Updates on the Uganda Parliament
Today marked the 12th Sitting of the 2nd Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 11th Parliament and was presided over by Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa. In his communication, the Deputy Speaker informed the house that the Speaker had traveled to Juba for the East Africa Inter-Parliamentary games opening ceremony.
Later, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu West MP, NUP) asked the Minister of Internal Affairs to come and explain to the house and country at large about the increasing attack on police posts and stations across the country. The Deputy Speaker instructed the Minister of Internal Affairs to present a statement about the increasing attacks on police stations and what the Ministry was doing to address the problem. “The Minister of Internal Affairs should come and explain the security situation in the country because many police posts have been closed”, he said. In response, Government Chief Whip Hamson Obua said the Police were conducting investigations into the sporadic attacks on Police Posts. He urged Ugandans to condemn such attacks.
Hon. Moses Walyomu (Kagoma County, Indp) raised a matter of national importance urging the government to equip referral hospitals with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) services to handle health emergencies including Ebola. In response Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja informed the House that the Ministry of Health had not registered any Ebola cases in the last 10 days.
Later, the Minister of Public Service, Hon Muruuli Mukasa tabled a list of 79 retired Diplomats and Ambassadors who had not received their retirement benefits. The report was referred to the Committee on Public Service for scrutiny.
Later Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja moved a motion to pay tribute (attached) to the late Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, the former President of the Democratic Party for his eminent and dedicated service to the Republic of Uganda. He died on Friday, 18th November 2022. Paul Ssemogerere became the DP Publicity Secretary from 1962 to 1969 when political parties were banned and together with Ben Kiwanuka they were arrested and detained without trial under the Public Order and Security Act, of 1967. ln 1972, he replaced Benedicto Kiwanuka as Leader of the Democratic Party, having served him as Parliamentary Secretary.
From 1986-1995, Dr. Ssemogerere was appointed and served as Minister for Internal Affairs, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Affairs, and later Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Service under the NRM government. The mover of the motion, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja described Dr. Ssemogerere as a firm advocate and promoter of democracy in the Democratic Party.
Hon. Medard Ssegona (Busiro East, NUP) representing the Leader of Opposition (LOP) and who seconded the motion, thanked the government for granting Dr. Ssemogerere an official burial, saying he rightly deserved it. “The late was a vanguard of democracy and rule of law even in circumstances of extreme disagreements”, he said. He asked the Government to name a befitting prime road in memory and appreciation of the eminent work of the Late Dr. Ssemogerere. On her part Hon. Fortunate Nantongo (Kyotera Woman MP, DP) and the only female DP MP in the 11th Parliament eulogized the Late Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere as a mentor who dedicated his time to mentoring and nurturing young people to become better leaders. She called upon current leaders to take the time to mentor young leaders. On his part, Hon. Richard Lumu (Mityana South, DP) said Dr. Ssemogerere was a strong advocate of federalism as the only pathway to achieve balanced economic development in the country.
The House considered and passed the motion paying tribute to the late Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere for his eminent and dedicated service to the Republic of Uganda.
Later, the House moved to receive Reports on Actions Taken by Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies on the resolutions passed by the 11th Parliament from May 2021 to May 2022 (attached). This was in fulfillment of Rule 220 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament. Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka presented the action taken report by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on the resolutions of Parliament.
On the resolution urging the government to verify and pay compensation to people who lost lives & livestock to cattle rustlers, Kiryowa Kiwanuka said the government commenced compensation for the cattle lost in Acholi, Lango, and Teso sub-regions. To date, 17,687 claimants had been paid a total of UGX 49,345,708,595 with unspent UGX 654,291,405 because of bounced payments. “To date, a total sum of UGX 49.34 bn has been paid to claimants”, he said. He also said that the implementation of the Anti-Pornography Act, of 2014 was being stifled by the Court ruling which found Section 1 (2) of the Act on the definition of Pornography as unconstitutional. “An appeal against this decision has been filed”, he said. On the resolution for Government to implement the Trafficking in Persons Act, 2019, he said the Trafficking in persons Act 2019 was being implemented in accordance with the Law.
On the resolution that “In accordance with Article 79 of the Constitution, a law be enacted to adequately and specifically criminalize, penalize and make raiding a very expensive and consequential venture for all its perpetrators and abettors”, the AG said the government was currently reviewing the Penal Code Act and, therefore, there was an opportunity to study the possibility of introducing offenses related to Cattle Rustling in the Penal Code Act. In addition, the Minister of State for Defence, Hon. Oboth Oboth said UPDF had enhanced troop levels in districts affected by cattle rustling. “We have also integrated into our operations the anti-cattle rustling mobilization and sensitization strategy”, he said. He also said, “With the re-launch of the ‘Usalama kwa wote’ operations in July 2021, 631 guns were recovered by May 2022″.
The debate on action taken reports presented by different Ministries was deferred to Tuesday of the next week.
Thereafter, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House to Tuesday the following week.
Courtesy AFLI and CSBAG Parliamentary Monitoring team.