Prof Joe Oloka Onyango, a Law Don from Makerere University pointed out that the 1995 Constitution exclusively empowers Parliament to make laws on matters of the peace, order, development and democratic governance which regrettably the House has lost firm grip of.
of the 11th Parliament have been challenged to hold an independent,
and firm grip on its oversight function to enhance governance and
accountability to restore public trust.
This call was sounded by members of the academia, and Civil Society Organizations – CSOs
as the institution has increasingly come under scrutiny over its powers of appropriation, and
holding public officials accountable for corruption in the wake of Covid-19
high level meeting under the them ‘Covid Oversight’ organized by the Human
Rights and Peace Centre - HUMRIPEC, a semi-autonomous research department under
the School of Law, Makerere University at Parliament on Friday listed several weak
links facing the House and recommended need to urgently reverse it.
Joe Oloka Onyango, a Law Don from Makerere University pointed out that the
1995 Constitution exclusively empowers Parliament to make laws on matters of
the peace, order, development and democratic governance which regrettably the
House has lost firm grips on.
Prof Onyango is displeased that while in the power of hierarchy, Parliament wields superior powers over the
Executive, with both of them being supervised by the Judiciary in the third
position, the MPs have become subordinates to the Executive.
//Cue in: “Chapter 8 of
Cue out:…execute their function.”//
Prof Oloka illustrated his point citing several attempts by the Ministry
of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to hijack the Parliament’s power
of appropriation by tabling supplementary budget requests at short notice
which the MPs hastily approve without deep analysis.
//Cue in: “So in this
Cue out:…a Parliamentary function.”//
The former Kasese District Woman MP Winnie Kiiza, also the former Leader of Opposistion in Parliament -LOP and former Chairperson of the Public Accounts of Committee of Parliament, observed that current
lawmakers are at crossroads because the framers of the 1995 Constitution gave
too much power to the President that makes him interfere with the role of
//Cue in: “The Constitution
Cue out:…instructions from Parliament.”//
The former LOP noted that for proper functioning of Parliament, the lawmakers must be
leaders who read to enable them rise up and occupy their space as spelt in the
Constitution to prevail over other arms of Government.
//Cue in: “If we are to
Cue out:…arm of Government.”//
Kumi Municipality Silas Aogon admitted that legislative gaps
exist in House especially in the implementation of Parliament resolutions which
requires a stringent appropriation measures to create checks and balances, and
hold the Executive accountable.
//Cue in: “Too me the
Cue out:…so angry for money.”//
It also emerged that the Executive is arm-twisting Parliament as
commonly exhibited by President Yoweri Museveni's summoning lawmakers to State
House or National Leadership Institute – NALI, Kyankwanzi to secure their backing
basing on numerical strength to influence decisions on matters of national
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of HUMRIPEC Dr Zahara Nampewo observed that
Parliament’s oversight role has in the recent past come under intense examination
following unchecked misuse of Covid-19 resources in the wake of the global pandemic.
For instance, Dr Nampewo noted that whereas the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development - MoFPED maintains that 4 trillion shillings was provided for Covi-19 interventions,
Parliament claims the money procured through grants, loans, donations and
parliamentary approvals is in excess of 5.7 trillion and 1.7 trillion remains
She says they have researched and found that the Ministry of Health presented
an accountability that showed only 775 billion shillings out of the over 4
trillion had been allocated and accounted for and over 3.25 trillion yet to be
The Auditor General’s report for FY 2020/2021 noted the flouting of
procurement regulations, mismanagement of cash donations, companies and
individuals unlawfully benefiting from Covid-19 resources citing the ‘Nabbajja
Money’ which remains largely unchecked by Parliament to the satisfaction of the
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.