Today in Parliament | 13th December 2023

Greetings from CSBAG and the Parliament of Uganda!

This is an update from the Parliament of Uganda marking the 22nd Sitting of the 1st Meeting of the 3rd Session of the 11th Parliament. This Sitting was chaired by the Speaker Rt. Hon. Anitah Among. In her communication, Speaker Among slammed the Opposition leaders who claimed that each MP was bribed with UGX 100 million to pass the UGX 3.5 trillion supplementary budget, claiming that they are attempting to cover up for receiving money from homosexuals. She warned them against dragging Parliament into selling their country to gays. “If you are covering your dirt on homosexuality, you are getting money on homosexuality and you are covering all that, don’t use this House to cover it. Don’t use Parliament to cover that, eat your money of bum shafters, you can’t say we are bribing you, bribing you for what? We are here working for our people, for us, we are here to do work, we are a people-centred Parliament”. Among said. The  Speaker added “What are we bribing you for? I want to request you people before you come up with such an allegation, you must be able to substantiate it. Our work is for the national service and we are paid for what we do. We aren’t bribed in any way and we aren’t going to be diverted, they are trying to cover their homosexuality saying Parliament was bribed, eat your money for homosexuality, sell your country, and keep quiet on your own”, she said. 

In compliance with Rule 158 (1) of the Rules of Procedure, Speaker Among also urged Whips to expedite the designation of members to the various Standing Committees.  Additionally, Among also wished all honorable members and their constituents a happy Christmas and a prosperous 2024, noting that today was the final sitting before the end-of-year recess. The Speaker expressed concern about the practice of private transporters raising the cost of public transportation during the festive season. She noted that travelers have often been harmed by this exploitation.  She asked the government’s appropriate regulatory bodies to put an end to this kind of exploitation.

The Speaker also urged all motorists to be cautious on the road, urging people to plan their journeys ahead of time to avoid exceeding the speed limit.  “Please don’t overspeed, if you want to reach early, please leave early, don’t overspeed because speed kills. I want to urge the public that as much as you are rushing to go to the villages don’t over speed, speed kills, we need you alive. We are going for the festive season and I am aware that so many Ugandans are going to travel upcountry, because so many buses are going to travel, the buses are going to increase fares. They are going to be so fast on the roads, they are going to cause accidents”. Among said.

Reacting to the Speaker’s communication, The Vice Chairperson, of Parliament’s Budget Committee, Hon. Wamakuyu Ignatius Mudimi (MP, Elgon County, Bulambuli district, NRM) refuted the claims of MP bribery and asked the Speaker to make sure those responsible are held accountable. He added that MPs are being harassed by their voters back home who are demanding their share and are said to be asking for Christmas money. “I have a supplementary schedule laid out by the Ministry of Finance, and it lacks parliamentary commission.”The person who said, “Come here and tell us because my people are calling and asking when you’re coming, keep something for us for Christmas,” should come here and tell us”. Mudimi said. Hon. Byanyima Nathan (MP, Bukanga County North, Isingiro District, NRM) on his part said “It’s very unfortunate to find that a Member of Parliament doesn’t know the decorum of Parliament. For an MP to go outside this House and talk about things that don’t exist bewilders me. Let’s humble ourselves and talk with evidence”. 

Hon. Luttamaguzi Semakula Paulson Kasana (MP, Nakaseke County South, Nakaseke District, DP) also demanded that the names of the loud and noisy Opposition MPs involved in the Cooperatives’ compensation funds be made public. In response, the Speaker asked all MPs implicated in the embezzlement of the UGX 164 billion Cooperatives compensation funds to report to the Police before being picked.  “If you see your name there, take yourself to Police, the report (on cooperatives) was forwarded to CID, IGG, and DPP, it isn’t just a matter of saying some opposition MPs were there”. Among said.

Thereafter, the State Minister MoFPED, Hon. Musasizi Henry Aringanyira who is also the (MP, Rubanda East County, Rubanda District, NRM) laid before Parliament the National Budget Framework Paper (NBFP) 2024/25 that details the state of the economy and proposals for the next financial year. Accompanying the NBFP were Certificates of Gender and Equity Compliance and Climate Change Responsiveness. On the state of the economy, the minister informed the House that Uganda’s economy grew to 184.89 trillion US dollars, up from 162.75 trillion US dollars in FY 2021/22. He also stated that the economy grew by 5.2% in FY 2022/23, compared to 4.6% in FY 2021/22. The Minister also revealed that the economy is expected to grow by 6% by the end of fiscal year 2023/24, 6.5% in fiscal year 2024/25, and at least 7% in the medium term. In addition, the Minister informed Parliament that inflation is expected to remain within the 5% policy target over the medium term.

Musasizi also informed Parliament that the theme for the Fiscal Year 2024/25 Budget remains the same as for the Fiscal Year 2022/23 Budget, which is “Full monetization of Uganda’s economy through commercial agriculture, industrialization, expanding and broadening services, digital transformation, and market access.” He also informed MPs that the priority areas for the next fiscal year’s budget 2024/25 are: investing in Ugandans, peace and security, roads, electricity generation, and transmission lines, prioritizing money-earning investments, and effective natural disaster management.  “The total funding for the FY 2024/25 is projected to be 52,722, 682, 928, 748 trn”, Musasizi said. Speaker Anitah Among later referred the NBFP  to the Committee on Budget and the fifteen (15) Sectoral Committees for scrutiny, with the latter restricted to matters within their jurisdiction.

Parliament later also approved two loans worth Shs1.235Trn including; US$295 Million (Shs1.121Trn) from the Islamic Development Bank and US$30 Million from the OPEC Fund for International Development to be used for upgrading of national roads and a pre-finance loan for the the reconstruction of Masaka-Mutukula Road (89.5Km) & rehabilitation of Nyendo-Villa Maria Road (11Km) additional scope of 28.5Km for Kikagati-Kafunjo Road etc at Shs692.680Bn.

The Speaker afterward adjourned Parliament sine die.

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