Today in Parliament
The plenary sitting of 8th July 2020 started with a hot debate after the Leader of Opposition, Hon. Aol Betty Ochan raised a matter about the controversial death of Emmanuel Tegu. Mr Tugu was a former student at Makerere University who died on 3rd July after being aggressively assaulted. The Opposition leader said that some media reports indicated that Tegu was attacked by the Local Defence Unit (LDU) as they were enforcing the curfew directives, although the Police denied these allegations. She expressed her discontentment with the brutality of the security agencies noting that it has caused the loss of many lives—besides, Hon. Ann Adeke said that the reports presented by the Police about the death of Emmanuel Tegu were inconsistent. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who presided over the sitting, instructed the Minister of Internal Affairs to give a comprehensive report about the actions of LDUs and ensure that justice prevails.
Members of Parliament asked the Government to re-open places of worship. Hon. Monica Amoding, the Woman MP for Kumi, raised a matter of national concern saying that churches play a fundamental role in nurturing the society and people in terms of spiritual nourishment. Mitooma Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka added that the places of worship have been re-opened in other countries and they operate following the standard operating procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Speaker asked the 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali to take the matter to Cabinet and report back to the House.
The Minister for Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaija informed the House that the funds for emergency repairs were released. He said that approximately UShs.80.308bn was disbursed as follows: UShs 58.604bn to UNRA, UShs 10bn to KCCA and the balance of 11.704bn to the District, Urban and Rural Access roads through Uganda Road Fund. The Minister’s’ statement was providing answers to an urgent question raised by Hon. Mutebi David (MP, Buikwe South) on 30th June 2020 about the Government’s failure to devote resources to the rehabilitation of roads that were damaged by the heavy rains and other natural disasters in various parts of the country.
The Woman MP for Butebo District, Agnes Amedde, presented a report of the Select Committee on the evictions and displacement of the people of Apaa Community. Among other things, the report indicated that the conflicts over land affected in Apaa mainly affected the Acholi and the Madi and that the conflict has persisted for a long time. The 1st Deputy Prime Minister raised to present the Government’s position on this matter. However, the Speaker stopped him from giving the Government’s position on the same citing that he had a conflict of interest in the matter. The Presiding officer directed the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, Kirunda Kivejinja, to handle the issue. The debate on the Select Committee’s report will resume in the sitting of next week.
House moved to consider the National Coffee Bill, 2018 at the 2nd reading. During the debate Hon. Baseke Fred proposed that an Auctioning System should be introduced in the coffee business to create more market for coffee and provide fair prices. Also, members recommended that the law should ensure that women working in the coffee sector have better working conditions and have adequate representation on the Board. Hon. Timuzigu Michael proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture should carry out soil testing across the country to establish areas suitable for growing coffee and other crops such as tea and sugarcane. The Speaker asked the Members to draft their proposals to the bill for consideration at the Bill’s Committee stage.