The failure by Members of Parliament and Ministers to attend Parliament sitting sessions is the highest form of corruption in the country.
The public has sometimes described Parliament as a Universal Primary Education class with 386 representatives. Among these are 71 ministers who also attend Parliament on the government side.
However, the public would be shocked to know that ever since the opening of its third session of the 9th Parliament only 32 MP’s have been debating or representing their issues as supposed to be.
Friday the 27th of June, a head count in the house showed only 19 NRM MPs and 13 Opposition members led by the deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah were present.
The NRM chief whip Justine Lumumba today said the executive will sit down and analyse performance of its members.
Lumumba stresses that very few or none of the MP’s went through unopposed and wonders why they do not want to work. This is worsened by some MP’s who never speak on the floor of the house but are quick to run to the media hoodwinking voters who listen to them that they actually contribute in the house.
On Tuesday 25th June, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was disappointed in the evening after spending the better half of the afternoon discussing the second supplementary budget worth 46.9 billion with hope that it would be passed.
However, by close of business, the budget was not passed due to lack of quorum. Wednesday was not any different as Kadaga was forced to direct her aides to recall two committees that were heading for field trips to Kapchorwa and Lira districts.
It’s alleged that the committee heading to Kapchorwa claimed to have arrived in Jinja when they were just in Bweyogerere and asked their driver to switch off his phone, while the second committee that was still at Parliament’s main entrance could not join because of failing to meet the dress code.
Lumumba is now threatening to expose some Ministers who do not attend Parliament saying in the last session, the speaker was forced to roll call which improved attendance. She was dismayed that now that Parliament is expected to debate and consider the budget, there is increased absenteeism.
On several occasions at a lack of quorum both the government and the opposition side have blamed each other for failing to put their members in order to raise the required number of representatives for a Bill to be passed into law.
It is yet to be seen if any of the sides move to curb absenteeism in Parliament will yield fruit as the third session continues in its first days. Efforts to get in touch with the opposition chief whip Winfred Kiiza have been futile since both her phones are off.