Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has cautioned Cabinet Ministers against skipping House business, warning that Parliament will give prominence to Private Members’ business instead.
During the Tuesday, 24 April 2018 sitting, Chief Opposition Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju sought the Speaker’s guidance after Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa responded to all issues specific to sector Ministers.
In response, Oulanyah said the Ministers’ absence frustrates House business which he said is unacceptable.
“This House needs Ministers to transact its business; we know the sectors that always show up in these matters of national importance. Is it difficult to learn the trend and deploy?” said Oulanyah.
At the commencement of every plenary sitting, MPs raise urgent matters requiring response from Ministers, but in the recent past, like was the case today, Ministers responsible were unavailable.
This saw Nankabirwa respond to all issues raised to the annoyance of Members.
Recently, Oulanyah promised to name and shame Ministers who are in the habit of absconding from plenary work, with Nankabirwa urging the Speaker to “publish the list because it will ease my work”.
Relatedly, Ms Nankabirwa has asked Ugandans to accord new Inspector General of Police John Martins Okoth Ochola,time to perform his duties.
“I am not competent enough to gauge whether he [Okoth Ochola] is performing or not. I want to request that he be given sometime to organize and reorganize the Police so long as we are safe,” said Nankabirwa.
This was in relation to MP Waira Majegere (Ind., Bunya East), who had complained about alleged plans to close down up to 1,500 Police posts.
Waira blamed Police for the plans, saying the reason presented for the impending decision is that the stations are vulnerable to thugs and criminals who attack it with the intent to steal weapons.
He said if the criminals can overwhelm the Police, it will be harmful for the residents of the affected areas.