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Kadaga to Executive: Stop Undermining Parliament

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Kadaga says MPs shouldn’t meet and agree with the Executive on matters before the House. She cited the 1995 Uganda Constitution and Administration of Parliament Act, 2000, which provides for among others the independence of parliament as one of the arms of government.
13 Nov 2019 19:40
Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga speaking to Journalists at Parliament.

Audio 5

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has cautioned the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa and the Executive against undermining the powers and role of the legislature.   

Kadaga says that she is concerned that while political parties have the right to caucus and make decisions on parliamentary business such as bills, she is uncomfortable with MPs resolving on parliamentary matters with the executive without involving the house.  

Her statement comes after the NRM parliamentary resolved in a meeting with President, Yoweri Museveni on Monday to support the implementation of the 15 percent tuition policy at Makerere University. 

The caucus also agreed to oppose the Administration of Parliament Bill, 2018 that is sponsored by the Kabale Municipality MP, Andrew Aja Baryayanga. 

The Bill among others provides for the establishment of the offices of Deputy Leader of Opposition, Chief Opposition Whip, party whips and Dean of Independent MPs. 

The NRM caucus is opposed to the bill, saying it threatens the powers of political parties in the selection and nomination of the back bench Parliamentary Commission members and Leader of the Opposition among other provisions. 

However, Kadaga says MPs shouldn’t meet and agree with the Executive on matters before the House. 

She cited the 1995 Uganda Constitution and Administration of Parliament Act, 2000, which provides for among others the independence of parliament as one of the arms of government. 

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Kadaga made the statement after the Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpuuga raised concern on the resolutions of the National Resistance Movement-NRM parliamentary to support the 15 percent cumulative tuition increment at Makerere University.  

Mpuuga raised a procedural matter regarding the decision of the caucus, saying the Education and Sports Committee of parliament is investigating the unrest at the public university centered mainly on the controversial tuition policy. 

Mpuuga noted that the committee was directed to handle the matter and report to the House on November 13, 2019. 

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The Opposition Whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda agreed with Mpuuga that the NRM parliamentary Caucus decision on Makerere University has undermined the oversight role of parliament.

Ssemujju, who is also the Kira Municipality MP, asked the Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to explain why she allowed the caucus to sit and decide on the matter before Parliament.    

Nankabirwa defended the move, saying that her office is mandated to whip NRM MPs to reach consensus and agree on what decision to take on parliamentary business.  

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Nankabirwa thereafter asked the House to cite any rules that she breached for organizing the caucus meeting to discuss the Makerere University and Administration of Parliament Amendment Bill. 

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The Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya asked Kadaga to rule on whether or not Nankabirwa breached rules of procedure by calling for a caucus meeting on issues being scrutinized in the House. 

Kadaga insisted that Nankabirwa and the Executive should respect the role and powers of Parliament. 

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