Parliament will effective next week hold plenary sessions in the conference
hall in a bid to ensure adequate spacing among MPs.
This is one of the measures that the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca
Kadaga communicated to MPs as a measure to reduce the risks of spreading coronavirus.
According to the World
Health Organisation, social distancing is important and one should at least
stay 1.5 meters away from People.
The conference hall is more spacious than the gallery because MPs
can adequately distance themselves from each other.
Parliament has also suspended non-critical staff and banned visitors.
The chamber is the main place of debate and Parliament business.
It is uniquely designed to host the Members of the Opposition, the Government
side, and many other categories of the people in Parliament. The Speaker has a
special place in the chamber, overlooking all the members in the house.
During her communication on Thursday, Kadaga also said they have
resolved to restrict the number of people in parliament by suspending non-critical
staff like staff from the different Parliament forums, interns, and other non-critical
staff for the next 32 days and will work from home.
Parliament has also suspended tours by schools and any other group for the next
Ministries, departments, agencies and organisations which have been invited to
appear before committees will be limited to only four people.
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Any letters to Parliament and deliveries have to stop in the gate,
while the Sergeant-at-Arms will have to enforce on the directive of Parliament.
Kadaga says Parliament seeks to ensure that the budget process is
completed during the lock-down.
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Parliament has also nominated a five-team task force to join the
National Taskforce on coronavirus, and they include; Commissioner of Parliament
Arinaitwe Rwakajara, Commissioner Francis Mwijukye, MP Esther Anyakun, Ayivu
County MP Bernard Atiku, the Sergeant-at-Arms Ahmed Kagoye and the Parliament
The first assignment of the task force will be to scrutinize the quarantine at Entebbe Central Inn where many Ugandans and foreigners are being charged
up to 100 US Dollars per day for the next two weeks.
Godfrey Onzima the Aringa North MP says Government should have
closed its borders and stopped all flights into the country instead of imposing
a self-quarantine. He says closing the external borders would be the best way
to stop the virus.
Medard Lubega the Busiro East MP says Government should meet the
costs of the quarantine.
Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon raised concerns that the changes were
too much and requested that Parliament is suspended for a few days, but he was overruled
by the Speaker.