Opposition Chief whipIbrahim Ssemujju Nganda has expressed his disappointment in cabinet ministers for not respecting the rules of the House and the Speaker.
Ssemujju, also the Kira Municipality MP said the rate at which ministers refuse to respond to queries of national importance in the House is overwhelming.
Every Thursday, the leader of government business, the Prime Minister and other ministers are supposed to respons to queries raised by MPs in the week, as per the Parliamentary proceedings.
However, on Thursday, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was very disappointed when no senior minister showed up at Parliament. Only three junior minister, who cannot even respond to matters raised throughout the week by House members showed up.
Kadaga became upset by the continued absence of ministers and expressed her displeasure with the Prime Minister and his team for failing to attend Parliament despite the advance notice given to them about the issues at hand that require their attention.
“We are not going to keep massaging and pleading with ministers to come and do what is expected of them and answer questions requiring their responses.Therefore, House is adjourned until next week,” Kadaga said.
She further noted that by this act, the Executive was deliberately frustrating her work and that of the MPs even after giving them notice on Tuesday, 5 November 2019.
In support of the Speaker, Ssemujju said that ministers have made it a policy not to attend the Thursday session since they have no answers for some of the raised issues such as Police brutality on members of the opposition.
“Most of the have nothing to answer, we would go with juniors but some of them see things differently than their bosses. But it’s a big shame for ministers not to appear in such sittings but only appear when they need to raise their issues,” he said on a local radio station.
The Oyam District Woman MP, Santa Alum said that the ministers’ behavior was a sign of contempt of the Speaker’s authority and Parliament.
“The first two issues concerning wildlife destroying property in Kanungu and Oyam districts and the loss of lives due to falling electricity poles have appeared twice without any response; the House cannot continue if issues are not being addressed,” she added.
Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo called for the suspension of Parliament until the Cabinet is available to attend to the matters which the House has deemed crucial.
“When matters of Police brutality arose, you directed the Minister of Internal Affairs to come today to respond to the issue. In addition, you asked for a roadmap for the enjoyment of freedoms of association for political groups but no one is here to respond to these issues,” he noted.
He added that it is imperative and important that the Speaker’s rulings are respected and that the sanctity and authority of Parliament is restored.
In defending his colleagues, the State minister for Finance (Planning), David Bahati explained that his colleagues were only running late but would show up sooner than later. However, his attempts to reach to them yielded no fruit by the time of the adjournment.
Ministers who were expected to respond to critical issues in their dockets raised by MPs included; Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, Energy and Mineral Development, Foreign Affairs, Local Government, Works and Transport, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Security, the Attorney General, and Prime Minister.
The issues constituted the first item on the Order Paper.
The House is expected to meet again on Tuesday, 12 November 2019.
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