Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has urged the Members of the 11th Parliament to conduct business with dignity and respect for each other.
Oulanyah told legislators attending their induction on the Rules of Procedure that their conduct in and outside Parliament has a bearing on the reputation of all members, saying they should be mindful of the bigger group they now belong to.
“You are not here as an individual; you are here as part of all these people. Whatever you do, you must do it knowing that it can bring this entire group of intelligent and dignified people into disrepute,” said Oulanyah.
He explained that the Rules of Procedures require MPs to respect each other irrespective of party affiliations and status in the society. “It does not matter whether a member is from the minority party or the ruling party; it doesn’t even matter which region the member comes from. Every Member of Parliament has rights equal as any other member of this House. Accord each member respect,” Oulanyah added. He called for quality and balanced debates that will see resolutions taken without any disputes from all political affiliations.
“What I encourage more is that the debate is evidence based. We should stop the habit of throwing figures from your head; Ugandans quote you as the source, your speech will be quoted by researchers in future. If you must use statistics and figures, quote the source,” Oulanyah added.
Bugweri County MP, Hon Abdu Katuntu who is one of the facilitators at the induction meeting urged members to leave any prejudices that could have resulted from clashes during campaigns and focus on legislating on matters of national interest. “If you are in NRM, you may have bias on the Opposition and vice versa. My prayer is that your differences end at the gate because here we legislate for the national cause,” Katuntu said adding that, "you need to get it in your mind that you are national leaders who come to serve your country. You have the confidence of the electorate not the camps."
The induction of MPs on Rules of Procedures is aimed at equipping MPs with the knowledge of dos and the don’ts that must be observed while conducting business in Parliament.