Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has asked Members of Parliament whose names recently appeared in the media as worst performers in their first year to always make research and be ready before they rush to ask him to pick them on the floor of Parliament to make their views heard publicly.
Recently, names of the best and worst performing new Members of the 11th Parliament were published in the media where Jinja South West Member of Parliament Dr Batuwa Timothy Lusala (FDC) was ranked the best followed by Former Presidential candidate Dr Abed Bwanika(NUP) of Kimaanya Kabonera, and Nakawa East’s Ronald Nsubuga Balimwezo among others.
On the other hand, the list of worst performers had names like Abdul Mutumba of Kiboga West, Jimmy Lwanga of Njeru Municipality and Jinja Woman MP Loy Katalin just to mention but a few.
According to Tayebwa, following the publication of the said list, over 39 Members of Parliament stormed his office asking him to always pick them to speak so that their names can appear on the Hansard and also be seen on television.
While opening the training and capacity building of policy analysts attached to the office of the Leader of Government Business and the office of the Leader of the Opposition on Monday, Tayebwa asked policy analysts to help MPs understand first the key issues on any policy to be debated as a way of helping them improve quality of debate.
“Quality debating is very important and as policy analysts, you can guide these members, and tell them how best they can use you. We need to also re-arrange ourselves because after two minutes of speaking and the media comes and says so and so spoke too much without looking at the influence of your submission. I know some MPs who speak every day but if I traced the influence of their submissions on the resolutions of Parliament, there is nothing,” he said.
He urged MPs to use their policy analysts and researchers so that they come to the floor of the House knowing exactly what to say.
“Even if you use 1 minute or a two-liner, how is it impacting the final resolution? We are having much pressure from many MPs after that publication every MP wants to be picked to speak for the sake of speaking but the concern would be what are you going to say? I think that is the very important issue any MP would first work out.”
He added that although there is limited time for MPs to speak there is always an opportunity where almost every member of the House is allowed to speak, unfortunately, during such time many MPs don’t attend and the House is almosy empty.
“Members are not always in the House when we are at the commit stage of the bill, you find when the House is empty!.. At such a stage, every member who wants to speak is given a chance, colleagues on both sides I urge you to use that time. Members should stop waiting for matters of national importance and debates of general nature. We need to change from that, I have around three MPs whom I know among the best performing but how often do they attend Parliament? Not much but they know when they are coming and why they must speak.”
He advised complaining MPs to get used to reading and make research instead of attending all House sessions without grasping or speaking anything.
“Instead of becoming a listening post, you would rather go back cut off your time use it for reading specializing in a certain area and then whenever we have an issue in that area you come and guide the House.”
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