By Mable Nakibuuka
The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has decried the continued absence of cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda from plenary sessions, which she said is hampering the work of the legislature.
Kadaga revealed this on Thursday while addressing Members of Parliament, when she expressed her displeasure with the continued absence of the Prime Minister, his deputies and other Ministers from the House.
The Speaker said that “I want to, as presiding officers, to express my displeasure at the continued absence of ministers from sittings of this House.
In particular, we have noted that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers have been continually absent for several sittings of this House. This is a direct breach of the rules 42 and 113 of the Rules of Procedure.”
— Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (@RebeccaKadagaUG) October 1, 2020
She added that; “The absence of the ministers from the sittings has not only limited scheduled charge of Parliamentary duties but also defaced the image of parliament in the eyes of the general public, which means that it is their elected representatives that are letting them down.”
“As pursuance of the rules of this House, I call upon the Prime Minister, who is the Leader of Government Business to invoke Rule 113 (2) of the Rule of Procedure to ensure the attendance of Ministers at all Sittings of the House, in order to respond to urgent matters of the Members and take charge of items on the Order Paper which fall under their respective dockets,” the Speaker charged.
She explained that as Members of Parliament, they are likely to be held accountable by the public for not having finished Parliamentary Business before the country heads into next year’s General Election.
However, efforts to secure a comment from the Prime Minister Dr. Rugunda and or any of his Deputies were futile since they couldn’t be reached through their office lines.