This week in Parliament: 3rd September – 5th September 2019
Plenary this week was presided over by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah. He reiterated to the members that the statements made on the floor of Parliament are broadcasted and monitored, and therefore, should be based on facts. He said this in reference to the issue that was raised by Hon. Akamba Paul alleging that Hon. Jeje Odong had abused his Office which he said was not true. It was in the sitting of 3rd September when the Minister of Internal Affairs, Jeje Odong, presented a statement in response to the matter raised by Hon. Akamba Paul on the alleged abuse of office that he caused the arrest of a Turkish National, Mr. Aziz Duman. The Minister stated that he has never been involved. He asked that the accusations be expunged from the Hansard.
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal proposed that Government should provide free sanitary pads for girls in schools. “The President of Kenya recently okayed the provision of free sanitary towels to girls in schools, asking: why can’t the President of Uganda do the same?”
Hon. Mbwatekamwa Gaffa showed concern that there are some energy drinks which are on the market yet not certified. He asked that the Ministry of Trade ban all the drinks which are not certified by Uganda National Bureau of standards (UNBS) because they put the health of the public in danger.
On the 4th September, Hon. Nuwagaba Wilfred moved a motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce the bill entitled ‘the Constitution Amendment Bill 2019’. However, Matia Kasaija, the Minister for Finance had proposed that the motion be debated the following week when the Attorney General was expected to be present. This was rejected by the majority of the Members who maintained that leave be granted to the Private Member. The motion was seconded by Hon. Aol Betty Ocan, the Leader of Opposition and Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi. After the debate, House granted Hon. Nuwagaba leave to introduce the bill. The Speaker asked relevant Ministries and departments to support the Private Member in drafting the bill.
On the 5th September, Rt. Hon. Oulanyah showed concern about the #XenophobicAttacks taking place in South Africa. He said that this should not be happening in Africa, and called upon African leaders to ensure that this resolved. In relation to this matter, Hon. Ogwal Cecilia asked Government to ensure that the citizens that Ugandans in South Africa are safe. In addition, Hon. Ssemujju Nganda said that Government should inform the public about the number of Ugandans who are currently in SouthAfrica.
On the state of security in Uganda, Hon. Jeje Odong, the Minister of Internal Affairs informed Parliament that over 68% of the guns held by both Government and Private Security Agencies had been finger-printed and that the process is ongoing.
The Budget Committee was asked to go ahead to process the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2019. This came after Hon. Opolot Isiagi Patrick, the Committee chairperson had reported that they could not process the bill because it was introduced after the expiration of 1 year period from the Financial Year in question which breached the Constitution. The issues of legality were cleared by Parliament after the Minister for Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaija, gave an explanation as to why the bill seeking for an appropriation of 1.7 trillion spent in the FY 2017/18 was not introduced to Parliament. The Minister accepted the anomalies noting that the Ministry was engaged in a lot of activities and as a result, the bill was overtaken by events. He promised that it won’t happen again. The Committee is expected to consider the bill and report back to Parliament next week.