Legislating on political power transition to promote peace in Uganda will be higher on the opposition agenda in Parliament, their leader, Mathias Mpuuga has revealed.
Mpuuga (MP, Nyendo-Mukungwe) said that during his tenure as Leader of Opposition (LoP), a private members bill geared toward providing for Presidential political power transition will be tabled.
He noted that it is Parliament’s role to step in and ensure that there is peaceful transition of political power therefore; a legislative framework to facilitate the process is prudent.
Mpuuga made the remarks while delivering his response to President Yoweri Museveni’s State of the Nation Address made on June 4, 2021, during a plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, yesterday August 4, 2021.
Rule 52 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure allows the LoP to make a response and open debate on the President’s speech within a given period of time.
Mpuuga further revealed that they were planning to initiate Public Order Management (Amendment) Bill, Uganda Peoples Defence Force (Amendment) Bill, amend the Employment Act and review of externalization of labor laws and policies.
The opposition legislative agenda also includes initiating the Markets Amendment Bill, Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill and liberalization of the retirement benefits sector.
Additionally, the opposition, Mpuuga said, will initiate the public debt repayment structure, review of tax exemptions, register of foreign and domestic investors and amendments to the Uganda Communications Act, Data Protection and Privacy Act, minimum broadcasting standards and reconsidering the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill.
Mpuuga faulted the government on its role in the slow recovery of the economy from the adverse effects of Covid19, saying that the State has relegated almost all its core obligations to the private sector.
“It is increasingly becoming evident that government has relegated almost all its core obligations to the private sector. It is ceding ground in most critical sectors such as finance, education and health,” said Mpuuga.
He expressed concern that Government had remained with very limited footprint in the running of the economy.
“In previous regimes, these sectors were prioritized by Government and made strides in developing infrastructure that delivered affordable services across the country, but now the Government is competing with its citizens in accessing credit instead of competing with commercial banks in providing credit. The most dilapidated and poorly renumerated schools are public schools,” he added.
Mpuuga equally criticized government for using the Covid-19 pandemic as a cover up for almost every failure.
He was dismayed that Government continues to attribute the contraction of the economy, rising poverty levels, escalating public debt and poor service delivery on the pandemic while making very little efforts to change the downward trajectory.
“Before the pandemic, these concerns were already manifesting. The lifeline of the economy has for long, been borrowing,” Mpuuga said.
The LoP promised that the opposition in Parliament under the leadership of the Shadow Cabinet would spearhead in shaping the legislative agenda in Parliament.