Kira Municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has asked the First lady Jannet Museveni who also doubles as the Minister of Education and Sports to stop despising Members of the House.
The furious Ssemujju urged the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among not to allow the First Lady to despise MPs by summoning them to Kololo Independence Grounds because she wants to speak to them yet the rules of the House demand that she has to speak to them at the floor of Parliament.
Ssemujju’s reaction follows Among’s message to the House which was from Mrs Museveni calling Members of Parliament to Kololo so that she can address them on the issues of reopening schools.
“I have got a communication from the First Lady, the minister of Education requesting to have a meeting with the members of Parliament on Wednesday next week. And the meeting is going be on the issues of opening schools, so you will be expected to have a Covid test on Monday, as you prepare for the meeting on Wednesday at 10 am in Kololo for you to give guidance on the ministry since you are the leaders on the ground,” she said.
However, Ssemujju told Among that the First Lady has no authority to summon them to any place she wants but rather she should go to Parliament and address them.
“Madam Speaker you have said one of the ministers has summoned Parliament to Kololo, I fear because if we allow Ministers to summon Parliament, there is nothing that will stop the chief whip from summoning us to his home. And I want to tell that minister that she has a duty under this rule to come to this House and explain any matter in her ministry but not calling member to the place she wants.”
“Is she summoning us as the First lady or as the minister? Also under which rule is this minister summoning us to Kololo. If the Prime Minister addresses us here, then how can a person under her summon us?” he asked.
Reacting to Ssemujju’s question, Among told the House that the First lady was requesting since Parliament is small to accommodate over 500 members due to covid-19.
“Parliament cannot accommodate 500 people, so it’s up to you to go or not, I was just delivering a message.”
In support of Nganda’s query , the Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga told Among that members have the right to accept or refuse since it was a request.
“As a Speaker, you are the custodian of sancta of this House of Parliament, and that Sancta is housed in the rules to which your custodian. There is whole laying danger in allowing the businesses of Parliament to be conducted informally and that informality endangers that manner in which we can all people be accountable. Parliament is the space where members of parliament feel comfortable and protected.”
Mpuuga added that unless the Speaker is going to declare Kololo as Parliament where members will exercise their Parliamentary rights, he requested her to call that minister to make that statement on the floor of Parliament otherwise it will be dangerous to conduct parliamentary businesses with desired informalities of one individual.
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