Parliament has rejected a motion to introduce a bill to shift public holidays that fall on weekends to a working day.
Rakai Woman MP Juliet Suubi Kyinyamatama on Thursday attempted to seek leave of Parliament to introduce a private member’s bill entitled “the Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill, 2020.”
In her justification, MP Kyinyamatama wants continued recognition and honour of public holidays that fall on weekends to be observed on working days to avoid interfering with rest days and weekends.
“Some public holidays fall on Saturday or Sunday which is already designated days of rests, such public holidays may not be given their desired recognition, honour and visibility, while some may go unnoticed,” Kyinyamatama said.
“In order to ensure a continued recognition and visibility, it is necessary to have public holidays that fall on a weekend be observed on a working day to stop them from interfering with other activities like prayers, marriage celebrations.”
The MP struggled to convince fellow legislators that the observance of public holidays on weekdays will build a strong sense of nationalism, togetherness and also accord citizens an opportunity to rest.
As a result, the MPs unanimously refused to grant her leave to bring the bill, prompting her to withdraw the motion.
On February 16, Ugandans celebrated Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Day, but was not 'fully' recognized by many because it fell on a weekend (Sunday). The NRM Liberation Day 2020 was also celebrated on Sunday, while forthcoming International Women’s Day on 8 Mar 2020 will also be celebrated on Sunday.
The Public Holidays Act Cap 255 specifies public holidays that are kept and observed in Uganda including those declared by the President.