The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has expressed dissatisfaction at cabinet members’ attendance of plenary sessions and the slow and inadequate relay of information by government agencies to the Parliament.
Kadaga noted while delivering the Communication from the Chair at beginning of the Second Session of the 10th Parliament and before the President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni delivering the State of Nation Address, , Tuesday 6th June, 2017, at the Serena Conference Hall in Kampala.
“As we execute our function of oversight we require adequate and timely information from all the government agencies at different points; however, many of the agencies are slow in responding to our information requests while others give us incomplete and inadequate information,” Kadaga said, adding that, “This has made the government appear to be incompetent, something that should be improved upon.”
The Speaker said that poor attendance of plenary sessions has been registered among the Ministers and it affects the business of Parliament.
“On several occasions, we need Ministers to attend parliamentary sessions and respond to sectoral matters that arise but, we find ourselves in a fix when the concerned Ministers are not present to give a response on issues concerning their dockets,” she said.
Kadaga added that at least one line Minister should be available for every plenary session.
In addition, she noted that many senior citizens were passing on the public felt the need for them to be accorded an official funeral.
“We need a clear policy from you, your Excellency, clarifying on those eligible for official funerals because Parliament has of late come under fire for not holding such for some fallen important personalities,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker also called out for the President’s assistance in addressing the issue of shortage of space in terms of the Chamber and committee meeting rooms, citing the growing number of MPs. She said that the 10th Parliament in its first session has been able to enact 18 laws, process 18 laws, move four Motions for a resolution, enact two international protocols and has had 400 questions answered by the Prime Minister among others.
Kadaga added that Committees have held over 800 meetings; conducted 385 field visits; participated in international conferences and had some members elected to leadership positions in international parliamentary organisations.
She further encouraged MPs to improve on their commitment and attendance in as far as parliamentary work is concerned.In attendance were; the first lady of Zambia, Esther Lungu; the Speaker of the Kenyan Senate, Ekwe Ethuro; the Speaker of the South Sudan National Assembly, Anthony Makana; the Deputy Speaker of Somalia’s House of the People, Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim Muudeey and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sibide.