,000 (US $150 Million) from the International Development Association (IDA) of The World Bank Group to support the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).
On 21st Proposal by Government to Borrow USD 91 million from the African Development Bank was tabled before Parliament for consideration.
22nd Parliament passed a Resolution congratulating the Uganda Cranes for qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017.
And on the 6th of October, the House was sent on a one month recess.
There are other deliberations the 10th Parliament has made since they took office that are not included in this document such as matters raised on grounds of National Importance. However, what is stalling the work of Parliament is the absence of business from the part of government. The Leader of Government Business is mandated to table a list of items they expect parliament to handle, but this is not forthcoming.