The Ple­nary Sit­tings for this week were presided over by the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Re­becca A. Kadaga.

On the 5th of No­vem­ber, Hon. Baryayanga An­drew Aja moved a mo­tion for the Sec­ond read­ing of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Par­lia­ment (Amend­ment) Bill, 2019. The ob­ject of this bill is to pro­vide for the man­ner of choos­ing back-bench Mem­bers of the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sion, the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, the Chief Whip of Op­po­si­tion & Party Whips. It also seeks to es­tab­lish the Of­fice of Deputy Leader of Op­po­si­tion. The Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Par­lia­ment (Amend­ment) Bill, 2019 has be­come very con­tentious among the Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment. Hon. Aja in­formed the House that the law will al­low the In­de­pen­dent Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to have the Of­fice the Dean and also be en­able them to be­long to the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sion. How­ever, some In­de­pen­dent mem­bers said they were not con­sulted.

Hon. Nan­dala Mafabi asked the mover of the mo­tion to with­draw the bill. He said it is meant to tar­get Op­po­si­tion be­cause it only looks at pro­vid­ing a man­ner of choos­ing Op­po­si­tion whips and lead­ers while ig­nor­ing the Gov­ern­ment Whips.

Rt. Hon. Kadaga guided the mem­bers that the law which Hon. Aja wants to be amended was en­acted when there were no in­de­pen­dent mem­bers in the House. “Now we have about 67 In­de­pen­dents, what if the num­ber in­creases. Should we not al­low the in­de­pen­dent mem­bers to Chair the Com­mit­tees or be part of the Com­mis­sion?” She asked.

Dur­ing the sit­ting of 6th No­vem­ber, the Speaker in­formed Par­lia­ment that H.E the Pres­i­dent no­ti­fied her of his planned meet­ing, be­fore the Christ­mas hol­i­day, with the pro­tag­o­nists in the bound­ary con­tes­ta­tions in Tororo Dis­trict.

The fol­low­ing Pe­ti­tions were pre­sented and re­ferred to the Com­mit­tee on Fi­nance, Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment:

  1. Of the man­u­fac­tur­ers and con­sumers of bot­tled bev­er­ages in Uganda; pre­sented by Hon. Onyango Gideon, Mp Samia Bugwe County North.
  2. Of tea seedlings sup­pli­ers and nurs­ery op­er­a­tors in Bushenyi Dis­trict on non-pay­ment by the gov­ern­ment for seedlings sup­plied and dis­trib­uted to farm­ers un­der the NAADS pro­gramme; pre­sented by Hon. Magyezi Raphael, MP Igara County West.

The Min­is­ter of State for Min­er­als, Hon. Lok­eris Pe­ter Aimat pre­sented and later with­drew his State­ment in re­sponse to an ur­gent ques­tion in re­sponse to a let­ter by Hon. Okumu Rea­gan on the ex­treme power fluc­tu­a­tion in Gulu and Kit­gum. He un­der­took to pre­sent a more com­pre­hen­sive state­ment ad­dress­ing Mem­bers’ var­i­ous con­cerns on Thurs­day 14th No­vem­ber 2019.

The House de­bated the mo­tion for Sec­ond Read­ing of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Par­lia­ment [Amend­ment] Bill, 2019. The Speaker de­ferred fur­ther de­bate on the Mo­tion to the fol­low­ing sit­ting.

Dur­ing the Sit­ting of 7th No­vem­ber 2019, the Speaker in­formed the House that she re­ceived con­cern that Hon. Za­ake Fran­cis con­ducted him­self in an in­ap­pro­pri­ate man­ner be­fore the Com­mit­tee of Ed­u­ca­tion when the Vice-Chan­cel­lor of Mak­erere Uni­ver­sity was ap­pear­ing. The Speaker ruled that the Com­mit­tee of Rules, Priv­i­leges and Dis­ci­pline takes up the mat­ter con­cern­ing Hon. Za­ake’s ac­tions and pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions.

Mem­bers were also ar­gued mem­bers to ad­here to the Rules of Pro­ce­dure while con­duct­ing pro­ceed­ings in the Cham­bers and Com­mit­tees.

There were con­cerns that Min­is­ters have been ab­sent con­sis­tently and there are Ur­gent Ques­tions which need re­sponses from the re­spon­si­ble Min­is­ters have been pend­ing on the Or­der Pa­per for long. The Speaker ob­served that most of the Min­is­ters were not at­tend­ing ple­nary con­sis­tently which she said makes the work of Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans dif­fi­cult.
“The Min­is­ters must come and ad­dress the is­sues of the cit­i­zens if they don’t in 15 min­utes, I will ad­journ.” She said. The sit­ting was ad­journed pre­ma­turely af­ter the Min­is­ters failed to ap­pear be­fore the House.