The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya has sternly directed committees to always expedite petitions brought before Parliament within the stipulated 45 days so that the challenges and issues raised by the petitioners are responded to urgently.
This was after it was brought to his knowledge that some petitions handed in as far back as 2013 had never been handled.
Hon. Oulanya raised this characteristic issue after the Kawempe North MP, Hon. Latif Ssebagala cited that the petition concerning the compensation of residents of Komamboga and Kawempe who had been requested to vacate their pieces of land he presented before parliament April 2013 had not yet been addressed.
Hon. Ssebagala raised this issue during a parliamentary sitting on Thursday 5th March 2015.
In addition, Ndorwa West MP and fresh minister appointee Hon.David Bahati said, “I think Hon. Ssebagala’s concern is very important.
I also presented a petition from Uganda Scouts Association regarding the grabbing of their land in Kazi but it too has over delayed.”
The Deputy Speaker in response urged the chairpersons of the committee to handle petitions handed to them in a timely manner.
“These petitions are brought to the house because they are urgent matters and the citizens expect us as Parliament to help them solve these problems, we should therefore do so,” he d.
The Deputy Speaker highlighted that any delay was to their detriment because the public would end up losing trust in the Parliament.
This shiftless way of doing things in the august house and the perpetual lack of quorum, once made Speaker Rebecca Kadaga lament about this trend of doing things. She was quick to find solace though in claiming that lack of quorum is everywhere.
Hon. Kadaga in her assessment of the performance of 9th Parliament was spot on to confirm, “Lack of quorum is a serious impediment for any legislature. We continue to grapple with lack of quorum in the House as well as in the committees.”
The excuse that lack of quorum is everywhere seems to be an endorsement for our politicians to dodge House proceedings with impunity. This has a trickledown effect of the Parliament setting a very bad precedent for the institutions they are supposed to oversee.