This week in Parliament 17th – 21st June 2019
The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) interfaced with a team from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explain the matters regarding the current Bank of Uganda multibillion cash saga where some officials allegedly printed more cash of up to 90 billion and smuggled it onto a plane. During the Committee sitting on the 19th June, CAA officials informed the committee that they were unware of an extra cargo being carried on the plane which had Bank of Uganda money which had been printed from France and was on a chattered flight to Uganda.
In the plenary sitting on 19th June, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Kadaga, instructed the Health Committee to investigate the health workers who were implicated in the story documented by Solomon Serwanja an investigative journalist at NBS television and BBC team on the illegal selling of government drugs. The Members of Parliament viewed the video for about 10 minutes which raised a lot of disquiet from the Members.
In the same sitting, Parliament asked the Minister for Information and Guidance to acquire funds up to 1 billion Uganda shillings from the Ministry of Finance for Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) to facilitate the broadcast of African Cup of Nations matches as a way of supporting the Uganda Cranes, the National football team.
The Minister for Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite, informed Parliament that Government has no control over the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL). She informed Parliament that the Government is not aware of the status of the company. “I want to say that technically, we have lost the company.” She told Parliament during the plenary sitting on 20th June. The Speaker asked the Minister to explain what the Ministry had done in regard to the Treasury Memorandum on the previous report of Parliament on UTL regarding the management issues. She also asked, “Who is that ghost majority shareholder.” The Minister made a proposal that the Ministry of Finance’s Internal Auditor conducts an audit for the company but the Speaker said she will study the matter and issue a ruling.
During the meeting with the journalists on Thursday, 20th June 2019, Rt. Hon. Kadaga said that Members of Parliament are supposed to pay their own OTT (over the top taxes) for their social media. This was a clarification on the previous allegations that Parliament was to pay OTT for the MPs which raised public clamor.
On the 20th June, Parliament debated a report by the Committee on Physical Infrastructure and approved a clause which lays punishment of one-year imprisonment or a fine of five million shillings for landlords who forcefully evict tenants in the Landlord Tenant Bill 2018. The Members, however, rejected a clause that precludes landlords from increasing rent at a rate not exceeding 10% annually. The members argued that this distorts market forces of demand and supply.