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Ministers Absence During Plenary Irks Speaker

Ever since her fallout with Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Kadaga is yet to chair a plenary session with majority of the ministers attending. Worth noting is that the Prime Minister himself has not attended plenary chaired by Kadaga ever since the Public Order Management Bill (POMB) was passed with Jacob Oulanyah in the Speaker\'s chair.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga (seated) forced to ask aloud why ministers have failed to attend plenary.

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The absence of Ministers in plenary session on Thursday almost brought business to a standstill forcing the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to demand for written explanations.

 

The Minister for Defence Crispus Kiyonga and Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Aronda Nyakairima were expected to present their ministerial statements and respond to queries put to them by Members of Parliament but were not in the house.

 

Speaker Kadaga told the house that she had not received any written explanations as to why the Ministers were missing.

 

Third Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali tried to defend the ministers amidst interruptions as he explained that Kiyonga was abroad while his deputy, General Jeje Odong, was unwell.

 

General Ali added that  Aronda was in Mombasa while the state minister James Baba was also unwell.

 

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Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal  stood up and cynically suggested that they should go and visit the sick Ministers at their respective homes and hospitals causing laughter in the house.

 

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Kalungu East MP Ssewungu Gonzanga told Parliament that he was with Minister Kiyonga that morning and was shocked to hear that he was not able to attend plenary.

 

Mulimba John, the MP for Samia Bugwe North, noted that all ministerial statements come with particular signatures appended to them and each ministry has more than one minister. He proposed that as it is in the committees that no statement is accepted from technical staff apart from substantive ministers, so must it be done during plenary.

 

Kajara MP Stephen Tashobya said this action is a clear statement on the importance that the government ministers attach to government business.

 

Kadaga, who is also the Chairperson of the Appointments Committee, stated that when each minister comes for vetting they have portfolios and were approved with some conditions. She also revealed that there was a minister she saw at lunch time and wondered why he was not present to account.

 

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Ever since her fall out with Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Kadaga is yet to chair a plenary session with majority of the ministers attending.

 

Worth noting is that the Prime Minister himself has not attended plenary chaired by Kadaga ever since the Public Order Management Bill (POMB) was passed on August 6. Even then, it was Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who chaired the session.

 

On the second day of Kadaga’s chairing on August 21, almost all ministers did not turn up and later the Minister without Portfolio Richard Todwong said they had a lengthy agenda with pertinent issues to discuss in cabinet. Only State minister for disaster preparedness Musa Ecweru and deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi were in Parliament.

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