August 30, 2013

Kadaga Irked By Ministers’ Absence During Plenary

The absence of Ministers in plenary sessions without explanations on Thursday almost brought business to a standstill forcing the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to demand for written explanations.

The Minister for Defence Chrispus Kiyonga and Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Aronda Nyakairima were expected to present their ministerial statements and respond to queries put by Members of Parliament but were not present.

Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga
Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga

Speaker Kadaga told the house that she had not received any written explanations as to why the Ministers were missing in action.

Third Prime Minister also MP Moyo Moses Ali vehemently tried to defend ministers amidst interruptions as he explained that Kiyonga is abroad while Jeje Odong the State Minister for Defence is sick.

Premier Ali added that Gen. Aronda is in Mombasa while the state minister James Baba is also sick.

MP Cecilia Ogwal Dokolo MP stood up and  cynically suggested that they should go and visit the sick Ministers at their respective homes and hospitals causing laughter in the house.

Kalungu East MP Ssewungu Gonzanga told Parliament that he was with the Defence Minister Kiyonga that morning and was shocked to hear that he was not able to attend plenary.

Mulimba John, MP Samia Bugwe North, noted that all ministerial statements come with particular signatures appended to them and each ministry has more than one minister. He proposed that as it is in the committees that no statement is accepted from technical staff apart from substantive minister, so must it be done during plenary.

Tashobya Steven MP Kajara County said this action is a clear statement on the importance that the government ministers attach to government business.

Kadaga who is also the Chairperson of the Appointments Committee stated that when each minister comes for vetting they have portfolios and were approved with some conditions. She also revealed that there was a minister she saw at lunch time and wondered why he was not present to account.

Ever since her seeming fall out with leader of government business and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Kadaga is yet to chair a plenary session with majority of the ministers attending.

Worth noting is that the Prime Minister himself has not attended plenary chaired by Kadaga ever since the passing of the Public Order Management Bill (POMB) which sitting was chaired by Jacob Oulanyah.

On the second day of Kadaga’s chairing, 21st a Wednesday of August all ministers did not turn up and later the Minister without Portfolio Todwong Richard said they had a lengthy agenda with pertinent issues to discuss.

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