By Max Patrico Ocaido
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has admitted that the year-2017 was a very challenging year to the Parliament of Uganda.
Oulanyah, also Omoro County MP said this while chairing a parliamentary sitting that resumed on Tuesday since its adjournment for Christmas break on December 21, 2017. Oulanyah was referring to the scenes that erupted in parliament on 26th and 27 of September where MPs exchanged blows with each other including security officials during the age limit motion debate.
“The year-2017 was in a way very challenging to the Parliament of Uganda, and collectively as parliamentarians we should not allow these unbecoming incidents to reoccur,” Oulanyah said.
To begin this year, Oulanyah urged MPs to work together across the political divide to ensure that they fulfill expectations of their people.
“In carrying out our oversight, representation and legislative responsibilities, we should promote harmony, understanding, cordiality, dialogue and engage ourselves rather than doing the contrary,” he said.
He also urged the leader of government business in Parliament, Leader of Opposition in parliament and all the whips to dialogue and see to it that MPs execute their responsibilities effectively and efficiently.
“Members on the Government and Opposition side should co-exist because they need each other and cannot leave or act in isolation,” Oulanyah added.
FATE OF SUSPENDED MPS
Oulanyah also announced the fate of the 6 MPs who were On December 18, 2017 suspended from the House for indiscipline contrary to Rules of Procedure.
“Ibrahim Ssemujju(Kira Municipality), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) and Anthony Akol (Kilak North) were suspended for 3 sittings and are serving their suspension as required by rules of procedure, and will be free to attend plenary and committee sittings from tomorrow(Wednesday),” Oulanyah said.
He added, “Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye East), Jonathan Odur (Erute South) and Mubarak Munyangwa (Kawempe North) were suspended for 7 sittings effective December18. This means their suspension still stands and the MPs are expected to return to Parliament on 17 January.”
Ssewanyana, Odur and Munyangwa are serving a 7-sitting ban in accordance with the Parliament Rules of Procedure considering that the trio were again culprits of the September 27 3-sitting suspension where 25 MPs were suspended by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.