Our Parliament continues to grow every now and then at the cost of taxpayers. The most disheartening thing is that there has not been evidence of the correlation between number of MPs and the service delivery and satisfactoriness in legislation, appropriation and representation.
The Parliament has become a job opportunity for many and has attracted all characters from all walks of life! I have further noted that during the last year of each tenure, there has been a tendency of creating new constituencies in a bid to create vacancies for some individuals. In 2015, 12 municipalities were passed by the house to create vacancies for some individuals. I am not sure how many citizens demanded it? We now have 15 new cities and municipalities and Cabinet has recently approved 31 new constituencies all in the name of public demand-for which the evidence is scanty.
We currently have 435 MPs and 17 Ex officios in the house and this number will continuously increase with the increase with districts and new constituencies. We are overly represented in Uganda right from LC to the national level but the results are not in consonance. The amount of money spent on Parliament is humongous and there is therefore need to save taxpayers from this huge burden.
We need to repeal special interest group representation which has proved ineffective as research indicates that this group of MPs is not necessary-what is necessary is for very policy maker to ensure they mainstream women, youth PWDs and workers issues in their laws, plans, policies and budgeting. Why do we still have army in Parliament (which is purely partisan) yet it is supposed to be non-partisan? The army sits on the government side, voted in favour of government motions-how independent can they be? How come prisons, police are not represented in Parliament? What makes the army a special interest group? What ill do they suffer that they need special representation?
We need to re-size parliament to two MPs per District, male and female. This will sort the gender question but also reduce the number of MPs. If we go by this proposal, we would at least have 200 MPs (100 males and 100 females) for 100 Districts and 100MPs (50 Males and 50 Females) for 50 Districts. This re-sizing will improve on the substance of Parliament with each MP having enough time to debate on the floor of Parliament and later on enough room in the house to accommodate all MPs at once. This will be an effective and cost efficient house saving the taxpayer from the heavy administrative burden.
Michael Aboneka- Partner:Thomas & Michael Advocates| Director: Envirogreen Trust Ltd| Member: World Youth Alliance| Chair Working Group (Regional Integration for Economic Development)-Young African Activists Network (YAAN)
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