Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has issued a warning to Ishma Mafabi, the Eastern Youth MP over perpetual absenteeism from parliament.
Kadaga made the warning know on Thursday during the afternoon plenary session saying that the member poorly attended the previous 2nd and 3rd sessions of Parliament without the mandated authorized leave of the Speaker. She added that the MP has not also attended the ongoing 4th session that started on 1st July 2019 which has so far had 35 sittings.
A session of parliament has 12 months and it is in tandem with the financial year which for example running between 1st July 2018 and 30th June 2019.
"I have established from the records of attendance of Members of Parliament that you have not attended any sitting of the House this session. In the circumstances, I know that your continued absence from the House is in contravention of Rule 111 (6) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament," reads part of Kadaga's letter to Mafabi.
Rule 11(6) prohibits MPs from absenting themselves from 15 normal sittings of Parliament during any period when Parliament is continuously meeting except with the permission of the Speaker.
Kadaga warned Mafabi and demanded him to attend the next sitting of Parliament scheduled for Tuesday 17th September or he risks a disciplinary process.
//Cue in: "I am now...
Cue out:...by the Speaker."//
When contacted, MP Mafabi said that he had been held up by personal issues promising to meet the Speaker as soon as possible to offer an explanation.
"I have been handling some personal issues, of which I was supposed to write to the Speaker but I didn't. However, I have an appointment with her tomorrow and I will explain everything," said Mafabi.
Both Speaker Kadaga and Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah have previously warned legislators on rampant absenteeism from Parliament business and on several occasions suggested different measures meant to stop the practice.
Some of the measures undertaken were the introduction of a registration book for the afternoon plenary session and later an electronic system for members to use for voting and to help detect their attendance through clocking in and out of the Chamber. Kadaga also at some point suggested that the Parliamentary Commission reverts to the previous payment system for MPs which is tagged on their attendance.
Kadaga previously described the action of MPs signing for allowances, even when they have not attended plenary and committee sittings as lack of ethics and integrity and an act of corruption.
The Speaker says MPs should live as leaders and people of integrity and not to be seen involved in corrupt tendencies.