The Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, made an appearance in Parliament Thursday, 29 July 2021 after a break, urging its leaders to set aside their different political shades for the greater good of the institution.
Oulanyah spoke at the retreat of opposition legislators, who are on a two-day induction on best Parliament practices.
“Colours only apply during elections, but now is the time to push the colours aside and we work together; let what we do reflect on the lives of the people we lead; we cannot disagree on the interests of the people, we can only disagree on how to achieve it,” he said.
The Speaker added: “We know you have a different opinion on certain things [but I assure you that] in this Parliament, ideas must be put up against each other; the weak ones will die and the strong ones will survive.”
On his absence and the speculations that were reported in some sections of the media, Oulanyah said the country needs to do some soul-searching on its values, and learn to empathise with rather than wish ill for those said to be unwell.
“What we are losing in this country is what we call humanity. If somebody is sick, why declare that the person is dead? Why should we be painting and vanishing coffins for the sick?” he said.
Oulanyah had a busy morning, starting with a welcome by the Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga, and Commissioners of Parliament – Hon Solomon Silwany (NRM, Bukholi Central), Hon Francis Zaake (NUP, Mityana Municipality), Hon Esther Afoyochan (NRM, Zombo), Hon Prossy Akampurira (NRM, Rubanda) and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja.
The Parliament leadership then held a closed door meeting with the Speaker, where Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Chris Obore, said he emphasised unity and working for the institution without fronting individual interests.
Obore said the new scheme of work in Parliament allows one presiding officer to conduct House business, and then takes leave as the other takes charge in succession.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, thanked Speaker Oulanyah for giving her the discretion to manage House business, saying she will continue to do her best whenever assigned by the Speaker.
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