The advice was given by former legislator, Prof. Dan Wandera Ogalo, a managing partner of Victoria Advocates and Legal Consultants, during the Opposition MPs Induction on how legislators can use parliamentary tools as aids for excellence.
Opposition Members of Parliament have been advised to avoid trivial matters but focus on issues of national interest as they execute their mandate.
The advice was given by former legislator, Prof. Dan Wandera Ogalo, a managing partner of Victoria Advocates
and Legal Consultants, during the Opposition MPs Induction on how legislators can use
parliamentary tools as aids for excellence. Ogalo, a legislative consultant served in the Constituent Assembly, the
Sixth Parliament (1996 to 2001) and in the East African Legislative
Assembly- EALA (2001 to 2012).
During the two-day event, opposition
MPs will be trained on the development of a private Member’s Bill,
development and presentation of dissenting opinions, advancing alternative
policy proposals, and the centrality of the budgeting process in holding government in
check and accountable, among others.
the Opposition have a big task to carry out on behalf of the country. I hope
that you will give your best for Uganda. The tools of parliament are
committees, questions to ministers, public hearings, debates, parliamentary
groupings and censure of ministers. These are tools which you can use in order
to be effective,” Ogalo said.
He added that the relationship of the Opposition with
the majority of National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs is important to ensure that
what they present is adopted. He appealed
to the Opposition MPs to always carry out research and arm their submissions on
issues of national interest with statistics, so that they attract the sympathy
of the majority.
//Cue in; “you are in…
Cue out:…carry the day.”//
The opposition has a total of 109 out of 529 MPs in the Eleventh Parliament. The opposition MPs are spread out on different
committees of parliament that have specified tasks given by the House including
scrutiny of Bills, government policy proposals, oversight and recommendations
Wandera also told MPs to use question time to
Ministers to obtain information from the government or press for action to be
carried out. He also appealed to the legislators to use tools like
the presentation of a motion that will make them appear on the order paper and ably
represent their constituents. He says that motions create a debate for the whole
House and this is important for MPs to demand specific actions.
//Cue in; “those questions, when…
Cue out…on our behalf.”//
Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament said that his office intends to have
several training sessions to equip members of the Opposition with tools that will
enable them to undertake their mandate with confidence and knowledge. Mpuuga said that when they sharpen the edges of
their members, nobody will impeach their suitability on the basis that they
lack knowledge or are devoid of tools that enable them to execute their mandate
English //Cue in; “my office did…
Cue out…of this mandate.”//
Luganda //Cue in; “kyabulabe nnyo…
Cue out…okutegera enkola.”//
Wilfred Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney-General also
cautioned Opposition members against shunning committee hearings and simply
turn up to sign reports without even reading and agreeing with the content. He
said that attending committee hearings helps Opposition MPs raise alternative
reports in case one is not in agreement with recommendations made.