Updates on the Uganda Parliament.
During the 5th Sitting of the 2nd Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 11th Parliament of Uganda. Speaker Anitah Among Chaired Today’s Sitting. In her communication, she said, “Following my communication last week regarding the need for strengthening road safety interventions, I have followed an ongoing operation by the Uganda Police Force to improve road safety in Kampala”. “I commend and urge the police to cascade the operation to other parts of the country and sustain the enforcement. The incidences and cost of road accidents are so high that we need a concerted effort to tackle it”, she added. She said she was aware that the Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Hon. Dr. Charles Ayume had conducted a study on the magnitude of road traffic injuries reporting to public hospitals in Uganda and the cost of treatment. “We shall accord him time to present it”, she said.
Separately, the Speaker also urged parents to exercise their responsibility in parenting as children are set to return home earlier than they were expected following a cabinet decision to end the school third term earlier than planned because of the Ebola outbreak.
The Speaker also expressed dismay at the continued leaking of House Committee Reports before they are presented before the House. “Rule 216 (1) prohibits the publishing of a report or any evidence in committees before the report is tabled in the House”, she reminded members. “I hereby caution members and staff to desist from such information leakages. I may be prompted to issue sanctions against such breaches of the ethics required of Members”, she cautioned.
Kickstarting the debate was Hon. Macho Geoffrey (Busia Municipality, Indp) asked the Ministry of Works and Transport to simplify the process through which Boda Boda riders access the driving permits. While Hon. Charles Tebandeke, (Bbale County MP, NUP) asked the Government to carry out an investigation on the Uganda Driving Standards Agency which collected UGX 60,000 from Boda Boda riders, and the accountability of this money has never been given. On his part, Hon. Michael Timuzigu, (Kajara County, NRM) was concerned that many road users especially motorists and Boda Boda riders don’t respect the Zebra crossing across the country. He asked the Ministry of Internal Affairs together with Traffic Police to educate road users to respect Zebra Crossing along roads.
Later, Hon. Margaret Muhanga the State Minister for Health (Primary Health Care) laid on the table proof of payment to medical interns for October and September 2022. She informed the house that the pending payments for Kawempe and Nsambya hospitals were due to an error during the submission of paperwork. The Speaker instructed Hon. Paul Omara (Otuke County, Indp) and Hon. Herbert Ariko (Soroti City East, NRM) to scrutinize the documents laid by the Minister and report back to the house.
Later, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi, the Deputy Attorney General presented a statement concerning the Women’s Council elections. He promised to consult and work on a Statutory Instrument to extend the term of Women’s Councils as the government looks for funding to conduct the elections of Women’s Councils.
Later, before the National Sports Bill (attached) was presented for the first reading, the State Minister for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang pleaded with the house to allow Cabinet to understudy the Sports Bill, 2022 on Monday before it is presented. However, Members of Parliament led by Hon. Macho Geoffrey protested the move by the Minister but rather asked him to heed the Speaker’s position, that the private members’ bill can be moved and once the government bill is ready, then harmonization of the two can be made. The Speaker had said, “Where Government feels that the bill is not sufficient, then it can take over at committee stage as it did for the Succession Amendment Bill”.
The House prevailed on the Minister and Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (Bugiri Municipality, JEEMA) representing Hon. Moses Magogo presented the National Sports Bill 2022 for the 1st reading. Thereafter, the Speaker referred the National Sports Bill 2022 to the Committee of Education and Sports and report back in 45 days as provided for in the Rules of procedure of Parliament.
Later, Hon. Esther Anyakun, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness presented the Statement (Attached) on the National Disaster Risk Management Plan. In her Statement, the Minister said, The Vision of the DRM plan is “A disaster resilient Uganda capable to anticipate, prepare for and coping with all disaster risks”. The Cabinet approved 2022/23 – 2031/32 Short, Medium to Long term cost of the DRM Plan was put at UGX 867.8 billion (USD 234.5 million). Debating the statement, Hon. Richard Wanda (Bungokho Central County MP, NRM) urged the government to empower the local government committees to respond to disasters since these people are always on the ground all the time. On his part, Hon. Hillary Onek blamed bureaucracy in public service as the reason Government cannot urgently respond to disasters because it delays the release of funds and sometimes funds are diverted to non-disaster issues.
Later, the Minister of Finance represented by the State Minister for Finance (Privatisation and Investment) Evelyn Anite presented a Response Statement to the Statement by the Leader of the Opposition on the Government’s Inability to Clear Critical Statutory Obligations. In her opening remarks, she said, “Rt. Hon. Speaker, the Leader of Opposition made a statement to this August House, in which he inaccurately asserted that the Government is unable to meet its statutory obligations”. She said, “First and foremost, I categorically declare that the government is fully capable and committed to meeting all its statutory obligations in a timely and transparent manner, in order not to derail service delivery”.
She later laid on the table the status of the releases of the Budget to the Sports Subsector FY 2022/23. UGX 19.2 billion was released in the 1st Quarter for the Sports Sector. However Hon. Magogo (Budiope East, NRM) on releases for the Sports Sector in FY 2022/23 said, “What was budgeted for all the federations is UGX 35 billion. There was zero release in the 1st Quarter”. He added that “In the 2nd quarter UGX 6.7 billion was released. Where we should be talking about 50% release after the second 2nd quarter, it is only UGX 6.7 billion that has been released. The Minister of State for Sports however disputed the figures given by Hon. Moses Magogo saying that UGX 9.07 billion was released to the National Council for Sports in the first quarter, while UGX 8.2 billion was released in the second quarter.
Courtesy AFLI and CSBAG Parliamentary Monitoring team.